U.S. to become the world's largest LNG exporter in 2022

According to a recent IHS Markit analysis, the United States led the globe as the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas last month for the first time in history, and seems set to hold that position throughout the year.

Last year, the United States was responsible for the single highest supply rise among exporting countries, with a 52 percent Y/Y growth of 25.3 million metric tons to reach 73.6 million tons overall.

In December, output from the United States exceeded Qatar, owing primarily to an increase in exports from the LNG export plants at Freeport and Sabine Pass, where Cheniere Energy (NYSE:LNG) announced this month that it had accomplished its first cargo from a new production unit.

High export volumes were spurred by high demand in Asia, home to top LNG importer China, and Europe, where demand for gas nearly quadrupled benchmark futures prices in the two months before late December, directing some U.S. cargoes toward Europe and away from Asia.

Leaders in the United States' oil and gas business have underlined increasing demand and the need to assist friends in defending LNG shipments against calls by some congressional Democrats for President Biden to limit fuel commodity exports.

Meanwhile, U.S. natural gas rose 2.7 percent Friday to $3.916/MMBtu (NG1:COM) as weather forecasts turned colder, reflecting "a winter withdrawal season that has thus far proven very mild in the U.S., allowing what had been more worrying levels of storage prior to the end of the injection season to catch up," according to RBC Capital Markets.

In addition, according to a quarterly poll conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, energy businesses surveyed would need to see an average natural gas price of $4.27/MMBtu before increasing drilling levels, but crude oil would need to reach $73/bbl before increasing drilling levels.

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