US promotes ‘freedom gas’ but prices, not politicians, drive LNG flows

The US is describing its growing LNG exports as “freedom gas”, giving America’s allies “a diverse and affordable” clean energy source, but prices, not politicians, will decide where that LNG flows. The message about diversified supplies plays particularly well in Europe, where the European Commission wants to ensure dominant gas supplier Russia faces credible competition across all markets, not just at the developed hubs in the northwest. Russia’s planned 55 Bcm/year Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project to Germany has drawn criticism from both the US and the EC. They argue that it undermines Ukraine’s role in transiting Russian gas and does not diversify supplies. The US Department of Energy is doing what it can to enable “molecules of US freedom to be exported to the world,” assistant secretary for fossil energy Steven Winberg said on May 28 as he approved extra exports from the Freeport LNG terminal. The EC, meanwhile, sees the recent surge in US LNG to Europe as evidence that last July’s trade relations meeting between US President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has paid off. US LNG imports to Europe rose 272% in the nine months after that meeting, reaching a record 10.4… continue reading

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