API: American natural gas prices among lowest worldwide amidst record U.S. LNG exports

March 19, 2024

(WO) – The American Petroleum Institute (API) released new analysis showing that Americans benefit from among the lowest residential natural gas prices globally even as the U.S. leads the world in LNG exports.

API Senior VP of Policy, Economics Regulatory Affairs Dustin Meyer

The report, conducted by Energy Ventures Analysis, demonstrates the American natural gas industry’s record of supporting our allies abroad while maintaining a well-supplied domestic market at home.

“Thanks to America’s enormous resources and constant industry innovation, U.S. producers have shown time and again that we can meet domestic demand while still being a leading supplier to rapidly expanding global markets. The administration’s misguided LNG freeze threatens American jobs and jeopardizes global energy security,” API Senior Vice President of Policy, Economics and Regulatory Affairs Dustin Meyer said. “If policymakers are truly committed to energy affordability, they should focus on smart policies that remove hurdles to increasing natural gas production and developing critical infrastructure.”

Key Findings:

  • Over the last decade, average Henry Hub natural gas prices in the U.S. were 54 percent lower than in the preceding decade. This decline is the result of the shale revolution, which ushered in a new era of low-cost natural gas supply and turning the U.S. into a global energy superpower.
  • Despite a record level of natural gas exports during the first six months of 2023, U.S. natural gas prices at Henry Hub averaged just $2.48 per MMBtu, the lowest six-month average in more than 35 years (outside of the COVID-19 pandemic).
  • Since 2016, the increase in natural gas production has more than doubled the increase in LNG exports. While LNG exports have risen by approximately 14 billion Bcf/d, U.S. natural gas production has surged by 31 Bcf/d – helping to ensure a well-supplied market for U.S. consumers even as domestic and export demand continue to set records.
  • Over the last 15 years, any substantial increase in natural gas demand from the industrial, electric power or export sectors has been accompanied by an increase in production, helping maintain affordability for U.S. consumers and businesses.

Given the lengthy development process for export terminals, natural gas producers have ample time to ramp up production to meet increasing export demand while continuing to meet domestic energy needs. The report concluded that limiting the development of U.S. natural gas infrastructure is the greatest threat to low-cost natural gas supply, not U.S. LNG export levels.

U.S. LNG exports have and will continue to create significant economic benefits here at home while providing access to the reliable natural gas supply needed to advance global climate goals. Switching from higher-emitting fuels to natural gas is a key driver of environmental progress and has helped America lead the world in CO2 emissions reductions over the past two decades. U.S. LNG is helping other nations replicate this success while fueling economic development and supporting jobs across the country, from production facilities in Pennsylvania to pipeline operations in Ohio to export and liquefaction facilities in Louisiana.

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