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US hikes LNG export growth forecast amid EU demand

GasLNG

13 Apr 2022 09:16

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Madrid

13 Apr 2022 09:16

(Montel) US LNG exports should jump 25% year on year in 2022, a 9 percentage point hike from its previous monthly outlook, said the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), noting high European demand and prices.

LNG exports should average 12.19bn cubic feet/day this year, compared to the 11.34bn cubic feet/day forecast last month, the EIA said in its latest short-term energy outlook late on Tuesday. The US exported 9.76bn cubic feet/day in 2021.

The body also raised its 2023 LNG export forecast to 12.6bn cubic feet/day, or 0.5bn cubic feet/day higher than its previous forecast.

“LNG prices in Europe remain high,” the EIA said, amid “supply uncertainties due to Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine and the need to replenish Europe’s natural gas inventories”.

US-EU agreement
Higher US exports factor in the US-EU agreement last month to supply 15bcm additional LNG year on year in 2022, as well as a quicker ramp up of the Calcasieu Pass LNG facility.

Europe is relying on US LNG to replace as much Russian supply as possible, which typically accounts for around 40% of the EU’s gas.

While the EU has not yet included gas on its list of sanctions to punish the Kremlin, European leaders have hinted a ban will come “sooner or later” amid atrocities committed in neighbouring Ukraine.

The EIA said 57% of US LNG was exported to the EU and UK in the December-March period, compared to just 27% between January and November. 

In March, US exports reached a record high 11.9bn cubic feet/day, 0.7bn cubic feet/day more than in the previous month, as more production capacity came online at the Calcasieu Pass LNG terminal.

The Venture Global-owned facility exported its first cargo on 1 March and totalled five cargoes over the month. 

It would reach full capacity by the third quarter of this year, the EIA said, more than one quarter ahead of its previous end of the year expectation.

US exports should reach 13bn cubic feet/day once the Calcasieu Pass facility was fully operational, the EIA said. 

Less coal exports
Meanwhile, the agency lowered its thermal coal export outlook for this year by 0.8% to 38.4m short tons (34.8m metric tonnes). 

It also cut its outlook for 2023 by 2% to 35.9m tons, though it did not specify why.

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