LatAm set to benefit from new US LNG export terminals

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Latin America looks set to benefit from new LNG terminals and export facilities planned for Texas, taking advantage of new gas finds in the US state that surpassed 90Tf3 last year.

Texas-based NextDecade announced Tuesday it has signed a lease to develop a multi-billion-dollar LNG export terminal at Shoal Point and ship natural gas to global partners.

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"Now more than ever, the US has the potential to benefit from the incredible natural gas resources we have right here in Texas," Kathleen Eisbrenner, NextDecade chairman said, according to a press release.

The LNG terminal would be the first in the area, located just east of Texas City's major petrochemical industrial complex and about 70km from Houston, with deep-water access and proximity to natural gas pipeline infrastructure.

NextDecade is also building the Rio Grande LNG project in south Texas.


Earlier this week, Lloyds Energy Group filed an application with the US Department of Energy for permission to export LNG from the firm's proposed Point Comfort liquefaction terminal, also in Texas.

Latin American countries account for 11 of the 20 nations that have free trade agreements with the US, and the region will likely benefit from the new terminals as it seeks to ramp up LNG imports over the coming years.

The 11 countries are Chile, Colombia, Panama and Peru, as well as Mexico (through NAFTA) and Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua (through DR-CAFTA).

In 2014, Latin America consumed 22.3Mt of LNG, accounting for about 9% of global trade, with Mexico leading the region in LNG consumption, followed by Brazil, Argentina and Chile, the report states.

According to the US federal energy regulatory commission (FERC), a total of 14 LNG export terminals have been proposed in the states of Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida.