US LNG for Europe

“Natural gas represents about one-fifth of all primary energy used across Europe. It accounts for about 20% of electric power generation and also is used for heating and industrial processes.

Russia is the largest supplier of natural gas to Europe, sending about 40% of the continent’s supplies shipped by pipeline. The next-largest suppliers via pipeline are Norway (22%), Algeria (18%) and Azerbaijan 9%. Europe also receives natural gas that is liquefied and delivered by ship.

In recent months, European imports of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, from the U.S. and elsewhere reached record levels at around 400 million cubic meters per day. To put that in perspective, a single LNG cargo ship can hold roughly 125,000-175,000 cubic meters of natural gas – enough energy to warm 17 million British homes for one winter day.”

“LNG is made by cooling natural gas to minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 162 degrees Celsius), which reduces its volume by a factor of more than 600. Natural gas is piped to a port, processed in a liquefaction plant, and then loaded into specialized insulated, temperature-controlled tankers for shipment by sea.

To receive LNG, an offloading port must have a regasification plant that converts the LNG back to a gaseous form so it can be sent by pipeline to end users. Both liquefaction plants and regasification plants cost billions of dollars and take multiple years to build.

Following a similar crisis in 2009, when a financial conflict with Ukraine prompted Russia to suspend gas shipments for 20 days, Europe substantially expanded its number of regasification facilities to 29. There is still currently space in European regasification receiving terminals to import more LNG, and plenty of storage space to hold imported supply virtually indefinitely. But many of the world’s top suppliers are maxed-out, with little capacity to produce and liquefy more natural gas than they are already moving.

The global LNG market has some flexibility. About two-thirds of all LNG is sold under firm, long-term contracts with fixed destinations. Some major contract holders like South Korea, Japan and China and their suppliers are willing to redirect cargoes to Europe if a further cutback in Russian exports creates a worsening supply crisis.”

Can the US Supply Enough Natural Gas To Neutralize Russia’s Energy Leverage Over Europe? (

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19 Responses to US LNG for Europe

  1. Polish Janitor says:

    I think the key to all of Europe’s energy consumption can easily be solved by Iran whose total readily exploitable hydrocarbon reserves tops even Russia’, and yet due to sanctions and Russia’s treatment of the Iranians as serfs (especially during the Trump years when it swiftly swallowed Iranian ‘conventional’ oil and gas market share) this has not been possible to achieve. I believe Russia will go to great pains not to allow Iranian-EU energy relationship develop. The U.S.’ producers will also share the same view with the Russians on the Iranian oil and gas export to Europe. Too bad for Iranians I suppose…

    • Cerena says:

      Have you heard about the Jewish Lobby?

    • Fred says:

      It’s funny that DIS list Russia as the third in Dec of 2021 but Iran as third in 2019. Russia has a pipeline running right now. How would Iran get theirs to Europe? Would Russia keep supplying while they were building the infrastructure?

      • TTG says:

        Iran has a gas pipeline running to Turkey as well as LNG port facilities. I would think that would all be vulnerable to Israeli interdiction. After all, the Israelis are absolute dickheads about Iran.

        • Fred says:


          I suspect anyone else could interdict that too.

        • Polish Janitor says:

          Yes and Iran needs to work on its relationship with Turkey in order to insert its energy presence in EU especially after their nuclear deal is revived. The Iranians I think need to seriously dial down their ‘revolutionary’ foreign policy if they expect to see amiable and steady economic relationship with their neighbors especially vis-a-vis the Saudis, and the Emiratis. I seriously doubt that Iran would change course on this issue due to the nature of its society and identity of its governing polity.

          Turkey has an unstable relationship with Iran for there are at least three flashpoints in Syria, Iraqi Kurdistan, and Karabagh where the two stand opposite of each other and back different proxies. Qatar has been a mediator between Iran and Turkey and just recently the current Iranian president visited Qatar and I’d assume they are working on this matter diligently. More recently, Iran also opened up another free-trade zone or what they describe as ‘special economic zone’ with Iraqi Kurdistan which indicates that Iranians are eyeing this opportunity closely. The Leviathan gas field in the Mediterranean Sea is a good option for EU in terms of curbing energy demand in the short term especially if the war prolongs , but Turkey is an obstacle which complicates things for both EU and Israel. Moreover, it would be more clever to ‘not’ supply the gas to Europe but instead to its neighbors (Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon) in order to deter them from going against it in the future, both diplomatically and militarily and also to maintain good relations with Russia.

          • Poul says:

            Have you considered that Iran would focus on India as it’s future customer of gas?
            EU have proclaimed that they want to be fossil-free in 2049. So not the best reason for expensive infrastructure investments to the EU.

            India has the potential to be a Great Power over the next century without having a bone in the Muslim-Jewish fight over Israel. Hence less likely to sanction Iran.

    • Poul says:

      The problem is that it would take years to build even if the political problems with Iran are resolved.

    • joe90 says:

      “and yet due to sanctions and Russia’s treatment of the Iranians as serfs”.

      Is CNN now claiming it was the Russians that sanctioned Iran?

      • Polish Janitor says:

        Russia on numerous occasion joined the West to sanction Iran. Some of the harshest sanctions were imposed in 2011 with the support of Russia. When Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal with Iran in 2018, Russia complied with the U.S. secondary sanctions and to avoid the threat of being targeted by the broader U.S. sanctions regime, in a similar manner to the EU, Putin and Lavrov folded like a thin napkin and complied. On the other hand, Turkey, Qatar, China, UAE, Malaysia, Iraq, India and several others continued doing business with Iran in different capacities n spite of the threat of sanctions.

        Russia openly invites Israelis to bomb the crap out of Iranian troops and assets on daily basis, has taken over the Iranian oil and gas market share since Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal, constantly humiliates and scorns Iranians (the people and its officials alike), during the 80s in collaboration with East Germany supplied WMDs to Saddam against Iran and has been a terrible neighbor to Iran and her interests. Either you’re a Russian bot or ignorant on the issue of Russian-Iran relations…or both.

        • joe90 says:

          S0 Iraq killed over 200,000 Iranians with the material support of the West but you blame Russia for being a terrible neighbour because America sanctions Iran, clearly you are not Iranian.

          Also why are those helpful countries not supplying Iran with air defence systems to protect itself from Israel, while Russia is? Also isn´t Russia working with Iran to help it export it NG? As for sanctions, have you even been paying attention to the last decade?

          • Pat Lang says:

            In fact the material support for Iraq in the Ira-Iraq war came from the Warsaw Pact and the PRC. I was a special adviser to the Iraqi government at that time. The US sale of materiel to Iraq was very small. You can read about this in my memoir.

  2. cobo says:

    Why do we need to see Persia through the lens of E-W competiton, surely our difficultues were resolved ages ago ? no, i get evertything in between… but now – whose the b….
    = sorry. i don’t play well with others

  3. TTG says:

    Fred and I had an extended discussion about LNG and Europe a while back. Europe already has more capacity to receive LNG than is currently being used. I don’t remember if it’s enough to fulfill Europe’s needs, but more is under construction.

    • Fred says:


      Yes, and the EU still has regulatory barriers that increase energy costs in general. That’s one reason the whole Nordstream 2 proposal was made to begin with.

  4. Poul says:

    Another issue is the LNG carriers. There are around 650 LNG ships of all sizes. These ships take 2½ years to build and only South Korea (80%), Japan (12%) and China (8%) have the expertise to construct them.

    You need to replaced 180-200 Billion cubit meter of Russian gas so that could be 100-150 ships of all sizes. Who knows how long that would take to construct the extra vessels

  5. joe90 says:

    This is all theatre, no one is willing to freeze for Europe. LNG is LGN so ship ownership & flag will change, that is it. Russia is already the 2nd largest shipbuilder and its got a huge line of LNG entering service this decade, same with Iran & Qatar. All 3 will deliver all their exports in their own ships with their own insurance before the end of this decade.

    Also, let us not forget that Poland is in the process of importing Russian LNG (BECAUSE ITS CHEAP) gas supplied by an American company, to replace Russian pipeline gas. Because of reasons.

  6. LondonBob says:

    There is no substitute for Russian gas, or many other commodities, namely wheat for the likes of Egypt and Turkey. Ugly day on the European markets, and a warning for next week, hopefully this might put some impetus in to finding a diplomatic solution, although I think it will need to get uglier still given the fanaticism of the likes of Nuland, von Der Leyden and Borrell.

    Interesting to read the PM’s former chief advisor’s twitter feed, Dominic Cummings, he still has some of his MI6 delusions but he seems to be well aware at the economic Armageddon we are facing.

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