The U.S. is well on its way to becoming a net exporter of natural gas for the first time in decades after breaking an annual record for oil production, according to the latest government data.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects the U.S. to become a net natural gas exporter once they’ve compiled all the data for 2017. The U.S. is sending more gas to Mexico via pipeline and shipping more liquefied natural gas (LNG) overseas.
It’s good news for President Donald Trump’s administration, which has been promoting an “energy dominance” agenda for the past year, but the implications could be farther reaching. Unleashing U.S. energy exports has the potential to upset long-standing geopolitical and economic arrangements across the world.
EIA expects the U.S. to have the third largest gas liquefaction capacity in the world by the end of 2019, behind Qatar and Australia, assuming all such projects underway are finished on time. EIA also expects a doubling of gas pipeline capacity to Mexico, furthering pushing up exports.
That news came about after the EIA released its short-term U.S. energy outlook this January. In that report, the statistics agency projected U.S. crude oil production to average 9.3 million barrels per day in 2017.
Production is projected to further increase through the next year, averaging 10.3 million barrels per day and breaking the record set in 1970 of 9.6 million barrels per day. Production could average 10.8 million barrels per day in 2019, rivaling Russia.
Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed in November to extend oil production cuts until the end of 2018 to keep prices up after the collapse in summer 2014. Though with crude now hovering around $70 a barrel, some are predicting that agreement could fall apart.
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