The U.S.remained a net natural gas importer in January and February, but exports jumpedas Cheniere Energy Inc.'sSabine Pass liquefaction terminal shippedits first cargo Feb. 24 and daily pipeline flows to Mexico ticked higher.
U.S.natural gas pipeline exports to Mexico and Canada over that two-month period averaged5.52 Bcf/d, not enough to balance average pipeline imports from Canada of 8.37 Bcf/d,according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In January andFebruary combined, the U.S. also imported over 21 Bcf of LNG from Trinidad and Tobagoas well as Canada.
Meanwhile,LNG exports totaled 0.026 Bcf in January and increased to 3.309 Bcf for the monthof February as the U.S. expanded its customer base beyond North America to Braziland Barbados. Brazil's state-run Petrobras purchased the first Sabine Pass LNG shipment.
The EIAprojects thatgross U.S. LNG exports will increase to an average of 0.5 Bcf/d in 2016, and to1.3 Bcf/d in 2017 as Sabine Pass continues to ramp up production and exports.