WASHINGTON, May 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Energy announced that it approved its first project to export liquefied natural gas from the lower 48 United States.
The approval is for the export of LNG from the Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana, the Department of Energy announced.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the LNG option puts the country among major players in the global energy market.
"Our long-term economic strength depends on safely and responsibly harnessing America's domestic energy resources while developing new and innovative clean energy technologies," he said in a statement.
LNG has a broader trading range than conventional natural gas, which relies on pipelines traveling through territory that is sometimes politically sensitive or environmentally unsound.
Sabine in August filed a permit with the U.S. government to export up to 803 billion cubic feet of LNG for a 20-year period. The company could upgrade an LNG import terminal in Louisiana so that it can be used for exports, the Energy Department said.