Qatar pips the US on LNG exports leaderboard
Qatar exported 7.5mn metric tons/year of LNG in April overtaking the US as the world's top LNG exporter, as American output slowed to account for reduced heating demand in northern states, Bloomberg reported on May 2.
US LNG had risen beyond its main global competitors Qatar and Australia last year, and the country was crowned the world's biggest LNG exporter in January.
Tighter gas markets in Europe, as importers grapple with the impacts of the Ukraine war, could drive stronger demand later this year for US LNG exporters on the East Coast. US president Joe Biden has vowed to facilitate additional LNG volumes for European customers, to replace Russian gas, and regulators have permitted extra LNG to leave several US export facilities in recent weeks.
Reuters said LNG exports rose by 16% in March, and the US has numerous liquefaction and export proejcts in the works. These include Exxon and Qatar Petroleum's 18mn metric tons/year Golden Pass LNG, due to launch in 2025. Glenframe Group's Magnolia LNG will launch two years later, exporting up to 8.8mn mt/yr of LNG into global markets, however the project is behind schedule.
Venture Global LNG is upping its US LNG export capacity, with the launch of a 20mn metric tons/year plant in Louisiana in 2024, - its second in the southeastern state. Elsewhere, the 12mn mt/yr Cameron LNG - backed by TotalEnergies, Sempra Energy and others - is being upgraded with an additional 6.8mn mt/yr liquefaction train, though a final investment decision on the second phase project has not been taken yet.