Why the U.S. is On the Verge of Becoming a Leading Natural Gas Exporter

Why the U.S. is On the Verge of Becoming a Leading Natural Gas Exporter

The U.S. may soon surpass its competitors to become one of the largest natural gas suppliers in the world, experts claim. However, the American oil and gas industry still faces stiff competition from its main rivals in the $120 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) export sector, including Qatar, Australia and rising natural gas producers in East Africa.

According to an August 3 Washington Times article, Tim Boersma, acting director of the Foreign Policy Energy Security and Climate Initiative at The Brookings Institution, presented these findings to industry experts in a briefing at the U.S. Energy Association in Washington, DC.

“The United States is poised to become a major global supplier of LNG, but its operators will face significant competition from a variety of suppliers, in terms of alternative LNG, pipeline gas, domestic production, and alternative energy sources,” the ESCI’s July report, titled “An Assessment of U.S Natural Gas Exports,” states.

Over the last few years, the U.S. natural gas sector has seen monumental growth, thanks to the rise in hydraulic fracturing. The Department of Energy estimates that as many as 95% of all new oil and gas wells are drilled using this technique. By 2035, shale gas production is projected to reach a stunning 13.6 trillion cubic feet, making up almost half of the country’s natural gas output.

LNG, which is natural gas that has been cooled to minus 256 degrees Fahrenheit, occupies 600 times less space than its gas form; Goldman Sachs estimates LNG will generate $120 billion by the end of the year.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz praised the country’s increase in LNG exports, saying it will make the U.S. more competitive on the global economic stage while reducing environmental risks.

For the U.S., which is already the world’s No. 1 natural gas producer, this only means more good news — especially when the oil and gas industry is responsible for supporting 9.8 million domestic jobs.

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