Port of Corpus Christi: LNG Exports Support America's Allies

Corpus Christi under construction, 2016 (file image courtesy Cheniere)

By The Maritime Executive 09-13-2018 06:35:18

The Port of Corpus Christi, Texas, is looking forward to the addition of LNG to is growing portfolio of energy exports. In the next several months, Corpus Christi will see the startup of a new LNG export terminal built by Cheniere Energy, which will provide the first ever shipments of American natural gas to Poland. 

"Now, more than ever, it is crucial that the United States use its abundant energy resources to supports its friends and allies abroad. Ensuring Eastern Europe, particularly places like Poland, has access to reliable and affordable fuel will go a long way in protecting geopolitical stability and facilitating further energy security," said port CEO Sean Strawbridge in a statement Thursday. 

Strawbridge's comments came at the end of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources' hearing on “The Role of U.S. LNG in Meeting European Energy Demand,” which examined the role of American natural gas in supporting the energy security of Eastern European allies. 

"The United States is the largest NATO power, and as the security guarantor for a number of European states of the alliance, is directly implicated in the security repercussions of Europe's energy dependence on Russia," explained Dr. Agnia Grigas, an expert on energy and political risk in Russia and Eastern Europe, in testimony before the committee. "We well know that Russia and its energy company Gazprom uses gas exports as a means of political influence [and] coercion." 

As an example, she noted the 2008-2009 Russian shutdown of its gas shipments through Ukraine and to the European states beyond, which occurred during a severe winter. This powerful means of influence could be offset by American LNG, she suggested, which has "significant positive national security, economic, political and geopolitical implications for the United States and its allies."

Cheniere Energy's Corpus Christi LNG facility will add up to 22.5 million tonnes per annum of capacity to America's exports with five liquefaction trains. Trains 1 and 2 are fully contracted, and Train 3 is partially contracted. Its main customers are Indonesian oil and gas firm Pertamina, Spanish utilities Endesa, Naturgy and Iberdrola, trader Woodside Energy, UK utility EDF and Portuguese utility EDP.