The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported earlier this month that U.S. natural gas exports are forecasted to exceed natural gas imports by an average 7.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2020 (2.0 Bcf/d higher than in 2019) and 8.9 Bcf/d in 2021. EIA notes that growth in U.S. net exports Is led primarily by increases in LNG exports and pipeline exports to Mexico. Net natural gas exports more than doubled in 2019, compared with 2018, and EIA expects that they will almost double again by 2021 from 2019 levels.
EIA further described the U.S.’ natural gas export success:
The United States trades natural gas by pipeline with Canada and Mexico and as LNG with dozens of countries. Historically, the United States has imported more natural gas than it exports by pipeline from Canada. In contrast, the United States has been a net exporter of natural gas by pipeline to Mexico. The United States has been a net exporter of LNG since 2016 and delivers LNG to more than 30 countries.
In 2019, growth in demand for U.S. natural gas exports exceeded growth in natural gas consumption in the U.S. electric power sector. Natural gas deliveries to U.S. LNG export facilities and by pipeline to Mexico accounted for 12% of dry natural gas production in 2019. EIA forecasts these deliveries to account for an increasingly larger share through 2021 as new LNG facilities are placed in service and new pipelines in Mexico that connect to U.S. export pipelines begin operations.
Thanks to record natural gas production in the United States, we have been able to export energy to our allies around the globe. Exporting American-produced energy not only bolsters our economy and national security, but also diminishes our allies in Europe reliance on potentially unpredictable sources like Russia and the Middle East.