As the world’s largest economy, Americans have historically created an important level of demand for consumer goods. This keeps products flowing around the world, buoying the growing global economy in the process.

Toward the end of 2022, it started to become clear that this traditionally robust demand had precipitously dropped, at least for the time being. This was likely due to a combination of factors, including pandemic pressure, rampant inflation, and an impending recession. 

Nevertheless, the fact still stands that Americans appear to be demanding fewer imported goods. This isn’t great news for the economy. Yet, it stands in stark contrast to the fact that the United States could end up playing an important role in the opposite direction in the months ahead, specifically when it comes to exporting liquefied natural gas (or LNG).

The United States and LNG Exportation

American companies have been at the forefront of LNG production for a long time. Cheniere Energy, ExxonMobil, and Chevron, are among the top suppliers of LNG in the world. The U.S. regularly competes with major exporters like Qatar and Australia as the top LNG exporter on earth.

This American emphasis on natural gas has had many questioning if the United States could officially pull ahead and step into a more important role as a primary exporter of this fuel in the years to come. Back in July (when the fuel crisis in Europe was just beginning), Reuters pointed out that LNG shipments could be increased in the coming months.

LNG production in the United States rose 12% year over year in the first half of 2022. Everywhere you look, the majority of that gas continues to head in the same direction: a one-way trip across the Atlantic. As long as the fuel demand remains high, there’s plenty of room for the United States to increase its support role to its trade partners (and especially Europe) through one of the most fundamental building blocks of civilization: fuel.

The Future of LNG in the United States of America

It appears that the stars have aligned for the United States to become a major exporter of liquefied natural gas. The question is, will they stay aligned long enough for the U.S. to expand its role in that capacity? Many think it’s possible.

For instance, The Economist points out that the normally risk-averse industry is innovating the ways it produces and stores LNG. Business entities are clamoring to increase LNG production and export capabilities in the months and years ahead. 

This has the potential to ease long-term fuel demands and can even double as a way to reduce the harmful pollution created by dirtier coal plants.

Here’s the catch, though. It isn’t a smooth runway, at least not yet. Key barriers remain in the way, both domestically and abroad. Investors are gun-shy after years of ebbs and flows in the LNG sector. There’s also a need to improve the infrastructure to move greater quantities of gas through pipelines to tankers that can ship it across the oceans.

And then there’s the simple question: will Europe want LNG for long enough into the future to justify the massive investments required to get them the fuel now?

Fortunately, there are ways to address all of these concerns (which could fill another article on their own). In the months ahead, if LNG providers are able to find solutions, the United States may find itself playing a crucial role in providing plentiful fuel to its trade partners during an otherwise daunting energy crisis.

Innovative Times Require Strong Leaders

The future of the U.S. supply chain, especially in the area of LNG, remains full of possibilities. However, turning that potential into reality in the coming years will require strong, confident, creative leadership. Fortunately, that is where our staff at Stanton Chase can help.

“Turning that potential [of LNG] into reality in the coming years will require strong, confident, creative leadership.”

We understand the nuances that C-suite leaders in the supply chain industry face. It takes a unique personality to both maintain stability and innovate simultaneously. When you collaborate with our executive search team, we can put our network, hiring tools, and veteran experience to work to help you find the perfect candidate to lead your organization. 

The situation surrounding LNG may be a bit uncertain at the moment. Even so, from supporting trade partners to reducing overdependence on oil and coal, the future is bright for American LNG companies, and we are thrilled to be a part of it.