U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports reached monthly and annual record highs in December, positioning the United States to potentially become the largest LNG exporter in 2023, surpassing Qatar and Australia, according to Reuters.
In December, U.S. LNG exports rose to 8.6 million metric tons (MT), marking a significant increase. The U.S. was the stand out in global LNG supply growth in 2023, said Alex Munton, director of global gas and LNG research at consulting firm Rapidan Energy Group.
“U.S. record production was driven by two factors: the return of Freeport LNG to full service, which added 6 MT and the full-year output of Venture Global LNG’s Calcasieu Pass facility that added 3 MT more than in 2022,” Munton said.
The U.S. recorded a full-year export total of 88.9 million MT in 2023, a 14.7% increase from the previous year. The return to full production of the Freeport LNG plant and increased processing efficiency contributed to the rise in U.S. LNG exports.
Europe remained the primary destination for U.S. LNG exports in December, accounting for just over 61% of the shipments, according to LSEG data.
Asia was the second largest export market for U.S. LNG in December, taking 26.6%, of exports, up from 18.5% in November. U.S. exports to Latin America were just under 6% of total exports, LSEG ship tracking data showed.