The Gulf nation leads in LNG exports as the country looks to replace Europe’s energy supply after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In April, the Gulf nation’s LNG exports surpassed 7.5 million metric tons, clinching the title from the U.S, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.
The Gulf state previously maintained its dominance in LNG exports before maintenance at Qatar Gas caused a reduction in the exports a month earlier. In 2019, the Middle Eastern nation was also on top of the list with exportation that amounted to 104.8 billion cubic meters (bcm) of LNG, according to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2019 report.
Over the last few months, several European countries have eyed Qatar as an LNG importer as part of an attempt to cut dependence on Russian energy as a response to its invasion of Ukraine.
Low temperatures and high demand has spiked the prices of fuel globally. European gas prices rose by as much as 20% as a result of the move before levelling out. As payment deadlines approach, governments and businesses throughout Europe must decide whether to comply with the new regulations or risk potential gas rationing.
This gave Qatar the green light to claim its crown once again with more energy deals. Following the invasion, which began on 24 February, the Gulf state was approached by Austria, Italy, Germany, the UK, and France in an effort to reduce their reliance on Russian gas.
However, Doha has also stressed that it will not be able to unilaterally replace Europe’s energy supply in the event of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Gulf state said that it could possibly divert 10-15% of its LNG shipping volumes, as Reuters reported in March.
As summer approached, some US export terminals have undergone maintenance during the time of softer demand and lower prices, lowing the US’s LNG production for a period of time.
The North American country has had a gas revolution, packed with billions of dollars of investments in liquefaction facilities, transforming its title from importer to a top exporter in less than a decade.
Its LNG exports have lately averaged more than 12 billion cubic feet per day, and when further export capacity comes online, they are likely to reach a new high of 14 billion cubic feet per day.
Race to the top
Both leading LNG exporters are expected to compete to dominate the market of global gas energy after their major expansion projects are fully completed. Qatar is planning a gargantuan export project that is set to be completed soon and is expected to keep the nation as the top exporter.
Meanwhile, Golden Pass LNG, a liquefied natural gas project being built in Texas by QatarEnergy, Exxon Mobil Corporation, and Glenfarne Group LLC’s Magnolia LNG project in Louisiana is expected to take U.S’s LNG production capacity to 13.9 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.