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The U.S. Department of Energy said on Wednesday it authorized additional liquefied natural gas shipments from two plants in construction and development, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine increases focus on boosting the domestic fossil fuel industry.

The department said the approvals allow Golden Pass LNG in Texas, jointly owned by Exxon (XOM.N) and Qatar Petroleum International Limited, to export the equivalent of an additional 0.35 billion cubic feet per day of LNG to any country not prohibited by U.S. law. That allows exports to Europe, with which the United States does not have a free trade agreement, and an export boost of about 16% annually from Golden Pass. The facility, now under construction, is expected to start exporting in 2025.

Magnolia LNG in Louisiana, owned by Glenfarne Group, LLC, can now export an additional 0.15 billion cubic feet per day to any country including ones in the EU. That’s an increase of about 14% annually when the project, which has not begun construction, is finished. Exports from Magnolia are not expected until about 2027.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told reporters at a U.S.-EU energy meeting in New Jersey that the approvals are about “making sure that we are able to allow those who intend to produce, have the freedom to be able to ship to Europe,” Granholm said.

The approvals came as Russia, which supplies about 40% of the EU’s gas, cut shipments to Poland and Bulgaria over their failure to pay in roubles.

Fred Hutchinson, the chief executive of the industry group LNG Allies, welcomed the approvals, though it would be a “few years” before the additional volumes hit the market.

“By lifting the export ceilings on the Golden Pass and Magnolia LNG projects, Energy Secretary Granholm and her team have again demonstrated the administration’s commitment to making more U.S. LNG available to America’s allies,” he said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Timothy Gardner; editing by Bernard Orr)

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