U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe have surged by 272 percent since July 2018, when the United States and the European Union (EU) pledged to boost their strategic energy cooperation, the European Commission said on Thursday. In the nine months since the July 25, 2018, Joint Statement after a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on working toward zero tariffs and boosting energy cooperation, U.S. LNG exports to the EU surged by 272 percent compared to the period beforehand, the Commission said while the EU hosted an EU-U.S. energy forum.
The EU is keen to diversify its energy supply as most of its members want to diminish their reliance on Russian pipeline gas. According to the European Commission, in 2017 Europe accounted for more than 10 percent of total U.S. LNG exports, up from 5 percent in 2016. In 2018 around 11 percent of U.S. LNG exports went to the EU, while in the nine-month period from August 2018 to April 2019, in which exports surged by 272 percent, that share jumped to almost 30 percent.
“Natural gas will remain an important component of the EU’s energy mix in the near future as we move towards cleaner sources of energy. Given our heavy dependence on imports, U.S. liquefied natural gas, if priced competitively, could play an increasing and strategic role in EU gas supply,” European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Miguel Arias Cañete said.