Oregon LNG will be sending North American-sourced natural gas to Asia…Quite the change from the usual discourse of too much energy being imported.

On July 31 the company received authorization from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the U.S.

Such an approval is important considering the popularity of LNG as a fuel for vehicles.

This approval comes notwithstanding recently announced modifications to DOE’s licensing review process and adds strong momentum to Oregon LNG’s project, which, the company said, is one of the most advanced in the review process conducted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

“We applaud the DoE decision which places Oregon LNG in a very small group of projects in North America that have received conditional DoE approval for non-FTA exports,” said Peter Hansen, Oregon LNG’s CEO. “This approval allows the largest Asian buyers to purchase from Oregon LNG, which already has authorization to ship to any of the 20 nations with which the U.S. has a FTA. DoE approval is an important step towards the development of a project that will improve energy security for many of our country’s key trading partners while simultaneously providing Oregon with significant economic benefits and growth opportunities.”

The company explained DOE FTA approval is a critical milestone in the multi-step approval process for licensing of an LNG project. The project has filed an application at FERC and is currently under NEPA review. Final approval by FERC and DOE, as well as other approvals, are necessary before the project can commence construction.

The Oregon LNG operation, said the company, will be the state’s largest property taxpayer, contributing approximately $60 million annually in new property tax revenues to help substantially increase funding for transportation infrastructure, education and other essential public services.

Canada’s National Energy Board recently authorized Oregon LNG to source from Canada the majority of the natural gas to be exported through the proposed terminal, which means that the Warrenton facility could be operated with little or no impact on the price or supply of U.S. natural gas. Oregon LNG added the project will have the lowest pipeline transportation cost from Canadian gas fields of any West Coast project.

LNG from US and Canadian West Coast projects will enjoy transportation costs to markets in North Asia that are only about one-third of the transportation cost from projects located on the Gulf of Mexico.