Planning Underway for Export of Marcellus Liquified Natural Gas (LNG)

by Duane Nichols on September 3, 2011

LNG Terminal at Cove Point (Maryland)

An apparent abundance of natural gas from Marcellus shale is cause for Virginia-based Dominion Resources Inc. to file a request with the Department of Energy to begin exporting liquefied gas from its Cove Point terminal in Maryland. The company seeks to export up to 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day beginning in late 2016.

Texas-based Cheniere Energy Inc., has won DOE approval to export 2.2 billion cubic feet a day from its Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana.  Two other major energy companies have applied to export a total of 3.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day.  Another company, Oregon’s Jordan Cover Energy Partners LLC, expects to make a decision soon on applying to export about 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day.

If all of the requests were approved, the exports combined would amount to more than 12 percent of American natural gas production, based on 2010 levels.  The rush to export natural gas has been controversial. Some manufacturers and public gas companies have argued the move will only increase natural gas prices in the United States, depriving the nation of a key advantage of one of its major natural resources.  Natural gas companies say that exports will increase exploration and create jobs here.  Although exports could increase prices somewhat, they dispute the increase will be significant.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

RD Blakeslee September 4, 2011 at 9:44 am

Why is it not the policy of the U.S. Government to promote natural gas as fuel for automobiles? It burns cleaner than gasoline and it is easy and cheap to convert internal comustion engines to natural gas – much cheaper than building hybrids, and making ethanol from corn.

The infrastructure for gas distribution would be more economical in the long run than gasoline tanker trucks.

Incidentally, there are already thousands of vehicles running on natural gas, mostly in fleets belonging to businesses.


Ellen Voss September 4, 2011 at 11:30 am

The fact that much of this natural gas will now be exported to China is the most aggravating aspect of the WV Marcellus boom. WV is sacrificing its good water, relative peace and quiet, dark night skies, etc, so a few landowners and the energy companies can make money by raising our domestic gas prices. In the long term, we’re going to become a huge rural industrial zone and property values will suffer. I’m really tired of flag-waving patriotic hard-working religious Americans telling the rest of us that we’re commies or something for complaining about gas drilling. I’ll shut up now and go mow the lawn. I’m a hard worker too.


Ellen Voss September 4, 2011 at 11:30 am

P.S. Nice article, by the way. That was the original intent of my comment but as usual I got sidetrack by too much venom.


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