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Obama Seen Expanding Natural Gas Exports on Production Records

As the U.S. sets records for natural gas production, the specter of shortages and surging prices has been replaced by a debate over how much to sell overseas. The bounty has fueled speculation President Barack Obama is ready to expand exports.

Sending liquefied natural gas to non-U.S. customers, unthinkable a few years ago when demand outstripped supply, is now seen as a way to help U.S. trade and blunt the influence of producers such as Russia and Iran. The Obama administration is reviewing applications for 20 gas export terminals. If all win approval, the facilities could ship the equivalent of 41 percent of total U.S. production this year, according to Energy Department data.