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After briefly surpassing Qatar and Australia as the world’s top LNG exporter, the United States lost the top slot to Qatar in April as volumes in the north dropped along with heating fuel demand, Bloomberg reports.
Bloomberg data now shows that Qatar exported 7.5 million metric tons of LNG in April.
American LNG production was somewhat reduced in April, Bloomberg notes, due to the end of the winter season and lower demand for heating fuel.
With promises to help the European Union replace Russian gas and a new American export terminal due to come online soon, however, the U.S. could once again reclaim the top spot later in the year.
In March, U.S. LNG exports rose 16%, according to Reuters.
Soaring demand for U.S. LNG has now rebooted export projects that had previously languished, and the Biden administration has approved new export licenses for projects under development.
Last week, the Biden administration authorized more LNG shipments from two U.S. plants under development. The move came as Russia cut off gas to Poland and Bulgaria for refusal to pay in roubles.
One of those plants is Texas-based Golden Pass LNG, which is owned by Exxon and Qatar Petroleum and is expected to go online in 2025. The second is the Louisiana-based Magnolia LNG, owned by Glenfame Group LLC and expected to launch in 2027.
Another factor adding to U.S. LNG exports in the coming months will be the ramp-up launch, on April 29, of the Louisiana-based Calcasieu Pass export terminal, which is the seventh export terminal to begin production in the United States since 2016. This terminal can turn around 3.1 billion cubic feet per day, according to the EIA, with two shipping berths that can load up to 185,000 cubic meters.
Calcasieu shipped its first LNG on March 1st, and natural gas deliveries to the terminal have steadily increased since the beginning of the year. Three blocks are still awaiting approval at this plant, expected by year’s end.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.