The United States exported 104.63 Bcf (3.38 Bcf/d) to Mexico through pipelines in May, the most of any month on record and a 21% increase compared with 86.81 Bcf (2.80 Bcf/d) exported in May 2015, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.
While exports to Mexico set a record, almost all U.S. gas exports were up. Overall, U.S. natural gas exports were up 32% in May at 177.28 Bcf compared with 134.27 Bcf in May 2015, according to EIA.
Pipeline exports to Canada reached 62.77 Bcf (2.02 Bcf/d) in May, compared with 44.67 Bcf (1.44 Bcf/d) at the same time last year and total liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports were 9.87 Bcf in May, compared with 2.77 Bcf in May 2015.
EIA reported 6.23 Bcf of LNG delivered by ship to Chile and 3.61 Bcf to Kuwait, with another 33 MMcf trucked to Mexico in May.
The only segment in which the United States exported less natural gas in May than in the same month last year was compressed natural gas (CNG). In May 2015, 28 MMcf of CNG was exported to Canada; no CNG was exported in May 2016, according to EIA.
At the same time, U.S. natural gas imports also increased. Total imports in May were 248.32 Bcf, compared with 204.35 Bcf in May 2015. Most of that increase came through pipeline imports from Canada, which hit 243.01 Bcf, compared with 202.62 Bcf in May 2015. LNG imports also increased, to 5.20 Bcf in May compared with 1.71 Bcf a year earlier.
Net U.S. imports of natural gas were 71 Bcf in May, compared with 70 Bcf a year ago, EIA said in its latest Natural Gas Monthly report (see Daily GPI, Aug. 1). EIA has forecast that U.S. dry natural gas production will continue growing "strongly" over the next two decades, thanks to development of domestic shale resources, with the United States on track to become a net exporter of gas by next year (see Daily GPI, July 1).