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EU Set to Boost US LNG Imports to Diversify Supply

Since April 2016 when the first U.S. LNG carrier arrived in the Portuguese port of Sines, EU imports of liquefied natural gas have reached 2.8 billion cubic meters, according to the European Commission's (EC) announcement on Thursday.

The EC said the European Union plans to import more liquefied natural gas from the U.S. to diversify and render its energy supply more secure.

"The EU and the U.S. will therefore work to facilitate trade in liquefied natural gas," read the statement. In their joint statement of July 25 in Washington D.C., European Commission President Juncker and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to strengthen EU-U.S. strategic cooperation in gas trade.

"The European Union is ready to facilitate more imports of liquefied natural gas from the U.S. and this is already the case as we speak," Juncker said.

He added that growing exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas, if priced competitively, could play an increasing and strategic role in EU gas supply.

"Both sides have much to gain by working together in the energy field," Juncker said. However, he warned of the U.S.’ necessity to play its role in doing away with red tape restrictions on liquefied natural gas exports.

"Currently, U.S. legislation still requires prior regulatory approval for liquefied natural gas exports to Europe. These restrictions need to be addressed and the U.S. rules made easier for the U.S. liquefied natural gas to be exported to the EU," the EC contended.

According to the EC, in addition to the existing 150 billion cubic meters of spare capacity in the EU, the EU is supporting 14 liquefied natural gas infrastructure projects. These projects are set to facilitate the enlargement of capacity by another 15 billion cubic meters by 2021, which could accommodate imports of liquefied natural gas from the U.S., if the market conditions are right and the prices competitive.

"Diversification is an important element for ensuring the security of gas supply in the EU. Increasing imports of competitively priced liquefied natural gas from the U.S. is therefore to be welcomed," said Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Canete.

(Anadolu Agency)

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