April 2014

Columns

HP Gas Processing: Panama Canal expansion to give major boost to US gas trade

LNG exports are slated to increase from several approved and proposed US projects, and US NGL exports are poised to quadruple by 2020, if the planned expansion of the Panama Canal cuts shipping costs to Asia.

Blume, Adrienne, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Natural gas production from shale has expanded rapidly in recent years, which has led to an increase in global liquefied natural gas (LNG) and natural gas liquids (NGL) output, especially in the US. LNG exports are slated to increase from several approved and proposed US projects, and US NGL exports are poised to quadruple by 2020, if the planned expansion of the Panama Canal cuts shipping costs to Asia. Petroleum trade through the waterway is also expected to increase. The 100-year-old, 50-mile canal connects the Caribbean with the Pacific region, saving 5,000 miles for ships traveling from the Western Hemisphere to the Asia-Pacific region. The proposed expansion, which is approximately 70

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