Ambassadors from Croatia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as the Deputy Chief of Mission from the Polish Embassy, recently explained why their nations continue to be supportive of measures that would expedite U. S. LNG exports. Fred H. Hutchison, Executive Director, LNG Allies, gathered their statements, for the benefit of the CEEP Report. Ambassador Petr Gandalovič, the Czech Republic: The United States has just taken an important step with regard to energy markets. On the 18th of December, the U.S. crude oil export ban was lifted, which should help improve global markets over the long-term. The same applies to LNG. We welcome new, independent sources on the market —especially those not governed by political, but rather business priorities. The Czech Republic has experienced many situations, where we realised that it was not only important to diversify pipelines and routes of distribution, but also sources themselves. This applies to the situation of LNG from the United States. “We fully support the bill that is currently in the Senate, and that’s not a new position for us. I would remind you that the V-4 [Visegrád-4] countries sent a letter to the congressional leadership, two years ago, supporting the first attempts to liberalise U.S. LNG exports. So, this is our consistent policy, and I am happy to confirm that this policy priority continues”. Ambassador Andris Razāns, Latvia: Latvia is one of those countries in the Baltic region, that until now, has been fully dependent upon Russian gas. Of course, things are changing, and this is an extremely important year for my country. We are very close to creating very clear [...]
The European Commission presented, on Tuesday, a proposal of new regulations aiming to strengthen the EU’s energy security. Brussels wants to put more emphasis on the development of energy infrastructure, based on a policy that is co-ordinated at both the EU and regional levels. Experts from Central Europe Energy Partners (CEEP) argue that it is a step in the right direction. The new regulations have been designed to safeguard the security of gas and electricity supply, map out the strategy for LNG supply and storage, strengthen the position of EU institutions in the process of negotiating gas contracts for the Member States, and define challenges related to heating and cooling. According to Marcin Bodio, Chief Executive Officer of CEEP, the ‘winter package’ should be seen as a reaction to macroeconomic and geopolitical challenges that the European Union is facing these days. The EU is responding to these challenges by enhancing its internal market, diversifying the supplies of strategic resources, especially liquefied natural gas, and increasing the transparency in trade relationships between suppliers and consumers of energy resources. “The package of new regulations is a step in the right direction. The key thing that these documents recognise is the role of transmission infrastructure – i.e. terminals, gas and oil pipelines, as well as systems for the transmission of electricity – in the process of creating a common market. This is especially important when considering the new strategy for LNG supply and storage. CEEP has been calling for the EU to adopt such a document. The common goal of the EU institutions and industry organisations, such as CEEP, is to allow [...]
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 [...]
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) has been part of Europe's energy supply, for just as long as piped gas. In fact, Europe was the world’s first LNG market, and the very first LNG ship came from the US, when the Methane Pioneer, a converted World War II cargo ship, delivered LNG from Louisiana to the Canvey Island LNG terminal in England, in February, 1959. Despite an early start, up until now, Europe has not had a comprehensive LNG strategy, encompassing the entire EU. In the current political climate, where Member States clearly recognise the benefit and importance of an integrated energy market, the time is clearly ripe to present the first EU LNG Strategy. In recent years, our concerns for the security of supply have been aggravated, mainly due to the geo-political situation to the east of the EU. At the same time, we have witnessed a transition of the gas markets, which have become global, rather than regional. Given these two coinciding trends, the European Commission has decided to propose an LNG Strategy, which will be put on the table at the beginning of 2016. In parallel to this, we will propose a revision of the Regulation on the Security of Gas Supply. The objective of the new LNG and Storage Strategy is to identify whether EU action – internal and external - may be necessary in the medium to longer-term period, in order to ensure that all Member States, in particular, those in Central and South-Eastern Europe, have direct or indirect access to both LNG and sufficient storage capacity. We strive to allow even LNG-access, not only to [...]
As the US is now at the cusp of becoming a major natural gas exporter, Europe has the opportunity to introduce additional supplies to its market and push down the prices of this strategic resource. Both sides could largely benefit from opening their energy markets and facilitating the transatlantic LNG trade. On November the 4th, decision-makers and industry representatives from both sides of the Atlantic met in Washington, DC to prepare the ground for the US—European gas partnership. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) has been part of Europe's energy supply for just as long as piped gas. The very first LNG ship came from the US to the British Canvey Island in February 1959. “Despite an early start, until now Europe did not have a comprehensive LNG strategy which encompasses the entire EU. However, in recent years, our concerns for the security of supply have been aggra-vated, mainly due to the geopolitical situation to the east of the EU. At the same time, we have witnessed a transition of the gas markets, which have become global rather than regional. Given these two coinciding trends, the European Commission has decided to propose an LNG Strategy, which will be put on the table at the beginning of 2016. We strive to allow even LNG-access, not only to coastal Member States, but also for those which are landlocked through other EU mem-bers,” underlined Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission, in charge of the Energy Union. The European Union is highly dependent on oil and gas imports. As much as 85% of oil and 65% of gas consumed across the EU comes from [...]
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