Dominion Energy said that the first vessel carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the newly built Cove Point LNG export terminal at Lusby, Maryland, left the facility on 2 March, another sign of the growing global importance of United States shale-resource production. The Shell LNG tanker Gemmata departed for an unknown destination with a full cargo, according to an energy data provider whose cameras observed the loading process from a distance. Located in Chesapeake Bay, Cove Point was built as an LNG import terminal. Dominion has invested approximately $4 billion to add export facilities, which were still being commissioned when the Gemmata departed. Cove Point is the second big LNG export terminal in the contiguous 48 US states, following the startup of exports from Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana in 2016. The US is set to become the world’s third-biggest LNG exporter by capacity in 2018, and today’s capacity of 3.8 Bcf/D is expected to rise to 10.1 Bcf/D in 2020.