Even assuming that Washington will be able to somehow make “Gazprom” to make room in the European gas market, this does not mean that American LNG will immediately take over the vacant niche. This opinion was expressed by managing partner of consulting company in the field of energy production EWSA Michael Moore.
“In Europe there is much competition in the LNG sector, explained Moore in an interview with RIA Novosti. Infrastructure, such as terminals and regasification, is expensive and requires a 20-year investment with a stable market demand. Many of the objects in the project”.
But even if in Europe there will be enough LNG terminals, most likely in the structure of imports of liquefied gas will increase the share of Qatar but not the US. On the one hand, Qatar supplies the usual European buyers and are quite satisfied with their price. And besides Doha recently announced plans to raise its LNG production from the current 70 million to 100 million tons per year.
On the other — the United States in the medium term not be able to send to the EU as much LNG to become really competitive. The problem of American manufacturers in the absence of sufficient volumes of dry gas for liquefaction, says Michael Moore.
The pipeline infrastructure of the United States loaded with volumes necessary for own consumption. In addition, the growing American demand for “blue fuel” in Mexico, and the expansion of supply in this country requires almost no additional investment.
As a result, the LNG producers in the case of opening in the near future, several liquefaction plants planned for the Gulf of Mexico may face a shortage of dry gas. In this case, they would prefer to work for a closer and reliable Latin American market, where the US is not yet serious competitors.
The situation is well illustrated by the example of Poland, notes the analyst. Not so long ago Warsaw with great fanfare announced that almost reached an agreement with Washington on the future supply of LNG. However, to enter into any formal agreement, she is in no hurry.
A few days ago the Polish foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski explained that the decision to import American LNG in Poland is still pending. The price for it, said the Minister, should be competitive compared to the prices of other suppliers, such as Qatar or Russia. Meantime, gas from the US is much more expensive.
Currently Poland consumes annually 15 billion cubic meters of gas, of which 10 billion cubic meters it buys from Russia. However, the Polish government has repeatedly stated that it aims to reduce the country’s dependence on Russian gas due to the LNG terminal in świnoujście.
However, as a preferred vendor in the first place has always been called Qatar, then – Norway. With US Polish gas state company PGNiG has signed a trial contract for one delivery to check how liquefied shale gas suitable for power system of the country.