Qatar’s Golden Pass Products LLC received permission to export liquefied natural gas from the U.S., in what may become the Persian Gulf state’s first venture for selling LNG produced in another country.
The Energy Department permit will allow Golden Pass, owned 70 percent by state-run Qatar Petroleum International and 30 percent by ExxonMobil Corp., to export the chilled fuel to nations that have free-trade agreements with the U.S., according to a statement posted on the company’s website.
The partners will make a final decision about the proposed $10 billion export project after receiving regulatory approvals, the venture said. The investment would pay for liquefaction plants with 15.6 million metric tons of annual capacity to be added to the existing Golden Pass LNG import terminal in Texas. Qatar is the world’s largest producer of LNG.
David Calvert, an Apache Corp. vice-president and manager of the Kitimat LNG terminal said U.S.-based Cheniere Energy Inc. set a dangerous precedent by agreeing to sell gas from its proposed Louisiana export terminal based on heavily discounted North American gas prices.
"Cheniere did a deal ... that created quite a ripple through the marketplace," Calvert said Tuesday, adding the deal has created "unrealistic" expectations for products from Kiti-mat LNG.