How U.S., the largest LNG exporter, could be a savior in Europe's energy crisis? The energy problem in Europe, which relies heavily on Russian natural gas, has been resurfaced as the US and Germany announced that they would suspend the Russian-German gas pipeline business due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. In the midst of this, attention is focused on whether the US, which has emerged as the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), can help resolve the energy crisis in Europe.
US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz held a summit meeting at the White House on the 7th (local time) at the White House on the 7th (local time) to bring Russian gas directly to Germany in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. He said he would close the business. Amid growing concerns that the Ukraine crisis could disrupt Russia's natural gas supply to Europe, US natural gas is emerging as Europe's energy source.
According to a recent New York Times report, US LNG carriers are lining up to European ports like Amsterdam as natural gas prices have soared in recent months amid concerns about a decline in Russian gas supply in Europe and a crisis in Ukraine. An energy war is finally unfolding between Russia, which has dominated gas supply to Europe for decades, and the United States, which has grown gas export capacity over the past few years, the New York Times noted.
Energy research firm Wood McKinsey analyzed that US LNG exports to Europe have exploded in recent weeks, surpassing even Russian imports from Europe. U.S. LNG exports have risen sharply in recent months amid Europe's unprecedented energy crisis.
According to Refinitiv, a financial information company, Europe overtook Asia to become the largest importer of US LNG until last month. Europe's share of US LNG imports surged from 37% at the beginning of last year to 61% in December of last year, and about two-thirds of the US' LNG exports last month also went to Europe.
In addition, according to vessel tracking data compiled by Bloomberg, the US became the world's largest exporter of LNG in December for the first time in December of last year. In addition, Venture Global LNG, a US LNG company, will soon start producing LNG at its export plant in Louisiana, where it has invested $5.8 billion, Bloomberg reported.
When the facility is fully operational, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that the U.S. could export up to 13.9 billion cubic feet of LNG per day. This surpasses the two largest exporters, Qatar and Australia. The Sabine Pass export facility in Louisiana of Shenier, the largest LNG exporter in the US, has also recently been expanded.
According to Bloomberg, it is groundbreaking that the United States, which was a net importer of natural gas 10 years ago, is now solidifying its position as the world's number one exporter of LNG. Thanks to the shale boom, the United States has become the world's largest natural gas producer and an exporter competing with Qatar.
"U.S. LNG is now able to compete with virtually any country, including those in the Middle East, which traditionally have a huge advantage in gas production," said Mukshit Asraf of Accenture consulting firm.
Reuters also predicted that the US will overtake Qatar and Australia to become the world's number one LNG exporter by 2022. The United States is likely to maintain its number one position for the next several years. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Tony Blincoln and European Union (EU) Foreign Affairs, Security, and Policy Senior Representative Rousseff Borrell discussed energy measures in the event of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in Washington DC on the same day and pledged cooperation to ensure gas supply.
In a joint statement immediately after the energy countermeasure meeting, the two sides emphasized that "the use of energy supply as a weapon is unacceptable" and that "we will cooperate to provide additional and diversified LNG supply."