Lifting of the US oil export ban and LNG exports begin – CEEP claims some credit

As the US recently lifted its 40-year ban on the export of crude oil, the first shipment of oil has already reached Europe. The cargo has been sold to Vitol, the commodity trading company based in Switzerland. The light, low-sulfur type of crude, abundant in US shale fields, is favoured by many European refineries that are not equipped to handle heavier grades of oil, so this makes US crude oil all the more attractive to many European buyers. Meanwhile, in a few days, Cheniere Energy Sabine Pass facility on the Gulf coast will be the first to export LNG from US shale fields. When fully operational before 2019, Sabine Pass will be able to export 3.5 Bcf/a day. Cheniere plans to add production trains every six months until mid-2019. The US, after Qatar and Australia could become the third largest global supplier of LNG by 2020, and the US Department of Energy has already approved projects that may send as much as 10 Bcf a day of US gas abroad, whilst it considers further applications. The US gas industry, has it should be remembered, a big advantage over its’ competitors in Europe and North-East Asia, where gas prices have been 2-3 times higher. CEEP, as well as its Chairman of the Board of Directors, Paweł Olechnowicz, had long advocated for the ban on crude oil to be lifted, and an article in the CEEP Report (last November), outlining his speech, as the special guest, to the American Exports Breakfast Seminar, where the US’s top energy representatives were gathered, made it clear that the necessary infrastructure in Central Europe already [...]