ExxonMobil President Says Bureaucracy Strangling LNG Exports

21.04.2015 -

The US is at risk of losing economic opportunity and the ability to solidify its role as a global leader in energy production if policymakers do not quickly move to approve liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, Rob Franklin, president of ExxonMobil Gas & Power Marketing Company, said in a speech at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington DC.

With bureaucracy stalling legislation and issuance of export permits, the US role as world's leading energy producer is at stake, Franklin added. In his view, exports of LNG "should be treated no differently from other exports such as agricultural goods, automobiles and computer products.

"LNG exports can provide the spur to further increase America's natural gas production, providing all the attendant benefits that would generate," the executive said.

ExxonMobil is currently engaged in a $10 billion project to convert the LNG regasification terminal at Golden Pass, Texas, into an LNG export terminal. An application to export to non-Free Trade Agreement countries was submitted to federal officials more than two years ago, but no decision has been made.

Permit applications for some two dozen other projects are also in the same state of "bureaucratic limbo."

As global LNG demand is expected to triple between 2010 and 2040, the amount of incremental gas needed to meet global demand by 2025 will be almost double the size of the entire U.S. gas market today," Franklin said, adding that most of the new demand will come from existing and emerging markets in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.