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US net gas exports expected to nearly double by 2021

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the gap between gas exports and imports in the United States is expected to widen in 2020 and 2021: US gas exports should exceed gas imports by an average 7.3 bcf/d (around 206 mcm/d or 75 bcm/year) in 2020 and by 8.9 bcf/d (252 mcm/d, or 92 bcm/year) in 2021.

In 2019, gas exports (deliveries to LNG export terminals and pipeline exports to Mexico) accounted for 12% of gas production. The increase in gas exports will be spurred by pipeline exports to Mexico and by new LNG plants starting operations. The recent commissioning of the Sur de Texas–Tuxpan gas pipeline between Texas and the southern Mexican state of Veracruz contributed to raise the gas export capacity to Mexico and new gas pipelines in Mexico should boost imports from the US in 2020. US LNG exports, which more than doubled in 2019, are expected to increase again as new liquefaction units will be commissioned in 2020 (trains 2 and 3 of Cameron LNG, train 3 of Freeport LNG, 6 small trains at Elba Island) and in 2021 (Corpus Christi-3).

On the demand side, US gas imports from Canada have been declining steadily since 2015 due to abundant domestic production in the Appalachian region. However, the United States is expected to remain a net gas importer from Canada until 2050.

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