America steps up exports of natural gas to Europe

tsj international newsNEW YORK (press release)—Note to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s country: the United States is poised to begin exporting huge amounts of liquefied natural gas produced from shale fracking. It will obviously pose a significant threat to Russia’s dominance in the European gas market. This may be a direct result of the Russian invasion of Crimea and its continued interference in Ukraine.

As U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said, “We anticipate becoming big players, and I think we’ll have a big impact. We’re going to influence the whole LNG market.” Moniz said four LNG export terminals are under construction and the first exports may be shipped overseas as early as this year. But is this the real reason for such a move at this time?

It is widely believed by industry insiders that American exports could enable the U.S. to overtake Russia as the world’s biggest supplier of natural gas of all kinds, The Telegraph reported. Furthermore, energy exports to Europe enable Russia to exert enormous economic and political influence there, with some countries nearly totally dependent on Russian energy exports.

As far as Europe is concerned, Poland gets 88 percent of its total energy imports from Russia; Finland gets 76 percent, Sweden 54 percent, and Germany 46 percent, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Telegraph reports, “Any future American cargoes would further erode [Russian energy giant] Gazprom’s pricing power in Europe, and erode the Kremlin’s political leverage. Due to improved drilling technology, U.S. drillers can produce a third more natural gas today with 280 rigs than they did in 2009 with 1,200 rigs.”

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