Record gas exports for U.S. in the first half of 2023

LNG drives growth

The United States exported more natural gas in the first half of 2023 than it did in the same period of any previous year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Natural gas exports averaged 20.4 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), 4% (0.8 Bcf/d) more than in 1H22, according to the EIA’s Natural Gas Monthly.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports largely drove the continued growth in total natural gas exports, although natural gas exports by pipeline also increased. The United States began exporting LNG from the Lower 48 states in 2016 when Sabine Pass LNG—the first LNG export terminal in the Lower 48 states—came online.

The United States became a net natural gas exporter (natural gas exports exceeded natural gas imports) in 2017 for the first time since 1957. In May 2023, U.S. net natural gas exports as LNG and by pipeline averaged a monthly record of 13.6 Bcf/d.

In the first half of 2023, U.S. LNG exports averaged 11.6 Bcf/d, making the United States the world’s top LNG exporting country. U.S. LNG exports in 1H23 increased 4% (0.5 Bcf/d) compared with the same period in 2022, despite declining in May and June. During the same period, U.S. natural gas pipeline exports to Canada and Mexico increased 4% (0.3 Bcf/d) compared with the first half of 2022, averaging 8.8 Bcf/d. Net natural gas exports by pipeline, particularly to Mexico, contributed to record-high natural gas exports. U.S. natural gas exports by pipeline to Mexico reached a monthly high of 6.8 Bcf/d in June and accounted for about 66% of total U.S. pipeline exports from January through June.

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