Europe saved $8 billion on gas bill in 2018 due to LNG, reforms: IEA

LONDON (Reuters) – Europe saved $8 billion on its natural gas bill last year because surging U.S. shale production and a shake-up in EU energy markets forced Russia to change its gas pricing mechanism, the head of the International Energy Agency said on Friday. Fatih Birol, speaking as the IEA released its annual gas report, said 2018 was a “golden year” for natural gas which accounted for 45 percent of total global energy growth, which in turn was the fastest in two decades. He said the shift in global gas markets stemming from the U.S. shale gas revolution, a rapid expansion of the liquefied natural gas industry and EU liberalization of energy markets, had forced Russia to change its oil-indexed pricing of gas. The change began, he said, when rising U.S. gas output led Qatar, the world’s largest LNG exporter, to divert LNG supplies to Europe, shaking up pricing on the continent and widening the influence of the Dutch TTF benchmark price. “Because of the big challenge from LNG and better regulation, there was a lot of renegotiation of pipeline contracts and we estimate in 2018, Russian pipeline exports to Europe were $8 billion cheaper than they would have been… continue reading

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