A liquid natural gas compression terminal in Freeport, Texas. The 233 acre terminal site is connected to a 9.3 mile pipeline leading to Stratton, Texas with a total send-out capacity of two billion cubic feet a day.
The approval of new natural gas export terminals by the Obama Administration is based on the assumption that the U.S. has an over-supply of natural gas thanks to fracking for previously inaccessible shale gas. However the U.S. is still a net importer of natural gas. In 2013, the United States produced 24.3 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas but consumed 26.0 tcf. The gap between production and consumption has been shrinking in the last decade as shale gas drilling went into overdrive, but storage of natural gas supplies is also at low levels—as of May 16, 2014 it is more than 40% lower than it was just a year ago. The idea that the U.S. has enough natural gas justify large-scale exports is simply false.