The United States of America is expected to become the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas in the world by the end of this year, knowing that it currently owns 6 active LNG stations.
According to information collected by The Eastern Herald from the Shell Oil Company, the International Gas Union and the US Energy Information Administration, last year the United States ranked third in the world in gas sales with about 75 million tons, while Qatar ranked second with 81.3 million tons, and Australia First place with 83 million tons.
In its latest report last December, the US Energy Information Administration said that America began exporting gas for the first time in February 2016 and became the world’s third-largest LNG exporter in 2020.
The Energy Information Administration said that with the operation of the new stations that will enter service at the end of this year, the United States will have the largest capacity to export liquefied natural gas in the world.
The United States of America is one of the limited sources that can meet the growing need for natural gas in Asia and Europe, and every year it implements new investments to increase its production capacity.
The United States exported 33 million tons of gas in 2019, and 44.8 million tons in 2020. In 2021 its exports reached 75 million tons. About 45% of US LNG exports go to Asia, 41% to Europe, and the rest to other countries in the Americas.
It is expected that the demand for gas in the global markets will increase in 2022 to reach new records, as it happens every year.
According to the US Energy Information Administration’s report, the United States alone will be able to meet 22% of global gas demand by the end of 2022.
It is expected that the United States will maintain its position as a leader in the export of gas in global markets until 2025, while Qatar is expected to implement new investments in that year to occupy the first place in the world.
In 2021, the United States was the largest supplier of liquefied natural gas to Europe, as its exports represented 26% of the total imports of the European Union and the United Kingdom, followed by Qatar with 24%, and Russia with 20%.
The United States was the country that achieved the most increase in its gas exports last year, with an increase of about 25 million tons.
It is expected that the gas trade in the global markets will grow from 380 million tons to 700 million tons in 2040.
The United States now owns six gas stations, including the Cove Point plant, which was established in 2018, with a liquefaction capacity of 5.25 million tons per year.
The Sabine Pass terminal with two units was established in 2016 with an annual capacity of 10 million tons. Then an additional unit was added to it in 2019 with a capacity of 5 million tons.
As for the Corpus Christi plant, it was established in 2019 with a capacity of 9 million tons, divided into two units, then a third unit was added to them last year with a capacity of 4.5 million tons.
The Cameron Gas Plant was established in 2019 with a capacity of 4 million tons per year, then two units were added to it in 2020 with a total capacity of 8 million tons.
As for the Freeport plant, it has three units, one of which has a capacity of 5.1 million tons and the other two have an annual capacity of 10.2 million tons.
The Alba Island plant was also established in 2019 with two units with a capacity of 750,000 tons, then another unit was added to it in 2020 with a capacity of 1.75 million tons.
Operating new liquefied gas stations
The United States continues to make new investments to strengthen its position in the global gas market. The Calcasieu Pass plant in Louisiana is scheduled to be operational by the end of this year, with a liquefaction capacity of 10 million tons per year. In addition to new stations and additional units in the current stations to raise the country’s production capacity.
More than 160 gas facilities in the United States provide a variety of services, some of which export it abroad, some feed the pipeline system within the US states or local distribution companies, while some are used to store gas and some produce gas for use as vehicle fuel or for industrial use.
According to information received from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, to The Eastern Herald online magazine, which regulates energy markets in the United States, 13 gas stations have been approved, but construction has not yet begun.
Will American gas replace Russian gas?
The United States exported about 4.5 million tons of gas to Europe last January.
A third of the gas consumed in Europe comes from Russia, but the amount of gas exported by Russia’s Gazprom to the European Union in January decreased by 40% to 5.8 million tons.
Looking at the export figures last January, it is clear that US gas exports to Europe can cover 70-80% of the Russian gas exported to Europe.
Last year’s data showed that the United States could meet nearly 40% of the amount of gas exported by Russia to Europe.
According to Rystad Energy Research, the new gas stations, to be established and operated in the United States, will increase its production capacity and enhance its global position.
However, the construction of gas stations usually takes three to four years, so it is expected that it will not start exporting from the United States to Europe in new quantities before 2025.