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Energy Tomorrow Blog

The Ups, Downs and Ups of 2020 Show Resilience of U.S. LNG Exports

lng exports  china 

Dustin Meyer

Dustin Meyer
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. 

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U.S. Natural Gas Propels the World’s Energy Progress

natural gas  lng exports  emission reductions 

API CEO Mike Sommers

Mike Sommers
Posted December 4, 2020

Americans benefit daily from homegrown natural gas, an increasingly essential component of the global energy mix and an affordable, efficient resource available to meet our nation’s long-term energy needs.

Nearly two-thirds of America’s energy consumption is made possible by natural gas and oil, and natural gas remains the leading fuel for U.S. power generation, accounting for about 38% of the nation’s electricity in 2019.

Remarkably, the economic competitiveness of natural gas has endured throughout 2020. Such durability has positioned the fuel to balance the challenges of economic recovery with the necessity of climate progress.

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France’s Faux Pas on Importing U.S. LNG

lng exports  emission reductions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 30, 2020

Natural gas has been the key to lowering U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, through coal-to-natural gas fuel switching in the power sector – no other nation has reduced them more since 2000. Coupled with the progress of U.S. operators in reducing production-related emissions, it’s unfortunate that the French government recently decided to delay a potential $7 billion deal for U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG), citing emissions.

The deal between French trading firm Engie and U.S. provider NextDecade for West Texas natural gas (converted to LNG in Brownsville) still might be signed, and let’s hope that happens.

Natural gas has been the critical difference-maker in cutting CO2 emissions in the U.S., lowering them to their lowest levels in a generation. It’s happening globally as well ...

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U.S. LNG Exports Fuel Natural Gas Consumption in South Asia

liquefied natural gas  lng exports  natural gas benefits 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted August 31, 2020

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is redefining the world’s modern energy mix. Even as the coronavirus and government responses to the pandemic have cut into natural gas demand, analysts project a progressive recovery and long-term growth for U.S. LNG – particularly in emerging markets – due to its enduring economic competitiveness and environmental benefits.

In South Asia, the affordability of American LNG is expected to increase consumption, displacing demand for coal, as countries such as India and Bangladesh seek out reliable, lower-carbon energy resources.

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Study Shows Natural Gas' Vital Role in Reducing Global Emissions

lng exports  emission reductions  climate 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 9, 2020

Exporting U.S. natural gas via liquefied natural gas (LNG) has a big advantage over coal in lowering greenhouse gas emissions in electricity generation, according to a new study by ICF, (summarized here).

The analysis certainly quantifies what we’ve discussed before (see here and here) – that using clean natural gas to generate electricity significantly lowers GHG emissions compared to the emissions levels of coal-fired generation – on average, by 50.5%, according to ICF’s research.

GHGs include carbon dioxide from the fuel itself as well as CO2, methane, nitrous oxide and other gases emitted during the construction and operation of related fuel supply chain and power plant infrastructure.

The findings support the view that exported LNG gives the United States, the world’s leading natural gas producer, a golden opportunity to strengthen its global environmental and climate leadership.

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API Standards Support LNG Exports, Future Economic Recovery

api standards program  lng exports  economic growth 

Debra Phillips

Debra Phillips
Posted June 15, 2020

During this moment of public health and economic uncertainty, the natural gas and oil industry has taken steps to ensure the integrity of our products and develop new standards that add value for our customers, while bolstering efficiency and sustainability throughout the supply chain.

API has focused squarely on the thriving U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) market through our voluntary standards program, and we believe that our best practices and engineering standards are essential to the future of the U.S. LNG export market.

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U.S. Natural Gas Can Support a Low-Emission Economic Recovery

natural gas  emission reductions  lng exports  global markets 

Dustin Meyer

Dustin Meyer
Posted May 11, 2020

With the global economy reeling, affordable natural gas is more important than ever.

U.S. emergence as a major energy producer means the natural gas market has never been more flexible, more reliable or more adaptable to changing conditions – including a global pandemic. Millions benefit daily from the use of natural gas in power generation and home heating, and when the world begins to safely return to normal, U.S. natural gas is positioned to balance our economic recovery with environmental progress.

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Buying American (Energy), Storage and Recovery

china  trade  exports  demand  supply 

Mark Green

Mark Green
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.


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Largest, Most Competitive Natural Gas Market Benefits Consumers

natural gas  consumers  energy exports 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted February 3, 2020

So far this year, U.S. natural gas prices at Henry Hub have made for the lowest January record in over 45 years, adjusted for consumer price inflation. 

As of Jan. 29, the U.S. natural gas spot price at Henry Hub was $1.94 per million Btu – nearly 35% below the price of one year ago and 76% lower than in 2008.

In fact, we know from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that U.S. households saved an average of more than $120 per year on natural gas in 2018 compared with 2008. That’s $10 per month for more than 127,000,000 households – or $52 billion less spending on home and water heating.


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Energy Export Growth Hinges on Further Progress in U.S.-China Trade Talks

china  energy exports  trade 

Jessica  Lutz

Jessica Lutz
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.


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