While only a handful of the projects will make it past any design stage the interest in LNG has been spurred by U.S. Department of Energy predictions that domestic natural gas demand will jump from 22 trillion cubic feet currently to 35 trillion cubic feet by 2025.
Currently, the four active LNG terminals in the U.S. have a total capacity of only 2.6bcf a day, although that is expected to grow to 4.5bcf with planned expansions at those sites.
The applications for plant permits is being lead by some of the industry heavyweights including Cheniere, which is hoping to build in Texas, while energy giants Exxon Mobil Corp, ChevronTexaco, BP and Royal Dutch/Shell Group are all hoping to build plants on the Gulf.
The total capacity from the number of projects that companies have announced would add about 35bcf per day in import capabilities, far above the projected demand levels.
On the other side of the country BHP Billiton is planning to build a $US500 million floating LNG terminal off the Californian coast to tap into the growing demand for natural gas in the US.
The plan is one of four being put forward to develop LNG on the west coast and if approved could be operational in 2008, lying 21.5 miles from Oxnard off the Ventura County coast.
Under the name Cabrillo Port, the terminal would be a permanently moored Floating Storage and Re-gasification Unit (FSRU) with LNG being stored in traditional storage tanks, regasified, and transported via undersea pipeline into a local pipeline system.
Anticipated average send-out will be approximately 800 million cubic feet per day, or almost 15% of what Californian daily gas consumption.