US gas exports exceed imports for first time in 60 years

The volume of US gas exports exceed the imports for the first time in almost 60 years, according to the analyses of S&P Global Platts. The US gas exports averaged to 210 million cbm per day, while the gas imports averaged to 190 million cbm per day. Furthermore, the volume of natural gas that is exported from the United States exceeds the indicator of imported natural gas for several days in September. Such a ratio, according to the US energy department, has been observed for the last time about 60 years ago.

The milestone comes less than a year after restrictions on most crude oil exports were lifted, allowing tankers of crude to be freely shipped overseas for the first time nearly half a century, and together they mark a significant and potentially permanent change in the way US energy flows around the world. Overseas producers now have to deal with the growing clout of the US energy industry, which is aggressively looking to ramp up its global market share to help offset a long period of low prices.

According to the analysts, the balance between import and export of natural gas in the US may soon again be changed as approaching winter when demand for energy sources traditionally increases. Moreover, according to them, the overall dynamics of growth of volumes of supplies on natural gas from the US will be maintained. According to estimates of the Ministry of Energy, until 2020 the US will rank third in the world in volume of export of compressed natural gas.

The largest buyers of US natural gas are the North American Free Trade Agreement partners Mexico (24.88 billion cbm), followed by Canada (14 billion cbm) and Chile (0.75 billion cbm).

A series of new pipelines running across the southern border helped shipments to Mexico reach an all-time high in August and accounted for almost 6% of total US gas production, according to the EIA. Mexico uses US gas to run power generators and offset declines in domestic production. The exports to Canada, where US gas heats homes and businesses, have remained relatively steady over the past few years and accounted for 2.5% of production in August.

According to the analysts, the intentions on the newly elected US president Donald Trump to fundamentally change trade relations with these two countries could have a negative impact on gas supplies in them.

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