This Independence Day, we’re celebrating both the United States and its path to energy independence. In fact, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that the U.S. is on track to become a net energy exporter – exporting as much or more energy than it imports – by 2022.
In 2017, the United States remained the top producer of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons in the world, according to the EIA. While the U.S. has been the top producer of natural gas since 2009 and petroleum since 2013, last year marks a record high for production.
Further, for the first time in 60 years, the U.S. exported more natural gas than it imported.
Between pipelines to Mexico and Canada, and increased capacity to export liquid natural gas (LNG), the U.S. has increased both production and exports. The Marcellus and Utica formations are largely responsible for increased production and increased imports to Canada, while our imports from Canada decreased.
LNG exports actually quadrupled in 2017, reaching 25 countries from the Sabine Pass liquefaction terminal in Louisiana. The top receivers were Mexico, South Korea, and China, which together took in over half of U.S. LNG exports. Imports to Mexico have been increasing for a few years thanks to increased pipeline capacity and heightened demand for natural gas power generation.
EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook predicts that the U.S. will continue to be a net exporter of natural gas for the remainder of 2018 and through 2019 as LNG export capacities continue to grow.
Happy Independence Day – and soon, happy energy independence.