LNG IMPORTS FROM USA – IMPLICATIONS FOR INDIA
With shale gas production increasing, the USA is slated to become a major exporter of LNG. LNG Liquefaction Projects (approx. 140 MMTPA) have been approved and are in various stages of construction. The USA is expected to be one of the top three exporters along with Australia and Qatar once this capacity comes on stream. Countries like India were looking at importing low-cost LNG( henry hub pricing had an advantage over the crude oil-linked pricing) from the USA as a secured supply of natural gas to decrease emissions and diversify their fuel mix. Asian companies were the biggest buyers of US LNG due to its price advantage vis-a-vis crude oil-linked LNG. However, with the fall of crude prices from 2015 onwards, US LNG became uncompetitive. This paper examines the growth of US LNG exports, the regulatory requirements, and lessons learned with the sudden fall of crude prices and suggests the way forward in sourcing LNG from the USA.