July 14, 2024
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Biden Considering Lifting LNG Export Ban in Exchange for Ukraine Aid

Markets are eagerly awaiting a decision from the White House that could see the ban on new LNG export projects lifted as part of a potential trade-off to secure Republican approval for an extensive aid package to Ukraine, according to Reuters.

The White House is reportedly considering reversing its late January decision to pause new LNG export projects, with sources indicating that lifting the ban could be linked to Congressional approval for new aid to Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia.

Republican U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson hinted at the potential trade-off during a recent interview on Fox News, suggesting that the Republican Party would be more inclined to support Ukraine if the ban on LNG projects were reversed.

Johnson emphasized the importance of natural gas exports in undermining Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war efforts in Ukraine.

The Biden administration had previously paused permit approvals for new LNG export projects in January, citing uncertainties regarding U.S. supply outlook from the late 2020s onwards.

In the context of these developments, Qatar, which was overtaken by the U.S. last year to become the world’s largest LNG exporter, is ramping up its investment and development efforts. Qatar aims to increase its LNG export capacity by 85% by 2030, seeking to maintain its dominance in the market.

Earlier this year, Qatar announced the addition of another major LNG expansion project, the North Field West project, following significant discoveries of additional gas quantities in the North Field, the world’s largest natural gas field shared with Iran.

QatarEnergy recently signed long-term time charter party agreements with four international shipowners for the operation of 19 new conventional-size LNG vessels, bringing the total of long-term chartered vessels for LNG exports to 104.

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