Exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) out of the United States hit an all-time high in November due to recovering global gas demand and prices and unplanned outages at LNG export facilities outside the U.S., the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.
According to EIA estimates, the U.S. exported a total of 9.4 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of LNG in November 2020, beating the previous record set in January 2020, when exports totaled 8.1 Bcf/d.
The U.S. LNG exports last month accounted for 93 percent of peak LNG export capacity utilization, the EIA said.
For most of the spring and summer of this year, American LNG exports were low, and they even hit their lowest volume in 26 months during the summer due to depressed demand with lockdowns all over the world.
Earlier this year, when demand for natural gas across the world plunged due to the pandemic, buyers began to cancel cargo loadings of U.S. LNG, as gas in storage from Europe to Asia was abundant after a milder winter and the coronavirus that wiped out a lot of previously expected demand.
In July, U.S. LNG exports crashed by more than 50 percent compared to January due to historically low natural gas prices from Asia to Europe and lower demand in the pandemic. U.S. LNG export capacity was utilized at less than 50 percent in June, July, and August 2020.
American LNG exports have steadily grown since the summer, to reach a record in November, the EIA said today.
Higher prices in Asia and Europe with recovering demand, as well as unplanned outages at export facilities in Australia, Qatar, Norway, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Trinidad and Tobago, contributed to higher U.S. exports in recent months. U.S. LNG export facilities returning from shut-downs during hurricanes and higher total LNG export capacity were the other factors helping exports hit a record high, the EIA said.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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