Feds OK Export of Liquefied Natural Gas
Kilzer, Lou, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
A Texas company won approval on Friday to ship 2.2 billion cubic feet a day of liquefied natural gas from a terminal in southwest Louisiana to China and other foreign markets that do not have free trade agreements with the United States.
The Department of Energy gave its approval for Houston-based Cheniere Energy Inc. to ship liquefied natural gas, or LNG, from its Sabine Pass port in Louisiana.
Cheniere Energy shares jumped $2.35, or 30.6 percent, to close at $10.04.
The government action was cheered by Cheniere CEO Charif Souki as giving its "customers the option to purchase or sell LNG from and to the U.S. markets."
"This ability to export natural gas will further stabilize production for U.S. consumers," Souki said.
The action was criticized by Paul Cicio, president of the Industrial Energy Consumers of America, as misguided and predicted it would have a "devastating effect on the price of natural gas in the United States."
Natural gas futures added 12.9 cents to settle at $4.290 per 1,000 cubic feet yesterday, rising after approaching a six-week low on Thursday. The futures are down 40 percent from two years ago.
Cicio's organization represents American manufacturers that had combined sales last year of $800 billion, according to the group's website. Cicio said his organization is "examining our legal options," and charged that the government decision making was based on studies that were "terrifically flawed."
Only eight years ago, the idea that the United States could become a natural gas exporter was considered nearly impossible. In 2003, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projected increasing deficits in natural gas and the need to build gas importing facilities. …