By GURDEEP SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR -- US exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG)
are likely to be limited because of growing domestic demand,
and won't greatly affect rival producers or the crude oil-based
pricing of LNG in Asia, a senior executive at Qatar's RasGas
"I don't see the US exporting large volumes," Hamad Rashid
Al Mohannadi, managing director of RasGas, told reporters on
the sidelines of a conference.
The US could see another natural gas revolution - an
explosion in domestic demand - that could limit its exports as
production there levels off, Mr. Mohannadi said.
Qatar, the world's largest LNG exporter, could face
competition from US and Canadian companies looking to export
LNG to Asian buyers.
Demand is surging in Asia, particularly in China and India, and in Japan while all of its
nuclear reactors are offline. Mr. Mohannadi said RasGas is in
discussions with several Indian buyers.
Ultimately, US LNG exports may only feed additional need for
spot or short-term cargoes in Asia, while most buyers will
continue to depend on already established LNG projects for the bulk of their
long-term requirements, Mr. Mohannadi said.
So far, only one US project has received all of the
regulatory approvals needed to export LNG.
But several have been proposed because gas prices remain at
10-year lows due to the boom in unconventional production,
while prices in Asia are considerably higher.
Gas from unconventional resources such as shale now
comprises 35% of total US gas output, up from only 1% a decade
ExxonMobil, the largest gas producer in the US, said
recently that it is exploring the possibility of exporting LNG
from the US, but the industry remains unsure of how much LNG
the US could export.
Mr. Mohannadi said planning for LNG export terminals in
Canada has progressed more rapidly, but still faces financing
challenges because of the worsening global economic
RasGas is operating at 100% of capacity in Qatar, and will
produce 37 million metric tons of LNG this year, Mr. Mohannadi
said, adding that no more maintenance shutdowns are planned
for the year.
Dow Jones Newswires