The Natural Gas Industry

January 1, 2021 • Volume 31, Issue 1
Will LNG transform the global energy market?
By Sara Toth Stub


Liquefied natural gas (LNG) production has jumped over the past decade, helping make the United States a net exporter of energy for the first time in more than 70 years. The growth of LNG — gas cooled to at least minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit, which reduces its volume and allows it to be transported long distances — has elevated the role of natural gas in politics and national security. Natural gas was the fastest-growing fossil fuel in 2019, but the coronavirus pandemic has cut sharply into demand and prices have tumbled, creating a volatile marketplace. In addition, the gas sector faces numerous long-term challenges, including environmental questions and competition from renewable energy. Opponents of fracking — the process that extracts gas by drilling deep underground and injecting chemicals into rock — say it is damaging the environment. President-elect Joe Biden, meanwhile, has vowed to strengthen the limits on methane, a greenhouse gas that is emitted during the production and transportation of natural gas.

Photo of a tanker carrying liquefied natural gas arriving in Tokyo in 2009. (AFP/Getty Images/Jiji Press/STR)
A tanker carrying liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia arrives at a storage facility near Tokyo in 2009. The global market for LNG has been growing over the past decade but faces numerous challenges. (AFP/Getty Images/Jiji Press/STR)
ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Natural Gas
Jan. 01, 2021  The Natural Gas Industry
Nov. 07, 1975  Natural Gas Shortage
Apr. 27, 1955  Natural Gas Regulation
Oct. 05, 1931  Development of the Natural Gas Industry
Air Pollution
Bilateral and Regional Trade
Climate Change
Congress Actions
Consumer Behavior
Economic Analyses, Forecasts, and Statistics
Energy and the Environment
Energy Policy
Export Sanctions and Restrictions
General Employment and Labor
General International Relations
International Economic Development
International Energy Trade and Cooperation
International Law and Agreements
Manufacturing and Industrial Production
Middle East Conflicts
Oil and Natural Gas
Regional Political Affairs: East Asia and the Pacific
Regional Political Affairs: Middle East and South Asia
Regulation and Deregulation
Renewable Energy Resources and Alternative Fuels
Unions and Labor-Management Relations
Workplace Safety and Worker's Compensation