The shale boom in places like North Dakota has altered the US energy profile, as shown by Tuesday’s announcement that Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil will build a $10 billion natural gas export facility in Texas (KAREN BLEIER)

New York (AFP) – Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil announced Tuesday a final decision to build a natural gas export facility in Texas, giving the official green light to a long-discussed project.

The Golden Pass project in Sabine Pass, Texas, which will cost more than $10 billion, is scheduled to begin construction in the first quarter of 2019, with a start up date in 2024, the companies said.

The venture is the latest to underscore the shifting complexion of US energy in the wake of a shale boom that has prompted companies to pivot from building facilities to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) to exporting the fuel.

Qatar Petroleum, which holds 70 percent of the project, plans $20 billion in US energy sector investments. Qatar announced in December it was leaving the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to focus on building its international gas business.

The Golden Pass project “enhances the depth and flexibility of our global LNG supply portfolio, and reinforces the position of the US as a key contributor to meeting the world’s growing demand for LNG,” said Qatar Petroleum Chief Executive Saad al-Kaabi, who also serves as Energy Minister for the Middle Eastern country.

Kaabi participated in a ceremony with US Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Darren Woods, chief executive of Exxon Mobil, which holds 30 percent of the project.

The project is expected to create about 9,000 jobs during the construction phase and 200 permanent jobs, Exxon Mobil said in a news release.

“Golden Pass will provide an increased, reliable, long-term supply of liquefied natural gas to global gas markets, stimulate local growth and create thousands of jobs,” Woods said in a statement.

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