United States bump LNG exports in March

  • Infrastructure

The United States increased the liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports in March with European countries remaining the top customers.

U.S. bumps LNG exports in March
Image courtesy of Cheniere

According to a report by the Department of Energy, U.S. LNG projects exported a total of 244.1 Billion cubic feet of LNG in March.

As a result, this is an 8.2 per cent increase over February 2020 figures. To remind, the U.S. exported a total of 225.6 Bcf of LNG in February. Comparing to March 2019, this is an 86.7 per cent jump, DoE said.

As noted, a large portion of U.S. LNG export volumes landed in European countries, although, South Korea has taken over the top importer spot during the month of March.

South Korea imported a total of 28.1 Bcf. It is followed by Spain, France and Japan with, 23.7 Bcf, 23.5 Bcf and 21.8 Bcf of LNG, respectively. Additionally, the United Kingdom rounded off the top five list of U.S. LNG importers, with 20.2 Bcf of LNG imported during the month under review.

Speaking of LNG cargoes, United States LNG projects exported a total of 75 cargoes in March. This compares to 68 cargoes in February 2020 and 38 cargoes in March 2019.

Cheniere’s Sabine Pass facility again shipped the majority of cargoes, a total of 30. Cameron LNG and Freeport LNG projects shipped 13 cargoes each with Cheniere’s Corpus Christi facility adding another 12 cargoes to the total. Dominion’s Cove Point plant in Maryland exported seven cargoes while the Elba Island liquefaction and export project hasn’t shipped any cargoes in March.

The Department of Energy added that the average price of LNG exported in March reached $4.66 per mmBtu. This is a drop from $4.85 per mmBtu during February.

Since the United States started exporting domestically-produced LNG in February 2016, a total of 1,384 cargoes reached destinations in 35 countries. The total volume exported stood at over 4.5 Tcf at the end of March.

In addition, further 425 cargoes on ISO containers departed the United States during the same period adding further 1.2 Billion cubic feet of LNG also bumping the number of destinations to 38.

South Korea remains the top importer of U.S. LNG with 214 cargoes received totaling 742.5 Bcf. This corresponds to 16.5 per cent of total U.S. LNG exports.

Additionally, the United States Energy Information Administration expects the U.S. LNG exports to drop off through the end of the summer.

EIA forecasts that U.S. liquefied natural gas exports will average 5.8 Bcf/d in the second quarter of 2020 and 4.8 Bcf/d in the third quarter of 2020. The drop is expected as a result of lower expected global demand for natural gas.

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