Japan Eyes Eagle Ford Natural Gas

Japan Eyes Eagle Ford Natural Gas
Japan Eyes Eagle Ford Natural Gas

Natural gas from the Eagle Ford Shale may soon be making its way to Japan.

A delegation from the Consulate General of Japan is in Texas this week touring facilities in Freeport, Houston, Moulton and San Antonio as they look to the Eagle Ford as a potential source of much needed natural gas.

Related: More Pipelines Cross Texas-Mexico Border

In 2011, Japan suffered a devastating earthquake that wrecked a great deal of its energy infrastructure, which centered on nuclear power. None of Japan’s nuclear reactors reactors have reopened since the quake and officials have turned to natural gas as a way to to generate electricity as an alternative to nuclear power.

While this seems like a win-win for all sides there are some serious administrative hurdles to getting Texas gas to Japan.

Japan and the United States do not currently have a free trade agreement, which means that natural gas producers in Texas need to obtain an extra permit from the U.S. Department of Energy before they can ship natural gas to Japan.
— Former Japanese Ambassador, Yasuo Saito

Many are looking to the Trans-Pacific Partnership to ease the burden and make trade possible. This will be important as our domestic production continues to outpace our demand. EIA analysts predict that America will transition from a net importer of natural gas to a net exporter by 2017 as we increase domestic production, which will reduce our demand for gas imports from Canada and support growth in exports to Mexico, Asia and Europe.