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US-European LNG export plan facing reality check

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LNG Industry,

Reuters are reporting that President Donald Trump’s plan for “vast amounts” of US LNG exports to the EU after trade talks with its top representative may not pan out.

After a meeting at the White House with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, Trump said the EU would buy larger quantities of US soybeans and work with Washington to cut other trade barriers to zero.

Soon after he tweeted: “European Union representatives told me that they would start buying soybeans from our great farmers immediately. Also, they will be buying vast amounts of LNG!”.

Juncker also expressed optimism, announcing that the EU would build more LNG import terminals to handle purchases of US LNG.

A major LNG deal appeared to have been struck.

However, in reality, three quarters of Europe’s existing import facilities lie empty while demand for US LNG on the continent remains limited.

The most lucrative markets for US LNG are in South and Central America, India, and the Far East. Europe falls near the bottom of the pile given its relatively low prices and ample supplies of gas via pipelines from Russia and Norway.

How this new plan for US LNG imports will practically fit into this existing landscape remains to be seen.

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