U.S. Markets open in 5 hrs 54 mins

Dominion gets OK to expand natural gas exports

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Energy Department has given Dominion Resources Inc. permission to export liquefied natural gas from its southern Maryland terminal to countries that don't have free trade agreements with the United States.

The department announced Wednesday that Richmond, Va.-based Dominion has received conditional approval to expand exports of natural gas from its Cove Point terminal in Calvert County, Md. Dominion had previously been authorized to export the fuel only to countries that have free trade agreements.

The department says Dominion is now conditionally authorized to export up to 770 million cubic feet of natural gas a day over a 20-year period.

Dominion and other energy companies see a lucrative overseas market for U.S. natural gas, which is cheaper than natural gas in Europe and Asia.