U.S. natural gas imports reach lowest level in 28 years

(U.S. Energy Information Administration)
(U.S. Energy Information Administration)

U.S. net imports of natural gas dipped by 9 percent in 2014 and hit the lowest level since 1987, according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Domestic natural gas production has hit record highs during the ongoing shale boom, and the low natural gas prices have played a role in replacing imports. Nearly 98 percent of natural gas imports came from Canada, but Canadian natural gas represented 7 percent of total U.S. natural gas consumption last year, which was down from 11 percent in 2009, according to the EIA.

Net imports of liquefied natural gas were down 54 percent from 2013, the EIA report stated.

U.S. natural gas exports decreased a little last year, but remained 9 percent above the previous five-year average. Nearly 50 percent of U.S. exports went to Mexico.

Natural gas exports to Mexico from Texas, Arizona and California pipelines reached a record level of 706 billion cubic feet in 2014, largely to feed new natural gas-fueled power plants in Mexico, according to the report. Much of that natural gas came from Texas’s Eagle Ford Shale.

Up north, natural gas from Canada accounted for up to 80 percent of New York’s natural gas consumption as recently as 2008. But the U.S. shale surge has led to more natural gas flowing from New York into Canada than the amount flowing into the state from Canada.