DOE Finalizes Rule to Expedite Approvals for “Small-Scale” Natural Gas Exports

The Department of Energy (DOE) issued a final rule revising its regulations to specify that DOE will issue an export authorization upon receipt of a complete application to export natural gas to countries with which the U.S. has not entered into a free trade agreement (FTA) with which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy (non-FTA countries) provided that the application satisfies two criteria:

  1. The application proposes to export natural gas in a volume up to and including 51.75 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per year (Bcf/yr) (equivalent to 0.14 Bcf per day (Bcf/d)).
  2. DOE’s approval of the application does not require an environmental impact statement (EIS) or an environmental assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).

DOE has concluded that applications that satisfy these criteria are requesting authorization for ‘‘small-scale natural gas exports,’’ and DOE deems such exports to be consistent with the public interest under the Natural Gas Act (NGA).