The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) that the U.S. will become a major liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter in the next 20 years. The EIA note confirms what many industry players have been forecasting in recent days.
The United States is expected to become a net exporter of natural gas on an average annual basis by 2018, according to the recently released Annual Energy Outlook 2017 (AEO2017) Reference case.
The transition to net exporter is driven by declining pipeline imports, growing pipeline exports, and increasing exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). In most AEO2017 cases, the United States is also projected to become a net exporter of total energy in the 2020s in large part because of increasing natural gas exports.
The US started exporting shale gas in the form of LNG in February this year from Cheniere’s Sabine Pass liquefaction plant in Lousiana.
Four more LNG export facilities being developed along the US Gulf Coast are scheduled to be completed by 2020 making the US the world’s third largest LNG supplier with an export capacity of about 60 mt.
Shell, which bet big on LNG when it acquired BG Group for $50 billion last year, released its first LNG Outlook report on 20 February. Shell predicts strong LNG growth, with total LNG trade increasing by fifty percent by 2020.