US LNG exports hit the heights

Monday, 01 August 2022
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Eighteen LNGCs left the US between 21st July and 27th July, according to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) weekly report, using data from Bloomberg Finance.

Seven vessels sailed from Sabine Pass, four from Corpus Christi, three from Cameron, two from Calcasieu Pass, and one each from Cove Point and Elba Island.

They had a combined LNG carrying capacity of 67 bill cu ft.

In addition last week, Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass received approval from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to introduce hazardous fluids to Liquefaction Block 9. 

This permit is among the last ones needed in the commissioning process for the terminal to operate all 18 liquefaction trains, the EIA said.

The agency also revealed that the US became the world’s largest LNG exporter in the first half of 2022, according to data from CEDIGAZ. 

Compared with the second half of 2021, US LNG exports increased by 12% in the first half of this year, to average 11.2 bill cu ft per day. 

US LNG exports continued to grow for three reasons—increased LNG export capacity, increased international natural gas and LNG prices, and increased global demand, particularly in Europe, the  administration said.

According to its estimates, installed US LNG export capacity has expanded by 1.9 bill cu ft per day nominal (2.1 bill peak) since November, 2021. 

As of July, 2022, the EIA estimated that US LNG liquefaction capacity averaged 11.4 bill cu ft per day (13.6 bill peak), increasing to 13.9 bill peak capacity once all of the LNG trains at the new Calcasieu Pass LNG achieve full production.

International natural gas and LNG prices hit record highs in the last quarter of 2021 and first half of 2022. Prices at the Title Transfer Facility (TTF) in the Netherlands have been trading at record highs since October, 2021, averaging $30.94 per MMBtu during the first half of 2022. 

LNG spot prices in Asia have also been high, averaging $29.50 per MMBtu during the same period, the administration said. 

Most of the US LNG exports went to the EU and the UK during the first five months of this year, accounting for 64%, or 7.3 bill cu ft per day. 

Including Turkey, US LNG exports to Europe accounted for 71% (8.1 bill cu ft per day) of the total exports. Similar to 2021, the US accounted for most of EU and UK imports during the first half of this year, providing 47% of the 14.8 bill cu ft per day total LNG imported, followed by Qatar (15%), Russia (14%), and six African countries aggregating 19%.

However, last June, exports fell by 11%, mainly as a result of the unplanned outage at Freeport LNG. 

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