Shifting the Rudder?

Speculation has centered on whether the United States (U.S.) liquefied natural gas shippers would consider diversifying their portfolios to include atypical cargoes such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Currently the global market for LPG is 30 percent larger than the market for LNG, and the U.S. is exporting more than 500,000 barrels of LPG a day. U.S.-sourced LPG is largely the result of the domestic natural gas conditioning process and it is a byproduct of oil refining. However, the export share is largely influenced by an international market not necessarily subject to U.S. cabotage laws. In 2013, the Coast Guard experienced a 26 percent increase in foreign LPG vessel certificate of compliance exams. This increase was 15 percent greater than the previous busiest year on record. Current industry forecasts indicate that the 2013 LPG certificate of compliance exam workload could double or triple in 2015 and beyond. The American Energy Renaissance has seen remarkable growth, with encouraging forecasts. Whether spurred by foreign investment or geopolitical pressure, the scramble to export low-cost U.S. LNG is underway, and a renewed initiative could shift the dynamic on how it is transported downstream in the hopes of similarly buoying U.S. shipping. However, the absence of a qualified U.S.-flagged fleet remains a challenge for the seaborne domestic and international LNG trade.


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  • Accession Number: 01609052
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 29 2016 8:19AM