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U.S. Freeport, Cameron LNG Export Rulings Seen in Coming Months

Nov. 5 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. could issue its next ruling on exports of domestically produced liquefied natural gas in one to two months, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said.

The estimate is based on the time it has taken officials to evaluate past applications for exports to countries, like Japan, with which the U.S. has no free trade agreement, Moniz said in a Nov. 2 interview in Tokyo.

The next application in line for evaluation is Freeport LNG Development LP’s proposed terminal in Texas, according to the Energy Department’s website. That facility will have the capacity to process 1.4 billion cubic feet of gas per day for export. The development of shale resources in the U.S. is turning the world’s largest energy consumer from a major importer to an exporter of oil and gas.

“We produced a string of licenses in about two month intervals and we are now evaluating the fifth license,” Moniz said. “But there’s never any guarantee that one of these dockets doesn’t have a complication that of course extends the evaluation period.”

A license for exports from the Cameron LNG project in Louisiana, which counts Japanese trading companies Mitsubishi Corp. and Mitsui & Co. among its owners, would be expected about two months later, Moniz said.

“If all goes according to recent experience, then one could anticipate the Cameron license decision reasonably soon,” Moniz said, adding that the partial U.S. government shutdown in October slowed the approval process.

Moniz said he expects export terminal projects to begin gas shipments about three years after securing approval.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jacob Adelman in Tokyo at jadelman1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net

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