Brussels, March 11 - Neftegaz.RU. According to Platts, the EU will work to double its US LNG imports to at least 8 Bcm/year over the next 4 years, and seek to make the US a major gas supplier to Europe longer term, the European Commission said on March 8.
The EU is the world's 2nd biggest single gas market after the US, and already imports around 70% of its gas, with Russia its biggest single supplier. This import share is expected to rise as the EU's domestic output declines, and the EC is keen to diversify suppliers to avoid over-reliance on Russia.
«US LNG, if priced competitively, can play an increasing role in EU gas supply, enhancing diversification and EU energy security,» it said. The EU imported 3.3 Bcm of US LNG in 2018, up 50% from 2.2 Bcm in 2017. Total EU gas demand in 2017 was 491 Bcm, according to EC data.
The EU and US plan to hold their 1st joint Energy Council High Level Forum in Brussels on May 2, specifically to discuss how to move toward «large-scale US LNG export» to the EU, the EC said. The forum is to look at competitive pricing, infrastructure investments and technological innovation.
The US has 39 Bcm of liquefaction capacity and is foreseen to add a further 80 Bcm by 2023, the EC said. It called on the US to lift licensing rules requiring prior approval for exporting LNG, to make it easier to export to Europe.
The EU and US also plan to develop «joint efforts to complete key missing infrastructures and investments in Europe to improve access to LNG,» the EC said. The EC listed 3 LNG import terminals currently being built in the EU, plus another 5 being planned which have EU project of common interest status.
US LNG exports to Europe, including Turkey, surged 75% on the year in February to 411.5 million m3, but were still eclipsed by Russian LNG exports of 1.4 Bcm, up 67%, according to Platts.