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 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.
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 ...
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.
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.
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.
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.
Posted November 1, 2019
The U.S. as a global leader in natural gas exports is underlined by a new government report showing that through the first six months of this year, U.S. net natural gas exports averaged 4.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) – more than doubling 2018’s average net exports. This follows analysis that the U.S. became a net exporter of natural gas on an annual basis for the first time in 60 years in 2017.
These figures are significant for a number of reasons:
First, they attest to the strength of domestic natural gas production, which continues to set records – largely thanks to shale production enabled by safe hydraulic fracturing. … Second, expanding markets for U.S. natural gas helps support more domestic production – which means jobs, investments and other economic growth.Third, growing exports of clean natural gas means other nations may realize the environmental benefits from increased use of natural gas.
Posted September 27, 2019
A pair of new, positive developments on the emissions/climate front. First, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will decline 2.5% this year. Second, a new Energy Department report on the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions associated with U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports confirms the environmental benefits of natural gas vs. coal – significant given expanding markets in Asia and Europe for U.S. LNG.
Both are very important. EIA’s CO2 projection, along with the projected 4.9% increase in natural gas consumed for power generation relative to 2018, underscores the point that increased use of natural gas in fueling power generation lowers CO2 emissions, and that the recent trend of the U.S. recording the lowest CO2 levels in a generation will continue.
Posted August 28, 2019
U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) – growing to a record 4.8 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) in the third quarter of 2019 – have been a catalyst for new natural gas resource development, U.S. pipeline and natural gas processing investments and the U.S. economy. ...
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects U.S. LNG exports to more than double again by 2025, which holds the potential for even greater domestic economic benefits, plus a central, emerging role for U.S. energy leadership in global markets.Realizing these benefits is critically dependent on the United States’ ability to build and deliver an unprecedented number of multi-billion-dollar U.S. mega-projects over the next several years. When ”demographics are destiny” and the average age of a welder in the U.S. already is over 57 years, we should remain optimistic about the potential to build these projects but also pragmatic about the policies and business environment needed to achieve the goals.