Exxon Mobil and Qatar Petroleum on Tuesday announced a final decision to finance a $10 billion-plus project to export liquefied natural gas from the Texas Gulf Coast.
The decision moves forward the latest export terminal fueling growing shipments of U.S. LNG, or natural gas cooled to liquid form, for overseas travel. The Department of Energy last month forecast that LNG will play a major role in the U.S. exporting more energy than it imports by 2020, a feat the nation has not achieved in nearly 70 years.
The plan to export LNG from Exxon's Golden Pass terminal speaks to the renaissance in U.S. energy production. The facility was originally built to import LNG, but the surge in U.S. natural gas production over the last decade means American drillers are now looking overseas for buyers.
Exxon says work to retool the terminal near Port Arthur, Texas, along the Louisiana border will begin this quarter. The oil giant expects the facility to start up in 2024 and says it will ultimately be able to produce roughly 16 million tons of LNG each year.