Nearly 85 percent of the natural gas consumed in the United States is produced in the United States. Canada is the largest provider of supplemental supplies to the United States, accounting for about 12 percent of gas consumed or about 3.0 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) per year. However, as Canada struggles to maintain gas exports to the U.S., liquefied natural gas (LNG) also presents itself as a supply source. LNG terminal construction along the U.S. Gulf Coast, offshore terminal development in Massachusetts and facilities constructed on the west coast of Mexico and the eastern maritimes of Canada more than doubled capacity for LNG imports in the 2008–2009 time frame.
In addition to importing natural gas, the United States is also a net exporter of pipeline gas to Mexico. The current trade balance results in a net export of about 1.0 Bcf per day from the U.S. to Mexico. LNG that landed in Baja, Mexico is expected to make its way to U.S. markets (primarily southern California). This may ultimately influence the natural gas trade balance between countries. However, the degree to which supplies of Mexican gas are made available to the United States will depend on Mexico’s own energy development and requirements, as well as political, environmental and economic factors.
Reliable supplies of natural gas are destined to be sourced from a diverse set of providers, including LNG shippers from the Atlantic Basin and other regions. If imports from Canada decrease in any given year, LNG imports are expected to fill the gap and may even grow overall supplies of natural gas to U.S. customers.
Additional Information: From the Ground Up: America’s Natural Gas Supply Challenge (AGA, Dec. 2002; www.aga.org)
AGA Contact: Chris McGill, (202) 824-7132, firstname.lastname@example.org