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US Gas in Europe: Can Trump Really 'Sell' American LNG to Europeans?

© Photo : goldenpassterminal.comGolden Pass LNG Terminal on the Sabine-Neches Waterway in Sabine Pass, Texas
Golden Pass LNG Terminal on the Sabine-Neches Waterway in Sabine Pass, Texas - Sputnik International
US President Donald Trump wants to use his country's fast-growing reserves of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a political tool to reduce Europe's dependence on Russia. The plan will be presented during a summit of the Three Seas Initiative in Warsaw, Poland.

Answering the question of whether these plans pose a threat to Russian gas deliveries in Europe, Alexander Frolov, the deputy director of Russia's Institute of National Energy, said that such a scenario is unlikely.

"I don't quite understand what Trump is going to sell to his partners. The President is promising something to someone, but what impact does he have on commercial organizations that extract gas, process it into LNG and sell it to various markets? He has nothing to do with these structures," Frolov told Sputnik.

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Another problem is that the US lacks resources to supply LNG to Europe in quantities that could be seen as a practical alternative to Russian gas. Moreover, LNG is much more expensive than Russian gas and even more expensive that its analogue from Qatar.

"The problem of the European market is that there is a huge number of terminals for LNG that were built in the hopes that cheap LNG would arrive. However, cheap LNG did not come, because it just does not exist. Europeans didn't have enough money, and so the LNG was transported to Asia," the expert said.

According to Frolov, the EU is capable of receiving 220 billion cubic meters of LNG annually, but it imports only 50-55 billion. By contrast, Russia supplied 180 billion cubic meters of gas to European consumers last year.

"In order to "rescue Europe from Russia's influence" and at the same time meet the growing demand in Mexico, the US needs to increase its production by at least 200 billion cubic meters. Therefore, in order to compensate for Russian supplies, it needs to produce approximately 950 billion cubic meters of LNG per year. They don't even have such plans right now," Frolov concluded.

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Earlier, Polish President Andrzej Duda said Warsaw is working on signing a long-term contract with the United States for the supply of the LNG, adding that the issue would be raised during Trump's visit to Poland which starts on Wednesday.

Ahead of the upcoming meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump during the G20 summit in Hamburg, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday that Russian analysts are closely following the negotiations between Poland and the United States on the delivery of liquefied natural gas.

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