Massive Increases in U.S Natural Gas Exports are Driving Up U.S. Energy Prices


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on September 10, 2022

It is good to see at least one energy finance analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, speaking commonsense.  In an article by Clark Williams-Derry for Barron Magazine [SEE HERE], the author accurately outlines how significant U.S. Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) exports are driving up prices for American consumers.

The author accurately refutes the notion that exports do not drive-up domestic prices, by walking through the example of how natural gas prices dropped for U.S. consumers when the liquefied natural gas plant in Quintana, Texas [Freeport LNG] was temporarily shut down, blocking a portion of the export capacity.  However, that facility is about to come back on-line and with increased exports from other facilities domestic U.S. prices have already doubled.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Association (IEA), U.S. storage of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) is 12% below the five-year average (LINK).  Additionally, the IEA is expecting the U.S. to export 11.7 billion cubic feet of LNG per day during the fourth quarter of 2022 — up 17% from the third quarter. The destination of that export is Europe.

Consider that 43% of U.S. households use LNG for home heating, and power suppliers use LNG to create electricity.  With the massive 2022 exports of LNG to Europe (+17% in fourth quarter alone), that means lower domestic supplies and increased prices here in the United States for electricity and home heating.  We are seeing and feeling these massive price increases right now.

Barrons – […]  If you need more evidence of the impact of natural gas exports on prices, just compare supply and demand fundamentals for the year leading up to February 2020 (the last pre-pandemic month) versus the year leading up to this May (the most recent month with full federal data). Annualized production rose over the period, while domestic consumption remained roughly flat. Yet LNG exports almost doubled—a surge that tightened U.S. gas markets and doubled the price that U.S. consumers pay for the fuel. 

The growth of global demand for U.S. LNG can be tied to many market forces, including the shortfalls in Europe due to Russia’s manipulation of European Union gas markets. Sustained high demand in wealthy Asian nations has contributed to export growth as well. And so has the U.S. gas industry’s dogged determination to ship its wares to the highest bidder, foreign or domestic. 

Russia’s role has been particularly critical in the rise of global LNG demand. As Russia choked off gas shipments to Europe, EU buyers have turned to global LNG markets to make up the shortfall. Global LNG prices rose in response, and U.S. LNG companies ramped up output, shipping more cargoes to Europe. But Russia responded by further clamping down on gas supplies to the EU—a vicious circle that has hurt Europe’s economy even more severely than it has harmed America’s.

There’s little sign that U.S. gas prices will ease in the coming years. Freeport’s demand will be back online soon enough, and there are three other massive LNG export projects under construction, with more than a dozen of others waiting for financing.

[…] Curiously, federal regulators have consistently found that the gas export projects are in the public interest—meaning they were in the economic interest of LNG companies and gas drillers. But now, exports are creating sky-high costs for U.S. consumers, and drillers are reluctant to boost gas output lest prices fall back to earth. So, it’s high time to consider whether soaring U.S. LNG exports are actually in America’s interest—or if, instead, runaway LNG exports are fueling energy inflation and undermining the nation’s economic competitiveness. (read more)

Not only are U.S. taxpayers directly paying for the majority of costs in Ukraine, but we are also subsidizing the European Union by exporting LNG and driving up the price for energy here at home.

We the taxpayers are directly paying Ukraine, and indirectly paying Europe to maintain gas sanctions against Russia.  As a result, we the taxpayers are also paying higher prices here at home.  This is the reality of the current exfiltration of wealth as created by the Biden administration.

FUBAR

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