As The Wall Street Journal reports, for the first time in 60 years, the United States is again a net exporter of natural gas, due to fracking and the shale energy boom.
The Journal states:
The U.S. has exported an average of 7.4 billion cubic feet a day of gas in November, more than the 7 billion cubic feet a day it has imported, according to S&P Global Platts, an energy trade publisher and data provider. Exports also topped imports for a few days in September, Platts reported. It has been nearly 60 years since the U.S. last shipped out more natural gas than it brought in annually, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The milestone comes less than a year after restrictions on most crude oil exports were lifted, allowing tankers of crude to be freely shipped overseas for the first time nearly half a century, and together they mark a significant and potentially permanent change in the way U.S. energy flows around the world. Overseas producers now have to deal with the growing clout of the U.S. energy industry, which is aggressively looking to ramp up its global market share to help offset a long period of low prices.
The Journal writes, “Gas exports have risen more than 50% since 2010 … The Energy Department says the country will be the world’s third-largest producer of liquefied natural gas for export by , trailing Australia and Qatar.”
China will soon receive its second U.S. shale gas shipment, Canada and Mexico are the largest recipients of the natural gas boom in the United states.
The US Chamber of Commerce noted:
Continuing this positive trend requires better energy policies. For instance, we need speedy federal regulatory approvals to allow the natural gas exports to non-FTA nations like Japan and China. Earlier this year, both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed their own energy bills that include LNG export application streamlining … regulatory agencies need to streamline how they permit safe energy infrastructure projects like pipelines to prevent them from being bogged down in red tape.