The United States will increase its deliveries of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the EU to help it reduce its dependence on Russian fossil fuels in order to deprive Moscow of its main source of income.

After doubling its deliveries in recent months, the United States “will strive”, with “international partners”, to supply Europe with an additional 15 billion cubic meters of LNG in 2022, according to the initiative unveiled on Friday by President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The United States is already the EU’s largest LNG supplier (22 billion cubic meters last year), even though it accounts for only around 6.3% of its total gas imports.

A platform will centralize the requests of the Twenty-Seven. The gas will not necessarily be American, the United States also being able, like this winter, to redirect deliveries to Europe from Asia, according to an American official, which will require “a lot of diplomatic work”.

The planned volumes will increase over the years: the Commission will have to coordinate with the Twenty-Seven to guarantee, at least until 2030, a demand for around 50 billion cubic meters per year of additional American LNG – the equivalent of a third of its total Russian gas consumption.

The EU is being pressed by kyiv and some member states, including Poland, to stop its imports of Russian hydrocarbons in order to dry up the financing of the war started by Moscow in Ukraine.

Much less exposed, Washington has imposed an embargo on Russian oil and gas.

But many European states remain opposed to such a sanction, as 45% of EU gas purchases come from Russia. A proportion that reaches 55% for Germany and more than 95% for Finland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Moscow supplies some 150 billion cubic meters of gas per year, of which only 15 billion is LNG.

LNG represents approximately 20% of European gas consumption.

Joe Biden assured that this plan will help the EU to achieve the “ambitious” objective of completely freeing itself from Russian gas “well before 2030”.

These long-term contracts will make it possible to partly escape the fluctuations in world prices which have recently soared. Regarding the price, the Commission merely indicated that it “will take into account the balance between supply and demand”, but also the reference prices on the American domestic market, which are lower than world prices.

Brussels is seeking to cut Russian gas imports from the EU by two-thirds this year through obligations to fill reserves to 90% before each winter, energy savings, group purchases and supplier diversification.

In addition to the United States, the Commission has entered into negotiations with the main producing countries (Norway, United States, Qatar, Algeria).

Some European regions still lack infrastructure for LNG (such as Germany, which has no terminal), but “we have regasification plants strategically placed in the EU” to supply all the States, assures a source European.

If the Commission wants to better coordinate the available capacities, sufficient according to it to import 50 billion cubic meters per year of additional LNG, it has also undertaken to “accelerate the procedures for approving the construction of new terminals”, according to the Americans.

“A dangerous path” which “would make the EU a prisoner of fossil fuels for a long time”, according to the environmental NGO Global Witness.

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