FILE - TX flare stack

A flare stack is seen at a petroleum refinery in Port Arthur, Texas.

South Texas is expected to experience an economic windfall following the approval of four liquefied natural gas export terminals.

The LNG projects are projected to generate tens of billions of dollars for the Texas economy, as well as create thousands of job along the state’s Gulf Coast region.

The projects – an expansion of an LNG export complex in Corpus Christi and three terminals to be constructed at the Port of Brownsville – will help open more lucrative markets in Europe and Asia for the vast amounts of natural gas produced in the Permian Basin in West Texas and other Texas oil and gas field, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Steve Everley, a spokesman for oil and gas grassroots organization Texans for Natural Gas, said that the export facilities will help meet rapidly growing natural gas demand around the world and ensure that the Lone Star State is benefiting from the demand.

“More natural gas infrastructure means less flaring and lower emissions, which means this is a clear win for the Texas economy and our environment,” Everley said.

Companies have been prompted to resort to an industry practice known as flaring because of great natural gas output in the Permian Basin in West Texas and low domestic prices.

A 2-1 vote by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission paved the way for the quartet of projects, all of which are being developed by Houston companies. The Brownsville projects will be an undertaking by NextDecade, Texas LNG and Annnova LNG, a subsidiary of the Chicago utility company Exelon.

The companies are currently seeking customers and financing before construction could begin. At the same time, the projects have received opposition from environmentalists and local residents concerned about the negative effects on traffic and wildlife.

The projects will make the United States the third largest exporter of LNG. Qatar and Australia are the world’s top two exporters at present.