The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voted Feb. 15 to approve a cross-border pipeline segment that is part of a plan to take more U.S. natural gas to Mexico’s west coast for export.

The FERC voted in favor of a 48-inch diameter, 1,000-meter pipeline segment that crosses the Texas-Mexico border. The segment is part of the 655-mile ONEOK’s Saguaro Connector Pipeline, which is planned to follow a route from the Waha Hub in Pecos County to Puerto Libertad on Mexico’s West Coast.

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The segment that crosses the border is the only part of the line that requires federal approval, as the remainder of the line on the U.S. side is entirely within Texas borders.

Once completed, the line will have a capacity of about 2.8 Bcf/d. The LNG plant on Mexico’s coast has yet to reach final investment decision. Mexico Pacific LNG expects to spend about $15 billion on the LNG project.

The pipeline has been opposed by environmental groups and some of the people who live along the route, such as residents of the small West Texas town of Van Horn, where the line will pass within a mile of city limits.