The United States became the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter during the first half of 2022, according to data from CEDIGAZ. Compared with the second half of 2021, U.S. LNG exports increased by 12% in the first half of 2022, averaging 11.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). U.S. LNG exports continued to grow for three reasons—increased LNG export capacity, increased international natural gas and LNG prices, and increased global demand, particularly in Europe.
Since the end of last year, countries in Europe have increasingly imported more LNG to compensate for lower pipeline imports from Russia and to fill historically low natural gas storage inventories. LNG imports in the EU and UK increased by 63% during the first half of 2022 to average 14.8 Bcf/d.
Most U.S. LNG exports went to the EU and the UK during the first five months of this year, accounting for 71%, or 8.2 Bcf/d, of the total U.S. LNG exports. Similar to 2021, the United States sent the most LNG to the EU and UK during the first half of the year, providing 47% of the 14.8 Bcf/d of Europe’s total LNG imports, followed by Qatar at 15%, and Russia at 14%, and four African countries combined at 17%.