Total US LNG exports were 14.3 million tonnes in 2017 and climbed to 15 million tonnes during the first three quarters of 2018, according to Reuters. Trading in LNG reached nearly 300 million tonnes in 2017 and is growing, especially in Asia, where China switches from coal to cleaner-burning natural gas to improve air quality.
The freight channel that extends between the Texas-Louisiana border is already home to the Sabine Pass LNG terminal operated by Cheniere, the first engine in the exporting hub of the Gulf Coast.
Exxon's partner in the Golden Pass project, the state's energy company Qatar Petroleum, has a 70 percent share in the development. Qatar, the world's leading LNG manufacturer, has recently left the OPEC oil production group and said it would focus on expanding its natural gas business.
Exxon has the remaining 30 percent stake in the project, part of the plan to invest $ 50 billion in US manufacturing facilities over the next five years, focusing on the Gulf Coast. The company expects the terminal to support 200 permanent positions and 9,000 positions while it is under construction.
"The Golden Pass will provide an increased, reliable and long-term supply of liquid natural gas to global gas markets, stimulate local growth and create thousands of jobs," Exxon's CEO and CEO Darren Woods said in a press release.
Exxon and Qatar Petroleum have previously worked together in Argentina, Brazil and Mozambique.