Mar 18, 2024 - Energy & Environment

LNG exec confident export licenses to resume

Illustration of two liquefied natural gas tankers creating a pause symbol

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

HOUSTON — Venture Global CEO Mike Sabel expects the federal government to resume approving LNG export licenses to major markets.

Why it matters: Venture's big CP2 LNG project is among the proposed terminals affected by the White House pause on new permits, a move fraught with environmental politics during an election year.

The big picture: "The view in the market is that this is going to be a pause and a delay, but that at some point not too long [into] next year that we will be back permitting U.S. liquefaction facilities," Sabel told reporters here Sunday.

  • He remains "very confident" in the resumption of approvals.

Friction point: A decision against new licenses would fuel expansions by other exporting nations, he said.

  • "You'll see U.S. companies go overseas and participate in non-U.S. projects," Sabel said. That would be an "unfortunate" loss of domestic investment, he adds.
  • Venture's project design and systems are "really well matched with non-U.S. opportunities," he said.

Catch up quick: The U.S. last year became the world's largest exporter, with shipments slated to keep growing via projects already permitted, and under construction.

  • Biden officials in January announced a breather to weigh economic and climate effects of further approvals.

The intrigue: Venture, which has multiple U.S. projects, yesterday announced it's acquiring nine new LNG vessels. Bloomberg has more.

What's next: Possible updates from Biden officials when they appear at CERAWeek.

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