US regains tops global LNG exporter spot in first half of 2023, EIA says

(Reuters) – The U.S. exported more liquefied natural gas (LNG) than any other country in the first six months of 2023, regaining the top spot after the restart of a fire-idled Texas plant, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday, citing data from industry body Cedigaz.

The increase in U.S. LNG exports mainly resulted from Freeport LNG terminal returning to service as global demand for the fuel remained strong, especially in Europe, the statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy said.

Freeport LNG’s plant was back at full power in late-March, ramping up feed gas intake after an eight-month outage, the result of a fire in June 2022, ended in February.

U.S. LNG exports averaged 11.6 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) during the first half of this year, up 4% year-on-year, while Australia ranked in second with 10.6 bcfd on average, followed by Qatar at 10.4 bcfd.

Europe and Britain remained the main destination again for U.S. LNG exports in the first six months, accounting for 67% (7.7 bcfd) of total U.S. exports, the EIA said.

(Reporting by Daksh Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Marguerita Choy)