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Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

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Experts: U.S. LNG Growth Could Slow Next Year

While American LNG is poised for long-term growth, next year could see a slowing of domestic natural gas demand due as infrastructure and expansion plans experience limitations, Natural Gas Intelligence reports, citing experts on the sidelines of a Gulf Coast energy forum. 

Central for Liquefied Natural Gas (CLNG) executive director Charlie Riedl told NGI that while LNG dynamics are expected to accelerate this decade, buoyed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, facility and pipeline expansion will be “mission critical”, with a focus on connecting the Permian Basin and the Haynesville Basin to LNG export terminals. 

Experts note that while new projects are underway, the timing will see a lag. 

The Freeport LNG export facility continues to be out until at least early November after a fire in June. When it does restart, it would return some 2 billion cubic feet per day to the market. Aside from that, however, experts told NGI that no other expansions of export capability are on the books for two years, with Exxon’s Golden Pass LNG–in cooperation with QatarEnergy–not slated for initial startup until 2024. 

Right now, the market is gearing up for a slight pause as LNG expansion catches up with the longer-term prospects here. 

Speaking on the sidelines of the three-day forum, Easy Daley Analytics’ Rob Wilson told NGI that Gulf Coast LNG export capacity is set to increase gradually through 2025, but that slower near-term expansion growth could impact natural gas producers as new projects lag behind market dynamics. 

“I think it will be March and April, when storage ramps up, and we see levels reach significantly above historical averages,” Wilson told NGI.

For 2023, Wilson predicts that while demand from Asia and Europe will continue to be high, U.S. natural gas producers will see lower prices as the market waits for demand to catch up with supply. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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