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Shale Boom Slashes U.S. Gas Imports

EIA says net value at nearly 20-year low


The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said booming shale gas production has depressed the value of net U.S. gas imports because the prices and volumes of Canadian and liquefied natural gas have plunged.

It said in 2012, the value of U.S. natural gas imports via pipeline fell to its lowest level since 1995. Net pipeline import volumes in 2013 were 7% lower than in 2012. However, because gas prices increased relative to their 2012 low point, the value of net natural gas imports via pipelines rose in 2013.

“When accounting for the 34% decrease in the dollar value of LNG imports between 2012 and 2013, however, the dollar value of natural gas net imports in 2013 actually declined 14% compared to 2012,” EIA said.

The agency added that the decline in the value of net natural gas imports is particularly noteworthy, given that the volume of U.S. natural gas consumption has been increasing since 2005, in contrast to the consumption of oil, which has been flat or declining.

It said the United States will become a net exporter of gas (in both value and volume terms) later this decade as LNG and Mexican exports grow and Canadian imports continue to slip.

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