U.S. now the world's top liquefied natural gas exporter
Multiple analysts are reaching the same conclusion: The U.S. has already become the world's largest liquefied natural gas exporter.
Driving the news: "LNG exports from the United States topped 7 million tonnes (7.7 million tons) in December, according to ship-tracking data from ICIS LNG Edge, narrowly edging out rival producers Qatar and Australia for the first time," CNN reports.
- Bloomberg's tracking has reached the same conclusion about December output "as deliveries surged to energy-starved Europe."
- Overall, Asia has been the top destination for U.S. LNG exports since the industry began taking off in the mid-2010s.
What's next: A new report from the consultancy IHS Markit says the U.S. will be the biggest LNG exporter on a full-year basis in 2022.
- “It is a tale of two markets with China fueling the demand surge as the world’s top importer and the United States, poised to become the world’s leading exporter, providing the supply push," IHS' Michael Stoppard said in a statement alongside the data.
Quick take: It's unlikely the Biden administration will take steps to curtail U.S. exports despite a push from some environmentalists, given the commercial and geostrategic benefits of the boom.