Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted April 26, 2019
Over the past few weeks, we’ve published a series of posts on the United States’ emergence as a major global natural gas exporter, including discussion of the benefits both at home and abroad (see here and here).
In this post, we’ll look at how the business of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is changing in exciting ways—ways that give customers around the world unprecedented flexibility and access to clean and reliable natural gas.
We’ll see that while some of these trends have been in motion for years, it’s been the introduction of U.S. LNG into the market that has really accelerated this shift. With multiple project developers pursuing a wide range of structures and technologies, it’s clear that the U.S. is once again at the forefront of innovation in this critical part of the world’s energy sector.
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 March 27, 2019
We’ve focused on the numerous domestic benefits from liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, which follow the United States’ emergence as a major LNG supplier to the world market. Now let’s explore the ways U.S. LNG can help other countries meet their most pressing energy and environmental challenges.
First, let’s note that U.S. LNG exports have grown rapidly in just a few years, with cargoes reaching 34 countries across five continents.
At the same time, global LNG demand has skyrocketed. As recently as 2009, demand totaled only 182 million metric tons per annum (MMTPA). In 2018, it hit a record 319 MMTPA, a 75 percent increase.
Posted March 25, 2019
For U.S. natural gas, the fourth quarter of 2018 ended with consumers benefiting from the lowest prices in nearly a year – despite the weakest inventories and coldest winter since 2014.
Indeed, recently we’ve seen natural gas prices as low as $2.56 per million Btu (Feb. 5, Bloomberg) corresponding with record high demand of 96.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) of marketed production for February 2019 and low inventories – 415 billion cubic feet below the five-year average range as of Feb. 1.
It’s remarkable, because this combination of factors ordinarily would raise natural gas prices. The fact that prices fell illustrates the vigor of domestic production, which has soared during the U.S. energy revolution.
Domestic abundance and affordability have been at the heart a truly amazing U.S. natural gas story – one that has seen U.S. producers meet domestic needs and also increase liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to friends and allies around the world.
Posted March 21, 2019
Earlier this year we noted federal projections that U.S. liquefied natural gas export capacity would reach almost 9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2019, with exports averaging 5.1 Bcf/d. Add to that crude oil and other liquids, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that the U.S. will export more energy than it imports by 2020 – for the first time since the 1950s.
The numbers take on even more significance as the context for U.S. energy leadership around the world. At the CERAWeek conference earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talked about the unique opportunity for U.S. energy to transform geopolitical realities and in the process make Americans safer.
Posted March 5, 2019
The International Energy Agency’s Fatih Birol regularly heralds the positive impacts of the American shale energy revolution (see here, here and here). All good, but U.S. shale’s global impact is just now starting to be felt, IEA’s executive director said last week.
During a global markets update at the U.S. Energy Department with Secretary Rick Perry, Birol said the United States will be responsible for about two-thirds of the growth in the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) export market. Of course, this reflects the abundance of domestic natural gas, largely produced from shale formations. Big-time global impact lies ahead, Birol said. Add to that environmental and climate progress, which we’ll get to in a bit.
Certainly, there’s every reason to believe U.S. natural gas and oil can meet or exceed global expectations. Soaring U.S. crude oil production has increased global supply, supporting the stability of global markets – while reducing weekly U.S. crude imports to their lowest level in 23 years (as of Feb. 22), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Posted February 22, 2019
A big win this week for U.S. liquid natural gas exports: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of the Calcasieu Pass liquid natural gas (LNG) export facility in Louisiana – marking an end to a two-year logjam on LNG export approvals while boosting American global energy leadership and signaling opportunity to European allies who’ve been beholden to Russia for natural gas.
The $4.5 billion Calcasieu Pass project near Cameron Parish will be able to export 10 million metric tons per annum of LNG per year. Venture Global first applied for FERC approval for the facility in 2015. About a dozen other proposed facilities await FERC approval. Now, perhaps, the end’s in sight.
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 January 3, 2019
A new chapter in U.S. natural gas exports is unfolding before our very eyes – and with it, strengthened American energy influence abroad, increased trade and support for domestic natural gas production and jobs.The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that 2019 will see U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export capacity will reach nearly 9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) by year’s end, up from EIA’s 2018 estimate of 4.9 Bcf/d. The U.S. would rank third in the world behind Australia and Qatar.
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.