Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug.23
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
The European gas market is becoming more and more competitive and US exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) are part of this landscape, Francis Perrin, energy expert, chairman of Energy Strategies and Policies (France) told Trend.
“Energy is always a strategic business. Economic aspects are very important of course, especially the price of LNG, but countries also take into account strategic issues. For some Central and Eastern European countries one of the key priorities of their energy policies is the diversification of their supplies, in particular gas imports, in order to reduce their dependence on Russia,” said the expert.
He recalled that in 2016, the United States began to export LNG and it will become from this year onwards a net gas exporter.
“In the future, it will be one of the three major LNG exporters with Australia and Qatar. It is then perfectly logical for Poland or Baltic states to import LNG from a new exporter,” added Perrin.
As far as the US is concerned, this export policy is good for their companies and their foreign trade, the expert believes.
Perrin pointed out that as Energy Secretary Rick Perry said very recently after the announcement of the first US coal shipment to Ukraine, we look forward to "making available even more of our abundant natural resources to allies like Ukraine in the future to promote their own energy security through diversity of supply and source".
Perrin believes that the number of US LNG buyers will definitely grow with the increase of the country’s LNG export capacity.
“US LNG is now exported from the Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana with four trains which are operational. But two other trains will be built on the same site. Another export terminal, Cove Point LNG (in Maryland), will come on stream at the end of this year. Another one is being built in Corpus Christi (Texas) and others will follow,” said the expert.
It does not mean that US LNG exports will only reach Europe of course, he said, adding that Asia and Latin America will also be markets for a good part of these volumes.
“These exports will not prevent Russia from remaining Europe's leading gas supplier but Gazprom
will feel some more pressure. For the Russian authorities, energy policy is part of their power strategy. Gazprom will thus be very cautious in terms of gas pricing and of contractual flexibility and will be more aggressive commercially in order to keep its customers,” said Perrin.
This pressure will also come from other suppliers - present or future suppliers -, from the European Commission's Competition Directorate and from the European Union's Energy Union, he added.
Perrin noted that Poland and Lithuania now have LNG import terminals and Croatia will build its own terminal, which could come on stream in 2019.
On Aug.21, the first batch of LNG was delivered to Klaipeda port of Lithuania from the US. Poland received first US LNG on June 7.
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