By: Dr. Franyi Sarmiento, Ph.D., Inspenet, March 28, 2022.
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports from the United States set a record in 2021 with 9.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), according to a study by the United States Energy Information Administration, EIA for its acronym in English .
The increase in exports was 50% compared to 2020 and was driven by increased demand in Europe and Asia, as well as the expansion of liquefaction capacity in the United States.
In 2021, US LNG exports to Asia increased 51% or 1.5 billion cubic feet per day and became the region’s third largest supplier with 12% of Asia’s LNG imports. The first two are Australia (29%) and Qatar (21%), according to EIA estimates with data from Cedigaz.
The two Asian countries that imported the most LNG from the United States in 2021 were South Korea and China with 1.2 billion cubic feet each.
US LNG exports to China increased by 600,000 cubic feet after tariffs on imports were lowered from 25% to 10% in 2019.
Japan was the third largest destination for US LNG at 1 million cubic feet in 2021. The three Asian countries (Korea, China and Japan) accounted for 35% of all US LNG exports. in 2021.
Europe (including Turkey) imported 3.3 billion cubic feet of LNG from the United States in 2021, an increase of 800,000 cubic feet per day from 2020. In December 2021, the United States exported 6.7 Bcf/d of LNG to Europe.
US LNG exports to Brazil increased by 0.5 Bcf/d in 2021 compared to 2020, averaging 0.8 Bcf/d on an annual basis.
Last year, Brazil experienced its worst drought in more than 90 years, limiting hydroelectric power generation and leading to increased consumption of natural gas for electricity generation.