DOE talk of authority to revoke export licenses spurs growing uncertainty in industry

Monday, January 30, 2012

Against a backdrop of swirling speculation about impacts on US gas prices and supply, there is growing uncertainty in the liquefied natural gas sector about the federal permitting process for export operations.

Kelly Bennett, a manager in the analytics group fo Bentek Energy, agreed that the projected export volumes studied by EIA were "unrealistic." In an interview last week, he said that Bentek at this point expects LNG exports to be around 1 Bcf/day toward the end of 2016.

He also noted the vast amounts of shale gas being added to the US supply portfolio. With so much new gas in the domestic supply equation, "LNG exports might be the pressure valve that US markets need." Particularly if the US economy remains muted over the next few years, "you could have a lot of gas that needs a home." In that case, 1-2 Bcf/d in exports "is just not that much" to consider in the larger US supply/demand picture, according to Bennett. Bentek is a unit of Platts.

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