The International Energy Agency predicted that the US will become the world's No. 2 exporter of liquefied natural gas by the end of 2022 with a capacity of 3.7 trillion cubic feet per year, second only to Australia.
The U.S. is already the world's largest producer of natural gas. The agency says more than half of the natural gas produced in the US will be converted to LNG for export.
A Reuters report said that global LNG export capacity would reach 650 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year by the end of 2022, compared to less than 452 bcm a year in 2016.
Of that amount, Australia would have capacity to export 117.8 bcm a year of LNG, followed by the United States with 106.7 bcm a year and Qatar with 104.9 bcm a year, it said.
Australia would stay top by adding 30 bcm a year of capacity by the end of 2022 to its existing capacity, but the United States, which has seen shale gas output surge, would add about 90 bcm a year to its capacity of about 14 bcm a year now.
“The US is already the largest gas producer
in the world and will increase production more than any other country over the next five years,” said Keisuke Sadamori, director for energy markets
and security at the IEA. “US gas production will
grow by nearly 3% a year.”
While US domestic demand for gas is growing, thanks to higher consumption from the industrial sector, more than half of the production increase will be used for liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export.
More than half of that new production will be turned into liquefied natural gas for exports, he added.