World Bulletin / News Desk
The United States produces natural gas in abundance and is poised to become the world's third-largest exporter by 2020, a production ramp-up supported by President Donald Trump.
The United States is now seeking fresh international export markets for the product.
"This 2018-2019 time period was always flagged as being a crossroads in the global natural gas conversation," said Breanne Dougherty, head of natural gas research at Societe Generale.
The United States already exports some of this bounty through pipelines to Canada and Mexico.
But to reach more distant markets, US industry is betting on liquefied natural gas, which can be exported by ship.
LNG exports began to grow in 2016 when for the first time Cheniere Energy chartered a tanker from its gas terminal at Sabine Pass in Louisiana. Prior to that, US exports had come solely from an Alaskan terminal that closed in 2015.
LNG exports quadrupled in a year and the United States became a net exporter in 2017 for the first time in 60 years.
More than half of this went three countries: Mexico, South Korea and China. About a third was bound for Europe.
Shipments are due to soar even higher since Dominion Energy brought a new terminal online in Cove Point, Maryland in March, with four other projects due to be completed by the end of next year.
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