The US has exported its first shipment of natural gas in a historic move that shifts the balance of power in the global energy market
The US is ramping up LNG exports to almost 130bn cubic metres a day (BCM) by the end of the decade, roughly equal to Russia's gas exports to Europe. This may rise to 200 BCM and possibly beyond as the shale industry keeps finding once unthinkable volumes of gas.
For the US, the start of LNG exports is a bitter-sweet victory. The first cargoes come just as the market crumbles. The price of LNG in Europe has dropped from $12 to $5.35 over the past three years.
In Asia it has dropped from $17 to $6 as Japan's nuclear power plants restart after the 2011 Fukushima crisis, and discounted Indonesian LNG is currently selling for $4.50