U.S. gas boom opens LNG doors, Shell says

Jan. 29, 2013 at 6:26 AM   |   Comments

HOUSTON, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Signing a deal with Kinder Morgan to export liquefied natural gas shows how the United States is changing the energy sector's landscape, Shell's president said.

The U.S. subsidiary of Shell signed a deal with a Kinder Morgan unit to develop a natural gas liquefaction plant at the Elba Island LNG terminal near Savannah, Ga.

"This announcement underscores how the abundance of natural gas in the U.S. is changing the energy landscape," Shell Oil Co. President Marvin Odum said in a statement. "With a measured, phased approach, exports of cleaner burning natural gas can help meet the world's rising energy needs while also giving a boost to the U.S. economy."

New technologies used to extract natural gas from shale deposits in the United States have turned the country into potential net exporter. That potential is limited by the lack of export terminals at its ports.

The Elba Island project is expected to have the capacity to produce as much as 350 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. In June, the terminal got the green light from the U.S. Energy Department to export LNG to countries that have free trade agreements with the United States. A filing in August was for non-FTA countries.

"Subject to various corporate and regulatory approvals, Shell and Kinder Morgan affiliates have agreed to modify EPB's Elba Express Pipeline and Elba Island LNG Terminal to physically transport natural gas to the terminal and to load the liquefied natural gas onto ships for export," the companies said.

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