Energy Department backs gas export plan

WASHINGTON — The Energy Department has given conditional approval to a Texas company that wants to export liquefied natural gas, the second LNG export project the Obama administration has approved as it faces a wave of export requests.

The permit would allow Freeport LNG Expansion L.P. to export up to 1.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from its terminal near Freeport, Texas, south of Houston. It is subject to environmental review and final regulatory approval.

The approval Friday follows Energy Department authorization for the Sabine Pass LNG Terminal in Louisiana in 2011.

Energy companies are seeking federal permits for 20 export projects that could handle as much as 29 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day as production booms as a result of improved drilling techniques.

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