Capitalizing on the ever-expanding growth in U.S. natural gas production, and resulting increase in liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI) has launched a product to provide its readers a more comprehensive view of the burgeoning LNG market.
NGI’s U.S. LNG Export Tracker, and accompanying Natural Gas Volumes historical chart, will show initial flows as five LNG export facilities are expected to ramp up this year. NGI estimates the new facilities will increase nameplate send-out capacity to more than 9.5 Bcf/d from roughly 4.0 Bcf/d today once all the new trains are in service. Two facilities have already begun commissioning, and the overwhelming majority are expected to be in place by year-end.
“Our new LNG Tracker will enable readers to get a headstart on when these various trains enter their commissioning and commercial operation stages, as well as show any significant changes in feed gas deliveries from factors like planned maintenance or unplanned outages. Such things certainly can have an impact on domestic spot market prices,” NGI’s Patrick Rau, director of Strategy & Research, said.
The latest NGI product offerings come after several months of dialogue with market participants that need to know what is happening in the LNG market. Market observers also require knowledge about domestic supply and demand fundamentals, according to Rau.
“Several other sources offer flow data to U.S. liquefaction facilities, but by combining that with capacity utilization data and spot market prices, we believe we offer a more holistic view on what impact LNG may be having on regional price activity,” he said.
Train 5 at Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass facility in Louisiana began producing last fall, and the first train at the company’s Corpus Christi facility in South Texas achieved first production in November. Both trains began service ahead of schedule.
“It's easy to say facilities are up and running, but press releases aren't nearly as meaningful as seeing actual gas flowing to a new export terminal,” NGI analyst Nate Harrison said.
In addition to the Cheniere facilities, three trains at Cameron LNG LLC’s export facility in Louisiana, and another three trains at Freeport LNG Development LP’s project on the upper Texas coast are expected to enter service this year. All 10 trains at the Elba Island LNG facility near Savannah, GA, are also expected this year.
The emerging U.S. LNG export market comes as the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) earlier this week reported that total gas production from the seven regions -- the Anadarko, Appalachian and Permian basins, and the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Haynesville and Niobrara formations -- is expected to reach 77.56 Bcf/d in February, compared to 76.71 Bcf/d in January. In its latest Drilling Productivity Report (DPR), the EIA said it expects month-over-month gas production increases in all seven regions, led as usual by the Appalachian Basin, home of the mighty Marcellus and Utica shales.
Production there is expected to reach 31.57 Bcf/d, up from 31.34 Bcf/d this month, according to the DPR. EIA is also forecasting gas production increases in the Anadarko (7.74 Bcf/d, from 7.67 Bcf/d), Bakken (2.61 Bcf/d, from 2.59 Bcf/d), Eagle Ford (7.14 Bcf/d, from 7.05 Bcf/d), Haynesville (10.07 Bcf/d, from 9.92 Bcf/d), Niobrara (5.24 Bcf/d, from 5.18 Bcf/d) and Permian (13.18 Bcf/d from 12.96 Bcf/d).
NGI’s U.S. LNG Tracker and Natural Gas Volumes historical chart are the latest in a series of flow trackers the leading provider of natural gas and market data has established to monitor movements in key demand/supply centers in the United States. Other flow trackers include the Rockies Express and Rover Trackers for the Appalachian region, and the Mexico Border Tracker, which monitors deliveries from the United States into Mexico at key export points.
The U.S. LNG Tracker can be found on NGI’s Daily GPI homepage. For additional information, contact Patrick Rau.