Although daily natural gas deliveries to U.S. facilities that produce LNG for export were a record 9.8 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in late March 2020, deliveries fell to less than 4.0 Bcf/d in June, EIA reported.
In fact, the mild winter along with the coronavirus situation resulted a decline in global natural gas demand and high natural gas storage inventories in Europe and Asia, reducing the need for LNG imports.
According to EIA, in 2019, US became the world’s third-largest LNG exporter, following Qatar and Australia which exported more LNG.
At the same time several U.S. LNG export facilities became operational in 2019. Most recently, in May 2020, the third train at Freeport LNG in Texas began commercial operations.
Later this summer, the third train at Cameron and three of Elba Island’s small-scale moveable modular liquefaction system units are expected to come online, bringing U.S. total liquefaction capacity to 8.9 Bcf/d of baseload LNG export capacity and 10.1 Bcf/d of peak export capacity.
Based on the number of canceled cargoes due to the pandemic, EIA expects U.S. LNG export capacity will be utilized at less than 50% during June, July, and August 2020.