Go West - Red-Hot Natural Gas Markets Help Push North American LNG To Asia

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Manage episode 303377701 series 2624419
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With multiple energy markets around the world facing natural gas shortages, buyers are clamoring for more LNG. Pre-winter panic-buying has sent global gas prices to record highs yet again in the past couple of days, and even hauled Henry Hub gas futures up to new post-2008 records above $6/MMBtu in after-hours and intraday trading. With the incredible run in global gas prices, U.S. export economics have looked extremely attractive for nearly a year now, and you would think that buyers would be lining up for new liquefaction capacity in the U.S. Well, it has certainly drawn prospective offtakers back to the table. But they are wary of rising export costs and committing to projects long-term given the questionable future for hydrocarbon markets. Additionally, Europe’s rising piped gas imports from Russia and overall declining demand in the region have put long-term prospects for European LNG imports, in particular, on shaky ground. So, access to Asia is more important than ever for new LNG development, a key selling point for projects on North America’s Pacific Coast, both because of proximity to Asian markets and the absence of canal fees or constraints versus the Gulf Coast. There are no LNG export terminals on the Pacific Coast currently, but two projects — LNG Canada in British Columbia and Sempra Energy’s Energía Costa Azul (ECA) LNG in Baja California, Mexico — are under construction and due online mid-decade. Those projects are unlikely to be the last, given the more than $1/MMBtu in cost savings due to shorter voyage times and canal-free access to Asia. In today’s RBN blog, we begin a series looking at the state of LNG development on the North American Pacific Coast.

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