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U.S. to Become a Net Exporter of Natural Gas This Year

EIA’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook projects that the U.S. will export more natural gas than it imports in 2017. The U.S. has been a net exporter for three of the past four months and is expected to continue to export more natural gas than it imports for the rest of 2017 and throughout 2018. U.S. status as a net exporter is expected to continue past 2018 because of growing U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico, declining pipeline imports from Canada, and increasing exports of LNG.

The U.S. is currently the world's largest natural gas producer, having surpassed Russia in 2009. Natural gas production in the U.S. increased from 55 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2008 to 72.5 Bcf/d in 2016. Most of this natural gas—about 96% in 2016—is consumed domestically. Abundant natural gas resources and large production increases have created opportunities for U.S. natural gas exports. 

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