The United States is on track to become a net exporter of gas next year, driven largely by the growth of liquefied natural gas exports, according to the U.S. Energy Department.
The U.S. started exporting LNG last year, courtesy of Houston-based Cheniere Energy, and the country is increasingly piping more natural gas to Mexico while, simultaneously, importing less gas via pipeline from Canada. The U.S. was still an overall net importer last year.
The nation is projected to become a net exporter of total energy products shortly after 2020, the Energy Department said, which was a virtually unheard of proposition just a decade ago.
Cheniere’s first LNG export facility at Louisiana’s Sabine Pass near the Texas border came online a year ago. Houston-based Freeport LNG Development’s export terminal is slated to start shipping LNG in 2018. Three other LNG export projects will be completed or under construction by 2021, including Cheniere’s other facility near Corpus Christi.
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