The Low Post News

Imports of Natural Gas Drop on Production Increases

U.S. imports of natural gas fell by 14% during 2013, as early data has shown that domestic production of the gas hit a new record high says a new report.

The U.S. imported 1.2 trillion cubic feet of gas during 2013, the lowest amount since 1989 said the Energy Information Administration.

Most of the fall in imports was for liquefied natural gas. That gas usually arrives via sea and was down by more than 45% to just 98 billion cubic feet. The imports via pipeline fell by 6% to over 2.7 trillion cubic feet.

The EIA, which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy, noted that 97% of the natural gas imports in the U.S. were from its northern neighbor Canada.

Huge production from the northeastern U.S. Marcellus Shale has displaced part of the need for the shipments.

The eastern part of the U.S. experienced the biggest decline in natural gas piped in from Canada, a drop of 12% from 2012 to 2013. The imports that come from Canada through western states were quite stable, said the agency.

However, since 2007 the imports have declined, when the shale boom hit the U.S. unleashing a huge excess of natural gas into the market.

The country in 2013 produced more than 24.2 trillion cubic feet of the natural gas, which is the highest on record.

At the same time, U.S. exports of natural gas to Mexico were doubled between 2009 and 2013. In addition, in 2013, exports increased by 6% to reach 657 billion cubic feet.

The energy ministry in Mexico projects that the pipeline exports from the U.S. into Mexico will double again before 2018 to more than 3.7 billion cubic feet daily.

That growth will be driven largely due to the growing demand from the private and the independently operated plants.

However, natural gas exports from the U.S. to all other countries dropped by 3% during 2013 to 1.61 trillion cubic feet.

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