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U.S. Set To Become Net Natural Gas Exporter By Year-End

LNG

The United States should become a net natural gas exporter by the end of 2017, according to the latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) today.

The U.S. has been a net exporter in three of the past four months, according to the agency’s data. The trend should continue until annual figures tally out in favor of the nation’s trade balance sheet.

The American natural gas sector took the top global production spot back in 2009, surpassing the industrial power of Russia. Total output stood at 72.5 billion cubic feet per day last year, compared to 55 Bcf/d back in 2008. Ninety-six percent of all production is consumed domestically, but a larger share is being prepped for exports to Asia as the Trump administration’s energy export strategy begins to take hold.

A pipeline to Mexico will help boost natural gas exports to the U.S.’ southern neighbor by 2019. Mexico City plans to increase it utilization of gas by 50 percent by the year 2020, creating more demand for American gas.

In March 212017, U.S. natural gas exports to Canada reached 3.21 billion cubic feet/day, nearly breaking a record of 3.25 Bcf/d set in 2012. Imports of Canadian natural gas, which reached a peak of 12 Bcf/d in 2007, were around 8 Bcf/d.

Related: Washington Mulls Over Additional Sanctions Against Venezuela

Liquified natural gas (LNG) is another booming field in the nation’s fossil fuel future. Five new liquefaction facilities are currently under production at Cove Point, Cameron, Elba Island, Freeport and Corpus Christi, carving out a sizable nook for the cost-effective transport of natural gas over ships via especially refrigerated ships.

“Based on construction plans, EIA expects that by 2020 the United States will have the third-largest LNG export capacity in the world after Australia and Qatar,” the report reiterated.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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