US LNG Exports to the EU Rise
US-EU energy co-operation has risen with LNG trade, the European Commission said at a bilateral meeting of industry and government May 2, and this trade will continue to grow as long as US LNG remains competitively priced.
“Since the first cargo in April 2016, US LNG exports to the EU have been increasing substantially and have seen a steep rise after President Trump and President Juncker's meeting in July 2018.... As a result, March 2019 recorded the highest volume ever of EU-US trade in LNG with more than 1.4bn m³ of pipeline equivalent," the EC said in a statement.
EU commissioner for energy and climate change Miguel Arias Canete said gas would “remain an important component of the EU's energy mix in the near future as we move towards cleaner sources of energy. Given our heavy dependence on imports, US LNG, if priced competitively, could play an increasing and strategic role in EU gas supply.”
European gas imports from all sources are projected to increase in the years to come as its domestic production is decreasing, while demand is projected to remain at a comparable level. Gas has been identified as an important transition fuel in the EU's efforts to decarbonise its economy, the EC said.
It said that “top energy business executives from both sides of the Atlantic” were meeting May 2 in Brussels to discuss further ways that competitively-priced US LNG can play on the EU market and the growing opportunities for using LNG in the transport sector.
The meetings would give US and European businesses the opportunity to chart further actions to fully harvest commercial opportunities in the LNG trade. These will range from new infrastructure for upstream development, liquefaction and re-gasification to pipeline network distribution. They also provide US and European decision-makers from companies in the LNG sector with match-making and deal-making opportunities.
Canete and US energy minister Rick Perry also met privately to discuss broader aspects of EU-US energy relations. Among them perhaps was Gazprom's 55bn m³/yr Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, which the US government and a number of EU member states are trying to block.
Perry said the two blocs had a history of transatlantic co-operation, “through good times and bad, and together we promote our heritage of freedom. The strength of this relationship can particularly be seen in energy.”
Previous US governments for example had supported the now-almost-operational Southern Gas Corridor, which is already bringing more Azeri gas into Turkey, to create more competition for Russian gas and so lower prices for Europe.