America’s on Track to Export a Record Volume of Shale Gas in November

The LNG carrier Maran Gas Apollonia in the Agua Clara locks on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal, Monday, July 27, 2016. Photo: Panama Canal Authority (ACP)
The Maran Gas Apollonia becomes the first LNG carrier to transit the Panama Canal on July 27, 2016, having departed Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass export terminal for Asia. Photo: Panama Canal Authority (ACP)

By Jim Polson

(Bloomberg) — The U.S. is set to export a record number of cargoes of shale gas this month.

Nine liquefied natural gas tankers have departed or are scheduled to leave Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass terminal in November, already the most for any month since exports began in February, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg and Genscape Inc.

The exports follow a massive shale boom in the U.S. that’s unleashed a flood of gas supplies from the Marcellus and Utica in the east to the Eagle Ford in Texas. The country is on course to become a net exporter of natural gas next year, a stark turnaround from just a decade ago when it was facing a shortage.

“The continental U.S. becoming a net natural gas exporter is a milestone of the U.S. energy revolution and transition to ‘energy independence,’” Citigroup Inc. analysts wrote in a note to clients on Wednesday.

The Sabine Pass complex in Louisiana has exported 40 cargoes totaling about 6.5 million cubic meters of LNG since February, Zach Allen, president of Pan Eurasian Enterprises, said in a research note.

Cheniere, which became the nation’s first and only exporter of shale gas in February, was cleared by U.S. regulators last month to start loading tankers from a second plant at Sabine Pass.

Cheniere didn’t immediately return phone calls and e-mails seeking comment.

© 2016 Bloomberg L.P