United States breaks record in natural gas exports

The United States broke a record in its natural gas exports in 2020, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported.

Despite an annual decrease of 2% in the national production of dry natural gas, both the consumption of natural gas by the electric power sector in the United States and its exports of natural gas reached historical highs.

After Australia (26.310 million dollars) and Qatar (20.430 million), the United States is the third largest exporter of natural gas in liquid state (13.190 million), with data from 2020.

Simultaneously, the United States ranks fourth among the main exporters of natural gas in the gaseous state (with $ 5.48 billion), surpassed by Norway ($ 11.63 billion), Germany ($ 9.44 billion) and Turkmenistan ($ 6.05 billion).

US dry natural gas production does not include natural gas plant liquids (NGPL), such as ethane and propane.

In 2020, NGPL production grew to a record 2.7 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), 7% more than in 2019.

Gas exports

According to the EIA, natural gas consumption in the United States electric power sector grew to a record 11.6 Tcf in 2020, this is 3% more compared to 2019.

The United States electric power sector has consumed more natural gas than any other sector in five of the last six years.

Furthermore, electric power was the only sector that increased its consumption of natural gas in 2020.

Natural gas has become an increasingly important source of energy for America’s electricity in recent years.

In addition, natural gas has remained the main source of electricity generation in the United States since it surpassed coal in 2016.

More than 100 coal plants have been replaced or converted to natural gas since 2011.

External sales

Natural gas exports from the United States increased to a record 5.3 Tcf in 2020, which is equivalent to 13% more compared to 2019.

Natural gas external sales from the United States have grown substantially over the past decade, and in 2017, exports exceeded natural gas imports for the first time since 1957.

Approximately 55% of the United States’ natural gas exports in 2020 were shipped via pipelines to Mexico and Canada.

Most of the rest was shipped abroad as liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Mexico receives more natural gas exports from the United States than any other country, and United States natural gas exports to Mexico reached a record 2.0 Tcf in 2020.