The United States will ramp up its shipments of liquefied natural gas to Europe this year and well into the future to help reduce its dependency on Russian natural gas, according to an announcement from President Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
This plan includes immediate increases in U.S. LNG shipments, as the president explained:
“The United States, together with our international partners, they’re going to — we’re going to work to ensure an additional 15 — one-five — 15 billion cubic meters of liquified natural gas — LNG — for Europe this year.”
Europe has already been the top destination for U.S. LNG for several months, with nearly 75 percent of all U.S. LNG currently being shipped there.
Importantly, this isn’t a temporary fix. President Biden has committed the United States to increase shipments for the long-term, supplying “additional EU market demand for 50 billion cubic meters of LNG from the United States annually by 2030.” The president continued:
“To accomplish this, the European Commission is going to work with the member states to store gas across the continent, to build more infrastructure to receive LNG, and to take steps to increase the efficiency of gas.”
The announcement comes on the heels of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s decision to backtrack on a new policy that would have required additional analysis and created further delays on the commission’s ability to approve new infrastructure projects. As the Wall Street Journal explained:
“Pipelines encourage more energy production. A dearth of U.S. pipeline capacity, especially in Appalachia, has suppressed investment in supply. Crude can be transported by rail or truck. Natural gas can’t. The U.S. also can’t send more liquefied gas to Europe without more pipelines and export terminals. FERC’s climate policy was a gift to Vladimir Putin.”
Europe goes all in on U.S. LNG
Commissioner von der Leyen acknowledged the significance of this partnership, explaining that U.S. LNG will replace the majority of Russian natural gas to Europe:
“The U.S. commitment to provide the European Union with additional at least 15 billion cubic meters of LNG this year is a big step in this direction because this will replace the LNG supply we currently receive from Russia.
“And looking ahead, the United States and Europe will ensure stable demand and supply for additional at least 50 billion cubic meter of U.S. LNG until 2030. And if we look at that, this amount, 50 bcm per year, is replacing one third already of the Russian gas going to Europe today. So, we are right in — on track now to diversify away from Russian gas and towards our friends’ and partners’ reliable and trustworthy suppliers.
“We need to secure our supplies not just for next winter but also for the years ahead. And this is a — an important, a big starting point to do that.”(emphasis added)
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