America's Natural Gas Alliance strongly supports the nation's ability to export natural gas. As is the case with any American product, when free trade is allowed to flourish our economy enjoys greater prosperity, our people greater economic benefits, and our workers more and better jobs.
Abundant supplies and world-class infrastructure mean that the U.S. now has the opportunity to capture significant economic benefits by expanding domestic and international markets for natural gas. A recent report prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy finds that exporting liquefied natural gas will generate more than $4.4 billion in net benefits to the U.S. economy. Among them: Increased natural gas production and related job creation and revenue, as well as an improved U.S. trade balance.
The massive scale of U.S. shale gas supplies is fostering unprecedented price stability. This is creating expanding opportunities for the U.S. manufacturing sector, and this growth is important to continue. Fortunately, the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions finds that incremental demand from LNG exports is projected to have an average price impact of only $0.12 per MMBTU from 2016 to 2035.
In fact, natural gas production estimates continue to grow. The Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) 2013 Early Release projects 2035 natural gas production levels at 19% more than estimated in the AEO 2011. This growth trend is expected to support growing demand in U.S. domestic markets and for LNG exports.
Continued investments throughout the natural gas supply chain have fostered price stability. First, deliverability of gas throughout the U.S. has improved greatly since 2000, with over 150 Bcf/d of pipeline capacity added between 2001 and 2011. This robust pipeline infrastructure and expanded storage capacity ensures that natural gas is available when and where it is needed, and helps avert price spikes.
It is important to understand how market dynamics will affect LNG export volumes. Several independent assessments, conclude that the international market for LNG will naturally limit the volume of economically viable U.S. LNG exports. Another major factor governing the development of LNG export projects is the large capital cost associated with building an export terminal and associated transport and processing facilities. These projects must also go through a rigorous and costly application and permitting process with federal and state authorities before receiving approval.