Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted February 5, 2021
We learned some important things about U.S.-exported liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the whiplashing of natural gas markets last year – from record highs at the start of the year to an unexpected drop by midyear and then back to record highs in 2020’s final months as demand came roaring back.
First, the extreme ups, downs and ups of 2020 underscored two of the characteristic strengths of the U.S. LNG export industry – its flexibility to changes in demand and its resiliency in the face of immense market challenges.
Second, the rapid rebound of U.S. LNG exports from deep troughs in the middle of the year emphatically answered questions raised by some about the long-term viability of natural gas demand.
Third, forecasts that the business case for U.S. LNG exports were permanently harmed, as price indices converged last year, now seem premature.
And fourth, the sharp decrease in demand from the pandemic looks like an outlier, not the new normal.
Posted April 23, 2020
While the natural gas and oil industry focuses on challenges from the historic drop in oil demand due to the impacts of COVID-19, keep an eye on proposals that offer the best support for this industry and, in turn, the U.S. economy and American consumers.
One idea among many – including addressing storage issues and ensuring access to capital – is to look to China as a potential buyer of U.S. energy. Makes sense: In an oversupplied global market, China appears to be a buyer. What’s more, in the “Phase 1” trade deal announced in January, China agreed to buy U.S. crude and liquefied natural gas (LNG), among other energy products.
Today, API sent a letter to the U.S. Commerce and Energy departments and the U.S. Trade Representative to suggest that some good might come from following up with China to buy U.S. energy. The letter notes that U.S. energy exports to targeted markets are essential to help with oversupply and storage issues here at home.
Posted January 23, 2020
The phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China is a step in the right direction for U.S. energy, increasing market stability and setting the stage for future negotiations. However, much more still needs to be done to restore U.S. energy export growth to China and repair damage brought on by the lengthy dispute – points made by API’s Aaron Padilla, senior advisor for international policy, in a Wall Street Journal interview earlier this week.
Posted August 26, 2019
News item: China announces retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, including a first-ever tariffs on U.S. crude oil imports. In response, President Trump says previously announced tariffs on Chinese goods will go up. The U.S.-China trade war churns on and with it, there’s significant collateral damage.
We discussed the impacts before – the way trade restrictions threaten U.S. competitiveness and global energy leadership, the drag on the U.S. economy and how the administration’s tariffs hurt U.S. consumers, not China. The latest trade tit-for-tat is similarly damaging.
Posted August 21, 2019
U.S. crude oil exports are reaching a record 31 countries, and exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) are set to jump a projected 63 percent this year – boosting American jobs and adding stability to global markets.
But the ongoing trade war puts growing markets for U.S. energy exports at risk.
Posted July 11, 2019
Exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) are set to jump a projected 72 percent this year compared to 2018, and the emergence of the U.S. as one of the world’s largest LNG suppliers is good news for the American economy. Research shows LNG exports could generate up to 452,000 U.S. jobs, and add up to $74 billion annually to U.S. GDP, by 2035.
The environmental benefits are no less significant.
Posted May 8, 2019
We can’t say it enough: U.S. consumers, not China, are paying the costs of the administration’s tariffs on Chinese goods – which the administration says will increase on Friday to 25 percent on $200 billion in goods, up from the current 10 percent.As we’ve noted here, here and here, Americans are the ones hurt by tariffs, which essentially are a tax on consumer goods that millions of U.S. families use.
Posted April 5, 2019
In this third post on the benefits of the United States’ emergence as a major global natural gas exporter (see parts one and two), we continue looking abroad to evaluate the key liquefied natural gas (LNG) importing markets that are driving global demand growth.
We’ll see that in all of these markets, U.S. LNG can deliver a plethora of economic and environmental benefits, including better local air quality and enhanced access to reliable and affordable energy. The challenge is immense – globally, nearly 1 billion people still don’t have access to electricity, while an additional 1.2 billion have only intermittent access – but LNG, including from the U.S., has emerged as a critical part of the solution.
In other words, LNG is now delivering globally many of the same benefits the U.S. has enjoyed for decades.
Posted January 14, 2019
The U.S. set new natural gas and oil production and export records in the fourth quarter of 2018, even as the administration's trade war with China continued to escalate. As 2018 trade figures have become clear, an emerging consequence was decreased U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes to China, which fell by around 20 percent from 2017, as these shipments became subject to a 10 percent Chinese import tariff effective Sept. 24.
Americans should care about the health of these U.S. natural gas exports because growing markets for domestic natural gas can generate economic growth at home by helping stimulate additional natural gas development, more than is needed to supply domestic demand; attract multi-billion-dollar U.S. investments in infrastructure – including pipelines, natural gas processing, LNG liquefaction, export facilities and shipping – and the high-quality jobs and wages that accompany these; and more.
Posted August 8, 2018
A couple of observations on China’s announcement late last week that it may impose a 25 percent tariff on U.S. shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to that country – which would be in retaliation for announced U.S. tariffs on certain Chinese goods coming into this country.
First, China was the third-largest importer of U.S. LNG in 2017, accounting for nearly 15 percent of our LNG exports, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). As those numbers indicate, this exchange of tariffs could leave a mark as far as U.S. energy exports are concerned. ...
If U.S. energy exports are restricted – at the same time trade policies have been adopted that increase the cost of the steel our industry uses – there’s a risk of significantly affecting a sector that has been a driving force for economic growth. It’s a big price to pay.