Similar to coal producers trying to boost coal production in Wyoming through exports, gas industry in the state might see a resurgence in the years to come thanks to the industry efforts to build more export terminals for liquefied natural gas on both coasts.
Along with other energy states, Wyoming will realize increased production, jobs and revenue, said Gov. Matt Mead in a letter to the Department of Energy dated Thursday.
The department commissioned NERA Economic Consulting, a global consulting firm, to do a third party study that would look into how U.S. liquefied natural gas exports could affect the public interest, specifically energy and manufacturing. The department released the study Dec.5 on its website at www.fossil.energy.gov.
The study concluded that the U.S. would gain net economic benefits from allowing liquefied natural gas exports.
The Department of Energy received 15 applications for export terminals.
Following the closing of the reply comment period, the Department of Energy will begin to act on the 15 applications on a case-by-case basis. One of them has already been approved - Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC in Louisiana proposed by Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. The project will export 2.2 billion cubic feet of LNG per day or up to 16 million metric tons per year to any country with which the United States does not have a Free Trade Agreement requiring the national treatment for trade in natural gas and LNG, that has or in the future develops the capacity to import LNG, and with which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy.
Despite its geographical position, Wyoming is well positioned to become an important player in gas exports when export capacity is increased.
"I think that through the investments that have been made and pipelines and the work that the Wyoming pipeline authority and the legislature and the Governor's office over the past many years have done Wyoming is well positioned to take advantage of getting our product shipped to those terminals," said Shawn Reese, policy director for Gov. Mead.
More than half of Wyoming's budget depends on revenues from natural gas production and for the past several years low natural gas prices have prompted state officials to call for budget cuts in agencies across the state. On Wednesday, Henry Hub spot price for million British thermal nits of natural gas was $3.53, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. For comparison, the price of liquefied natural gas exports to Japan in September was $13.13 per thousand cubic feet.
For more of the story, check Sunday's News Record.