The surprise victory of Donald Trump in the November 8 U.S. presidential election is still being processed by news outlets and industry analysts worldwide. But while the outlook for oil and gas has widely been
While many Trump policy proposals remain vague and ill-defined, it seems certain that his administration will encourage increased U.S. natural gas production, both onshore and offshore. A key analyst for
This, together with the greater crude piped in from Alberta, will improve the supply side of crude oil. GlobalData pointed out, however, that the likely emphasis of Trump’s policies on domestic, rather than international considerations could end up complicating the overall impact of these developments. His vow to carry out a trade war with China, as well as his calls for heavy tariffs on imported goods and for US energy independence, could limit US access to export markets and reduce the competitiveness of US energy products.
That’s where things get complicated for LNG. Federal clearance is needed to approve additional LNG export terminals, and an expansion in American LNG export capacity would need at least some cooperation from the federal government. Charif Souki, former head of Cheniere Energy, spoke in Paris
As of October 2016, the U.S. government has
Other oil and gas experts believed the impact of Trump’s policies may be minimal; they noted that rhetoric on the campaign trail wasn’t always a great indicator of actual policy plans. Certainly Trump’s confusion over
Trump’s aggressive stance regarding Mexico, a major partner in the American energy industry, could complicate U.S. natural gas exports south of the border. In 2016 U.S. natural gas imports to Mexico
Others are more confident. A
But that optimism could be misplaced. American LNG exports to Europe have yet to materialize, Russian gas remains competitive, and with Trump’s apparently close relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin acting as a stop to any strategically-focused U.S. energy initiatives, the likelihood of U.S. export ambitions to Europe being realized seems remote. Moreover, heavy investment has created the possibility of an
On Wednesday the EIA released a
LNG enthusiasts like Souki and major players like Cheniere, which has invested billions in LNG export terminals, will keep banking on growth in global natural gas demand to keep their businesses afloat. President Trump may embark on isolationist, “America first” energy policies that prove detrimental to energy exports. Then again, he may not. And even if he does, market conditions and global trends could continue shaping the natural gas landscape. The contributions of the new American president and his administration could end up being rather limited.
By Gregory Brew for Oilprice.com
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