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The U.S. government is likely to impose limits on exports of liquefied natural gas in order to keep its domestic natural gas prices low, said executives from two major oil companies with operations in the country Thursday.
Natural gas prices in the U.S. have fallen to 10-year lows because of a boom in production of gas trapped in shale rock. The U.S. government, "wants to keep this surplus to keep the price down," in the long term, said Christophe de Margerie, Chief Executive of France's Total SA (TOT) at the Petrostrategies conference in Paris.
Several companies are planning to build plants that would convert some of this domestic surplus of gas into LNG that could be shipped internationally.
"In the short term there are likely to be limited exports," said Mark Williams, Downstream Director of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN). "It's in the hands of the government."
"They will limit exports to keep pressure downwards [on natural gas prices] in the U.S.," said de Margerie.
-By James Herron, email@example.com, +44 207 842 9317