A surge in U.S. natural gas production thanks to the shale revolution means proposed new liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in Australia, East Africa, Canada and Russia can no longer count on exporting to the United States and will now have to focus more on sales to Asia.
Now, the distance to ship U.S. LNG from the Gulf of Mexico to Asia is set to fall to about 9,000 miles from 16,000 after expansion work makes the Panama Canal big enough for LNG tankers.
That will allow U.S. exporters to compete for that same Asian market, transforming the United States from export destination to growth supplier for Japan, South Korea and eastern China in only a few years.
The Gulf of Mexico coast has tailor-made ports, storage and pipes it has used for LNG imports. It is part of the world's biggest natural gas market and has specialist local labour available.
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Keywords: international trade, global logistics, U.S. natural gas shipments, Panama Canal expansion, U.S.-Asia trade, logistics & supply chain, supply chain management
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