Freeport LNG Expansion LP and FLNG Liquefaction LLC filed another application with DOE to allow the export of an additional amount of domestically produced LNG from its Quintana Island Terminal near Freeport, Texas.

"Demand for liquefaction capacity has been significant since FLEX filed its initial export applications a year ago, and FLEX expects to secure long-term contracts for the liquefaction and export of an additional 1.4 Bcf/d," the Freeport LNG Development LP companies, which together call themselves FLEX, wrote in the Dec. 19 application (FE Docket No. 11-161-LNG).

FLEX requested authorization to export the additional amount over a 25-year period to countries not prohibited from trading with the United States. Freeport LNG Development has four limited partners and one general partner that manages the company, Freeport LNG-GP Inc., which is half-owned by ConocoPhillips Co. and half-owned by individual Michael Smith.

FLEX stressed this application was separate from earlier applications filed in December 2010 to export domestic LNG. In February, DOE accepted the first application to export LNG to Free Trade Agreement countries. The second application to export to a larger group of countries is still pending. Freeport LNG said its terminal could begin exports by 2015. Hugh Urbantke, Freeport LNG CFO, told an energy forum earlier this month that the liquefaction project would be viewed favorably by investors.

Other companies have stepped up their LNG export plans. Cheniere Energy Inc. unveiled plans on Dec. 16 to export LNG from a terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas, its second Gulf Coast liquefaction project after a proposed project to export through its Sabine Pass Terminal in Louisiana.

A DOE official said Dec. 6 that the department would wait to see the conclusions of two studies on the cumulative impact of LNG exports from the United States before it approves more applications for long-term exports to non-free-trade-agreement countries.

FLEX hoped its new application would not cause delays. "It is our understanding that under DOE/FE policy and procedure, FLEX's filing of the attached new application will not delay DOE/FE's processing of, or adversely affect the public interest analysis for FLEX's pending application in FE Docket No. 10-161-LNG," or affect the order in which the applications are considered, FLEX wrote.

FLEX is finishing the mandatory National Environmental Policy Act prefiling process at FERC. In the DOE application, FLEX said it expected to file a formal application with FERC for construction of the liquefaction facilities by the end of the year. On Dec. 21, FERC gave notice that Freeport LNG planned to modify second-phase import facilities already approved by the commission: changing the orientation of a marine berthing dock; eliminating one of four authorized LNG unloading arms; reducing the diameter of two LNG transfer pipelines from 32 inches to 26 inches; and building a new access road to the dock. (CP12-29)



Copyright 2011 SNL Financial LC. All Rights Reserved.

(Originally published in the December 29, 2011, edition of SNL Daily Gas Report.)