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U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas Trade Grows

September 13, 2004 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 82, Issue 37

Last year, in the face of increasing domestic demand and skyrocketing natural gas prices, the U.S. doubled its imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to 507 billion cu ft, the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration said in a new report. However, the report also notes that the U.S. exported more gas than it imported as LNG, continuing a four-year growth of domestic natural gas sold to other countries--most went to Mexico (333 billion cu ft), followed by Canada (294 billion cu ft) and Japan (64 billion cu ft). LNG imports make up 13% of total U.S. natural gas imports (3,996 billion cu ft), most of which is gas piped in from Canada. However, Canadian exports to the U.S. declined last year by 7.8% to 3,490 billion cu ft, the first drop in 16 years, the report notes. Overall, the report says, U.S. net imports--imports minus exports--of natural gas actually declined by 5.6% in 2003 to 3,305 billion cu ft. Because of the high prices last year, U.S. natural gas consumption also dropped--by 4 to 5%, EIA reports. Consequently, net U.S. imports as a percentage of consumption remained flat last year at about 15% of total U.S. natural gas consumed.


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