By Irina Slav
Executives from several U.S. LNG producing companies met with European energy officials to discuss purchases of liquefied natural gas.
The meetings, held in the United States, followed a promise made by President Biden to the European Union that U.S. LNG producers will supply at least 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas to the EU this year more than previously planned, per a White House fact sheet from late March. For context, Russia exported over 59 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Germany alone last year, a record high.
“The European Commission will work with EU Member States toward the goal of ensuring, until at least 2030, demand for approximately 50 bcm/year of additional U.S. LNG that is consistent with our shared net-zero goals. This also will be done on the understanding that prices should reflect long-term market fundamentals and stability of supply and demand,” the fact sheet also said.
According to a Reuters report, energy officials from Latvia, Estonia, Germany, France, Bulgaria, Hungary, and the UK met with the industry executives in Texas. These included the top executives of Chesapeake Energy, Coterra Energy, EOG Resources, and EQT Corp.
“The situation in Europe is so precarious. All these countries that are dependent on Russian gas are committed to giving it up, in some cases completely,” said Fred Hutchinson, the chief executive of trade body LNG Allies.
The executive admitted that building new LNG capacity will take years, and there won’t be much new LNG export capacity until about 2025. “The capacity challenges in 2022 are great but the opportunities in a few years are really terrific,” he said.
The problem for the EU is that it is trying to cut its reliance on Russian gas right now, within a year. It appears that U.S. LNG capacity will not be sufficient to help it do that.