US President Donald Trump announced that the first shipment of liquefied natural gas out of Cameron, Louisiana just sent “freedom and opportunity abroad.”
BIG NEWS! As I promised two weeks ago, the first shipment of LNG has just left the Cameron LNG Export Facility in Louisiana. Not only have thousands of JOBS been created in USA, we’re shipping freedom and opportunity abroad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2019
Trump jumped on the band wagon to attempt and advertise the US’ LNG as bringing “freedom,” coming short of plainly calling it “molecules of US freedom,” which the US Department of Energy did just days earlier.
The US appear to be growing desperate in attempting to free the EU and others of “Russia’s monopoly” on LNG and their money as well, since the US “freedom gas” is significantly more expensive than the one offered by Russia’s Gazprom and Novatek.
It could be that the price is higher since “freedom” brings a significant added value.
In 2018, the US exported LNG to 28 countries, with 10 of them accounting for 82% of exports. South Korea, the top destination, received 73 cargoes in all, followed by Mexico with 53, Japan with 37 and lastly China with 24. Of the remainder, Jordan, Chile, India, Turkey, Spain, Argentina, and Brazil took only a small number of shipments each.
The terminal in Louisiana is one of 14 new terminals that were announced in 2018, that are aimed at increasing growth of LNG production, as well as attempting to reduce gas prices and increase competitiveness of US LNG.
China’s imports of LNG went up together with serious measures to tackle its air pollution. Regardless, imports of LNG from the U.S. were moderate during 2018 and are not expected to rise during the current U.S.-China trade war.
Exports of “molecules of US freedom” to China are also likely to suffer after Gazprom’s Power of Siberia pipeline starts operating by the end of 2019.
This was further reinforced by a statement by the head of Gazprom’s export branch Elena Burmistrova who said that China is interested in more Russian gas deliveries.
“The Chinese partners are very interested in additional volumes, though the final amount as well as the price is not agreed yet,” she said.
Burmustrova that the Russian energy major expects formal arrangements on the issues to be reached in the near future.
Thus, it appears that “the price of freedom” would need to be significantly reduced to be able to compete with Russia’s “evil blackmail” gas in Europe and China.
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