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US DOE Official identifies physical constraints to US – EU LNG supply

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LNG Industry,

The US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources recently held a hearing to examine the role of US LNG in meeting European energy demand.

In his prepared statement, Steven Winberg, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy at the US Department of Energy (DOE), stated that despite the availability of US LNG imports into Europe, there are constraints affecting the amount of LNG imported, including: (1) the fact that the European Union’s (EU’s) LNG import capacity of approximately 20 billion ft3/day has a utilisation rate of only approximately 20%; and (2) most Central and South-Eastern EU Member States do not have LNG regasification terminals or adequate gas interconnection infrastructure to access LNG supplies.

“Specifically, the ability for US LNG to compete with other pipeline gas alternatives in the EU has been slowed by two factors (1) pipeline permitting and (2) resistance to investment/build-out of critical infrastructure from regasification facilities. Storage capacity in the EU is also lacking.” Winberg stated that the DOE is working with the EU and member governments to help address the infrastructure issues that are impeding energy supply diversification and security in Europe.

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