EU may draft LNG strategy to cut dependence on Russia?

31 January 2017 9:55am

27 November 2014-Author:Emily Waterfield

The European Commission will probably propose recommendations for the development of liquefied natural gas in Europe, MLex has learned.

EU officials say it’s increasingly difficult to justify the low level of policy attention given to the liquid fossil fuel, which could provide an alternative to Russian gas.

Europe’s need to increase energy sources — along with the infrastructure available for imports — means an “LNG strategy” will likely be proposed within the next two years, an official told MLex.

The strategy will probably look to increase the use of LNG and examine whether existing EU energy infrastructure is suitable to import and transport the gas within the bloc. The strategy would also consider which countries could supply LNG to Europe.

LNG is natural gas that has been liquefied and compressed, so it can be transported by boat instead of through a pipeline. The US and Australia hope to be major exporters of the gas by the end of the decade, opening up potential new supply routes to Europe.

Europe has more than 20 LNG terminals, with five more under construction. But the terminals aren’t spread evenly across the 28 member states, and there aren’t enough pipelines to transport supplies around the bloc.

A European LNG strategy would probably follow EU plans to create an “energy union.” The commission is working on policy guidelines for an energy union, to reduce dependency on Russian gas and give Europe more bargaining power with foreign gas suppliers.

MLex understand that an LNG strategy isn’t on the commission’s work program for 2015, but that experts have begun to outline recommendations for the next two years.