IEA: US May Be Top LNG Exporter by 2022

IEA: US May Be Top LNG Exporter by 2022

"The United States, the world's largest gas producer, will increase production more than any other country over the next five years, accounting for nearly 40% of global output growth", IEA said.

"By 2022, U.S. production will be 890 bcm, or more than a fifth of global gas output".

At least half of their projected production will be in liquefied natural gas (LNG) with the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimating that by the year 2022 the us will be in direct market competition with current leading exporters Australia and Qatar.

IEA CEO Fatih Birol said during an interview on FOX Business Thursday that the production of shale oil and gas has grown in the USA substantially in the last six to seven years.

Of that amount, Australia would have capacity to export 117.8 bcm a year of LNG, followed by the United States with 106.7 bcm a year and Qatar with 104.9 bcm a year, it said. "While overall USA production fell in 2016, output from the Marcellus Basin continued to grow, underscoring the ability of US gas drillers to counter the effect of lower prices by improving efficiency and producing more gas with fewer rigs".

In a bid to increase export demand, three major LNG terminals under construction on the Texan coast will double the number of US ports now in use. The US is already the planet's top producer and consumer of natural gas. The IEA says low gas prices will not stop this growth as operators learn to drill more efficient wells with fewer rigs than before.

In an announcement made on Thursday, the IEA called US LNG a "catalyst for change" and highlighted how production from tight shale gas fields is transforming the world's natural gas marketplace.

"Even in a well-supplied market, recent events remind us that gas security remains a critical issue", Birol said.

Earlier this year, the EIA said that the United States is expected to become a net exporter of natural gas on an average annual basis by 2018, driven by declining pipeline imports, growing pipeline exports, and increasing LNG exports.