The U.S. won’t add new LNG export capacity this year for the first time since it became an exporter in 2016. But that lull is not going to last long. At least five facilities are under construction and due for completion in the next few years, several other expansions were recently sanctioned, and there are more final investment decisions (FIDs) on the way. With export development expected to accelerate in the coming years, the race to debottleneck feedgas pipeline routes is on. More natural gas pipeline capacity will be needed, particularly for moving gas supply to the Louisiana coast, where the bulk of new liquefaction will be sited. In today’s RBN blog, we resume our series on the pipeline expansions targeting LNG export demand, this time highlighting TC Energy’s Gillis Access Project and how it fits into the Louisiana LNG market picture.
In the first part of this blog series, we provided an overview of the U.S. LNG export projects driving midstream development along the Gulf Coast, including those that are already operational, have reached FID, or are fully subscribed and on the cusp of reaching FID. In Louisiana (or just across the Texas border), these include Venture Global’s (VG) Calcasieu Pass, which is effectively operational but yet to be commercialized; QatarEnergy and ExxonMobil’s Golden Pass; the first phase of Sempra Energy’s Port Arthur LNG; and VG’s Plaquemines LNG in southeastern Louisiana, including Phases 1 and 2. In southeastern Texas, Cheniere sanctioned its Corpus Christi Stage III project last summer, while NextDecade’s Rio Grande LNG in Brownsville, TX, received federal approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the second time after the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the agency to review its first authorization.
In addition to these, there are numerous other greenfield facilities proposed for the Texas-Louisiana coast that are working to secure the regulatory approvals and/or commercial commitments to reach FID, including Energy Transfer’s Lake Charles LNG, VG’s CP2 LNG, Tellurian’s Driftwood LNG, and VG’s Delta LNG, among others. As for brownfield expansions, Cheniere is considering another midscale expansion at Corpus Christi, while Sempra’s Cameron LNG and Freeport LNG have announced Train 4 expansions. Cheniere also recently announced a major, 20 million tons per annum (MMtpa; ~2.6 Bcf/d) expansion of its Sabine Pass LNG facility. (For a complete list and map of projects, including offshore facilities, see RBN’s LNG Voyager Quarterly.)
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