The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that the US is less than five years away from becoming the world’s second biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
And it was only early last year that Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass facility opened in Louisiana – the first dedicated LNG export terminal in the lower 48 states.
The US is already the world’s top LNG producer but it trails Australia and Qatar in terms of export volume.
IEA estimates project US output increasing to 890 billion cubic metres (bcm) annually by 2022, more than a fifth of world output.
In that forecast Australia would retain its top-dog slot with 117.8bcm annually but the US would grow to 106.7bcm, leapfrogging second-placed Qatar which is on 104.9bcm.
Overall, the IEA forecasts global gas production having more rapid growth than oil and coal over the next five years.
The IEA is a Paris-based autonomous organization which works with its 29 member countries – plus some heavyweight non-members such as China, Russia and India – to ensure reliable, affordable, clean energy.
It is a key source of data on the international oil market and other energy sectors.