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Expansion of Panama Canal

Expansion of Panama Canal
The expansion of the Panama Canal in July 2016 will up competition in the U.S. to ship LNG to Asia. Exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas stand to benefit substantially from the $5.4 billion expansion of the Panama Canal, which will lead to much shorter travel time and much lower costs for shipments from the Gulf Coast to big markets in Asia. EIA estimates that U.S. LNG traffic through the canal could exceed 550 vessels annually, or one to two vessels per day, by 2021. A transit from the U.S.
Gulf Coast through the Panama Canal to Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China will reduce voyage time to 20 days, compared to 34 days for voyages around the southern tip of Africa or 31 days if transiting through the Suez Canal (Ibid). The wider Panama Canal will also considerably reduce travel time from the U.S. Gulf Coast to South America, declining from 20 days to 8-9 days to Chilean regasification terminals, and from 25 days to 5 days to prospective terminals in Colombia and Ecuador. For markets west of northern Asia, including India and Pakistan, transiting the Panama Canal will take longer than either transiting the Suez Canal or going around the southern tip of Africa.

The expanded Panama Canal allows very large crude carriers (VLCC) to carry oil from the US Gulf Coast to Asia, at a much lower cost and reduced time than before.

EIA estimates that US LNG traffic through the canal could exceed 550 vessels annually, or one to two vessels per day, by 2021.

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