Deliveries of natural gas to U.S. facilities that produce LNG for export hit a new monthly record in July 2019, reaching an average 6 billion cubic feet per day. This accounts for 7% of the country’s total natural gas production, according to data provided by OPIS PointLogic Energy.
Natural gas deliveries to LNG export facilities grew more than any other natural gas consumption sector in the U.S, during the first seven months of 2019.
The natural gas delivered to Mexico and U.S. LNG export facilities via pipelines reached 10.9 bcf per day in July. Additionally, it averaged 10 bcf during the first seven months of the year, up by 30% from 2018.
The United States has exported more gas than it imports on an annual basis since 2017. Moreover, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects exports will continue to rise as new LNG facilities come online.
The EIA also reported that U.S. LNG exports hit new records in June and July of 2019, with 4.8 bcf and 5.2 bcf, respectively.
Two new LNG liquefaction trains came online in the first half of the year, the Cameron LNG Train 1 in Louisiana in May and the Corpus Christi LNG Train 2 in Texas. The country’s total LNG export capacity stands at 5.4 bcf per day, with four facilities and nine liquefaction trains.
Contribution from new facilities
Two new LNG export facilities—Elba Island in Georgia and Freeport in Texas—plan to place their first trains in service in the next two months. Both facilities have been receiving small amounts of natural gas feedstock deliveries in preparation for LNG production.
LNG production at Elba Island was expected to begin in May 2019 but has been delayed, partly due to the uneven cryogenic temperatures in the moveable modular liquefaction system units (MMLS), which are using new technology.
Kinder Morgan, developer of Elba Island LNG, stated that four out of ten MMLS units (or trains) are complete and will be placed in service in the coming months.
The first train at Freeport is scheduled to come online in September 2019, and the remaining two trains are scheduled for the second and third quarters of 2020, respectively. Current plans are to complete construction and bring the remaining trains at Elba Island, Corpus Christi, and Cameron online in 2020 and 2021.
Growth in the oil sector
According to the EIA, in 2018 crude and natural gas production grew by 16% and 12%, respectively, hitting a new record.
In detail, U.S. dry natural gas production stood at 28.5 bcf or 31.5 trillion BTU in 2018, establishing a new record for the second year in a row.
The U.S. surpassed Russia and became the world’s leading natural gas producer in 2011. It also surpassed Saudi Arabia as the world’s top oil producer in 2018.
Last year, the country recorded one of the biggest O&G production rises ever achieved by one nation.
In detail, U.S. crude production went up by 17% in 2018, hitting a new record of nearly 11 million bpd, equal to 22,800 million BTU in terms of energy.
The Permian region of West Texas and eastern New Mexico was responsible for most of the country’s growth in terms of crude production.
The continued rise of LNG export capacity and the increased capacity to reach new markets have backed the rise of natural gas production in the United States.
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