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The US is transitioning into a natural gas exporter

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The United States is on track to become a net exporter of gas next year, driven largely by the growth of liquefied natural gas exports, according to the U.S. Energy Department.

The U.S. started exporting LNG last year, courtesy of Houston-based Cheniere Energy, and the country is increasingly piping more natural gas to Mexico while, simultaneously, importing less gas via pipeline from Canada. The U.S. was still an overall net importer last year.

The nation is projected to become a net exporter of total energy products shortly after 2020, the Energy Department said, which was a virtually unheard of proposition just a decade ago.

Cheniere’s first LNG export facility at Louisiana’s Sabine Pass near the Texas border came online a year ago. Houston-based Freeport LNG Development’s export terminal is slated to start shipping LNG in 2018. Three other LNG export projects will be completed or under construction by 2021, including Cheniere’s other facility near Corpus Christi.

Because of the U.S. projects and a glut of new LNG exports from Australia, the world is projected to remain oversupplied with LNG beyond 2020, according to a new Moody’s Investors Service report. Likewise, the two largest LNG customers, Japan and South Korea, are expected to either have their demand decrease or remain flat.

China, India and other emerging markets will require more LNG in the future, but global demand won’t catch up with production until after 2020, Moody’s projects. After all, total new LNG global supplies will surge 44 percent from 2015 to 2020.

However, the U.S. will keep exporting more natural gas by pipeline to Mexico to feed power plants for electricity generation. U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico have doubled since 2009 and will continue growing through 2020. Several pipeline projects are currently under construction.


19 Comments on "The US is transitioning into a natural gas exporter"

  1. rockman on Thu, 23rd Feb 2017 2:42 pm 

    US NG imports reached a trough low of 200 bcf in April 2014 and have been on a modest increasing trend since then. 2014 = 2,695 bcf and 2015 = 2,718 bcf.

    NG imports from Canada reached a trough low of 192 bcf in June 2014 and since then been on a modest increasing trend to 221 bcf in Nov 2016.

    All stats from the EIA:

  2. Nony on Thu, 23rd Feb 2017 4:16 pm 

    Exports have grown over the same time frame, Rock. What you need to look at is the net of imports and exports.

    What does that curve look like?


  3. dissident on Thu, 23rd Feb 2017 5:56 pm 

    Higher domestic gas prices here we come, yipee!

    If you think natural gas is not important because you don’t use any, then you are clueless. Your electricity bill will increase so that some stock pump and dump shysters can get off on

  4. Apneaman on Thu, 23rd Feb 2017 6:31 pm 

    Well who the hell needs to import NatGas from Canada with the new and improved spring time that now starts in late January with thousands of record high temps and dozens of wildfire in February? If folks want to warm up the house in February they just open a window now. Canadian cancer is not worried because they know US demand will go back up and reach never seen before levels only instead of burning it for winter heating it will be burnt in all the new *emergency* cogen plants generating electricity for year round A/C.

  5. rockman on Thu, 23rd Feb 2017 6:46 pm 

    Nony – “What you need to look at is the net of imports and exports.” No, I don’t. You need to look at the curve of NG exports from Canada to to US to confirm that the statement “…importing less gas via pipeline from Canada” is a crock of sh*t. LOL. Please try to pay closer attention.

  6. coffeeguyzz on Thu, 23rd Feb 2017 7:09 pm 

    Ground is right now being broken in PA for the Mariner East 2 pipeline to ship near 275,000 bbl/d NGLs to Marcus Hook. Expected to be operational in a few months.
    In addition to the 20″ ME2, a second line, 16″ Mariner East 2 Expansion (ME 2X), is being emplaced simultaneous to ME 2.
    Total shipping capacity will exceed half million barrels a day.
    The wet gas areas of PA, OH, and WV have ethane component regularly in excess of 40% total volume.
    Just as natgas will be produced as associated products to oil, the high NGL commitments should ensure robust production from the Appalachian Basin far off into the future.

  7. Go Speed Racer on Thu, 23rd Feb 2017 8:01 pm 

    Here is how it works.
    Red neck farmer in middle of nowhere,
    votes for Trump.
    Next, Trump makes it legal to poison the
    groundwater with fracking.

    Now the fracking company comes in, and
    poisons the farmer’s groundwater.
    They export all the natural gas, to
    rich Chinese business men.

    Now the groundwater is poisoned and the
    Redneck farmer cannot farm his land anymore.
    He moves to the city, panhandles at an
    intersection, eventually gets shot or run over.

    And that’s how Trump will make America Great Again.

    Oh, gee,

  8. Anonymous on Thu, 23rd Feb 2017 9:04 pm 

    Arent shootings and hit and runs good for amerikas GDP? The victims will require expensive hospitalization which they can’t afford if they live, and if they don’t, they will give a needed boost to the funeral sector. A win-win, for the uS economy. Panhandlers are also good for pepper-spray and attack dog sales and accessories if no one is available to run them over or shoot them.

  9. antaris on Thu, 23rd Feb 2017 9:27 pm 

    Go,aren’t you missing the lawyer in there somewhere?

  10. makati1 on Thu, 23rd Feb 2017 10:22 pm 

    Anon, Everything is good for the GDP. Floods, fires, divorces, marriages, deaths and especially obesity and illness. Prostitution, rape, unwed mothers, prisons, gun sales, safe sales, and on and on. A healthy, safe, well governed nation is not good for business.

  11. GregT on Thu, 23rd Feb 2017 10:33 pm 

    ‘A healthy, safe, well governed nation is not good for business.”

    Maybe that’s why your fellow Americans voted in The Donald™.

    Make American GDP Great Again!

  12. makati1 on Thu, 23rd Feb 2017 11:19 pm 

    Well, he IS a business man. lol

  13. Nony on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 1:17 am 

    US is doing in excess of 70 BCF/day. With less than 150 gas rigs running. That is a SHALE GALE.

  14. coffeeguyzz on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 4:52 am 

    The recent production numbers out of the Appalachian Basin have been exceptionally strong.
    EQT is dedicating one rig this year to drill 6 to 8 Deep Utica wells (13,000′ +/-) and using all ceramic proppant in hopes of cracking the code for future development.

    They are also drilling 91 Upper Devonian wells in 2017 as these wells are now regularly producing a couple billion c.f. first year online.

    Potter county, PA – the forgotten north central area – just had 3 more Utica wells come online in December.

    The are about a dozen and a half Marcellus wells flowing over 20 MMcfd.
    It was only recently that a 24 hour IP over 20 MMcf was considered big news.

    3rd quarter Ohio production had nearly 60 wells produce over 1 Bcf.
    The 4 well Cravat pad from Ascent produced over 6 Bcf.
    These highly productive pads are becoming the normal feature in the Appalachian Basin with multi billion cubic feet output per MONTH from 4/6 newly turned online wells.

  15. Nony on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 6:30 am 

    Most companies are holding off on Deep Utica. Too pricey. Higher NPV to just drill Marcellus (or Ohio, shallower, Utica). See the RICE and Range conference calls.

    Also, Potter county Utica seems like 2 year old news. Really anything new there?

  16. Davy on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 7:04 am 

    The anti-Americans can’t stand any positive American news. LOL. Hydrocarbons are survival and your survival because you are global. If you think you can decouple from them and blame them on others then you are circle jerking. You boys just want to blame others for what you are a part of and depend on but feel ashamed of. Why do you mentally squirm it demonstrates your feelings of a failed message?

  17. Coffeeguyzz on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 11:25 am 


    The Deep Utica will be avoided in the near future except for Consol and EQT.
    Interesting thing about EQzT’s stance is that they are willing to pay for the ‘science’ while getting operational expertise.

    As per Enno’s excellent charts on total cum output, both the Scotts Run and the Gaut rank very high.
    Considering there are only a dozen Deep Utica versus thousands of Marcellus wells, it speaks loudly of the high productivity of this formation.

    Re Potter … you thinking of Tioga county, next one over to the east?
    The very first Potter Utica is only 13 months online, productive (3 Bcf) Sweden Valley.
    Three more just came online mid Dec., 2016.

    Tioga continues to show steady improvement with SWEPI’s newer wells showing higher output.
    There are about two dozen Utica wells in Tioga.

  18. kanon on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 12:43 pm 

    We export a lot of natural gas by simply venting it into the atmosphere. Does anyone know if there is any real-time monitoring? I know atmosphere concentrations can be measured, but I have seen video with a secial camera that shows the natural gas wafting into the atmosphere.

  19. Nony on Fri, 24th Feb 2017 1:19 pm 

    Just doesn’t seem like it is taking off, man. You got one driller doing a rig or less in Potter. A guy who is interested in keeping his finger in the play somehow. Haven’t heard much followup or acceleration from Shell in Tioga. Haven’t heard about other drillers jumping in. Whole thing seems very dormant to me. Usually plays have some acceleration. And gas prices in NE PENN are in the tank. And Cabot can probably do as well or better per well in their Marcellus acreage (the best of it), with less cost.

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