Canada fell far behind the United States in the natural gas export arena during the first six months of 2019, according to the latest trade scorecard of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
U.S. exports reached 31 markets and grew by 27%. But the United States remained the sole destination for Canadian gas exports, and they shrank by 7%.
First-half 2019 U.S. exports were 2.13 Tcf or 11.8 Bcf/d, compared with 1.68 Tcf or 9.3 Bcf/d in the same period of 2018, DOE said.
Canadian exports dropped to 1.41 Tcf or 7.8 Bcf/d from January through June versus year-ago exports of 1.52 Tcf or 8.4 Bcf/d.
The increased U.S. exports included liquefied natural gas (LNG) ocean tanker and ship container deliveries to 29 countries, as well as pipeline flows to Canada and Mexico.
First-half 2019 U.S. LNG exports rose by 57.5% to 774.1 Bcf or 4.3 Bcf/d from 491.4 Bcf/d or 2.7 Bcf/d in the first six months of 2018.
American gas exports to Mexico rose by 10.4% to 883.3 Bcf or 4.9 Bcf/d in the first half of this year from 800.2 Bcf or 4.4 Bcf/d a year earlier. U.S. pipeline exports to Canada climbed by 22.4% to 475.3 Bcf or 2.6 Bcf/d in the first six months of this year from 388.4 Bcf or 2.1 Bcf/d in first-half 2018.
For Canadian exporters, improved prices offset their sales volume erosion. At the U.S. border, Canadian gas rose by 14.6% to a first-half 2019 average of $2.72/MMBtu from $2.37/MMBtu in the same period of 2018.
Prices fetched by U.S. exports to Canada slipped by a penny or 0.4% to $3.09/MMBtu in first-half 2019 from $3.10/MMBtu in the same period of 2018.
The Mexican market was less kind.
The first-half 2019 average price for U.S. pipeline exports to Mexico dropped by 11.7% to $2.82/MMBtu from $3.20/MMBtu during the comparable 2018 period.
Prices fetched by U.S. LNG cargoes varied widely across their 29 destinations from $2.95/MMBtu in Jamaica to $10 for small volumes sent on container ships to Haiti, the Bahama Islands and Barbados.
More than half of U.S. LNG exports were destined for South Korea, Mexico, Spain, Chile, Japan and the Netherlands, DOE said.