LNG Exports

LNG Exports

LNG Imports

DOE permits are one thing.  State permits are quite another thing.  Let us help you avoid the mistakes of the past.

U.S. Natural Gas Exports By Country

List of current LNG Export Applications of the Lower 48 States before the Department of Energy

FERC List of Approved and Pending LNG Export Projects

6 Threats to U.S. LNG Business

AAEA was the only environmental group in the United States that supported LNG imports into the United States between 2008 and 2015.  We now turn our support to LNG exports.  Why?  Because Blacks do not own any energy infrastructure or energy resources in the United States (for the most part), natural gas produces half the greenhouse gases as coal and as nuclear plants are prematurely closing, they will be replaced with natural gas-powered baseload electricity generation. 

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“I think it’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where you’re supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia,” Trump said. “So we’re protecting Germany. We’re protecting France. We’re protecting all of these countries. And then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia, where they’re paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia.”

There were no LNG export terminals in the U.S. prior to 2016. In fact, America’s first LNG export terminal, Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass facility in Louisiana, was originally built as an LNG import terminal in 2008 when experts thought the U.S. was facing a severe national gas shortage. Fracking changed all that, with the price of natural gas at the Henry Hub declining 70 percent in inflation adjusted terms from 2008 to 2017.

Less than 10 years after fearing America would need dozens of LNG import terminals to meet its energy needs, America instead became a net natural gas exporter in 2017, with exports quadrupling from 0.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day in 2016 to 1.94 billion cubic feet per day. Of U.S. LNG exports last year, 53 percent went to Mexico, South Korea and China, with the largest share, 20 percent, being received by Mexico.  Growing natural gas demand in Mexico, particularly from the power generation sector, and delays in the construction of domestic pipelines connecting to U.S. export pipelines led Mexico to rely on LNG imports to supplement imports of natural gas by pipeline.

Now U.S. LNG exports are set to quintuple by 2019 from 2017 levels to 9.6 billion cubic feet per day or 3.5 trillion cubic feet per year with the U.S. on track to become the world’s third-largest natural gas exporter by 2020, behind only Australia and Qatar. By comparison, 9.6 billion cubic feet is about one-third of what the U.S. uses to generate electricity on an average day and about equal to residential gas use for heating.


In Asia, the widening difference between the Henry Hub natural gas price—to which U.S. LNG contract prices are indexed—and crude oil—to which LNG prices are benchmarked in Asia—helped to drive increases in LNG imports from the United States. Exports to South Korea accounted for 18% of total U.S. LNG exports in 2017 and were part of long-term contracts between sellers Cheniere Energy and Shell and the Korean natural gas buyers—utilities KOGAS and KEPCO. Exports to China made up 15% of total U.S. LNG exports. These exports were sold mostly on a spot basis, with volumes in October, November, and December increasing as record-high LNG demand prompted China to seek additional LNG on the global spot market to supplement contracted volumes.

Almost 60% of U.S. LNG in 2017 was sold on a spot basis to more than 20 countries in Asia, North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and the Caribbean. Although liquefaction capacity at Sabine Pass is fully contracted under long-term contracts to various buyers, flexibility in those contracts’ destination clauses allows U.S. LNG to be shipped to any market in the world.

After countries in Asia and North America (Mexico), countries in Europe collectively accounted for the third-largest share of U.S. LNG exports. LNG imports by several European countries increased in 2017, driven by increased demand primarily from the power generation sector. South American LNG imports declined in 2017. Demand for natural gas in that region is highly variable and is affected by the availability of competing lower-cost natural gas supply and hydro generation output.

The increase in LNG exports over the past two years is the result of the continuing expansion of U.S. LNG export capacity. Two LNG projects—Sabine Pass in Louisiana and Cove Point in Maryland—have come online since 2016, increasing U.S. LNG export capacity to 3.6 Bcf/d.

Four more projects are scheduled to come online in the next two years: Elba Island LNG in Georgia and Cameron LNG in Louisiana in 2018, then Freeport LNG and Corpus Christi LNG in Texas in 2019. Once completed, U.S. LNG export capacity is expected to reach 9.6 Bcf/d by the end of 2019. As export capacity continues to increase, the United States is projected to become the third-largest LNG exporter in the world by 2020, surpassing Malaysia and remaining behind only Australia and Qatar. 

Last year, the US was one of 19 countries exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) and played a relatively small role in the global market. To be precise, LNG exports from the US represented just 5% (1.9 Bcf/d) of the 38.2 Bcf/d global LNG market. That said, the US is on the brink of adding significant LNG export capacity next year and becoming a sizable player in the global LNG market.  

Today, operating US LNG export capacity is limited to Cheniere's (LNGCQPCQH) Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana and Dominion Energy's (NYSE:D) Cove Point terminal in Maryland, which shipped its first cargo earlier this year. By the end of next year, though, LNG export capacity is expected to jump to 10 Bcf/d as shown below. All this capacity will be added in Texas and Louisiana, except for Kinder Morgan's (NYSE:KMI) Elba Island facility on the coast of Georgia. The added capacity in the US will be a significant increase for the global market, but it likely will only put a dent in the world's growing appetite for LNG.

In August 2017, total U.S. natural gas liquefaction capacity in the Lower 48 states increased to 2.8 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) following the completion of the fourth liquefaction unit at the Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Louisiana. With increasing liquefaction capacity and utilization, U.S. LNG exports averaged 1.9 Bcf/d, and capacity utilization averaged 80% this year, based on data through November.

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Sabine Pass, located on the U.S. Gulf Coast near the Louisiana-Texas border, consists of four existing natural gas liquefaction units, with more currently under construction. When complete, Sabine Pass will have a total liquefaction capacity of 3.5 Bcf/d. Five additional LNG projects are currently under construction in the United States, and they are expected to increase total U.S. liquefaction capacity to 9.6 Bcf/d by the end of 2019:

  • Cove Point liquefaction terminal (0.75 Bcf/d capacity) in Maryland is 97% complete, and Dominion Energy expects to place it in service before the end of 2017.
  • Elba Island LNG (0.03 Bcf/d capacity each) in Georgia is owned by Kinder Morgan. Six trains are scheduled to come online in the summer of 2018, and four trains are scheduled to come online by May 2019.
  • Freeport LNG (0.7 Bcf/d capacity each) in Texas is being developed by Freeport LNG Development, L.P. The first train is expected to come online in November 2018, with the remaining two trains following in six-month intervals.
  • Corpus Christi (0.6 Bcf/d capacity each) in Texas is being developed by Cheniere and is expected to come online in 2019.
  • Cameron LNG (0.6 Bcf/d capacity each) in Louisiana is being developed by Sempra LNG and is expected to come online in 2019.

Import Terminals


1. Corpus Christi, TX: 0.4 Bcfd (Cheniere – Corpus Christi LNG) (CP12-507)


2. Salinas, PR: 0.6 Bcfd (Aguirre Offshore GasPort, LLC) (CP13-193)


3. Gulf of Mexico: 1.0 Bcfd (Main Pass McMoRan Exp.) 4. Gulf of Mexico: 1.4 Bcfd (TORP Technology-Bienville LNG) Export Terminals U.S.


5. Hackberry, LA: 2.1 Bcfd (Sempra–Cameron LNG) (CP13-25)

6. Freeport, TX: 2.14 Bcfd (Freeport LNG Dev/Freeport LNG Expansion/FLNG Liquefaction) (CP12-509) (CP15-518)

7. Corpus Christi, TX: 2.14 Bcfd (Cheniere – Corpus Christi LNG) (CP12-507)

8. Sabine Pass, LA: 1.40 Bcfd (Sabine Pass Liquefaction) (CP13-552)

9. Elba Island, GA: 0.35 Bcfd (Southern LNG Company) (CP14-103) APPROVED – NOT UNDER CONSTRUCTION - FERC

10. Lake Charles, LA: 2.2 Bcfd (Southern Union – Lake Charles LNG) (CP14-120)

11. Lake Charles, LA: 1.08 Bcfd (Magnolia LNG) (CP14-347)

12. Hackberry, LA: 1.41 Bcfd (Sempra - Cameron LNG) (CP15-560)

13. Sabine Pass, TX: 2.1 Bcfd (ExxonMobil – Golden Pass) (CP14-517)



CN1. Port Hawkesbury, NS: 0.5 Bcfd (Bear Head LNG)

CN2. Kitimat, BC: 3.23 Bcfd (LNG Canada)

CN3. Squamish, BC: 0.29 Bcfd (Woodfibre LNG Ltd)

CN4. Prince Rupert Island, BC: 2.74 Bcfd (Pacific Northwest LNG)

(DOE-EIA, Washington Post 7/11/2018, Seeking Alpha 7/11/2018, Forbes 5/14/2018, DOE-EIA, FERC)

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