Commodities at a Glance

Special Issue on Shale Gas

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The Commodities at a Glance series aims to collect, present and disseminate accurate and relevant statistical information linked to international primary commodity markets in a clear, concise and reader-friendly format. This edition is specifically dedicated to the shale gas problem.

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Lessons learned

As the leading natural gas consuming country, the United States has traditionally played a pivotal role in this sector. Within the context of a regionally segmented natural gas market, the United States is among the three main hubs at which natural gas prices are determined. However, the natural gas market has been subjected to profound changes as a result of important developments in shale gas production that have taken place in the United States, mainly since 2007. Starting from the mid-2000s, shale gas production has grown rapidly, pushing the United States into a leadership position with regard to world natural gas production since 2009. Moreover, from a position of net importing country in 2007, the United States has recently become a net natural gas exporter, and this trend is expected to continue over 2018. The drastic changes occurring with regard to local infrastructure mirror this development. The United States invested significantly in developing its LNG importing capacities in 2007, with more than 40 LNG import terminals being built or proposed for construction, and it has retargeted its investments towards the development of LNG export capacity, which would make it the third largest exporting country by 2020.

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