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US Exports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

Rising global exporter with resources to dominate world’s LNG supply in long term

The United States is now the world’s sixth largest LNG exporter (14.6 MMt in 2017), trailing Qatar, Australia, Malaysia, Nigeria and Indonesia. IHS Markit predicts the United States will become the third largest exporter by 2020.

The story of US LNG exports is directly tied to the US shale revolution, which has led to the production of abundant, cheap natural gas. It has satisfied growing North American gas demand while driving interest in converting underutilized US LNG import facilities into LNG export terminals and building greenfield export projects. Five projects are under construction totaling 47.8 MMtpa of liquefaction capacity. More than 30 additional LNG export projects have been proposed. US LNG imports, conversely, have declined precipitously over the last several years and are used mostly to meet winter demand spikes in New England, a pipeline-constrained region.

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Which countries import US LNG?

The United States is making strides toward becoming one of the world’s top LNG suppliers, starting with exporting its first cargo from the US lower-48 in February 2016. As of July 2018, the US lower-48 has exported about 450 LNG cargoes to 28 countries. In March 2018, Cove Point LNG, in Maryland, became the second US lower-48 liquefaction project to commence exports, following Sabine Pass LNG, in Louisiana, where four trains are currently online. Kenai LNG in Alaska, the sole existing US LNG export facility prior to Sabine Pass and Cove Point, was likely placed into long-term preservation mode in fall 2017. In addition to Cove Point, Sabine Pass, and under-construction projects, more than 300 MMtpa of additional capacity has been proposed, much of which is aiming to be part of a second wave of US LNG starting in the 2020s.

Currently, the United States exports LNG primarily to Mexico, South Korea, China and Japan. However, as oversupply conditions are expected to grow over the next few years, exports to Europe will increase in importance due to its role as the residual LNG demand market.


Gautam Sudhakar

Mr. Sudhakar leads development of analytics platforms for the gas and LNG research practices, and he is an expert in short- and long-term LNG market fundamentals. He also specializes in gas and LNG company strategy analysis and has authored numerous reports on global supply and demand outlooks, LNG trade evolution, project economics, and contracting patterns. Mr. Sudhakar holds a Bachelor of Science in foreign service from Georgetown University and a master's degree in economics from The Johns Hopkins University, United States.

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Terrell Benke

Ms. Benke's expertise includes competitive strategy analysis of the major players in the global gas industry, with emphasis on risk analysis of the LNG value chain, value chain modeling, and supply-side fundamentals. Her responsibilities include management oversight of the IHS Markit LNG and LNG Analytics retainers. Previously, she managed the gas subscriptions practice at PFC Energy (now IHS Markit) for eight years. Earlier in her career, Ms. Benke worked in various capacities in the energy industry, including developing analytic, strategic, and commercial expertise in LNG at Chevron and El Paso Corporation. While at Enron and Resources for the Future, she held commercial and analytic roles in the deregulating electricity business. Ms. Benke holds a Bachelor of Arts with distinction from the University of Virginia, United States, and an MBA with honors in finance from the University of Chicago, United States.

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Shankari Srinivasan

Ms. Srinivasan has specific expertise in global gas market fundamentals analysis, price forecasting, company strategy and scenario planning. She has authored numerous reports. Prior to joining IHS Markit, Ms. Srinivasan was Head of Energy Fundamentals at Centrica in the United Kingdom. She has covered the European gas market for many years and authored a number of reports as researcher and then leader of the European gas practice at CERA, which is now part of IHS Markit. She has also assessed the European and Russian gas markets with the International Energy Agency. Ms. Srinivasan previously worked at a New York brokerage firm as a corporate equity analyst. She holds three degrees from US Universities, a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University, a Master of Science from New York University, and a Master of Science from University of Pennsylvania. She also holds an Executive MBA from Cranfield University, United Kingdom.

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