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    US on pace to be world LNG leader

Summary

The federal government estimates that export capacity will continue to increase at least through 2024.

by: Daniel Graeber

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US on pace to be world LNG leader

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said December 2 it expected the US will have the most LNG export capacity in the world once new liquefaction units come online, possibly as soon as next year.

US exports of LNG started in 2016 and by 2020, the country was the third-largest LNG exporter behind Qatar and Australia.

EIA estimates that once new trains at the Sabine Pass facility in Texas and Calcasieu Pass terminal in Louisiana start service, US LNG export capacity will be the world’s largest by some point next year.

EIA put nominal baseload liquefaction capacity at 9.5bn ft3/d in November. By the end of 2022, that could reach 11.4bn ft3/d. By 2024, when the Golden Pass terminal in Texas comes on stream, EIA expects peak export capacity will reach an estimated 16.3bn ft3/d, far greater than the 10.3bn ft3/d coming from Qatar and the 11.4bn ft3/d from Australia this year.

Further potential could come from a second facility planned near the Calcasieu Ship Channel in Louisiana. Developer Venture Global filed a proposal on December 2 with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to spend an estimated $10bn on what would be the fourth LNG export terminal in Louisiana, pending a final investment decision.

In the FERC application, Venture Global said construction on the first phase of what will be called the CP2 facility would begin following the receipt of all regulatory approvals, expected in Q2 2023, and would continue for about three years. Timing for the second phase would depend on market demand and the contracting of off-take agreements, but could begin as early as 12 months after the start of Phase 1 construction.