Cheniere Energy is a major U.S. liquefied natural gas company, as of 2014. Cheniere was the first company to establish the infrastructure and receive the regulatory approval required for a major LNG export operation. Other major U.S. LNG companies in 2014 include Dominion Resources and Sempra Energy.
The United States is a leading producer of natural gas due to its development of shale rock resources. U.S. companies can profit by exporting natural gas in liquid form, which is easily stored and shipped. In addition, as of 2014, excess supply has driven down U.S. natural gas costs, while prices remain higher overseas. However, LNG companies need terminals to convert natural gas to liquid form before export, and this infrastructure is costly to build. In addition, the Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission must approve each company's export operations.
Cheniere Energy has the required infrastructure in place for a successful LNG export operation with its Sabine Pass export terminal in Louisiana. Cheniere has also secured government export licenses. Dominion Resources and Sempra Energy have also built LNG export terminals. Qatar was the world's largest LNG exporter in 2012. Qatar Petroleum has partnered with Exxon Mobil to form Golden Pass Products, an LNG export terminal in Texas.