[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 109 (Thursday, June 6, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 34084-34088]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-13418]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

[FE Docket No. 13-26-LNG]


Freeport-McMoRan Energy LLC; Application for Long-Term 
Authorization To Export Liquefied Natural Gas Produced From Domestic 
Natural Gas Resources to Non-Free Trade Agreement Countries for a 30-
Year Period

AGENCY: Office of Fossil Energy, DOE.

ACTION: Notice of application.

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SUMMARY: The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) of the Department of Energy 
(DOE) gives notice of receipt of an application (Application) filed on 
February 22, 2013, by Freeport-McMoRan Energy LLC (FME), requesting 
long-term, multi-contract authorization to export liquefied natural gas 
(LNG) produced from domestic sources in an amount up to 24 million 
metric tons per year (mtpa), which FME states is equivalent to 
approximately 1,176 billion cubic feet per year (Bcf/y) of natural gas, 
or 3.2 Bcf per day (Bcf/d).\1\ FME seeks authorization to export the 
LNG for a 30-year term from the proposed Main Pass Energy 
HubTM Deepwater Port (MPEHTM Port), to be located 
in federal waters in Main Pass Block 299, 16 miles offshore of 
Louisiana. In the portion of FME's Application subject to this Notice, 
FME requests authorization to export LNG to any country with which the 
United States does not have a free trade agreement (FTA) requiring 
national treatment for trade in natural gas (non-FTA countries) with 
which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy. FME requests that 
this authorization commence on the earlier of the date of first export 
or 10 years from the date the authorization is granted. FME requests 
this authorization both on its behalf and as agent for other parties 
who hold title to the LNG at the time of export. The Application was 
filed under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA), 15 U.S.C. 717b.
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    \1\ Applicants are required to provide volumes of natural gas in 
Bcf, 10 CFR 590.202(b)(1), and therefore DOE/FE will address FME's 
requested authorization in Bcf/y below.

DATES: Protests, motions to intervene or notices of intervention, as 
applicable, requests for additional procedures, and written comments 
are to be filed using procedures detailed in the Public Comment 
Procedures section no later than 4:30 p.m., eastern time, August 5, 
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2013.

ADDRESSES: Electronic Filing by email: fergas@hq.doe.gov.

Regular Mail

    U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Natural Gas Regulatory 
Activities, Office of Fossil Energy, P.O. Box 44375, Washington, DC 
20026-4375.

Hand Delivery or Private Delivery Services (e.g., FedEx, UPS, etc.)

    U.S. Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Natural Gas Regulatory 
Activities, Office of Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 3E-042, 
1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Larine Moore or Marc Talbert, U.S. 
Department of Energy (FE-34), Office of Natural Gas Regulatory 
Activities, Office of Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 3E-042, 
1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-9478; 
(202) 586-7991.
    Edward Myers, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the Assistant 
General Counsel for Electricity and Fossil Energy, Forrestal Building, 
Room 6B-256, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 
586-3397.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    FME, a subsidiary of McMoRan Exploration Co., is a Delaware limited 
liability company with its principal place of business in New Orleans, 
Louisiana. FME is also an initial member of Main Pass Energy Hub LLC 
(MPEH LLC), which is a Delaware limited liability company with its 
principal place of business in New Orleans, Louisiana. The other 
initial member of MPEH LLC is United LNG, LLC, a Delaware limited 
liability company.
    FME is requesting this authorization to export LNG from the 
MPEHTM Port, currently owned by FME. FME and United LNG, LP 
are parties to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerning the 
commercial development of the MPEHTM Port. United LNG, LP is 
a Texas limited partnership with its principal place of business in 
Houston, Texas. After execution of the MOU, MPEH LLC was formed.
    FME states that the MPEHTM Port is proposed to be 
located in approximately 210 feet of water at a deepwater site in

[[Page 34085]]

the Gulf of Mexico on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) of the United 
States, approximately 16 miles offshore from southeast Louisiana at 
Main Pass Block 299 (Block 299).\2\ FME states that the 
MPEHTM Port will be configured to receive, store, condition, 
and liquefy domestic natural gas for export as LNG. Construction of the 
MPEHTM Port will include modification of existing offshore 
structures currently owned by FME; construction of new facilities and 
salt dome storage caverns; and construction, installation, and 
operation of floating liquefaction storage and offloading vessels 
(FLVs) to be used for the on-site liquefaction and exportation of LNG 
from the MPEHTM Port.
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    \2\ According to FME, this site is located at latitude 
29[deg]15'56'' and longitude 88[deg]45'34''.
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    According to FME, the MPEHTM Port will utilize five 
large existing interconnected platforms and three smaller satellite 
platforms. FME states that these platforms will house the gas 
conditioning facilities, gas metering facilities, quarters for on-site 
employees, and gas storage and compression equipment. FME further 
states that, in addition to the platform-based facilities, the 
MPEHTM Port will consist of six FLVs, each capable of 
producing up to 4 mtpa of LNG, for a total production capacity at the 
MPEHTM Port of 24 mtpa of LNG. FME states that each FLV will 
be moored using a buoy system and will be capable of liquefying 537 
million cubic feet per day of natural gas, storing 200,000 cubic meters 
of LNG, and delivering LNG to off-taking LNG carriers utilizing a ship-
to-ship process.
    According to FME, the amount of LNG sought to be exported from the 
MPEHTM Port in the current Application is the same amount 
for which FME's affiliate MPEH LLC obtained an export authorization in 
January 2013, in DOE/FE Docket No. 12-114-LNG. Specifically, in DOE/FE 
Order No. 3220, DOE/FE authorized MPEH LLC to export from the 
MPEHTM Port up to 1,175 Bcf/y of natural gas (which MPEH LLC 
stated was the equivalent of the requested 24 mtpa of LNG) to any 
country with which the United States currently has, or in the future 
will have, a FTA requiring the national treatment for trade in natural 
gas, pursuant to section 3(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA), 15 U.S.C. 
717b(c).\3\ In the current Application, FME requests both FTA and non-
FTA authorizations for the same quantity of LNG, stating that only 24 
mtpa of LNG will be exported in any year from the proposed 
MPEHTM Port (which DOE/FE notes is equivalent to 1,175 Bcf/y 
of natural gas).
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    \3\ Main Pass Energy Hub, LLC, DOE/FE Order No. 3220, Order 
Granting Long-Term Multi-Contract Authorization to Export Liquefied 
Natural Gas by Vessel from the MPEH Deepwater Port Located 16 miles 
Offshore the Louisiana Coast in Federal Waters to Free Trade 
Agreement Nations (Jan. 4, 2013). In the Main Pass application, MPEH 
LLC stated that 24 mtpa was equal to 1,175 Bcf/y of natural gas and, 
on that basis, DOE/FE granted export authorization to MPEH LLC in 
that amount. See Main Pass Energy Hub, LLC, DOE/FE Order No. 3220, 
at 9 (``Main Pass is authorized to export domestically produced LNG 
by vessel from the proposed MPEH Deepwater Port . . . up to the 
equivalent of 1,175 Bcf/y of natural gas for a 30-year term, . . . 
.'').
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    Subsequently, in DOE/FE Order No. 3290, DOE granted the portion of 
FME's Application seeking FTA export authorization.\4\ In that order 
issued on May 24, 2013, DOE/FE authorized FME to export domestically 
produced LNG by vessel to FTA nations from the proposed 
MPEHTM Port up to the equivalent of 1,175 Bcf/y of natural 
gas for a 30-year term.\5\ DOE/FE explained that, although FME's 
Application states that 24 mtpa is ``approximately equivalent to 1,176 
Bcf . . . per year,'' \6\ DOE/FE granted FME's FTA authorization in an 
amount equivalent to 1,175 Bcf/y of natural gas to retain consistency 
with the FTA authorization granted to MPEH LLC in DOE/FE Order No. 
3220.
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    \4\ Freeport-McMoRan Energy LLC, DOE/FE Order No. 3290, Order 
Granting Long-Term Multi-Contract Authorization to Export Liquefied 
Natural Gas By Vessel from the Proposed Main Pass Energy 
HubTM Deepwater Port 16 Miles Offshore Of Louisiana to 
Free Trade Agreement Nations (May 24, 2013).
    \5\ Id. at 10. The authority to regulate the import and export 
of natural gas, including liquefied natural gas, under section 3 of 
the NGA (15 U.S.C. 717b) was delegated to the Assistant Secretary 
for FE in Redelegation Order No. 00-002.04E, issued on April 29, 
2011.
    \6\ FME App. at 1.
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    FME asserts that any export authorizations issued to MPEH LLC and 
FME are meant to be coincidental rather than cumulative, and that, 
before any exports occur, it will inform DOE/FE as to how the 24 mtpa 
of LNG exports will be allocated between all export authorizations 
applicable to the MPEHTM Port.

Current Application

    FME requests authorization to export domestically produced LNG in 
an amount up to of 24 mtpa, which it states is the equivalent of 1,176 
Bcf/y of natural gas (equal to 3.22 Bcf/day of natural gas), from the 
proposed MPEHTM Port to be located 16 miles offshore of 
Louisiana to: (1) Any country with which the United States currently 
has, or in the future will have, a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) requiring 
the national treatment for trade in natural gas, and (2) as relevant 
here, any country with which the United States does not have an FTA 
requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas (non-FTA 
countries) with which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy.
    FME seeks authorization to export the LNG for a 30-year term, 
commencing on the earlier of the date of first export or 10 years from 
the date the authorization is issued. FME requests this authorization 
both on its behalf and as agent for other parties who hold title to the 
LNG at the time of export. FME states that it will comply with all DOE/
FE requirements for exports and agents, as established in Freeport LNG 
Development, L.P. and FLNG Liquefaction, LLC, DOE/FE Order No. 2913, 
including the registration requirements.\7\ FME further states that, 
when acting as agent, it will register with DOE/FE each LNG title 
holder for which FME seeks to export LNG as agent.
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    \7\ Freeport LNG Development, L.P. and FLNG Liquefaction, LLC, 
DOE/FE Order No. 2913, Order Granting Long-Term Authorization to 
Export Liquefied Natural Gas from Freeport LNG Terminal to Free 
Trade Nations (Feb. 10, 2011).
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    The portion of FME's Application that seeks authorization to export 
domestically produced LNG to non-FTA countries will be reviewed 
pursuant to NGA section 3(a), 15 U.S.C. 717b(a), and is the subject of 
this Notice. As stated above, DOE/FE already granted the portion of 
FME's Application that sought authorization to export the same quantity 
of domestically produced LNG to FTA countries pursuant to NGA section 
3(c).
    FME states that the MPEHTM Port will export natural gas 
available in the U.S. natural gas supply and transmission system. FME 
states that the sources of natural gas will include the vast supplies 
of natural gas available from the Gulf Coast producing regions, 
including onshore and offshore resources. FME further states that the 
proposed MPEHTM Port has the potential to access nine major 
natural gas pipelines, with indirect access to the entire national gas 
pipeline grid. The MPEHTM Port will draw gas from the 
domestic market through a pipeline connecting the offshore facilities 
to the onshore interstate pipeline network and from off-shore gathering 
and transmission systems in the Gulf of Mexico. FME asserts that it 
holds a sulphur and salt lease in Block 299, which it will use to 
construct salt-dome storage caverns to store natural gas prior to 
liquefaction. FME states that the natural gas intake at the 
MPEHTM Port will not exceed 4 Bcf/d.
    FME states that the MPEHTM Port will be strategically 
located on the OCS, which it characterizes as a prolific and highly 
productive area. According to

[[Page 34086]]

FME, its parent company (MMR Exploration Co.) is one of the largest 
acreage holders on the OCS and is engaged in exploration and 
development activities with the potential to unlock more than 100 
trillion cubic feet of natural gas over a 200-mile area in the shallow 
waters of the Gulf of Mexico and onshore Louisiana.\8\ FME contends 
that the onshore and offshore resources available to the 
MPEHTM Port through its numerous potential pipeline 
interconnections will provide more than sufficient gas quantities to 
support the proposed LNG exports over the term of the requested 
authorization. FME further notes that, given the size of traditional 
gas resources in close proximity to the proposed MPEHTM 
Port, as well as rapid growth of gas resources in the region, FME's 
customers will have a diverse, reliable choice of gas supplies from the 
most liquid natural gas market in the world.
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    \8\ FME notes that exports of natural gas directly from the OCS 
may be subject to the requirements of the Outercontinental Shelf 
Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. 1354(b), and states that FME would conduct any 
such activities in compliance with those requirements.
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    FME asserts that the long-term authorization requested in this 
Application is necessary to permit it to incur the substantial capital 
and other costs of developing the MPEHTM Port and to secure 
customer contracts. FME states that terms for the use of the 
liquefaction and other offshore deepwater port facilities will be set 
forth in agreements with customers of the MPEHTM Port.
    As explained below, FME states that this Application will include a 
complete environmental review of the proposed MPEHTM Port. 
The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), in coordination with the U.S. 
Coast Guard, will act as the lead agency for environmental review of 
the proposed MPEHTM Port, with DOE acting as a cooperating 
agency. FME asks that DOE/FE issue the export authorization conditioned 
on MARAD's completion of the environmental review and approval of the 
facility construction.
    Finally, FME asks that DOE/FE consider the Application separately 
from the processing parameters established for non-FTA applications 
before the Deepwater Port Act of 1974 was amended in December 20, 
2012.\9\ FME states that it had been in discussions with MARAD about 
the proposed MPEHTM Port project since July 2012, and 
submitted to MARAD a Letter of Intent to Submit Application on October 
3, 2012. According to FME, MARAD's jurisdiction to license an LNG 
export facility under the Deepwater Port Act was not clear before that 
Act was amended on December 20, 2012. FME further states that, 
following discussions with DOE/FE, FME was unable to submit a non-FTA 
application until the amendments were enacted. Therefore, FME contends 
that it should not be subject to the previously established processing 
parameters.
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    \9\ The Deepwater Port Act of 1974, 33 U.S.C. 1501 et seq., was 
amended in December 2012 to allow exports of oil and gas to occur 
from offshore facilities in waters of the United States.
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Public Interest Considerations

    FME states that its proposed non-FTA authorization should be 
granted by DOE/FE because it is not inconsistent with the public 
interest, as set forth in NGA section 3(a). FME quotes DOE/FE in 
stating that, `` `Section 3(a) of the NGA creates a rebuttable 
presumption that proposed exports of natural gas are in the public 
interest, and [that] DOE must grant such an application unless those 
who oppose the application overcome that presumption.' '' \10\ FME 
states that DOE/FE, in evaluating the public interest pursuant to its 
Policy Guidelines and Delegation Orders Relating to the Regulation of 
Imported Natural Gas, examines whether ```domestic supply shortages or 
domestic security needs overcome the statutory presumption that a 
proposed export is not inconsistent with the public interest.' '' \11\ 
FME states that, although the Policy Guidelines address imports of 
natural gas, DOE/FE has found that the same principles apply to 
exports.\12\
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    \10\ FME App. at 8 (quoting Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC, DOE/
FE Order No. 2961, Opinion and Order Conditionally Granting Long-
Term Authorization to Export Liquefied Natural Gas From Sabine Pass 
LNG Terminal to Non-Free Trade Agreement Nations (May 20, 2011), at 
28).
    \11\ Id. at 9 (quoting Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC, FE Docket 
10-111-LNG, Opinion and Order Denying Request for Review Under 
Section 3(c) of the NGA, at 5 (Oct. 21, 2010) & Policy Guidelines 
and Delegation Orders Relating to the Regulation of Imported Natural 
Gas, 49 FR 6,684 (Feb.22, 1984).
    \12\ Id. (citing, e.g., Phillips Alaska Natural Gas Corp. and 
Marathon Oil Co., DOE/FE Order No. 1473 at 14).
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    FME asserts that the main focus of DOE/FE's public interest 
analysis has been the projected domestic need for the gas to be 
exported. FME states that, during the period of the export 
authorization requested by FME, U.S. reserves and recoverable resources 
will be far in excess of total gas demand. FME further asserts that 
multiple, independent analyses, including that of Navigant Consulting, 
Inc. and Deloitte MarketPoint, have concluded that exports will not 
cause a significant increase in domestic natural gas prices. Therefore, 
FME maintains that its requested export authorization will not have a 
detrimental impact on the domestic supply of natural gas and is not 
inconsistent with the public interest.
    Addressing domestic natural gas supply, FME contends that the U.S. 
natural gas supply is more than adequate to meet both the future U.S. 
domestic demand and FME's proposed export volumes over the term of the 
requested authorization. FME discusses the impact of increased shale 
production on domestic supply, stating that dry gas production in 2013 
is expected to be 24 Trillion Cubic Feet (Tcf), a 13 percent increase 
from 2010.\13\
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    \13\ U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy 
Outlook 2013 Early Release (Jan. 2013), available at http://www.eia.doe.gov/forecasts/aeo/tables.ref.cfm (EIA Outlook 2013 Early 
Release).
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    Addressing domestic natural gas demand, FME states that U.S. 
natural gas available for supply far exceeds demand. According to FME, 
EIA estimates that domestic natural gas demand will grow from 25.63 Tcf 
per year in 2012 to 28.71 Tcf per year in 2035, and that cumulative 
domestic gas consumption from 2012 through 2035 will be 643 Tcf.\14\
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    \14\ EIA Outlook 2013 Early Release.
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    FME states that its requested export authorization would increase 
demand by a maximum of 1.46 Tcf per year. FME recognizes that other 
applications to export domestic LNG are pending before DOE and 
additional applicants may seek export authorization. As noted above, 
FME also observes that a number of groups--including Navigant, 
Deloitte, and the Brookings Energy Security Initiative--have considered 
the cumulative effects of LNG exports on natural gas demand and 
pricing.
    Focusing on the Navigant study, FME states that Navigant considered 
two scenarios of relevance to FME's Application: an ``Aggregate Exports 
Case'' and a ``High Demand Base Case.'' The Aggregate Exports Case 
assumes a total of 7.7 Bcf per day of LNG exports, split between Gulf 
Coast exports (4.7 Bcf/day), Pacific Coast exports (2.5 Bcf/day), and 
Atlantic Coast (0.5 Bcf/day)--an assumption that could reflect the 
proposed MPEHTM Port operating at full capacity. The High 
Demand Base Case assumes a total of 7.2 Bcf/day of LNG exports 
(excluding the Atlantic Coast exports), but includes increased domestic 
demand for natural gas, such as through natural gas vehicles.\15\ FME

[[Page 34087]]

notes Navigant's conclusion that LNG exports would have a mild 
stimulating effect on U.S. natural gas production. Under the Aggregate 
Exports Case and High Demand Base Case, FME states that U.S. gas supply 
would increase slightly more than would be expected without exports.
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    \15\ Navigant Consulting, Inc., Southern LNG Export Project 
Market Analysis Study, included as App. A to the Application of 
Southern LNG Company, L.L.C. for Long-Term, Multi-Contract 
Authorization to Export Liquefied Natural Gas to Non-Free Trade 
Agreement Countries submitted in FE Docket No. 12-100-LNG on August 
31, 2012 (Navigant Study), at 40.
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    FME states that Deloitte also prepared a study that considered a 
number of export scenarios, including exports of 1.33 Bcf/day, 3 Bcf/
day, 6 Bcf/day, 9 Bcf/day, and 12 Bcf/day.\16\ FME asserts that the 
analyses from Navigant and Deloitte are applicable to the proposed 
MPEHTM Port because the Port will be located near 
traditional and shale reserves in the Gulf of Mexico in a location 
where other projects are being considered.
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    \16\ Deloitte MarketPoint, Analysis of Economic Impact of LNG 
Exports from the United States, included as App. F to the 
Application for Long-Term, Multi-Contract Authorization to Export 
Liquefied Natural Gas to Non-Free Trade Agreement Countries 
submitted by Excelerate Liquefaction Solutions I, LLC in FE Docket 
No. 12-146-LNG on October 5, 2012 (Deloitte Study).
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    Taking into account these studies and EIA data, FME maintains that: 
(1) The United States has more than enough supply to support domestic 
gas needs and proposed LNG export volumes, and (2) natural gas 
producers will be able to anticipate new demand and ramp up production 
in advance, such that the commencement of LNG exports will not shock 
the market.
    Turning to potential impacts on U.S. natural gas market prices, FME 
contends that the effect of LNG exports on natural gas prices will be 
limited. As support for this position, FME cites analyses performed by 
EIA, Navigant, and Deloitte. FME concludes that potential increases in 
natural gas prices resulting from LNG exports are not large enough, and 
are sufficiently offset by several resulting benefits (such as limiting 
volatility in the market), so as not to merit a determination that the 
MPEHTM Port is not in the public interest.
    FME next asserts that the requested authorization will benefit 
local, regional, and national economies and is therefore in the public 
interest. FME quotes the LNG export study conducted by NERA, which 
concluded that `` `the U.S. would experience net economic benefits from 
increased LNG exports' '' and that `` `U.S. economic welfare 
consistently increases as the volume of natural gas exports increased.' 
'' \17\
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    \17\ FME App. at 20 (quoting NERA study at 6).
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    Among other economic benefits, FME states that the requested 
authorization would result in the creation of new jobs and would be 
consistent with President Obama's National Export Initiative signed in 
2010.\18\ FME states that, during the five-year build phase, it is 
estimated that the proposed MPEHTM Port will create about 
3,000 to 4,000 jobs. Upon full operation, the Port will employ 
approximately 250 to 500 people on-site. According to FME, a corollary 
to the creation of these jobs will be the additional taxes paid by the 
MPEHTM Port and associated workforce.
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    \18\ Exec. Order No. 13534, 75 FR 12,433 (Mar. 11, 2010).
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    FME further states that granting the authorization would positively 
impact the U.S. balance of trade. FME asserts that, in 2011, the U.S. 
trade deficit was $559.9 billion--an increase of $65.1 billion from the 
2010 figure.\19\ FME states that, depending on the price of gas, 
exports from the MPEHTM Port could reduce the trade 
imbalance by approximately $12 billion per year. FME observes that DOE/
FE, in approving export applications, has acknowledged the positive 
impact that LNG exports can have on the balance of trade with 
destination countries.\20\
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    \19\ Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, 
U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, (Oct. 11, 2012), 
available at http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/international/trade/trad_time_series.xls.
    \20\ FME App. at 23 n.68 (citing DOE/FE orders).
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    Additionally, FME explains that, in processing natural gas in 
preparation for exports, it will derive ethane, propane, and other 
liquids condensate for sale, which will further help the U.S. balance 
of trade by increasing domestic supply and thus reducing imports. FME 
states that, in DOE/FE Order No. 2961, DOE/FE found that a facility 
exporting 803 Bcf of gas per year would produce 46.7 million barrels 
per year of liquids and improve the trade balance by $1.7 billion 
annually.\21\ FME states that the MPEHTM Port, by analogy, 
should produce 68.3 million barrels of liquids and improve the balance 
of trade by approximately $2.5 billion annually by offsetting imports. 
FME states that these domestically produced natural gas liquids will be 
of particular benefit to chemical manufacturers that use these liquids 
as chemical feedstocks.\22\
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    \21\ Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC, DOE/FE Order No. 2961, at 
35.
    \22\ FME App. at 23 (citing Michael Levi, A Strategy for U.S. 
Natural Gas Exports, prepared for The Hamilton Project, at 25 (June 
2012), available at http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2012/06/13-exports-levi (Hamilton Study)).
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    Additionally, FME asserts that the requested authorization is 
consistent with U.S. obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs 
and Trade (GATT), would promote free and open trade, and could have 
wider geopolitical benefits.
    Finally, in addition to providing economic benefits, FME states 
that LNG exports can have significant environmental benefits. FME 
contends that natural gas is cleaner burning than other fossil fuels, 
such as coal-fired generation.
    Additional details can be found in FME's Application, which is 
posted on the DOE/FE Web site at: http://www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/gasregulation/authorizations/2013_applications/13_26_lng_fta.pdf.

Environmental Impact

    According to FME, MARAD previously approved an earlier form of the 
MPEHTM Port as a deepwater port for the importation and 
regasification of LNG, the conditioning of natural gas to produce 
natural gas liquids, and the storage of natural gas in salt caverns. 
FME states that, as part of MARAD's approval process, the 
MPEHTM LNG import project underwent an extensive analysis 
under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 431 et 
seq., including preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement and a 
review by several other federal agencies including the U.S. Coast 
Guard, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers, among others. FME states that this analysis resulted in a 
favorable Record of Decision by MARAD in January 2007.\23\
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    \23\ FME App. at 3 n.1 (citing Docket entry 371. USCG-2004-
17696-371.).
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    In connection with this Application, FME states that MARAD, in 
coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard, will act as the lead agency for 
environmental review, with DOE acting as a cooperating agency. FME 
asserts that it initiated discussions with MARAD in October 2012 about 
developing an application for the proposed MPEHTM Port. FME 
states that it is currently performing scoping studies to determine 
which federal, state, or local agencies need to be involved and the 
additional studies that need to be performed in conjunction with the 
construction of the proposed MPEHTM Port, including the 
FLVs. FME requests that DOE/FE issue this export authorization 
conditioned on MARAD's completion of the NEPA review and approval of 
the facility construction. FME states that the DOE/FE routinely issues 
orders with such a condition.\24\
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    \24\ FME App. at 26 n.80 (citing DOE/FE orders).

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[[Page 34088]]

DOE/FE Evaluation

    The Application will be reviewed pursuant to section 3(a) of the 
NGA, 15 U.S.C. 717b(a), and the authority contained in DOE Delegation 
Order No. 00-002.00L (April 29, 2011) and DOE Redelegation Order No. 
00-002.04E (April 29, 2011). In reviewing this LNG export Application, 
DOE will consider any issues required by law or policy. To the extent 
determined to be relevant or appropriate, these issues will include the 
impact of LNG exports associated with this Application, and the 
cumulative impact of any other application(s) previously approved, on 
domestic need for the gas proposed for export, adequacy of domestic 
natural gas supply, U.S. energy security, and any other issues, 
including the impact on the U.S. economy (GDP), consumers, and 
industry, job creation, U.S. balance of trade, international 
considerations, and whether the arrangement is consistent with DOE's 
policy of promoting competition in the marketplace by allowing 
commercial parties to freely negotiate their own trade arrangements. 
Parties that may oppose this Application should address these issues in 
their comments and/or protests, as well as any other issues deemed 
relevant to the Application.
    NEPA requires DOE to give appropriate consideration to the 
environmental effects of its proposed decisions. No final decision will 
be issued in this proceeding until DOE has met its environmental 
responsibilities.
    Due to the complexity of the issues raised by the Applicant, 
interested persons will be provided 60 days from the date of 
publication of this Notice in which to submit comments, protests, 
motions to intervene, notices of intervention, or motions for 
additional procedures.

Public Comment Procedures

    In response to this Notice, any person may file a protest, 
comments, or a motion to intervene or notice of intervention, as 
applicable. Any person wishing to become a party to the proceeding must 
file a motion to intervene or notice of intervention, as applicable. 
The filing of comments or a protest with respect to the Application 
will not serve to make the commenter or protestant a party to the 
proceeding, although protests and comments received from persons who 
are not parties will be considered in determining the appropriate 
action to be taken on the Application. All protests, comments, motions 
to intervene, or notices of intervention must meet the requirements 
specified by the regulations in 10 CFR Part 590.
    Filings may be submitted using one of the following methods: (1) 
emailing the filing to fergas@hq.doe.gov with FE Docket No. 13-26-LNG 
in the title line; (2) mailing an original and three paper copies of 
the filing to the Office Natural Gas Regulatory Activities at the 
address listed in ADDRESSES; or (3) hand delivering an original and 
three paper copies of the filing to the Office of Natural Gas 
Regulatory Activities at the address listed in ADDRESSES. All filings 
must include a reference to FE Docket No. 13-26-LNG.
    A decisional record on the Application will be developed through 
responses to this notice by parties, including the parties' written 
comments and replies thereto. Additional procedures will be used as 
necessary to achieve a complete understanding of the facts and issues. 
A party seeking intervention may request that additional procedures be 
provided, such as additional written comments, an oral presentation, a 
conference, or trial-type hearing. Any request to file additional 
written comments should explain why they are necessary. Any request for 
an oral presentation should identify the substantial question of fact, 
law, or policy at issue, show that it is material and relevant to a 
decision in the proceeding, and demonstrate why an oral presentation is 
needed. Any request for a conference should demonstrate why the 
conference would materially advance the proceeding. Any request for a 
trial-type hearing must show that there are factual issues genuinely in 
dispute that are relevant and material to a decision, and that a trial-
type hearing is necessary for a full and true disclosure of the facts.
    If an additional procedure is scheduled, notice will be provided to 
all parties. If no party requests additional procedures, a final 
Opinion and Order may be issued based on the official record, including 
the Application and responses filed by parties pursuant to this notice, 
in accordance with 10 CFR 590.316.
    The Application is available for inspection and copying in the 
Office of Natural Gas Regulatory Activities docket room, Room 3E-042, 
1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. The docket room is 
open between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays. The Application and any filed 
protests, motions to intervene or notice of interventions, and comments 
will also be available electronically by going to the following DOE/FE 
Web address: http://www.fe.doe.gov/programs/gasregulation/index.html.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on May 31, 2013.
John A. Anderson,
Manager, Natural Gas Regulatory Activities, Office of Oil and Gas 
Global Security and Supply, Office of Fossil Energy.
[FR Doc. 2013-13418 Filed 6-5-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P