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Sempra Energy has secured two approvals from the Department of Energy (DOE) for global exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) via the Energía Costa Azul (ECA) liquefaction project under development on Mexico's Pacific coast.

The authorizations allow Sempra "to export U.S. produced natural gas to Mexico and to re-export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have a free-trade agreement (non-FTA) with the U.S., from its Phase 1 and Phase 2 liquefaction export facilities in development in Baja California, Mexico," Sempra said Friday.

The two-phase ECA liquefaction project, a joint-venture between Sempra LNG and Infraestructura Energética Nova (IEnova), will be built adjacent to Sempra's existing ECA LNG receipt terminal near the city of Ensenada. IEnova is Sempra's Mexico subsidiary.

"ECA LNG will source natural gas from some of the fastest-growing production regions in the U.S. and provide our customers with a competitive advantage in accessing world markets, especially Asia," said Sempra CEO Joseph A. Householder.

The approval comes amid a historic natural gas supply glut in the Permian basin of West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico driven by soaring production and insufficient takeaway capacity. The trend has driven spot natural gas prices in West Texas into the negatives in recent days.

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