Is United States No longer the World's leading LNG exporter?
- 10-May-2022 6:25 PM
- Journalist: Gabreilla Figueroa
Due to newly completed US terminals and record-high prices in Europe, the United States became the world's top LNG exporter for the first time in December 2021. The United States was a net importer of gas less than a decade ago, particularly from Canada. The mid-2010s fracking boom unleashed massive new volumes of domestic supplies, and the United States became a net exporter in 2017. Since then, US LNG export facilities have increased their capacity sixfold, keeping up with Australia's and Qatar's ports.
After briefly surpassing Qatar and Australia as the world's top LNG exporter, the US lost the top spot to Qatar in April, owing to lower volumes in the north and lower heating fuel demand. American LNG production declined effectively due to the end of the winter season and lower demand for heating fuel which negatively affected it position across the globe. With vows to help the European Union replace Russian gas and a new American export terminal slated to open soon, the United States might recover first place later this year.
The Biden administration has approved fresh export licences for projects under development, thanks to rising demand for US LNG, which will bring back its position soon. More LNG imports from two US plants under construction were approved by the Biden administration last week. Golden Pass LNG, situated in Texas and owned by Exxon and Qatar Petroleum, is one of these plants, with plans to begin operations in 2025. Magnolia LNG, owned by Glenfame Group LLC and scheduled to begin operations in 2027, is the second project.
The ramp-up launch of the Louisiana-based Calcasieu Pass export terminal, which is the seventh export terminal to commence production in the United States since 2016, will add to U.S. LNG shipments in the coming months. According to the EIA, this port can process 3.1 billion cubic feet per day and has two shipping docks that can carry up to 185,000 cubic metres.
According to the ChemAnalyst, with the possible efforts of the US government after the country lost its position as the top exporter, US is expected to reclaim its position in the near term.