The U.S. became the world leader in liquefied natural gas exports during the first half of 2022 as high global prices, the European energy crisis, and new U.S. export facilities drove record shipments, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
U.S. LNG export capacity averaged 11.2 Bcf/d during the first six months of 2022, the EIA said in a July 25 report.
The EIA estimated that U.S. natural gas liquefaction capacity averaged 11.4 Bcf/d as of July, with a peak capacity of 13.9 Bcf/d across the seven major LNG export facilities: Cheniere Energy Inc.'s Sabine Pass in Louisiana, the Berkshire Hathaway Inc.-operated Cove Point in Maryland, Cheniere's Corpus Christi Liquefaction in Texas, Sempra's Cameron LNG in Louisiana, Kinder Morgan Inc.'s Elba Liquefaction in Georgia, Freeport LNG Development LP's plant in Texas, and Venture Global LNG's Calcasieu Pass in Louisiana, the agency said.
The capacity estimates were in line with predictions that the EIA made in December 2021. At the time, the agency said U.S. LNG exports at full capacity would surpass world leaders Australia and Qatar, which export 11.4 Bcf/d and 10.3 Bcf/d, respectively. Global demand for LNG at the time of the forecast was already strong.
Most of the first-half 2022 shipments from the U.S. went to Europe, where demand for LNG has surged because of security of supply concerns following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in late February. The Ukraine crisis exacerbated market dynamics that had seen gas supplies tightening since mid-2021. Benchmark gas prices in Europe are several times higher than they were a year earlier.
More: US became world's biggest LNG exporter in 1st half of 2022 – EIA