WASHINGTON – In the second deal so far, the U.S. Energy Department has approved a project by Dominion Resources Inc. to export liquefied natural gas produced in the United States to Japan.
Dominion will work with trading house Sumitomo Corp. to supply LNG, including shale gas, to Tokyo Gas Co. and Kansai Electric Power Co. in 2017.
Thermal power has made a roaring comeback in Japan since the nuclear shutdown prompted by the Fukushima disaster, driving up demand for oil and other fossil fuels.
In May, the U.S. Energy Department approved a similar export project led by Freeport LNG Development LP to supply gas to Chubu Electric Power Co. and Osaka Gas Co.
This time, Dominion Cove Point LNG LP was authorized to export at a daily rate of up to 22 million cu. meters for 20 years.
The U.S. government is cautious about exporting LNG to countries that aren’t party to a free trade agreement, like Japan. But LNG export permits may expand as the government faces increasing calls to promote business related to the shale gas boom to create new jobs.