The US has got more natural gas than it can handle. So much so, it’s become a net exporter for the first time since the 50s. It’s now predicted that natural gas will meet 30% of America’s energy needs in 2018.
The surge has been driven by the shale boom, gas-fired plants producing more electricity and its relatively low price compared with other fuels. It has also grown through infrastructure investment.
Confidence in future investment across the oil and gas sector has strengthened since November: Trump wants America to become an energy exporter. He recently joked that he wants to build a pipeline “under the wall” to Mexico.
This boost in gas production is not just good news for America. It will also affect America’s neighbours, Canada and Mexico. Both have increased demands for the stuff.
Whereas we may see less gas being imported from Canada, it’s unlikely it will drop off completely because the pipeline infrastructure is an efficient distribution network. Conversely, we expect to see exports increase to eastern parts of Canada: importing from the US is more efficient than internal distribution and urban centres there have a rising need.
Similarly, gas exports to Mexico will increase as its economy grows, Mexican production slows and planned future pipelines come online.
Expect to see a price rise soon.