NEW YORK, May 11 (Reuters) - Southern Union SUG.N and BG Group BG.L filed an application to build a U.S. natural gas export plant this week, the third such filing in a year as companies look to make the most of cheap domestic gas compared to higher-paying markets in Europe and Asia.
Massive increases in North American gas production have eroded import needs and prompted companies to consider exporting domestically-produced gas overseas in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
LNG import terminals built on the expectation that the U.S. would soon be a major importer of LNG have sat largely idle since 2008 as shale gas production soared. Terminal developers are now hoping to build export facilities at their existing or planned import sites.
LNG is natural gas cooled to a liquid for transport in specially designed tankers.
In addition to the three terminals which have filed for permits in the United States, there are two proposals in Canada. Three other projects are being considered in North America.
Below is a table showing the planned LNG export plants. Capacity is in billion cubic feet per day. FILED FOR REGULATORY APPROVAL ----- PROJECT STATE COMPANY START UP SIZE USA Sabine Pass Louisiana Cheniere Energy 2015 1* Lake Charles Louisiana Southern/BG TBD 2 Freeport LNG Texas Freeport/Macquarie 2015 1.4 CANADA Kitimat LNG BC Apache/EOG/Encana 2015 0.7 LNG Export Co-Op BC LNG Partners/Haisla 2014 0.12
Nation UNDER CONSIDERATION ----- USA Cove Point Maryland Dominion 2015 TBD Jordon Cove Oregon Fort Chicago/Energy 2016 TBD
Projects Development CANADA Prince Rupert BC Shell N/A 1-2 bcfd *potential expansion to 2 bcfd (Compiled by Edward McAllister; Editing by David Gregorio)