Natural Gas

Foreign Companies Want to Invest in US Natural Gas

For exporting

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In a sign the United States shale gas boom is making global waves, two Japanese conglomerates and a big French energy player signed agreements on Friday to invest up to $7 billion in a liquefied natural gas project in Louisiana.

The companies — Mitsui and Mitsubishi of Japan, and GDF Suez of France — plan to each take a 16.6 percent stake in the gas-export plant being developed at Hackberry, La. The complex is being built by Sempra Energy, a San Diego-based company with annual revenue of about $10 billion. The companies agreed last year to help develop the project.

GDF Suez predicts that the plant will begin operations in 2017. The companies' final decision to make their investment will depend on the project's receiving necessary permits, GDF Suez said.