U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Sabine Pass LNG terminal hit a record level in December, thanks to cold weather in Asia, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
An estimated 42.8 Bcf (1.2 X 109 m3) of natural gas in 12 exported cargoes came from the terminal, which has been operational since February 2016. The December amount surpassed the November total of 33.6 Bcf (0.95 X 109 m3) of natural gas in 10 cargoes. Eight of the 12 cargoes in December went to Asia due to an increase in heating demand and an increase in spot LNG prices, according to the EIA.
The increase in Asian spot LNG prices stem from crude oil price hikes and supply shortages from unplanned outages at the Soyo liquefaction plant in Angola and the Gorgon facility in Australia in November and December.
South America has been the main consumer of U.S. LNG exports out of the Sabine Pass terminal since it went into operation. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, South America accounts for 48% of all U.S. exports out of the terminal.