By Our Correspondent
WASHINGTON, D.C — In a year where gas prices and everyday consumer costs have reached staggering all-time highs, the oil and gas industry continues to eye Louisiana’s Gulf Coast as fertile ground to develop a dozen new gas export terminals to send American gas overseas, including to China and other global competitors.
In May this year, Venture Global LNG announced it will build one of the US’s largest new liquefied natural gas export plants on the Louisiana coast, the first such project to be approved since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparked a rush to secure more American energy supplies for a strained global market.
According to Financial Times, the $13.2bn in funds secured for the development, which includes a pipeline, also marked the largest project-financing transaction in the world in 2022, Venture Global said on Wednesday. The investment is a sign of renewed investor appetite for fossil fuel projects amid fears of supply shortages and a run-up in oil and gas prices in recent months.
The Plaquemines project will supply more than 13mn tonnes a year of LNG, equivalent to about 15 percent of total US export capacity. A second phase could take the plant’s capacity to 20mn tonnes a year. LNG is a super-chilled form of natural gas that can be loaded onto ships for export globally.
The EU and US announced a deal in March to increase supplies of LNG to Europe in the coming years — part of a White House effort to help Europe break its dependence on Russian gas. US exporters including Cheniere Energy, the country’s largest, have been running plants flat out to increase supplies to the EU in recent months.
Each proposed terminal, if constructed, would liquefy and export billions of cubic feet of gas per day for sale on the global market. Gas, a fossil fuel extracted by drilling, is non-renewable, and the U.S.’s reserves are finite.
Many experts argue corporate gas giants are exploiting the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing European energy crisis to force years-old development proposals through the U.S. government’s review process. In spite of staggering global gas prices and record quarterly earnings, the gas industry is looking to drive even higher profit margins by selling greater volumes of gas in the lucrative European and Asian markets, where prices exceed those in the United States.
If American and international fossil fuel giants are permitted to develop more gas export terminals and export even higher volumes of gas from the U.S., consumers in the United States and worldwide could expect higher prices for gasoline, electricity, home heating and cooling, fertilizer, and a host of other essentials that currently depend on gas.
On Tuesday, October 4, energy and global financial experts Clark Williams-Derry and Paul Cicio will brief members of the international media on the planned gas export terminal expansion along Louisiana’s Gulf Coast and the grave threat it poses to American and global financial security and stability.
The buildout, they’ll explain, will diminish U.S. gas reserves while also empowering gas and oil executives to maintain record-high pricing for energy-related products, which will hurt consumers and families at the gas pump, in the grocery store, and when heating and cooling their homes. After a brief presentation, reporters will have a chance to ask the panelists questions directly.