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U.S. natural-gas production has increased more than 50% since 1997, and prices have dropped to levels not seen since then.

Expand chart
Note: Henry Hub natural gas spot price is shown in 2017 dollars; Data: Energy Information Administration; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Why it matters: Natural gas prices are more opaque than gasoline prices you see driving down the street, but the fuel is actually more diverse and used in everything from home heating to electricity to industrial manufacturing.

  • Unlike domestic gasoline prices that are driven mostly by a complex global oil market, natural gas isn’t (yet) priced on a global market. That means America’s increased production has resulted in lower prices, providing economic benefits across the board.

One level deeper: America is ramping up its exports of natural gas in a liquified form (known as LNG), in response to the gas boom over the last decade.

"U.S. [natural] gas prices are something of an island in the world, and remain so despite large-volume LNG exports ramping up.”
— Kevin Book, managing director, ClearView Energy Partners

What's next: As of 2017, U.S. had 4% share of global LNG exports. The International Energy Agency says in a new report that's poised to grow to 20% by 2023. That’s a “very very big jump in such a short period of time,” Fatih Birol, the executive director of the agency, told Axios Monday.

Birol predicts natural gas could likely to be priced on a global level like oil within the next decade. That could make America’s natural gas prices beholden to global markets much like gasoline prices are today.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — Fauci: Hotspots have materialized across "the entire country."
  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Dunkin' Brands agrees to $11B Inspire Brands sale

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Dunkin' Brands, operator of both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, agreed on Friday to be taken private for nearly $11.3 billion, including debt, by Inspire Brands, a restaurant platform sponsored by private equity firm Roark Capital.

Why it matters: Buying Dunkin’ will more than double Inspire’s footprint, making it one of the biggest restaurant deals in the past 10 years. This could ultimately set up an IPO for Inspire, which already owns Arby's, Jimmy John's and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Ina Fried, author of Login
4 hours ago - Technology

Federal judge halts Trump administration limit on TikTok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A federal judge on Friday issued an injunction preventing the Trump administration from imposing limits on the distribution of TikTok, Bloomberg reports. The injunction request came as part of a suit brought by creators who make a living on the video service.

Why it matters: The administration has been seeking to force a sale of, or block, the Chinese-owned service. It also moved to ban the service from operating in the U.S. as of Nov. 12, a move which was put on hold by Friday's injunction.

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