LNG continues to lead growth in US gas exports over next two years

Friday, 05 May 2023
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Growth in US gas exports will be driven by LNG, with shipped volumes forecast at 12.1 bcf/d in 2023, a 14 percent rise year-on-year. Falling LNG prices due to mild winter temperatures incentivise price-sensitive buyers in Southeast Asia to increase imports, while the return of Freeport LNG and three new US export projects due commissioned in 2024 will boost supply. 

Come 2024, LNG exports are likely to rise by an additional 5 percent, or 0.7 bcf/d, analysts at the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted with a view to the commissioning and start-up of the Golden Pass, Corpus Christi Stage-3 and Plaquemines LNG export projects. These three projects will add a combined 5.7 bcf/d by 2025, when they will be ramped up to full capacity.

Golden Pass LNG is building standard-size liquefaction trains with peak LNG production capacity of up to 0.8 bcf/d per train. In contrast, the other two projects under construction, Plaquemines LNG and Corpus Christi Stage III, use a modular technology with mid-scale refrigeration trains, which has a shorter project construction timeline.

The return of the Freeport LNG, which had to shut down in June 2022 due to a fire, also helps boost supply. The terminal can produce 2.14 bcf/d of LNG on a peak day and EIA analysts expect that once all three trains at Freeport will return to service, total US LNG capacity will exceed 12 bcf/d. Exports are bound to increase further, to approximately 14 bcf/d, by December 2024 because some LNG export projects under construction are expected to start operations by then.

Pipeline gas exports, meanwhile, are anticipated to grow by 0.5 bcf/d in both this year and in 2024 amid higher export capacity to Mexico. Several new pipelines – the Tula-Villa de Reyes, Guaymas-El Oro, the Mayakan pipeline on the Yucatán Peninsula, as well as some other minor interconnects – are scheduled to come online in 2023–24. EIA analysts expect an increase in exports via the Sur de Texas-Tuxpan underwater pipeline to supply the proposed floating liquefaction (FLNG) project off the east coast of Mexico. 

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