US LNG export can weaken Russian energy hold over Europe
Baku, Azerbaijan, July 3
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
The US is expected to become one of the world's leading LNG (liquefied natural gas) exporters, which can weaken Russian energy hold over Europe, Agnia Grigas, energy and political risks expert, non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council (US), told Trend July 3.
“Since the launch of American LNG exports in 2016, they have gone to South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. US LNG will remain competitive in a variety of markets across the globe, even in markets where Gazprom played a monopolist role. This can be seen by the first delivery of US LNG to Poland in June and a new contract for Lithuania to import US LNG,” said the expert.
Trump administration’s primary goals are domestically motivated — revenues, jobs, and growth for the US economy, said Grigas, adding that Trump and the Republican Party have also traditionally been supportive of the US energy sector and its related industries.
“However, there are tremendous geopolitical side benefits of US LNG exports — specifically to undermine Russian energy hold over Europe and to help European countries diversify their imports,” she said.
The expert noted that LNG can and has been competing with piped natural gas.
“Nonetheless, piped natural gas can often be more competitive in terms of price in markets that have access to direct pipeline exports. Likewise, landlocked countries cannot access LNG shipments directly,” added Grigas.
She pointed out that while the European Union overall today has more options and choices to meet their gas needs with LNG, the Southern Gas Corridor is still a crucial project because it would bring for the first time ever non-Russian piped natural gas to Southeastern Europe, which remains a stronghold of Gazprom and a market they would like to maintain.
Earlier, the US President Donald Trump said that the country is on the cusp of a new energy revolution.
Trump cited a series of steps the administration has taken to boost energy production and remove government regulations that he argues prevent the United States from achieving “energy dominance” in the global market.
“Together, we are going to start a new energy revolution — one that celebrates American production on American soil,” Trump said in a statement, adding that the US is on the brink of becoming a net exporter of oil, gas and other energy resources.
Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn