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U.S. Becomes World's Largest LNG Exporter in 2023

U.S. Becomes World's Largest LNG Exporter in 2023

Apr 1, 2024

U.S. Becomes World's Largest LNG Exporter in 2023

In a landmark shift in global energy trade, the United States has emerged as the world's top exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2023. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the U.S. exported an average of 11.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of LNG last year, overtaking both Australia and Qatar in the process.

The increase in exports is attributed to a combination of factors, including strong demand from Europe, the return of Freeport LNG to full operations, and high utilization rates across American LNG facilities. These factors have contributed to a 12% rise in U.S. LNG exports compared to the previous year.

The EIA's Natural Gas Monthly data reveals that the U.S. was well ahead of its closest competitors, with Australian and Qatari exports each ranging from 10.1 Bcf/d to 10.5 Bcf/d annually from 2020 to 2023. Records were set towards the end of 2023, with U.S. LNG exports reaching 12.9 Bcf/d in November and 13.6 Bcf/d in December. The EIA estimates that utilization of U.S. LNG export capacity averaged 104% of nominal capacity and 86% of peak capacity across operating terminals.

Europe, including Turkey, was the primary recipient of U.S. LNG, accounting for 66%, or 7.8 Bcf/d, of all U.S. exports in 2023. This reliance on American LNG comes as Europe seeks to replace pipeline gas previously sourced from Russia. European countries have significantly increased their LNG import capacity to accommodate more cargoes. The Netherlands, France, and the UK were the leading importers of U.S. LNG, collectively making up 35%, or 4.2 Bcf/d, of all U.S. exports.

Looking ahead, the U.S. position as the global LNG export leader may face challenges. Qatar is investing in major expansion projects aimed at boosting its export capacity by 85% by 2030. Concurrently, the Biden Administration has put a hold on new LNG export permit approvals while reviewing current criteria.

As the global energy landscape continues to evolve, the U.S. has solidified its role as a key player in LNG exports. However, with the potential rise of Qatari exports and the strategic reassessment of U.S. energy policies, the future dynamics of the LNG market remain uncertain.

Originally reported by


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