Bear Head LNG Exports Get Final DOE Approval – Good for Marcellus

A Canadian liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility planned for Nova Scotia received final authorization from the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) to export LNG to countries that do not have free trade agreements with the United States. Bear Head LNG, a $2.2 billion project proposed by Australian company Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (LNGL) received Canadian approval a year ago (see Canada’s 1st LNG Export Facility Gets Green Light; Marcellus Gas?). The project then received DOE approval to export to free trade agreement countries in July of 2015 (see 2nd Canadian LNG Plant Gets U.S. Approval to Export Marcellus Gas). Now the project is approved for non-free trade agreement countries. However, as we said in July, there are still important hurdles to jump before the project gets built: (1) the Maritimes & Northeast pipeline has to get FERC permission to reverse its flow, which will send Marcellus and Utica gas northward; (2) the gas has to get to the Maritimes & Northeast pipeline in the first place via new pipelines from either Kinder Morgan or Spectra Energy (currently a battle royale); and (3) the price of oil has to rise to make the whole thing economical, since LNG is so closely tied to the price of oil. We don’t see that happening until later this year, at the earliest. Here’s the exciting announcement that regulation-wise the project is cleared for take-off…

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