An tanker is docked on June 05, 2010 off

For years analysts have estimated US LNG exports would likely materialize in the 4 to 6 billion cubic foot per day range, but much of the focus has more recently shifted to the regulatory process and backlog of projects seeking approval. The Houston Chronicle’s Jennifer A. Dlouhy shifts attention back to the complex financial juggling that must align for LNG liquefaction projects to reach final investment decisions. [Houston Chronicle]

The Obama administration announced economic sanctions against Russia would extend deeper into Putin’s inner circle and target seven individuals and 17 companies. But many are saying these latest measures, including travel bans, do little more than send a relatively weak signal to the Kremlin. Absent from the list of companies are Russia’s biggest energy champions Gazprom, Rosneft and pipeline monopoly Tansneft. While Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin is one of the individuals on the expanded list of punishable Putin confidants, the degree to which this will disrupt the oil company’s operations in a manner that would block critical revenue from reaching the Kremlin is questionable. [National Journal and [Washington Post]

President Obama traveled to the Philippines on Monday ahead of joint-military exercises and following an announcement that lays the groundwork for an expanded US military presence in the country. “The US and the Philippines will undertake joint military exercises in the Southeast Asian country as early as next week, although they are likely to avoid straying too close to contested waters that are claimed by China and constitute a vital oil supply route. Long-running maritime disputes have hampered otherwise promising upstream developments in the South China Sea.” [Energy Intelligence]