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United States Tops Global Natural Gas Exports in 2023

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

In an impressive stride, the United States dominated global natural gas exports in the first six months of 2023. According to CEDIGAZ data, the U.S. became the premier exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), shipping out an average of 11.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). This marks a 4% increase over the same period in 2022, the EIA stated in a report.

A significant factor behind the rise in U.S. LNG exports was the return of Freeport LNG to operational status, meeting the robust global LNG demands, which saw substantial growth, especially in Europe.

United States Tops Global Natural Gas Exports in 2023
United States Tops Global Natural Gas Exports in 2023

Europe and the UK: Main Destinations for U.S. LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas)

Echoing 2022's trends, the European Union (EU) nations and the UK remained the leading recipients of U.S. LNG exports during the first half of 2023. They accounted for a whopping 67% of all U.S. LNG exports, which is roughly 7.7 Bcf/d. Major importers among them include the Netherlands, the UK, France, Spain, and Germany, jointly importing over half of the U.S. LNG exports, standing at 6.0 Bcf/d.

A record monthly export from the U.S. was noted in April, where shipments touched 12.4 Bcf/d. This surge was attributed to increased production from Freeport LNG and heightened demands from Europe and the UK, which sought to offset a decline in their pipeline imports from Russia and also to replenish their storage levels.

Further enhancing their ability to receive LNG, Europe and the UK augmented their regasification capacities in 2023. New terminals began operations in nations including Finland, Germany, Italy, and Spain. These developments came after the 2022-23 mild winter season, which saw the region concluding with record amounts of natural gas in storage. Europe and the UK rapidly ramped up their LNG imports during the subsequent months to refill these storage capacities.

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