The US will have more liquefied natural gas export capacity than any other nation by the end of 2022, the US Energy Information Administration said in a report released Thursday.
The US became the world's third-largest LNG exporter in 2020, trailing only Australia and Qatar. With several major projects now within site of completion, the US should soon have the greater export capacity than both nations.
The EIA said Train 6 at Cheniere’s Sabine Pass, Louisiana, export facility will add 0.76 billion cubic feet per day of peak export capacity. The train began producing LNG in late November and Cheniere anticipates it will ship its first export cargoes from Train 6 by the end of this year.
The Calcasieu Pass LNG terminal, also located in Louisiana, began commissioning activities in November. The terminal, owned by Venture Global LNG, has 18 liquefaction trains with a combined peak capacity of 1.6 Bcfd, or 12 million metric tons per annum. Venture Global has said it expects all liquefaction trains at Calcasieu Pass will be operational by the end of 2022.
In October, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved requests to increase LNG production at both the Sabine Pass and Corpus Christi, Texas LNG terminals by a combined 261 Bcf per year. Corpus Christi LNG is also owned by Cheniere.
“As of November 2021, we estimate that US LNG nominal liquefaction capacity was 9.5 Bcfd and peak capacity was 11.6 Bcfd,” the EIA said. “This includes updates to LNG production capacity at Sabine Pass and Corpus Christi.
By the end of 2022, U.S. nominal capacity is expected to increase to 11.4 Bcfd, and peak capacity will increase to 13.9 Bcfd, exceeding capacities of the two largest LNG exporters, Australia (which has an estimated peak LNG production capacity of 11.4 Bcfd) and Qatar (peak capacity of 10.4 Bcfd).”
A further expansion of US LNG export capacity is on the horizon. The EIA said that the Golden Pass LNG facility, when it begins operations in 2024, would increase US LNG peak export capacity to 16.3 Bcfd.