By: Reuters – Shale gas producer Chesapeake Energy plans to hire a liquefied natural gas (LNG) adviser, according to a job listing, as it seeks to expand into the fast-growing export market.
U.S. natural gas producers have seized on LNG for future output, with several developing ties with gas buyers, LNG producers, and pipeline operators. U.S. LNG exports rose 50% last year, to 9.7 billion cubic feet per day.
The Oklahoma City firm, which does not currently produce LNG, wants someone to “lead new business opportunities for Chesapeake” in LNG and provide executives with “guidance on LNG marketing activities,” according to a LinkedIn posting. Given the expansion in the LNG market over the past 5 years it’s no surprise that Chesapeake is considering entering the underserved market.
A representative from Chesapeake did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Chesapeake is aiming to take a greater role in liquefied natural gas markets, Chief Executive Nick Dell’Osso said in March at a conference. Gas pipeline operator Williams Companies earlier hired two executives to set up an LNG marketing operation.
New LNG production capacity this year will push the United States’ processing capacity to 13.9 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd), above top LNG exporters Australia and Qatar. U.S. exports of the fuel have soared, hitting 9.77 bcfd in 2021, up from just 4.99 bcfd three years ago, according to U.S. government data.
The LNG marketing operation could put Williams into competition with Cheniere Energy, Shell Plc and QatarEnergy, which market their own production. The company operates 30,000 miles (48,280 km) of gas pipelines and expanded in the past year by acquiring gas acreage from Chesapeake Energy.
Chesapeake recently participated in a meeting with European nations hoping to wean their countries off of gas from Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. That event was organized by trade groups American Exploration and Production Council (AXPC) and LNG Allies.