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U.S. natural gas heads to Japan

Aug. 20, 2012 at 8:49 AM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Shipping data indicate ConocoPhillips shipped its third cargo of liquefied natural gas from a terminal in Alaska, the only port with the current needed permits.

Conoco shipped a tanker of LNG to Japan from the Nikiski terminal on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska using a tanker that can carry as much as 4.4 million cubic feet of natural gas, reports Bloomberg News, citing shipping data.

Natalie Lowman, a spokeswoman for Conoco's operations in Alaska, confirmed to Bloomberg the cargo represented the third LNG shipment from Alaska for the company. At least five more are planned for Japan this year.

The LNG plant in Alaska is the only one in the country permitted to sell domestic natural gas to Japan. A similar permit for Chenier Energy Inc. was awarded by the U.S. Energy Department early this year. The company has plans for an LNG terminal in Sabine Pass, La.

The Sierra Club filed a formal protest with the U.S. Department of Energy over the decision. The environmental group said the facility could lead to more hydraulic fracturing, a controversial method of extraction for natural gas in shale formations.

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