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Expand chart
Reproduced from EIA; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. liquefied natural gas export capacity will become the world's largest by the end of 2022 as new and expanded Gulf Coast facilities come online, the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) said this month.

Why it matters: The milestone underscores U.S. emergence as a major crude oil and natural gas exporter as production from shale fields has boomed and crude export restrictions were lifted in 2015.

The big picture: Last year the U.S. became the world's third-largest LNG exporter behind Australia and Qatar, EIA notes, and now appears to have already pulled even with Qatar.

  • Asia has been the largest destination for U.S. LNG exports, while Europe and Latin America are also key destinations.

Worth noting: The shale boom has led to an abundant domestic supply that enables exports while still meeting U.S. needs — preventing the kind of astronomical price increases seen in regions like Europe earlier this year.

By the numbers: EIA reports that U.S. exports averaged 10.7 billion cubic feet per day last month, a bump over October's levels that was supported by factors including "large differences" between gas prices in the U.S. compared to Europe and Asia.

What we're watching: On a yearly basis, EIA sees average exports this year at 50% above 2020 levels, rising another 17% next year to average 11.5 billion cubic feet per day.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 12, 2022 - Energy & Environment

White House expands clean energy push as legislation stalls

The 100-megawatt MGM Resorts Mega Solar Array is launched on June 28, 2021 in Dry Lake Valley, Nevada. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The White House is rolling out new multi-agency initiatives to speed renewable power and transmission deployment at a time when Democrats' huge clean energy investment plan has stalled out in Congress.

Why it matters: President Biden has set a goal of reaching 100% carbon-free power by 2035 and accelerating job growth in low-carbon energy.

Judge nixes Gulf of Mexico oil leases in climate-focused ruling

Tug boats prepare to tow the semi-submersible drilling platform Noble Danny Adkins through the Port Aransas Channel into the Gulf of Mexico on December 12, 2020 in Port Aransas, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday canceled the Biden administration's late 2021 sale of new oil-and-gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why it matters: The ruling that the greenhouse gas emissions analysis by the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was insufficient is a win for green groups that challenged the decision, as they seek to curb fossil fuel production.

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Credit: https://earth.nullschool.net

Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine Thursday night, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.