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CLNG Executive Director: EIA’s Latest Annual Energy Outlook Supports U.S. LNG Exports

In response to the publication of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook 2017, Center for Liquefied Natural Gas (CLNG) Executive Director Charlie Riedl issued the following statement:

As with previous years, EIA’s latest Annual Energy Outlook makes a compelling case in favor of continued and expanded U.S. LNG exports. The projections in this year’s report show that domestic production in the United States will continue to provide more than enough natural gas to meet domestic demand, while also supplying our trading partners around the world.

The latest Outlook offers yet another reason why the U.S. Department of Energy should implement a process that ensures export permits are issued in a timely fashion, strengthening America’s position in the global energy market at a time when international competition is growing quickly.”

Looking at U.S. energy market trends through 2050, key projections from the Annual Energy Outlook 2017 include that:

  • Natural gas production over the 2016–2020 period is projected to grow at a rapid rate of about 4 percent annually, as it has since 2005. Beyond 2020, natural gas production is projected to grow at a slower rate, about 1.0 percent annual average, as net export growth moderates, domestic natural gas use becomes more efficient, and prices slowly rise.
  • In the reference case, U.S. dry natural gas production is predicted to reach just under 40 Trillion cubic feet (Tcf) by 2040, while domestic consumption is projected to grow to roughly 30 Tcf that year.
  • LNG is projected to dominate U.S. natural gas exports by the early-2020s. The first LNG export facility in the Lower 48, Sabine Pass, began operations in 2016, and four more LNG export facilities are scheduled to be completed by 2020.
  • Across most cases, natural gas production increases despite relatively low and stable natural gas prices, supporting higher levels of domestic consumption and natural gas exports.
  • Natural gas trade, which has historically been mostly shipments by pipeline from Canada and to Mexico, is projected to be increasingly dominated by liquefied natural gas exports to more distant destinations.