The only LNG export terminal currently serving the group of nations is ConocoPhiliips' aging facility in Alaska, where supply is dwindling.
South Korea and Taiwan are also big importers, and demand is rising in India and China, which is building huge import terminals.
The non-free trade block is a highly profitable market for liquefied natural gas. Importers like Japan pay nearly four times the price paid in the U.S. market.
Huge markets aside, the natural gas industry says there's plenty of gas to go around without any negative impact.
“Higher U.S. natural gas prices are an unfounded fear,” says Rocco Canonica, director of energy analysis at BENTEK Energy. “The U.S. will produce more gas over just a few years to make up for exports."
Studies on the effect of exports on prices, however, differ widely.
One by Deloitte found that by 2035, daily exports of 6 billion cubic feet, or about 1 trillion BTUs, will result in an average domestic price increase of 1.7 percent. On the other hand, a study by ICF International concluded that the same number of exports over the same period would increase domestic prices by 11 percent.
Some experts say the regulatory slowdown is almost certain to dampen pricing.Page 3 of 4 | Prev Page | Next Page