US to account for nearly 10 % of global LNG output by 2020: BG Group

The US will be able to export about 45 metric million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year from 2020, accounting for nearly 10 per cent of global output, according to the BG Group Plc.

This is mainly because of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking), which is expected to boost US output. However, increased gas production from shale formations has resulted in prices dipping to 10-year lows.

UK-based BG now plans to export LNG to Asia, where prices are relatively higher at $17 per million British thermal units.

BG is slashing its US production, aiming to bring it down to 80,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day by 2015, down from a projected high of 190,000 barrels. It is also reducing the number of rigs in the American shale fields from 35 last year to eight in 2012.

Other international energy majors including Chesapeake Energy and Conoco-Phillips of the US, Statoil of Norway and Royal Dutch Shell are also reducing their shale gas production.

BG's group sales and operating income rose by 27 per cent to $21.26 billion in 2011. Pre-tax profits were up by more than 30 per cent at $7.55 billion.