US Exports Now 2.4% of NatGas Production, Heading for 11% in 2019

A sharp MDN reader recently brought to our attention some exciting news. The only export facility currently in operation is Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass facility. In July Sabine Pass (in southwestern Louisiana, right on the border with Texas) exported 2.19 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of American-produced natural gas to other countries. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that in May (most recent month available) the entire production of natural gas in the U.S. was 89.5 Bcf/d. When you run the math, you find that Cheniere alone, with that one facility, exported 2.4% of all U.S. natgas production. The EIA published an article yesterday (below) that predicts the U.S. will become a net exporter of natural gas–exporting more than we import–THIS YEAR. EIA also predicts by the end of 2019 we will be exporting 9.5 Bcf/d of natural gas. If overall production stays about the same, which is a pretty safe guess, that means we will be exporting 10.6% of the natgas we produce, to other countries. Amazing! Of course, production may increase as prices increase, so that 10.6% may be under 10%. But you get the idea. With just LNG exports alone an important new market is opening up over the next two years for our shale gas. One of those export facilities coming online (later this year) is Cove Point, Maryland, which will be exporting Marcellus/Utica gas…

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