EIA sees flat US LNG exports in 2022

The Energy Information Administration forecasts US LNG exports in 2022 to remain flat as it expects limited new liquefaction capacity to come online during the period.

EIA said in its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook it expects LNG exports to average 9.2 Bcf/d in both 2021 and 2022, up from 6.5 Bcf/d in 2020.

“Flat LNG exports in 2022 reflect our expectation that limited new export capacity will come online during the forecast period,” the agency said.

US LNG exports set an all-time record in March 2021 at 10.5 Bcf/d and averaged 9.2 Bcf/d in April – the most exported LNG for those months since the US began exporting it in 2016, according to EIA.

Throughout 2020 and in January 2021, more than half of US LNG exports went to Asia.

However, in February and March 2021, more than half of US LNG exports landed in Europe as a result of spot natural gas prices in Europe reaching levels similar to spot natural gas prices in Asia, EIA said.

For May, the agency forecasts a decline in US LNG exports to 8.6 Bcf/d, more than 90% of baseload export capacity utilization, before exports rise above 9.0 Bcf/d in the summer months to meet summer peak demand in Europe and Asia.

The US currently exports LNG via six large terminals, namely Cheniere’s Sabine Pass and Corpus Christi facilities, Sempra’s Cameron LNG, Freeport LNG, Dominion’s Cove Point, and Kinder Morgan’s Elba Island.

Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass terminal could also start producing LNG by the end of this year.

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