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The United States is now the world’s LNG exporter, after overtaking Australia and Qatar, according to new data compiled and shared by Bloomberg on Tuesday.
The United States exported 91.2 million metric tons of LNG last year, after the country’s primary export facility, Freeport LNG, resumed operations after an eight-month hiatus following a fire in June 2022. Meanwhile, EU countries were looking to reduce their reliance on Russian gas and compensate for Russia’s curtailment of pipeline gas into Europe.
Australia was the second-leading LNG exporter in 2023, while Qatar, the leading LNG exporter in 2022, reduced its exports by 1.9% in 2023, came in third.
This year is shaping up to be another banner year for U.S. LNG. Venture Global LNG Inc. is set to start up a new Plaquemines LNG facility in Louisiana, and ExxonMobil and QatarEnergy are set to start up Golden Pass, an LNG facility in Texas. In the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest edition of its Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO), U.S. LNG exports are set to increase to 12.36 billion cubic feet per day, up from an estimated 11.81 billion cubic feet per day in 2023, and 10.59 billion cubic feet per day in 2022.
The Netherlands, the UK, and France were the main destinations for U.S. LNG exports in the first half of 2023, according to the EIA. In the first six months of 2023, Europe and the UK’s LNG imports exceeded imports by pipeline for the first time on record, data from Refinitiv Eikon shows. In December, Europe remained the main destination for U.S. LNG at 61% of the total exported. Asia is the second-largest export market for U.S. LNG.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.