American gas prices could double by 2040 as the U.S. exports more liquefied natural gas, but consumers will be shielded as production of the fuel increases and trade balances improve.
That’s the conclusion from a study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy that found an almost 50 percent chance of gas reaching $5 to $6.50 per million British thermal units over the next two decades. U.S. consumers won’t suffer, the study said, because LNG exports will boost the economy while higher output helps mitigate the cost.
The U.S. is already shipping record amounts of super-cooled natural gas overseas as production from shale basins surges.
The nation is now a net exporter of the fuel for the first time since the 1950s, putting the U.S. on course to rival Qatar and Australia for global LNG dominance in the next five years as new Gulf Coast terminals start up.