U.S. Set To Become Largest LNG Exporter In The World
After the launch of new liquefication trains at Calcasieu Pass and Sabine Pass in 2022, the U.S. will have the largest LNG export capacity in the world, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.
Since exports of LNG began from the Lower 48 states – all states excluding Hawaii and Alaska – in February 2016, U.S. LNG export capacity has grown rapidly. Within four years, the U.S. became the world’s third-largest LNG exporter behind only Australia and Qatar.
Once the sixth train at Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass terminal is fully ramped up and Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass facility comes online in Louisiana next year, U.S. LNG export capacity will become the world’s largest.
It is worth noting that Cheniere produced its first LNG batch from the sixth production train at Sabine Pass in late November. The expansion at Sabine Pass will add about 760 MMcf/d to the nation’s export capacity.
As for Venture Global, it has received approval from federal regulators to start commissioning a part of its Calcasieu Pass liquefaction plant in Louisiana. The 18 smaller, modular liquefaction trains at the Calcasieu Pass terminal will add 1.6 Bcf/d.
When the sixth train of Sabine Pass is at full operation and Calcasieu Pass starts work, peak U.S. LNG production capacity would hit 13.9 Bcf/d, surpassing both Australia with 11.4 Bcf/d and Qatar with 10.3/d Bcf, EIA claimed.
The commissioning of both facilities, along with soaring international demand for U.S. LNG caused by a global supply crisis, pushed feed gas deliveries to U.S. export terminals to a record 12.43 Bcf on November 26, 2021.
Worth noting, the FERC authorized Cheniere to increase LNG exports by 261 Bcf/year after it maximized the output of its existing trains at the Sabine Pass and Corpus Christi plants.
The EIA also pointed out that U.S. LNG peak export capacity would further increase to an estimated 16.3 Bcf/d by 2024 when the Golden Pass LNG facility – the eighth US LNG export facility – is completed and begins operations.
FERC and the US Department of Energy approved another ten U.S. LNG export projects and capacity expansions at three existing LNG terminals – Cameron, Freeport, and Corpus Christi – totaling 25 Bcf/d of new capacity.
According to the EIA, developers of some of these projects announced plans to make a final investment decision in 2022.
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