The United States exported more liquefied natural gas (LNG) than any other country in the first half of 2023, U.S. data shows CEDIGAZ. U.S. LNG exports averaged 11.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) during the period, up 4% (0.5 Bcf/d) from the same period in 2022, according to data from the US Department of Energy LNG Reports.
Australia exported the world’s second largest volume of LNG in the first half of this year, averaging 10.6 Bcf/d, followed by Qatar at 10.4 Bcf/d. The increase in U.S. LNG exports was primarily driven by the restart of Freeport LNG as global demand for LNG remained strong and continued to increase, particularly in Europe.
As in 2022, EU (Europe) countries and the United Kingdom remained the top destination for U.S. LNG exports in the first half of 2023, accounting for 67% (7.7 Bcf/d) of total American exports. Five countries – the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Germany – imported more than half (6.0 Bcf/d) of total U.S. LNG exports.
U.S. LNG exports hit a monthly record of 12.4 Bcf/d in April thanks to increased LNG production at Freeport, while Europe and the United Kingdom continued to increase LNG imports to offset lower pipeline imports from Russia and replenish inventory.
More regasification in Europe
Regasification capacity in Europe and the UK was further increased in 2023 with the commissioning of new terminals in Finland, Germany, Italy and Spain, allowing these countries to import more LNG. After a mild winter, Europe and the United Kingdom ended the 2022-23 heating season with the largest amount of natural gas in storage ever recorded, and the region continued to import LNG to quickly replenish its storage stocks in the spring and summer.
In the first six months of this year, LNG imports from Europe and the United Kingdom exceeded pipeline imports for the first time in history, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon. LNG imports from Europe and the United Kingdom averaged 15.9 Bcf/d, 0.1 Bcf/d more than this region’s pipeline imports from all sources.
In 2022, LNG imports in the region reached an annual average of 14.9 Bcf/d, 28% (5.8 Bcf/d) less than natural gas imports via gas pipelines. LNG imports from Europe and the United Kingdom peaked at 18.0 Bcf/d in April 2023 and remained above pipeline natural gas imports from April to June 2023.