The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued an order granting authorisation for NextDecade Corporation to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its Rio Grande LNG facility to non-free trade agreement (non-FTA) countries.

The move means that NextDecade is now allowed to export LNG equivalent to 1,318 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year from Rio Grande LNG to both FTA and non-FTA countries, as it had an existing free trade agreement (FTA) order issued in August 2016.

Matt Schatzman, NextDecade’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, added: “This is another significant milestone for our Rio Grande LNG project, which will play a critical role in linking natural gas from the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale to the global LNG market, providing countries around the world access to cleaner energy.”

In November 2019, NextDecade achieved a regulatory milestone, when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order authorising the siting, construction, and operation of Rio Grande LNG and the associated Rio Bravo Pipeline. Then on January 23, 2020, the FERC issued its final order denying rehearing requests on Rio Grande LNG and Rio Bravo Pipeline.

The DOE said: “Record levels of natural gas production in the United States continue to enhance global energy security while providing domestic benefits, including infrastructure development and job creation. 

“If built to capacity, the Rio Grande LNG project, including the connected Rio Bravo pipeline, is expected to create over 5,000 jobs during peak construction and represents infrastructure investment in excess of $15 billion.”

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12th February 2020