U.S. Shale Gas Heading to Israel for First Time

sabine pass lng exports
Loading of the first commissioning cargo at the Sabine Pass LNG Terminal in February 2016. File photo: Cheniere Energy

By Ryan Collins and Kevin Varley (Bloomberg) — Israel is about to receive a cargo of U.S. liquefied natural gas, the first to arrive in the Middle Eastern nation from America’s shores since exports began in 2016.

The vessel British Diamond, beneficially owned by BP Plc, is set to arrive at Israel’s Hadera import terminal on May 27 after departing Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass in Louisiana on May 3, ship tracking data compiled by Bloomberg show. Most cargoes to Hadera have come from Trinidad and Tobago, which also ships to the U.S.

U.S. shale gas has sailed from the nation’s two operating LNG export terminals — Sabine Pass and Dominion Energy Inc.’s Cove Point facility in Maryland — to buyers from Mexico to China. With three more projects set to start up in the next year, America is on course to rival Qatar and Australia for global LNG dominance in the next five years.

Israel’s gas imports, meanwhile, may slide in coming years as the nation produces more gas from domestic fields. Earlier this year, Dolphinus Holdings Ltd., a private Egyptian company, agreed to buy gas from Noble Energy Inc. and its partners from Israel’s two largest offshore fields, Leviathan and Tamar.

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