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The pause in new LNG export project approvals announced by the Biden Administration last week is “a mistake” as it would actually hold back global efforts to reduce emissions, ExxonMobil’s CFO Kathy Mikells told Bloomberg in an interview published on Friday.
“Reducing production of LNG actually harms the world achieving net zero sooner rather than later,” Mikells said told Bloomberg.
“It’s a mistake,” the senior Exxon executive added.
Last week, the Biden Administration said it was pausing all pending decisions on U.S. LNG export projects until the Department of Energy can update the underlying analyses for authorizations.
During the temporary pause – which is expected to affect four planned LNG export projects – DOE will carry out a new updated review on the impact of such projects on health and communities.
Natural gas production and LNG liquefaction for exports generate emissions, but these emissions are still 50% lower than compared to burning coal.
ExxonMobil, together with QatarEnergy, the state giant of Qatar, are currently developing the Golden Pass LNG export project on the U.S. Gulf Coast near Sabine Pass, Texas.
The project has all necessary approvals and is expected to start up in 2025, Exxon’s Mikells told Bloomberg.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) and other major industry groups, including American Exploration and Production Council (AXPC), Center for LNG (CLNG), Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), LNG Allies, among others, slammed the Biden Administration’s decision to halt export project approvals.
“Our nation’s abundant supply of natural gas is an impactful geopolitical tool, helping insulate American consumers from increasing global instability while advancing American national interests and ensuring the energy security of key U.S. allies,” the groups wrote in a letter to U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.
“Moving forward with a pause on new U.S. LNG export approvals would only bolster Russian influence and undercut President Biden’s own commitment to supply our allies with reliable energy, undermining American credibility and threatening American jobs,” they said.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com