US Natgas Exports Would Raise Energy Prices but Boost Economy
Expanded U.S. liquefied natural gas exports would mean a modest price increase for domestic consumers, but the higher costs would be offset by a boost to the economy, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
Residential natural gas prices would likely be 5 percent higher than otherwise would be the case between 2015 and 2040 if U.S. LNG exports rose to 20 billion cubic feet per day, said the EIA report.
Growth of LNG exports would be supported mainly by more shale gas production, according to the report, which was commissioned by the U.S. Energy Department.
"Increased energy production spurs investment, which more than offsets the adverse impact of somewhat higher energy prices," the EIA said.
In May, the Energy Department asked the EIA, its statistics arm, to conduct a preliminary study assessing the economic impacts of LNG exports between 12 BCF and 20 BCF a day.
The EIA's findings will be used to support a larger, more detailed study of the ramifications of selling higher levels of U.S. gas abroad. That study will be conducted by a private firm selected by the Energy Department.
(Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Ros Krasny and Steve Orlofsky)