July 14, 2024
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U.S. LNG Supplies to Europe Unaffected by Biden’s Pause – EU

European Commission Executive Vice President Maros Sefcovic reassured stakeholders that President Joe Biden’s decision to halt approvals of new exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) will not impact U.S. supplies to Europe in the next two to three years.

“What was of course very important for me, was reassurance that for the next two or three years there should be no impact whatsoever on the supply of U.S. LNG to Europe,” European Commission Executive Vice President Maros Sefcovic told a meeting at the Atlantic Council in Washington.

Europe’s energy landscape underwent significant changes following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, leading to a substantial reduction in imports of Russian gas.

Sefcovic highlighted the role of U.S. LNG supplies in mitigating this shortfall, with Europe cutting imports of Russian gas from 150 billion cubic meters (bcm) to just over 40 bcm.

Despite Biden’s order to pause new LNG export approvals, Sefcovic expressed confidence in the U.S.’s ability to meet Europe’s demand for LNG in the coming years.

He noted that the order includes an emergency clause to address any potential supply disruptions in U.S. allies and partners.

The United States emerged as the world’s largest LNG exporter last year, and its LNG exports are projected to double by 2030 based on already-approved projects.

However, Sefcovic emphasized that the U.S. bears a global responsibility for energy security beyond Europe, citing the need for gas supplies to support the transition away from coal in Southeast Asia, India, Latin America, and Africa.

“Big utilities in Japan and Southeast Asia … are running out of their own natural gas supplies, are having to decide if they’re going to shift over to coal or stay on imported natural gas,” Armstrong said.

He said Biden’s LNG pause, which could last until after the Nov. 5 election, sent a “ripple effect all over the world.” But that has stabilized recently on the assurances that U.S. supplies on already-approved projects are booming, he said.

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