The US Department of Energy approved Dominion Cove
Point LP’s application to export LNG from its terminal in
Calvert County, Md., to countries that do not have a free-trade agreement with the US.
Subject to environmental review and final regulatory approval, the facility on Chesapeake Bay received conditional
authorization to export as much as 0.77 bcfd for of 20 years,
DOE said on Sept. 11. The installation previously received
clearance to export LNG to non-FTA countries on Oct. 7,
2011, it noted.
“We agree with DOE’s decision that exports are expected
to bring economic benefits to the country,” said Thomas F.
Farrell II, chief executive of parent Dominion Resources Inc.
“It is good news on many fronts, including the thousands of
jobs that will be created, the boost in government revenues
that will result, and the support it provides to allied nations.”
Dominion Cove Point’s proposed liquefaction and export
operations are expected to cost $3. 4-3. 8 billion. The company sought approval for them in March from the US Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission. Pending receipt of regulatory approval and permits, construction is scheduled to begin in 2014, with a 2017 in-service date.
The installation already has robust infrastructure, including connections to the pipeline grid, LNG storage capacity,
and an updated pier. Construction will chiefly entail adding
liquefaction capability, Dominion said.
It said the facility’s capacity is fully subscribed, with
signed 20-year terminal service agreements. Pacific Summit Energy LLC, a US affiliate of Japanese trading company
Sumitomo Corp., and GAIL Global (USA) LNG LLC, a US
affiliate of GAIL (India) Ltd., each have contracted for half of
the marketed capacity.
Under amendments to the 1920 Natural Gas Act, DOE
is required to determine if an applicant’s request to export
LNG to a non-FTA country is in the national interest. In Dominion Cove Point’s case, it said it considered the economic, energy security, and environmental impacts, as well as
public comments for and against the application and nearly
200,000 public comments related to the associated analysis
of the cumulative impacts of increased LNG exports.
Dominion Cove Point is the fourth US LNG terminal to
gain DOE approval of exports to non-FTA nations. Sabine
Pass Liquefaction LLC, Freeport LNG Expansion LLC, and
Lake Charles Exports LLC’s applications were approved earlier. DOE has another 19 non-FTA LNG export applications
DOE approves Dominion Cove Point
LNG exports to non-FTA countries
API wants Congress to
repeal, not reform, federal RFS
The American Petroleum Institute is bringing refining executives to Washington, DC, to convince Congress and the
White House that the federal Renewable Fuels Standard
should not simply be reformed, but fully repealed.
“Our sense is there’s no support in Congress for keeping
the RFS as it is,” said Bob Greco, API downstream group di-
rector. “Some members want to repeal it; some want to reform
it. We’re telling the House Energy and Commerce Committee,
which is looking at the problem, that repeal is the best solu-
tion. That’s why we’ve mobilized our grass roots network to
contact members of Congress and the White House.”
Assumptions behind the 2007 Energy Independence and
Security Act’s expansion of the RFS, which the 2005 Energy
Policy Act established, have not been borne out, creating a
“reality gap,” he told reporters in a Sept. 17 teleconference.
“For starters, demand for gasoline is down,” Greco said.
“The US Energy Information Administration now estimates
we will use 424 million fewer barrels of gasoline this year
than it projected, a trend that is expected to continue. The
mandated ethanol volumes are completely out of touch with
today’s fuel market reality.”
US crude oil production has grown and imports have decreased, with EIA projecting that the US will produce 64
million more barrels and import 241 million fewer barrels
than was projected back in 2007, he continued. “Our nation’s energy security outlook is much improved not through
ethanol mandates but through increased domestic production, a primary goal of the RFS,” Greco said.
Consumers have largely rejected flex-fuel vehicles, which
can use higher ethanol blends because mileage drops as
more ethanol is used, and advanced cellulosic biofuel levels