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Europe Remains Biggest Market For U.S. LNG

Europe has remained the biggest market for U.S. liquefied natural gas for three months in a row. According to Reuters, Refinitiv data suggests that most U.S. LNG will continue flowing into Europe this month as well, after December and January.

According to the Refinitiv data, at least 50 percent of American liquefied natural gas since the start of February has been shipped to Europe, with the total at 3.56 million tons. This, the data shows, is similar to the mid-month level of U.S. LNG imports into Europe in December.

Total U.S. LNG exports are running at record rates thanks to strong demand not just from Europe but from Asia, too. According to a Bloomberg report from earlier this week, LNG tankers were being loaded or docked at all seven export terminals in the country, with flows of natural gas into liquefaction trains at a record high of 13.3 billion cu ft daily.

The report included estimates that as much as two-thirds of U.S. liquefied natural gas was scheduled to be delivered to Europe.

“Volumes into Europe remain extremely strong with the U.S. playing a key role,” Kpler analyst Reid l’Anson told Reuters, adding that the February total may near January record-breaking amounts of U.S. LNG imported into Europe.

U.S. LNG exports are soaring to record levels and are expected to continue to surge as more export capacity comes online. Thanks to a growing number of U.S. LNG export projects coming into service, by the end of 2022, U.S. nominal capacity will increase to 11.4 billion cubic feet per day and peak capacity to 13.9 billion cu ft per day across seven LNG export facilities and 44 liquefaction trains, the Energy Information Administration said in December. That will be more than the respective capacities of Qatar and Australia, the other two largest LNG exporters in the world.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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