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U.S. Overtakes Qatar to Become World’s Top LNG Exporter

  • The U.S. exported a record 91.2 million metric tons of LNG in 2023.
  • Key factors contributing to this rise include the reopening of the Freeport LNG terminal and increased output from Venture Global LNG's Calcasieu Pass facility.
  • The majority of U.S. LNG exports in 2023 were shipped from Gulf Coast terminals to European destinations like the Netherlands, the UK, and France.

The United States has become the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, surpassing Qatar and Australia for the first time. This development is at odds with the Biden administration's goal of becoming the world's climate leader. 

Bloomberg data compiled through Dec. 31 shows the US exported 91.2 million metric tons of LNG in 2023. This is a record for the Western country and was made possible by the restart of the Freeport LNG export terminal in Texas, which was closed for months after an explosion rocked the facility in June 2022. 

 The US surpassed Qatar, previously crowded 'king of LNG exporters' in 2022 after export volumes dropped for the first time since 2016 by 1.9%. Australia ranked second. 

Alex Munton, director of global gas and LNG research at consulting firm Rapidan Energy Group, told Reuters that LNG exporters in the US rose for two reasons: 

"The return of Freeport LNG to full service, which added 6 MT and the full-year output of Venture Global LNG's Calcasieu Pass facility that added 3 MT more than in 2022." 

Most US LNG exports depart from terminals across the Gulf Coast with top destinations in the Netherlands, the UK, and France for the first half of 2023. 

The US only joined the LNG export scene in 2016 amid an abundance of shale gas and growing demand for gas globally.

More than a year later, the US stands as the largest beneficiary of the destruction of Russia's Nord Stream pipeline system under the Baltic Sea to Europe.

By Zerohedge.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on January 04 2024 said:
    By the end of 2024 and early 2025 Qatar will reclaim its title as the world’s largest exporter of LNG once it completes its production expansion from 77 million tons to work million by the end of this year and 127 million Tons by 2028.

    Qatar has the most integrated LNG industry in the world and the cheapest producer in that it owns the word’s third-largest proven gas reserves, it also owns the LNG plants and a huge LNG fleet all of which have been paid for long time ago.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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