Since 2011, exports of propane from the U.S. have been on the rise at a record setting pace. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in April 2015, exports averaged 636,000 barrels per day, which surpassed levels from April 2014.
As reported by the EIA, “U.S. propane production and exports were 190,000 b/d and 201,000 b/d higher, respectively, in the first four months of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014.” Thanks to numerous projects building new export facilities and expanding already existing export terminals, waterborne export capacity has increased by 400,000 b/d from April 2014 to April of this year. By the end of the year, two more projects are expected to be complete.
In 2010, the U.S. became a net exporter of propane due to growing production, which was mainly out of the Gulf Coast. According to the EIA, “Between 2011 and 2014, annual propane production increased by 376,000 b/d, while net exports increased by 292,000 b/d.” The increase in propane production is mainly due to the increase in natural gas plant production, which is related to the expansion of shale gas and oil development. Throughout this growth period, propane prices remained consistent.
To read the EIA’s full U.S. propane export update, click here.