Global trade of liquefied natural gas saw record growth last year amid a boom in U.S. energy production that allowed Houston’s Cheniere Energy to ramp up exports to meet growing demand in Asia and elsewhere.
Trade volumes reached 38.2 billion cubic feet per day, up 10 percent from 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy reported Monday. The U.S. and Australia, another major natural gas producer, accounted for much of the growth, adding a combined 2.7 billion cubic feet per day in LNG exports.
China, now implementing an environmental crackdown on coal producers and other industrial polluters to reduce dangerous smog levels, became the world’s second largest importer of LNG behind Japan. Its annual imports skyrocketed more that 40 percent to 39 million tons. [read more]