U.S. Natural Gas Exports Up 8% In First Quarter
08 June 2018
U.S. exports of natural gas, including exports via pipeline and as liquefied natural gas (LNG), were up 8% in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period last year, according to EIA’s most recent Natural Gas Monthly report.
Exports averaged 9.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in the first quarter of this year, or 0.7 Bcf/d more than in the first quarter of 2017, and 3.8 Bcf/d (66%) more than in the first quarter of 2016.
The United States was a net exporter of natural gas in the first quarter of 2018, with net exports averaging 0.6 Bcf/d. In 2017 as a whole, the United States was a net exporter of natural gas for the first time since 1957. Both LNG exports and pipeline exports have contributed to this shift in natural gas exports.
Since the beginning of 2016, four trains at the Sabine Pass liquefaction terminal in Louisiana have come online (total peak nameplate liquefaction capacity of 2.8 Bcf/d) as has the Cove Point liquefaction terminal in Maryland (0.8 Bcf/d peak nameplate capacity). The amount of U.S. natural gas exported as LNG averaged 2.6 Bcf/d equivalent in the first quarter of 2018, 1.0 Bcf/d (62%) more than in the same period last year.
U.S. exports to Mexico via pipeline have also been increasing; Mexico pipeline exports averaged 4.3 Bcf/d in the first three months of 2018, compared to 4.1 Bcf/d in the first three months of 2017, and 3.3 Bcf/d in the first three months of 2016. Exports to Mexico are expected to continue to increase as more natural gas-fired power plants come online in Mexico.