Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

The latest information on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is available on coronavirus.gov. For USDOT-specific COVID-19 resources, please visit our page.

United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Overview

Red and white vessel charging in the ocean.

Welcome to the Maritime Administration's Deepwater Port LNG and Oil Licensing Webpage

Welcome to the Maritime Administration's Deepwater Port Licensing Program website for the licensing of offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) and oil import and export port facilities. This website describes the Deepwater Port Licensing Program and how it goes about fulfilling the requirements mandated in the Deepwater Port Act of 1974, as amended. 

The Maritime Administration is charged with meeting the country's maritime commercial mobility needs while supporting national security and protecting the environment. The Deepwater Port Licensing Program addresses all three of these goals by reducing the need for LNG and oil tankers to transit busy seaports, while maintaining a high level of security and providing a viable environmentally friendly fuel source.

The deepwater port licensing application process is clearly defined, time sensitive and designed to streamline the review and construction of LNG and oil deepwater ports. The Maritime Administration is committed to expediting the application process while striving to protect the nation's environment, meeting our growing energy needs, and improving waterborne transportation efficiencies.

The Maritime Administration works with Federal, State, and local agency partners to ensure a comprehensive and efficient deepwater port licensing process. The concerns of State regulators, environmental organizations, marine industry groups and the public are given significant weight in the licensing process.  With several on-going deepwater port projects, the Maritime Administration continues its highly technical and intensive work of monitoring compliance of existing facilities, addressing licensing issues and processing new deepwater port license applications.

Once licensed and operating, deepwater port facilities enable the United States to promote the global trade of natural gas and oil in an environmentally safe and efficient manner. This is a significant development, as overseas and domestic exploration has resulted in the discovery of new natural gas resources. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that in 2020, while production rose and consumption of natural gas reached 30.48 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, the United States exported an additional 5.28 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Further, the EIA expects the global production of oil and gas to continue to increase to meet rising demand in developing economies. Offshore LNG and oil facilities licensed by the Maritime Administration can provide efficient conduits through which valuable energy resources can flow to and from the United States.

Last updated: Wednesday, October 20, 2021