May 16, 2019

Europe taking bigger share of U.S. natural gas exports

After years of anticipation, Europe is finally taking a big share of American exports of liquified natural gas as it seeks to lessen its reliance on Russian gas.

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Data: EIA and the European Commission; Note: EU figures were converted from cubic meters to cubic feet and reflect approximate values. Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Why it matters: It gives Europe leverage with Russia, which has cut off gas supplies in the past, and also bolsters President Trump's goal of positioning America as a global energy superpower.

What they're saying: I caught up Wednesday with European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič, who is in charge of the European Union's energy union. He toured an LNG export facility in Louisiana with Trump on Tuesday.

"We are at the stage when these facilities become commercially very important. We have demand. We have infrastructure in place. The U.S. now has the export capacity."
— European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič

Between the lines: Per Jason Bordoff, founding director of Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy: "The price premium disappeared in Asia (partly as a result of the recent oversupply), which leaves U.S. LNG going to Europe, the market of last resort."

Go deeper: Trump seeks to flex America's energy muscles abroad

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