Tue, Sep 18, 2018 - Page 10 News List

US eyes LNG deliveries to Germany: ‘Bild’

Reuters, BERLIN

US companies expect to begin delivering liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Germany in four years at the latest and would challenge Russia, which now accounts for 60 percent of German gas imports, US Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette told a German newspaper yesterday.

“US liquefied natural gas is coming to Germany. The question is not if, but when,” Brouillette told the mass circulation daily Bild in an interview.

US President Donald Trump in July accused Germany of being a “captive” of Russia due to its energy reliance and urged it to halt work on the US$11 billion, Russian-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that is to be built in the Baltic Sea.

Germany rejects this charge and has said that it is open to diversifying its energy sources, but that sales would ultimately be determined on economic grounds.

Brouilette, who acknowledged that US LNG would cost more, said the entry of US suppliers into the German market would effectively set a price ceiling for Gazprom, the Russian state energy company that leads the Nord Stream 2 consortium, and other suppliers.

“Because US LNG is here, Gazprom cannot demand whatever it wants,” Brouillette, who met with German business executives in Berlin last week, told the newspaper.

US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell told the newspaper that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had assured Trump that Germany wanted to purchase US LNG supplies.

The debate about German LNG imports has flared up in the past few weeks as operators and the German government have shown an interest in diversifying away from pipeline gas arriving from Russia, Norway and the Netherlands.

Qatar has also expressed interest in selling LNG to Germany.

German firms are considering building an LNG terminal in Germany, as gas demand rises in Europe and the Netherlands, one of Germany’s crucial suppliers, which is winding down its giant Groningen field and plans to close it in 2030.

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