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U.S. Greenlights Commonwealth LNG Project

The Commonwealth LNG project received the unanimous approval of energy regulators this week despite concern expressed by Democrats about its carbon footprint.

Per its website, the project will have a capacity of 8.4 million tons of liquefied natural gas annually and should begin operation in 2027. Located on the Louisiana Gulf Coast, the facility will also include six 50,000-cu m storage tanks and the capacity to accommodate vessels up to 216,000 cu m.

 The facility will receive feed gas via an interconnector to “two major pipeline systems with significant excess transportation capacity.”

Commonwealth already has a long-term offtake commitment from Woodside Energy Trading, a subsidiary of the Australian energy major, which will see the trading company buy LNG from the Commonwealth facility over a 20-year period.

The deal is for 2.5 million tons of liquefied natural gas annually, with the first shipments scheduled for the middle of 2026. The initial contracted volume is 2 million tons, with an option for an additional 500,000 tons.

“The agreements secure for Woodside low-cost LNG volumes in the Atlantic Basin in a period of expected strong demand as Europe seeks alternatives to Russian pipeline gas,” said Woodside’s chief executive, Meg O’Neill, in comments on the deal announced in September. 

Reuters noted in a report on the approval news that this is the first new LNG project to earn the approval of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in the last two years. 

The chairman of the commission, however, voiced concern about the emissions footprint of the facility, which will generate an estimated 3.5 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. 

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“I still am at a loss as to why we don’t at least assess the significance of the greenhouse gas emissions in terms of making our determination ... and I think it is something we need to grapple with as we move forward,” Rich Glick said.

By Irina Slav by Oilprice.com

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