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Latin American Giant's Hunger for Foreign Gas Ebbs Amid Oil Boom

  • Brazil’s LNG imports sank 75 percent as production jumped
  • Only 3 percent of U.S. LNG exports have reached Brazil
Views Of Tankers & Refineries As Oil Trades Near 12-Year Low
Photographer: Eddie Seal/Bloomberg

As the global natural gas trade expands amid a boom in supplies from the U.S. to Australia, at least one major energy consumer may be sitting on the sidelines: Brazil.

The nation’s imports of liquefied natural gas sank 75 percent over the past two years as domestic production climbed, government data show. The main culprit: Explorers from state-owned Petroleos Brasileiro SA to Royal Dutch Shell Plc are extracting more gas as a byproduct of soaring oil output from Brazil’s offshore pre-salt region, where crude is buried under layers of salt formed during the breakup of a supercontinent 160 million years ago.