LNG is projected to dominate U.S. natural gas exports by the early-2020s, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration.
Export capacity has been the main driver in 2017 and is expected to remain so in 2018, with more than $88bn in LNG projects are currently planned, being built or in operation across the U.S.
The US stands to become the world’s third-largest exporter by 2020, when it’s expected to ship about 8.3 billion cubic feet a day of capacity, or 14% of the world’s share, according to Energy Aspects Ltd. After 2020, U.S. exports of LNG grow at a more modest rate as U.S.-sourced LNG becomes less competitive in global energy markets.
The House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing at the end of February on “Liquefied Natural Gas and U.S. Geopolitics” examining the impact of LNG exports on national and international security. At the close of the hearing, Sean Strawbridge, Port of Corpus Christi CEO, released the following statement:
“We applaud Subcommittee Chairman Paul Gosar for his leadership in convening this important discussion. Given the extent of our resource wealth, it makes sense for the U.Ss to meet our allies’ natural gas needs and lessen the ability of unfriendly foreign nations who use energy supply as a geopolitical weapon. Increased LNG exports will be a boon for the U.S. economy.
“As the nation’s largest exporter of crude oil, we have seen the value and economic impact of energy exports. Our $327m channel expansion project — which was approved in the President’s 2019 budget — and the ongoing Harbor Bridge replacement project will position the port for additional growth in the future with LNG export facilities as well.”
He cited the work of companies like Cheniere and Tellurian who are developing projects that stand to position the U.S. as a dominant force in the global energy markets.
“We hope that our policymakers continue to recognize the importance of these projects and what they represent for our future security.”
The hearing featured representatives from Cheniere Energy and Tellurian Inc. On Feb 9, 2018, Cheniere announced a pair of LNG sale and purchase agreements with China National Petroleum Corporation. The deal will result in Cheniere — in part, through Corpus Christi Liquefaction — providing 1.2 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas to the Chinese company annually.
In 2017, the U.S. became a net exporter of LNG for the first time since 1957. Earlier this month, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) found in its 2018 Annual Energy Outlook that American LNG export facilities will play a key role in meeting global demand and driving continued domestic natural gas production.