WASHINGTON, May 12 (Reuters) - The U.S. Energy Department said on Tuesday it has given final approval for Cheniere to export liquefied natural gas from its plant in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The approval allows the plant to export the equivalent of 2.1 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas for 20 years to countries with which the United States does not have a free trade agreement.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration believes the country could become a net LNG exporter by 2017. The boom in domestic energy drilling and demand from gas consumers in Europe and Asia has pushed companies to build multi billion-dollar facilities to export the fuel.
Cheniere hopes to export LNG from Corpus Christi beginning in 2018. Last week, the DOE approved LNG exports from Dominion Resources Inc's Cove Point plant in Maryland.
(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Bernard Orr)
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