The US has approved a long-term application to export Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from an offshore project, which is a joint venture between an Indian and American company, in the Gulf of Mexico.
Exports in the amount of 1.8 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas are approved from Delfin LNG's proposed offshore Louisiana floating terminal, the Department of Energy said.
"I am pleased that with this authorisation that the administration can continue to strengthen the US as a dominant energy force with further exports of our abundant amounts of natural gas," US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said in a statement.
"Investing in American natural gas not only helps our economy and our jobs, but also helps our allies maintain their energy security. This represents a true win-win for everyone involved," Perry said.
With the rapid increase in domestic natural gas production, the US is transitioning to become a net exporter of natural gas, the Department of Energy said.
With this approval, the Department of Energy has authorised a total of 21 Bcf/d of natural gas exports to non- free trade agreement (non-FTA) countries from planned facilities in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, and now, with Delfin, from the Gulf of Mexico.
The Delfin project would further position the US to become the predominant LNG supplier to the rest of the world, it said.
Delfin is targeting an in-service date in 2021/2022.
The Department determined that exports from the Delfin LNG terminal, jointly owned by the India and Singapore-based Fairwood Group and the US-based Peninsula group, for a period of 20 years, was not inconsistent with the public interest.
Noting that America's shale reserves have generated economic growth and jobs across the US, the Department of Energy said utilising this clean energy source has also enabled the US to achieve the largest drop in carbon emissions of all countries in 2016.
Department of Energy is eager to bring this clean burning resource and its benefits to all of its international trading partners, a media statement said.
"Perry will take this message to Japan, and then to China for the Clean Energy and Mission Innovation ministerials, where he plans to strengthen the US-China LNG export partnership and continue working together towards a clean and affordable energy future," it said.
The Energy Department conducted an extensive review of the Delfin LNG, LLC application.
Among other factors, the Department considered the economic, energy security, and environmental impacts, including macroeconomic studies that showed positive benefits to the US economy in scenarios with LNG exports up to 28 Bcf/d.