Trump’s domestic energy policy statements during the election campaign suggest a positive outlook for the oil and gas sectors. However, at this stage, it’s really hard to predict its impact on the business. How do you think the new administration is going to impact the industry?
We believe that the Trump Administration will support U.S liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, given the clear economic and environmental benefits it will bring – the jobs it will create, the revenues it will deliver, the energy security it will provide and the reductions in carbon emissions it will facilitate all over the world.
What can we expect in terms of gas pricing from the US after Trump’s appointment?
While commodity prices are notoriously difficult to predict, numerous studies, including those commissioned by the Department of Energy, have concluded that prices changes due to export should be minimal. For example, the volume of U.S. natural gas exported by pipeline more than doubled from 2006 to 2012, but in that time gas prices on the Henry Hub halved. Research by the Government and others has also shown that even in high LNG export scenarios, the economic impact of the marginal price increases would be offset by boosts to U.S. household income and welfare, leading to a net gain for our economy.
Could Trump’s protectionist attitude toward trade mean a future block on the development of US LNG export projects and terminals?
The key point to remember here is that we’re talking about the United States surplus gas, resource that wouldn’t otherwise be used. Under this scenario, international trade of natural gas is a win-win: LNG exports will provide our trading partners with a safe, reliable alternative fuel source; it will boost the U.S. economy, creating tens of thousands of jobs and adding billions of dollars in investment; and it will help make the world a cleaner place, by increasing the availability of an energy source that emits half the amount of carbon as coal when burned.
During his campaign, Trump made negative remarks regarding US adhesion to the COP21 pact. Do you see the new President backing down on the agreement?
Market forces have driven the growth of natural gas in the U.S., and we are confident those same forces will continue to promote further use, thanks to its various, inherent merits. It is safe, it is versatile, and it is also clean, emitting half as much carbon as coal when burned. For these reasons, we believe natural gas will continue to increase its share in the global fuel mix, regardless of climate agreements or other regulations.
There’s much speculation around Trump’s potential regulations reductions on climate change and carbon emissions. If this becomes a reality, what would be the consequences for the US Gas Industry and what would be its impact on the global LNG market?
As we note above, we believe that the environmental benefits natural gas provides are important, but that they’re only part of the picture. The increase in global use is not just down to the greenhouse gas reductions it provides. Cost, reliability, versatility and others are all important factors to consider, and, we believe, will ensure that gas continues to be a key energy source in the future.
Latin America is becoming a relevant market for US LNG exports. How do you think Trump could impact commercial relations with potential buyers in the region?
Latin America is similar to any other buyer in the world – countries there would obviously benefit from the option to buy US LNG, particularly given the proximity of many South American markets. It’s important to stress that the U.S. has an abundance of natural gas – over 2,300 trillion cubic feet that is technically recoverable – and we have more than enough to meet our needs and those of our trading partners abroad, in Latin America of in other parts of the world as well.