Europe buying much more American natural gas

Imports and Exports | 7 May 2019

Europe has been buying more gas from America - and it wants to boost this still further.


Europe is buying more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the US than ever as it seeks to ease trade tensions and reduce its reliance on Russia, according to new figures.

The bloc has imported around eight billion cubic metres of the resource from America since July 2018 alone, more than three times the amount it purchased in the two years before this.

Furthermore, at an energy summit in Brussels, the European Union committed to doubling purchases of LNG from the US by 2023, as long as the price is competitive.

An announcement was made by US president Donald Trump and president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker in July 2018 stating that the EU would be seeking to expand its purchases of LNG, helping it to avoid new tariffs threatened by the Trump administration.

In 2019, 48 vessels have already carried American LNG to Europe. US energy secretary Rick Perry said the increase will bring "tremendous mutual benefit" to both sides.

The EU imports 77 per cent of its LNG, with 43 per cent coming from Russia, 33 per cent from Norway, nine per cent from Algeria and less than one per cent originating in the US.