US LNG exports reach 119 mcm/d in the first five months of 2019
According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), US LNG exports have been rising steadily since 2017, to 4.7 bcf/d (133 mcm/d) in May 2019. The recent LNG exports level makes the United States the third-largest LNG exporter in the first five months of the year with an average of 4.2 bcf/d (119 mcm/d), over the January-May 2019 period. The United States expects to remain the third-largest LNG exporter in the world in 2019-2020, behind Australia and Qatar.
US LNG exports to Europe have surged, from around 0.4 bcf/d (11 mcm/d) in 2018 to more than 1.6 bcf/d (45 mcm/d) in the first five months of 2019, accounting for nearly 40% of total US LNG exports and exceeding exports to Asia. Exports to Europe should continue to increase as European countries are raising their gas consumption as part of their decarbonisation policies. Average LNG exports to Asia have been slightly declining in the first five months of 2019, to around 1.5 bcf/d (42 mcm/d), due to a warm winter in Asia reducing LNG demand. In addition, declining price differentials between European and Asian spot gas prices have incited the United States to increase LNG exports to Europe.
By 2021, six US liquefaction projects are expected to be fully operational and another two LNG projects, which entered the construction phase in 2019, are scheduled to be commissioned by 2023. The US EIA forecasts that the United States will have the largest LNG export capacity worldwide by 2025, surpassing both Qatar and Australia.
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