Attention speakers: It is time to update your LNG presentations. After months of seemingly lackluster activity, the US government is finally moving the ball on LNG export applications. On May 17, news arrived that the US Department of Energy (DOE) had approved Freeport LNG’s request to export domestically produced LNG to countries without free trade agreements with the US from its terminal on Quintana Island, Texas. The number of facilities with such approval now stands at two. The first went to the Sabine Pass LNG Terminal in Cameron Parish, La., in May 2011. That facility received approval to export up to 2.2 Bcf/d. But more permit requests still await action. “The Energy Department conducted an extensive, careful review of the application to export LNG from the Freeport LNG Terminal,” the DOE said in the press release announcing the news. “Among other factors, the department considered the economic, energy security, and environmental impacts – as well as public comments for and against the application and nearly 200,000 public comments related to the associated analysis of the cumulative impacts of increased LNG exports – and determined that exports from the terminal at a rate of up to 1.4 Bcf/d for a period of 20 years was not inconsistent with the public interest.” This is good news on many levels. It is a step toward LNG exports, providing an outlet to foreign markets for the glut of US natural gas supplies. It has the potential to give the economy a boost and create jobs. It also is good news for the people of the small island of Quintana, a Brazoria County, Texas, town that US Census figures show is home to less than 60 people. Imagine the additional economic pickup this small town could receive when business starts to boom as exports take off. Life in this town already has been transformed. I remember when Freeport LNG was still being constructed. As a former reporter for a local newspaper in Brazoria County, The Facts, I remember writing articles about the facility. Back then, about six years ago, the facility was still under construction. I remember taking a tour of the construction site. Walking with Port Freeport commissioners and county officials, we peeked inside an empty tank that spanned more than 79 m (260 ft) in diameter on the 211-acre site. We heard stories about how welders started work as early as 3 a.m. to avoid the Texas heat and how about 700 or so employees were bused to the site for work each day. At the time, plans were to receive LNG, and officials were still mulling exactly where it would come from. The US shale revolution has certainly changed things. The Quintana terminal started commercial operations in 2008. Currently, approximately 150 large carries can offload their cargo annually at the receiving facility, according to Freeport LNG’s website. The regasification terminal has two storage tanks. Freeport LNG’s liquefaction and export project includes three trains with an export capacity of about 13.2 million metric tonnes per annum of LNG, which the site stated “equates to processing approximately 2.0 Bcf/d of pipeline-quality natural gas (feed gas).” DOE conditionally authorized Freeport LNG to export up to 1.4 Bcf/d for 20 years. The approval is still subject to environmental review and final regulatory approval. Contact the author, Velda Addison, at