Originally posted on http://ift.tt/13mgxE0 :
LNG: Markets will determine fate of exports, not government — industry group
Hannah Northey and Jean Chemnick, E&E reporters
Published: Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of the American Gas Association, said the fate of international exports of domestic gas will be decided by global markets — not the federal government — and predicted that only a handful of projects will come to fruition.
"Overall, we don't think it's going to be a huge number [of terminals], probably something south of 10 [billion cubic feet of] export," McCurdy said today at the United States Energy Association's 11th annual forum at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., adding that exports that do move forward will have "little effect" on U.S. supply.
McCurdy, a former Democratic congressman from Oklahoma, said four export terminals could ultimately move forward, and gas producers will quickly fill the gap created by that production sent abroad.
"We have really a country of massive storage. We can go get that gas relatively affordably," he said.
McCurdy said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is at the helm of addressing infrastructure needs to ensure pipeline capacity is keeping pace with demand, adding that the United States is in an ideal situation. "These are nice problems to have compared with any other country around the globe today," he said.
McCurdy's comments arrive amid a push in the House and Senate to fast-track LNG exports. In the upper chamber, focus is squarely on a hearing the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is holding later this month to consider legislation that Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) introduced (Greenwire, Jan. 15). The "LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act" would require the secretary of Energy to make a decision on any LNG export application within 45 days of the publication of FERC's environmental review.
Other senators and House members are focusing on fast-tracking Energy Department approvals of LNG exports to U.S. allies and members of the World Trade Organization.
Oil exports were also addressed at the energy association event.
Charles Drevna, president and CEO of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, said he would support legislation to lift the ban on crude oil exports if it included a repeal of the 1920 Merchant Marine Act, also known as the Jones Act, which restricts shipments between domestic ports to U.S.-flagged vessels.
The law has gained renewed attention in the context of the debate over whether to allow exports of U.S. crude oil — and could be addressed as the Senate debates legislation to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada (E&ENews PM, Jan. 13).
But Drevna said domestic refiners shouldn't be used as an excuse to call for the export of crude oil. "That day may come. It will come eventually, but it's not going to take weeks or months," he said.
Drevna called the Jones Act an "antiquated piece of protectionism that has isolated the domestic maritime industry" at the expense of the American petroleum industry and consumers.