U.S. has been net exporter of natural gas for over 12 consecutive months

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 144 views 

U.S. net natural gas exports were 4.6 billion cubic feet per day in February, marking the 13th consecutive month the exports exceeded imports, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The United States exports natural gas via pipeline to Canada and Mexico and exports liquefied natural gas (LNG) to several other countries.

Most natural gas exports are sent by pipeline to Canada and Mexico, but LNG exports have risen in recent years. U.S. natural gas exports to Canada were a record high of 3.3 billion cubic feet per day in February. In 2018, exports of natural gas by pipeline to Canada were an average of 2.3 billion cubic feet per day. U.S. pipeline exports of natural gas to Mexico rose to 5.2 billion cubic feet per day in 2018, from 4.2 billion cubic feet per day in 2017. New pipelines to Mexico and Canada have increased U.S. export capacity via pipeline.

U.S. LNG exports rose to a high of 4.1 billion cubic feet per day in January, from an average of 3 billion cubic feet per day in 2018, after three new liquefaction units started operating. The units have a combined capacity of 1.9 billion cubic feet per day, increasing the total export capacity of LNG to 4.3 billion cubic feet per day at the end of 2018. An additional 4 billion cubic feet per day of liquefaction capacity is expected to start operating by the end of 2019.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced Thursday (May 2) it has authorized the export of LNG from Tellurian Inc.’s Driftwood LNG export facility to be built in Calcasieu Parish, La., and Sempra Energy’s Port Arthur LNG export project to be built in Port Arthur, Texas. The Driftwood and Port Arthur facilities are authorized to export up to 3.88 billion cubic feet per day and 1.91 billion cubic feet per day of LNG, respectively, to countries without a free trade agreement with the United States and aren’t prohibited under U.S. law or policy.

The United States is in its third consecutive year as a net exporter of natural gas, having exported LNG to 35 countries, according to the DOE. Average dry natural gas production is expected to rise from 91 billion cubic feet per day in 2019 to 92.5 billion cubic feet per day in 2020, which would be new records, according to the EIA. U.S. net natural gas exports are projected to be 4.7 billion cubic feet per day in 2019 and 7.5 billion cubic feet per day in 2020, with the majority of the growth attributed to increases in LNG exports, according to the EIA. The United States is expected to be a net exporter of natural gas by pipeline in 2019.

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