LNG Exports: How Much Will They Impact U.S. Natural Gas Prices?

Published in ACCF Special Report

One important issue in the debate about expediting the U.S. Department of Energy’s LNG permitting process is the impact of exports on domestic natural gas prices. U.S. shale gas production, which has risen by 50% over the 2007-2012 period, has contributed to the fall in natural gas prices from a high of $11/million cubic feet in 2008 to the current well-head price of about $3.70/million cubic feet. While a recent Black & Veatch survey, “2013 Strategic Directions in the North American Natural Gas Industry” concluded that natural gas prices would increase to a range between $4.50 to $7.49 MMBtu (one million British thermal units) in 2020, most analyses forecast that prices will remain below $5.00 MMBtu over the next 5 to 10 years.1 This issue brief summarizes the recent research from a variety of government organizations and economic consulting firms.

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