Ensuring that all the EU- member states have access to liquid gas markets is a key objective of the EU’s Energy Union, a source in the European Commission told Trend.
Last week the first ever liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipment from the US arrived in Poland. First US LNG supplies to the Western Europe happened last year when a tanker with US LNG came to Portugal in April 2016.
“The EU will work closely with international partners, to promote free, liquid and transparent global LNG markets. This means engaging with current and future suppliers and with other major consuming countries to ensure that LNG can be traded freely on global markets, both under normal market conditions and in the event of external shocks,” a source in the European Commission said.
The source noted that the EU is the biggest importer of natural gas in the world.
“Diversification of supply sources is therefore paramount both for energy security as well as for competitiveness,” he said.
According to the source, cargoes of LNG are available from a wide variety of different supplier countries worldwide, and LNG can give a real boost to the EU’s diversity of gas supply and hence greatly improve energy security.
“Today, the countries in western Europe that have access to LNG import terminals and liquid gas markets are far more resilient to possible supply interruptions than those that are dependent on a single gas supplier,” he said.
The source noted that the global LNG market is undergoing a dynamic development with the entrance of new suppliers such as the US or Australia.
According to the source, Europe’s overall LNG import capacity is significant – currently it is enough to meet around 43 percent of its total current gas demand (in line with 2015 data). However, significant regional disparities as regards access to LNG remain.
“The Commission sets a liquefied natural gas strategy that will improve access of all member states to LNG as an alternative source of gas. The central elements of this strategy are building the strategic infrastructure to complete the internal energy market and identifying the necessary projects to end single-source dependency of some of the member states,” the source said.