A Senate natural gas forum yesterday affirmed the positive impact of the LNG exports on the US economy and urged the country to seize the opportunity this represents.

The forum on natural gas was held by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and entitled ‘Domestic Supply and Exports’.

A panel of witnesses reflected diverse expertise with the presence of the Brookings Institution, Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council, American Chemistry Council, ICF International, Sempra Energy and Cheniere Energy Inc.

According to the Centre for Liquefied Natural Gas (CLNG), all of those involved in the forum recognised that the US should seize the opportunity exporting LNG represents – and the widespread benefits it would bring to the economy.

Following the forum, President of the CLNG Bill Cooper issued a statement of support for the forum and its findings. He commented, “Today’s forum underscores what countless third-party studies, energy experts and economists have found: LNG exports will be a win-win for our economy, create jobs and enhance our geopolitical relationships by supplying much-needed energy resources to our trading partners.”

“Thanks to an abundance of natural gas, we are uniquely positioned to both meet domestic demand and sell some abroad, but this opportunity won’t last forever. With a thorough review complete and a robust regulatory process in place, it is time for the US Department of Energy to move forward with the swift approval of pending LNG export projects.”

Witnesses from the US Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, Energy Policy Forum and Industrial Energy Consumers of America also participated in the forum.

Authorisation

Meanwhile, another export development has recently taken place in the country’s LNG sector.

The US Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy (DOE/FE) awarded Freeport LNG Expansion L.P. and FLNG Liquefaction, LLC a conditional authorisation to export domestically produced LNG to countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US.

The non-FTA approval to Freeport LNG Expansion L.P. and FLNG Liquefaction, LLC is only the second of its kind. In 2011, the DOE granted Sabine Pass LNG Terminal (Louisiana) approval to export LNG to non-FTA countries.