While Washington insists Europeans should stop buying Russian gas (and start buying American) even American consumers are developing a taste for Arctic LNG
At least three tankers loaded with liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russian LNG facility Yamal have arrived in the United States recently, according to Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
“Oddly enough, with all this visible public flow of negative rhetoric [towards Moscow] from Washington, Russian liquefied natural gas is successfully being supplied to the US. Recently, at least three tankers with liquefied natural gas from the [Russian] Yamal LNG field on board have reached the US coast,” Sputnik quoted Zakharova as saying at a news briefing on Thursday.
These cargoes are not the first Yamal-originated LNG supply to have reached U.S. coasts.
In January this year, just one month after Yamal started operations, the Gaselys tanker carrying the first LNG produced by Yamal arrived in Boston.
Yamal LNG, the US$27-billion project in the Arctic, is majority owned by Novatek in partnership with France’s oil and gas major Total. Yamal began operations in early December 2017 and the first cargo was shipped on December 11. The first cargo of Novatek’s Yamal LNG was initially loaded on the Christophe de Margerie tanker by Total, which shipped it to Britain where it was transferred to the Gaselys. Engie told Bloomberg at the time that it had bought the cargo on the spot market earlier in January as it tackled stronger LNG demand in New England because of the harsh winter weather.
While Yamal cargoes arrive in America, the U.S. has been looking to sell more of its growing LNG supply on the European market, to help Europe to reduce its dependence on Russia’s gas giant Gazprom which holds around a third of the European gas supply.
Earlier this month, U.S. officials and LNG developers expressed confidence that abundant supply and falling costs are making U.S. LNG increasingly competitive on the European market.
Last week, U.S. Cheniere signed a 24-year LNG deal under which it will deliver growing volumes of LNG to Poland’s PGNiG. Poland—one of the most vocal opponents of the controversial Gazprom-led Nord Stream 2 pipeline project and Russia’s dominance on the European gas market—will start importing regular supplies from the United States as early as next year.