Panama Canal project will aid US LNG trade: Analyst

Thursday, February 14, 2013

US exports of liquefied natural gas should reach almost 5.5 Bcf/d by 2020, with the planned expansion of the Panama Canal opening up the Asian LNG markets to Gulf Coast export terminals, an industry analyst said Tuesday in Houston.

“If we look at the global supply/demand evolution, the global market needs exports from the US. We expect it to be around 5.45 Bcf/d by 2020,” Javier Diaz, an analyst with Platts unit Bentek Energy, said on the sidelines of Platts' annual LNG conference.

Interest in developing a US LNG export industry has grown in recent years with the advent of the shale gas revolution, and several projects have been proposed to liquefy and ship gas to foreign markets with much higher prices.

Diaz said the ongoing project to widen and deepen the Panama Canal, which will open it up to passage by the latest generation of LNG ships, would help change the global flow of the commodity by eliminating the need for tankers to voyage around the southern tip of South America.

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