The United States this year became the world’s largest LNG exporter by capacity exceeding Australia and Qatar, because of its development of new LNG processing plants and ample natural gas from shale reservoirs.
Of LNG imported by European Union member countries and the United Kingdom last year, 26% came from the United States, 24% from Qatar and 20% from Russia, the EIA said.
Exports of LNG to European Union member countries and the U.K. jumped 91% to 6.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd)in January 2022 from 3.4 bcfd in November 2021, the most LNG shipped to Europe from the United States on a monthly basis to date, according to the EIA.
Cheniere Energy is the largest U.S. exporter of LNG.
Europe’s demand for U.S. LNG stems from gas supply shortages in Europe due to lower production and reduced pipeline inflows. The price difference between natural gas produced in the United States and prices at European trading hubs has widened as demand jumped.
In recent months, the natural gas spot price at the exchange hub in the Netherlands has traded at all-time highs. Spot prices averaged $28.52 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) from September 2021 through the first week of February 2022, according to the EIA.
Europe’s natural gas production has declined because of production limits from the large Groningen gas field in the Netherlands and declines in the mature fields in the North Sea, according to the EIA.
(Reporting by Marcy de Luna; Editing by Will Dunham)