In 2017, the United States became a net exporter of natural gas for the first time since the late 1950s. And last year, American natural gas exports totaled 3.61 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) — the highest on record.
70% of those exports left the country through pipelines. That's down from 98% in 2012.
And the reason for that is the same reason for record natural gas production and exports: liquefied natural gas, otherwise known as LNG.
Liquefied natural gas is simply natural gas that has been cooled down into liquid form. This makes it possible to transport natural gas without pipelines, and thus possible for the United States to export to foreign countries that are not directly connected to its infrastructure.
The United States is currently experiencing an LNG boom. Right now, there are five LNG export terminals in operation, with dozens of others under construction, approved, planned, or in some stage of development.
Back in May, the European Commission reported that LNG imports from the U.S. have increased by 272% since 2018. EC data shows record LNG imports coming from the U.S. in March 2019 totaling 49 billion cubic feet.
And that's only the beginning.
A month earlier, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry signed two export orders that will more than double America's LNG exports to 112 Bcf by next year.
And the European Commission says LNG imports could increase from there to 282 Bcf by 2023.
The International Energy Agency says the liquefied natural gas market has already received a record $50 billion in investments this year.
According to IEA figures, over 6 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of LNG capacity is due by the end of this year. This is a record that blasts through the previous high of 2.5 Tcf.
Fortunately for us, the mainstream market is too wrapped up in other more dramatic investing headlines to be concerned with boring old liquefied natural gas. Meatless hamburgers... CBD... crypto... meatless CBD crypto-burgers... these all dominate financial headlines instead.
But the smart money is betting big on LNG.
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