skip to Main Content

US To Have Largest LNG Export Capacity

Read Time: 2 mins

US LNG export capacity has grown rapidly since the Lower 48 states first began exporting LNG in February 2016. In 2020, the US became the world’s third-largest LNG exporter, behind Australia and Qatar.

Once the new LNG liquefaction units at Sabine Pass and Calcasieu Pass in Louisiana are placed in service by the end of 2022, the US will have the world’s largest LNG export capacity, reports the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The following new LNG export capacity additions will come online by the end of 2022, according to announced project plans:

Train 6 will add up to 0.76 billion ft3/d of peak export capacity. Train 6 began producing LNG in late November – the first export cargo from this train is expected to be shipped before the end of 2021.

This new export facility has 18 liquefaction trains with a combined peak capacity of 12 million tpy. Commissioning activities at Calcasieu Pass LNG started in November 2021 – the first LNG production is expected before the end of this year. All liquefaction trains are expected to be operational by the end of 2022.

The nameplate, or nominal, capacity of a liquefaction facility specifies the amount of LNG produced in a calendar year under normal operating conditions, based on the engineering design of a facility. Peak LNG production capacity is the amount of LNG produced under optimal operating conditions, including modifications to production processes that increase operational efficiency.

In October 2021, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved requests to increase authorised LNG production at the Sabine Pass and Corpus Christi LNG terminals by a combined 261 billion ft3/yr. The terminals will achieve these increases by optimising operations, including production up rates and modifications to maintenance.

As of November 2021, the EIA estimates that US LNG nominal liquefaction capacity was 9.5 billion ft3/d and peak capacity was 11.6 billion ft3/d. This peak capacity includes uprates to LNG production capacity at Sabine Pass and Corpus Christi.

By the end of 2022, US nominal capacity is expected to increase to 11.4 billion ft3/d, and peak capacity will increase to 13.9 billion ft3/d, exceeding capacities of the two largest LNG exporters, Australia (which has an estimated peak LNG production capacity of 11.4 billion ft3/d) and Qatar (peak capacity of 10.4 billion ft3/d). In 2024, when construction on Golden Pass LNG (the eighth US LNG export facility) is completed and the facility begins operations, US LNG peak export capacity will further increase to an estimated 16.3 billion ft3/d.

For more information visit www.eia.gov