USA are to export natural gas to Middle East

AGAs LNG terminal commons Jan ArrhenborgLNG and shale gas to be exported from USA to the Middle East. (Image source: Jan Arrhenborg/Commons)The United States of America are exporting both liquid natural gas and shale gas since March 2016 to countries in the Middle East including Kuwait, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates

Kuwait and UAE two of the richest natural reserve countries in the Middle East are importing US natural gas since March 2016. The US Department of Energy have released a map of LNG exports from the Office of Oil and Natural Gas.

The first export left on 28 March 2016 and left towards the UAE with a volume of 3,391,066 MCF. Two Kuwaiti exports left on 10 May and 1 September respectively. These were 3.6mn MCF and 3.45mn MCF. The price at export point to Kuwait were US$3.12mmbtu increasing to US$5.32mmbtu by September.

Forbes investigated into the reasons for the imports from the Middle East and why countries supposedly rich in the substance would need to source it from the other side of the world. 

They categorically stated that this is not a politically move but because of the genuine shortages in the Middle East currently.

Kallanish Energy quoted Kim Krane, the Wallace S Wilson Fellow for Energy Studies at Rice University's Baker Institute in Houston who stated that "the root cause is government subsidies that fix domestic natural gas prices at very low levels, less than $2 per million BTUs (MMBtus), at those prices, demand for gas is rampant. So is demand for electricity, which is also subsidized.”

Both Kuwait and the UAE have been unable to import gas from their gas-rich neighbours due to political instabilities, but this may change over time. However, the policy by the United States towards exporting to the Middle East may be very advantageous to the US for the time being. 

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