With the arrival earlier this month of American LNG to China after more than a year and three more U.S. cargoes on the way, there lies strong hope that demand for fossil fuels will return as global economies emerge from the devastation wrought by COVID-19 and slowly regain their footing.
No question. The process will be longer than we want and more painful than we expect. Nevertheless, the world runs on energy and post the upheaval we witness now and into the foreseeable future, demand will return for U.S. crude oil, natural gas, NGLs, and LNG, both stateside and abroad. Factories will reopen, plants will be built, people will drive, planes will fly, truckers will truck. And the midstream sector will continue its often-invisible role to gather, transport and process the fuels that galvanize economy heartbeats.
This is especially so in the case of natural gas, now considered a “transition” fuel to whatever renewables lie next to take its place, if they can. LNG, in particular, plays an enormous role in resuscitating economies as we move forward to the other side of energy quarantine.
Here are a few updates on the nation’s LNG projects advancing:
- Following FERC approval this month, La.-based Cameron LNG has begun pipeline feed gas flow to its train 3. This marks the final—at least for now—liquefaction train at its export terminal in Hackberry.
- LNG infrastructure developer Eagle LNG Partners has found its niche in small- to medium-scale LNG liquefaction export terminals that serve the Caribbean and Latin America. With two existing small-scale facilities in Jacksonville, Fla., Eagle now has announced constructing its first mid-scale export terminal designed to produce 1.65 million gallons per day of LNG with a storage capacity of 12 million gallons. The project will include a truck-loading system and a dock capable of loading vessels with a capacity of 2,000-45,000 cubic meters.
- In February, the FERC approved Houston-based Annova’s proposal for an LNG export terminal on the Brownsville, Texas, ship channel to construct six liquefaction trains and the Rio Grande Pipeline, and Cheniere’s proposal to build a third train at its Corpus Christi terminal.
As marine vessels transition from diesel, nations transition from coal, and domestic industrial and power processes convert to clean-burning energy, demand for LNG is expected to double by 2040 to 700 million tons. And lest we forget the Phase I trade deal agreement between the U.S. and China with that country’s $52.4 billion pledge to buy American energy between 2020 and 2021.
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