U.S. LNG exports in first half up 42% from a year ago -EIA

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Pipes are seen at Dominion's Cove Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant on Maryland's Chesapeake Bay in this picture taken February 5, 2014. REUTERS/Tim Gardner

July 27 (Reuters) - U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports accelerated in the first half of 2021, as colder weather drove LNG spot prices in Asia and Europe higher, the U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in areport on Tuesday.

The Agency said exports averaged 9.6 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) in the first six months of the year, up 42% from the same period a year ago.

The price difference between the U.S. Henry Hub natural gas benchmark and international natural gas prices have supported record volumes of LNG exports, the EIA said, adding that exports also increased because of new export capacity added in 2020.

U.S. natural gas futures surged to a 31-month peak earlier this week, while European and Asian gas contracts are trading over $12 and $14 per mmBtu respectively.

In July, the EIA projected exports would rise to 9.56 bcfd in 2021 and 10.15 bcfd in 2022 from a record 6.53 bcfd in 2020.

Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio

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