The United States becomes the first LNG exporter in the first half of 2022 in the context of the Ukrainian crisis

A floating station connection terminal for liquefied natural gas is under construction near Wilhelmshaven, Germany, July 16, 2022. /CFP

A floating station connection terminal for liquefied natural gas is under construction near Wilhelmshaven, Germany, July 16, 2022. /CFP

The United States became the top exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the first half of 2022, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said, as the country ramped up supplies to Europe amid the Ukraine crisis. .

U.S. LNG exports increased 12% to an average of 11.2 billion cubic feet per day in the first half compared to the second half of 2021, the EIA said. Increased LNG export capacity, rising prices and demand, especially from Europe, helped boost exports.

Benchmark gas prices in Europe have averaged $34.06 per million British thermal units so far in 2022, compared to $29.99 in Asia and $6.12 in the United States.

About 71% of US LNG exports went to the European Union (EU) and Britain in the first five months of this year, the EIA said.

Despite the unexpected increase in the US, the EU is still in a precarious position heading into the high-use winter season. Europe faces another gas shortage this week, after Russia’s Gazprom said it would do it again residual flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

Russia supplied 40% of EU gas before the Russian-Ukrainian conflict at the end of February.

LNG exports have increased dramatically in recent years as countries around the world seek to diversify away from dirtier coal-fired power plants. However, it takes several years to build new facilities, and the United States is not expected to add substantial new capacity until at least 2024.

Read more:

Behind the energy crisis: is Europe too dependent on America?

(Contributed by Reuters)

Christi C. Elwood