Impact of LNG Exports on the U.S. Economy: A Brief Update



Harry Vidas | American Petroleum Institute

Current expectations for cheaper and more price-responsive natural gas mean that higher levels of U.S. LNG exports can be accommodated with much lower price increases (as measured as cents price increase per one Bcfd of incremental LNG exports) than what was expected in ICF’s 2013 Report. This suggests that the economic impacts from LNG exports will still likely be positive and substantial. Job growth from LNG exports is expected to be very positive, but those gains are likely to be more modest than shown in the 2013 Report because the same technology-driven efficiency gains that make more natural gas resources available at lower costs mean that fewer jobs in the upstream sector and its supporting industries will be needed for any given volume of incremental gas production. Also, the near-term economic multiplier effect will likely be on the lower range of estimates given the current low unemployment rate. However, expectations for slower long-term growth in the U.S. economy could mean that LNG exports will be more impactful in the future. 


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