The Department of Energy (DOE) on Wednesday conditionally authorized Lake Charles Exports to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the U.S.

The firm can now export LNG from its Lake Charles Terminal in Lake Charles, La. Lake Charles previously received approval to export LNG from this facility to FTA countries on July 22, 2011.

The authorization—subject to environmental review and final regulatory approval—allows the facility to export at a rate of up to 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day (Bcf/d) for a period of 20 years.

The DOE granted the first authorization to export LNG to non-FTA countries in May 2011 from the Sabine Pass LNG Terminal in Cameron Parish, La., at a rate of up to 2.2 Bcf/d, and the second authorization in May 2013 to the Freeport LNG Terminal in Quintana Island, Texas, for exports of up to 1.4 Bcf/d.

The agency said the development of U.S. natural gas resources is having a “transformative impact” on the nation’s energy landscape. The increase in domestic natural gas production is expected to continue with the Energy Information Administration orecasting a record production rate of 69.96 Bcf/d in 2013.

The DOE said it considered 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—and determined that exports from the Lake Charles terminal at a rate of up to 2.0 Bcf/d for a period of 20 years was not inconsistent with the public interest.

Sources: POWERnews, DOE

Sonal Patel, Senior Writer (@POWERmagazine, @sonalcpatel)