Japan Makes a Move on the Eagle Ford
Japan's new import portfolio includes some big shale.
In 2011, Japan had its deadly Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown. Since then, the country has shut down all of its nuclear reactors, with only tentative talks about restarting them in the future.
Of course, the catastrophe did massive damage to the country's energy sector, and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that one-third of Japan's electricity came from nuclear power until 2011.
And like other countries that are trying to cut coal out of their energy mix, Japan picked up the slack with natural gas power plants.
That makes perfect sense considering Japan imports natural gas from Qatar, Australia, Indonesia, and Russia, or that liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports cover 100% of their vehicle fuel needs.
But to keep up with their required electricity, they've decided to diversify their import portfolio.
And the U.S.'s Eagle Ford Shale may be their next big supplier. Representatives from the Consulate General of Japan have already toured Texas's Freeport LNG site – one of the few approved by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to begin LNG exports in 2017.
Of course, these transactions with Japan would only require a permit from the U.S. Department of Energy to get started, as the country is not one that the U.S. has a free trade agreement with.
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