According to the Global Energy Monitor, of the five leading countries developing new LNG export projects, the U.S. tops the list at a whopping 74. The U.S. also accounts for one-half of all LNG projects in the works around the world. Reese Energy Consulting today recognizes the nation’s first LNG producer to launch a marine vessel filled with American natural gas on a 6,470 nautical mile journey from the La., Gulf Coast to Brazil. That moment in time birthed a new domestic industry now set to turn eight years young next month.
For Houston-based Cheniere, exporting LNG to far-flung destinations was never in the cards when the company set up shop in 1996—first as an E&P, then building a regas facility in 2003 to store, heat, and distribute imported gas supplies ahead of a looming shortage. Sabine Pass took five years of construction but within only two years of operation, Cheniere’s deck of cards changed again. Rising volumes of natural gas tapped from shale rock ushered in a new era of production virtually overnight—and dealt the company what looked to be a royal flush.
Cheniere in 2010 announced a project to add liquefaction and LNG export capabilities at its Sabine Pass regas plant. The company in 2015 then broke dirt on a second terminal, this one in Corpus Christi. One year later, Sabine Pass waved that historic farewell to its first LNG export cargo, marking the first of its kind from the lower 48.
Now the nation’s largest LNG producer—and second largest in the world—the company moves up to 7.5 BCFD and produces 45 million tpy. Cheniere continues to expand its terminals at Sabine Pass and Corpus Christi with two new trains set to go live this year.