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Annual US LNG exports set To Exceed Pipeline Gas Exports in 2022
Oil & Gas | 19 February 2021

According to the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) February 2021 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) out of the United States are set to exceed America’s gross natural gas exports via pipeline in the first and fourth quarters of 2021 and on an annual basis in 2022.

After recovering at the end of last year from the pandemic-imposed slump in global energy demand and depressed gas prices, LNG exports are set to remain strong this year.

Monthly US LNG exports exceeded natural gas exports by pipeline by nearly 1.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in November 2020, according to EIA’s Natural Gas Monthly. LNG exports have only exceeded natural gas exports by pipeline once since 1998 – in April 2020, by 0.01 Bcf/d.

US LNG exports laid consecutive monthly records of 9.4 Bcf/d in November and of 9.8 Bcf/d in both December 2020 and January 2021, according to EIA’s estimates based on the shipping data that was provided by Bloomberg Finance, L.P. EIA predicted that US LNG gross exports will average around 9.7 Bcf/d in February 2021 before decreasing to seasonal lows in the months of the spring and fall seasons.

U.S. LNG exports attained an all-time high, owing to retrieve global gas demand and prices and impromptu outages at LNG export facilities outside the U.S. in November. According to the EIA estimates, the U.S. exported an overall of 9.4 Bcf/d of LNG in November 2020, beating the previous record set in January 2020, when exports had added upto 8.1 Bcf/d.

In the first eleven months of 2020, US pipeline exports to Mexico increased by 6.4% as differentiated with the same period in 2019 as a result of the completion of a new segment of the Wahalajara pipeline system in June and the Cempoala compressor station in September. The finalization of Mexico’s Samalayuca-Sásabe pipeline (0.47 Bcf/d capacity) in January 2021 and the expected completion of the Tula-Villa de Reyes pipeline (0.89 Bcf/d capacity) later this year are anticipated to further increase US pipeline exports to Mexico.

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