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Central Europeans want U.S. gas to cut dependence on Russia
Reuters ^ | Sat Mar 8, 2014 3:02pm EST | Jan Lopatka

Posted on 03/10/2014 12:20:28 PM PDT by Olog-hai

Four central European countries have asked the U.S. Congress to make it easier for them to import natural gas from the United States and reduce their dependence on supplies from Russia, the Czech Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

The Visegrad 4 group including Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia is looking to diversify supplies to eliminate the danger Russia could use its control of gas and oil flows to exert political pressure on the former Soviet satellite states.

Supplies were briefly disrupted in 2009 during a dispute between Russia and Ukraine, through which much of the Russian gas is piped, and central Europeans fear they could be under threat again due to an escalation of tensions between Russia and the West over Russia’s seizure of Crimea. …

(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: eussr; naturalgas; ukraine; visegrad4

1 posted on 03/10/2014 12:20:30 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

The only smart move I’m seeing these days.


2 posted on 03/10/2014 12:21:36 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Olog-hai
Too bad the US government has lost interest in developing its oil industry.

Another glittering policy achievement of the idiot in the white house and his political party.

3 posted on 03/10/2014 12:23:45 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: Olog-hai

We can’t. Natural gas extraction hurts the environment and and contributes to climate change warming smarming!


4 posted on 03/10/2014 12:24:27 PM PDT by Dallas59 (Obama: The first "White Black" President.)
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To: Olog-hai

Are we going to build a pipeline to Europe? I don’t think it can be done using ships.


5 posted on 03/10/2014 12:26:59 PM PDT by ryan71 (The Partisans)
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To: cripplecreek

The chances of being able to transport NG to Europe at any amount greater than 1/3rd of 1% of their needs is fantasy. I seriously doubt the physics and the costs can be overcome.

What a good enterprising US company should do is to offer to bring a several fracking rigs and poke some holes on spec until they find some damn natty in exchange for some decent royalty. That would be a titanic jackpot if they hit, that would be a home run for a T. Boone Pickens type. I don’t know what NG sells for in Europe, but it’s probably safe to say that it’s nearly double what it sells for here.


6 posted on 03/10/2014 12:27:38 PM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (At no time was the Obama administration aware of what the Obama administration was doing)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

Japan has been running on imported oil for a century. What would be different in supplying a significant portion of central Europe?


7 posted on 03/10/2014 12:30:25 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: cripplecreek

Agreed, but screw ‘em. Germany got scared and closed their Nukes after the Japan quake, now they’re desperate for Natural Gas.

If we had all the pipelines and LNG port facilities that Obastard has been slow-walking, it would be another story, but the fact of the matter is we couldn’t deliver if we wanted to. All part of the Soros/Buffett plan.


8 posted on 03/10/2014 12:32:28 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: Olog-hai

It would be good if we could do this, and if natural gas really ramps up here it would be even better to give the western Europeans an alternative to buying from the Russians.


9 posted on 03/10/2014 12:32:39 PM PDT by Corporate Democrat
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To: skeeter

Oil vs gas. I think I get it.


10 posted on 03/10/2014 12:33:11 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: ryan71

11 posted on 03/10/2014 12:35:35 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: Cyber Liberty

They’re desperate for coal, too. Ironic what with their big enviro-wacko movement.


12 posted on 03/10/2014 12:38:26 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: cripplecreek

All the more reason to expect it won’t happen, IMO.


13 posted on 03/10/2014 12:38:45 PM PDT by daler
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To: daler

The Europeans will have to lean harder on our resident and maybe even put up some cash for the infrastructure to get the gas to market.

The Canadians are paying to build a new bridge over the Detroit river because they need it. However Obama is holding things up on our end by refusing to release funds for preparing our side of the river.


14 posted on 03/10/2014 12:45:21 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

US price for gas is $3 to $4 per thousand cubic feet. Europe is around $12, Japan around $16.


15 posted on 03/10/2014 12:46:02 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: ryan71

It can. One large LNG carrier can transport +100 million cubic meters of natural gas. If you mean LNG terminals, there’s not enough of them but the Polish one should become operational late this year. OK it wouldn’t be possible to supply all the gas imported to Europe using ships but that’s not the point, the point is to import it at a small scale and increase the volume if Russians start making problems. In the long term Russians can’t block export of their own resources, they have not much else to sell but in the short term they may shut it down and cause huge problems for European economy and that fact alone is keeping Europe in check. At the moment there’s a ban on export of US natural gas.


16 posted on 03/10/2014 12:51:10 PM PDT by Grzegorz 246
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To: Olog-hai

Have we got a pipeline that can handle that?

...


17 posted on 03/10/2014 12:53:40 PM PDT by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th (and 17th))
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To: Grzegorz 246

What would happen if a 777 loaded with explosives collided with one of those while it was in port?

Would the gas contribute to the force of the explosion(s)?


18 posted on 03/10/2014 12:57:45 PM PDT by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th (and 17th))
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To: skeeter
Too bad the US government has lost interest in developing its oil industry.

No problem.....

Obama will be happy to buy a few billion unicorns with our tax dollars and give them to Europe.


19 posted on 03/10/2014 12:58:02 PM PDT by Iron Munro (Albert Einstein: The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits)
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To: Olog-hai

Eco freaks in Europe are largely funded by Gazprom/Kremlin to keep Europe dependent on Russian NG, it’s the same with shale gas, they nearly succeed in putting a ban on fracking across the whole EU.


20 posted on 03/10/2014 1:02:00 PM PDT by Grzegorz 246
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To: WayneS

Pipelines can be built with astonishing speed if there is political will to do so.

Prior to WWII we had little in the way of pipelines in this country but by the time was over we had them refueling ships on the east coast rather than all having to go to Galveston Texas or where ever.


21 posted on 03/10/2014 1:10:34 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: WayneS

“What would happen if a 777 loaded with explosives collided with one of those while it was in port?”

I guess everything in the range of 1-3 miles (at least) would be totally destroyed. But I don’t think it should be used against LNG carriers. There are many other “sensitive” facilities, oil & gas storage, nuclear power plants, ammo depots etc.


22 posted on 03/10/2014 1:13:13 PM PDT by Grzegorz 246
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To: Olog-hai

Hey get from the Ukraine. While you can.


23 posted on 03/10/2014 1:13:43 PM PDT by McGruff (Republicans need to show Obama some RSPECT.)
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To: Olog-hai

24 posted on 03/10/2014 1:16:12 PM PDT by McGruff (Republicans need to show Obama some RSPECT.)
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To: skeeter

Nat gas is quite the peculiar animal when it comes to transport. People think “hey, it’s kinda the same as propane”. Oh no, it’s massively different. As a delivered product at its normal pressure, it’s roughly similar to propane, certainly less energy-dense, but a great fuel nonetheless. IF you can get it by pipe.

Propane easily liquefies at about 120 lbs pressure, turns into a liquid, and that’s that. Nice, easy. The only inconvenient thing about propane is that it’s heavier than air, so in a boat, for example, it *can*, over long periods, accumulate in low spots in the bilge and develop an explosive fuel-air mixture. Pretty easily remedied by venting with or without an exhaust fan.

Natural gas, primarily methane, does not liquefy until you pressurize it to over 3000 lbs, and there’s a requirement to chill parts of the associated plumbing to cryogenic temperatures, also to let some part of your NG boil off. It’s a complete PITA and very non trivial engineering challenge. Lacking the ability to liquefy it makes it almost uneconomical to transport in any way other than via pipeline, as a vapor...if it was a liquid, then your pipeline would have to be 3000++ lbs rated, which “none” are and probably shouldn’t be when you think about earthquakes and things like that that can cause earth movement. If there’s no pipeline, your NG is “stranded”. You can’t really get it to market, nowadays you can’t flare it (and that’s a big sorry waste whether or not you’re an eco-person) and so many drillers are actually pumping it back into the ground because it’s a by-product of almost any kind of petroleum drilling.


25 posted on 03/10/2014 1:22:01 PM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (At no time was the Obama administration aware of what the Obama administration was doing)
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To: cripplecreek
However Obama is holding things up on our end by refusing to release funds for preparing our side of the river.

That is an outrage. That project is stuck because of a GD Customs Plaza. All the land is cleared to build but for that. IIRC, the owner of the Ambassador bridge is the person greasing the palms to stop the bridge, right?

26 posted on 03/10/2014 1:22:59 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: Cyber Liberty
the owner of the Ambassador bridge is the person greasing the palms to stop the bridge, right?

Matty Maroun. He ranks about 400 on the Forbes list and he's Detroit's wealthiest slumlord and democrat donor.
27 posted on 03/10/2014 1:26:55 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Grzegorz 246
It can. One large LNG carrier can transport +100 million cubic meters of natural gas.

The EU alone imports over 420 billion cubic meters of natural gas each year. It would take 4200 trips to service them alone.

28 posted on 03/10/2014 1:27:27 PM PDT by DoodleDawg
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To: Olog-hai

How about building pipelines from Norway so Norwegian natural gas can be easily shipped to western Europe?


29 posted on 03/10/2014 1:49:25 PM PDT by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
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To: DoodleDawg

Yes but nearly 2/3 of that comes from Norway, Qatar, North Africa etc. So Russian share is around 150 billion, so 1500 trips annually to replace that totally, I think ~100 large ships should be enough to deliver that, doesn’t seem to be totally unrealistic. Besides it’s not about replacing the whole volume of Russian gas, an opportunity to import it (now there are export restrictions in place) alone is changing the game significantly.


30 posted on 03/10/2014 1:56:59 PM PDT by Grzegorz 246
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To: WayneS
What would happen if a 777 loaded with explosives collided with one of those while it was in port?

Nothing. That is because most LNG ports are built offshore, with a multi-mile pipeline running to land.

Just study Cove Point LNG in Lusby, MD. It was an LNG import terminal. To protect Baltimore, the dock is located more than a mile away.

But, that plant is now being rebuilt as an LNG export terminal, so we can start selling natural gas to other nations.

I am involved in the project.

31 posted on 03/10/2014 2:04:07 PM PDT by Erik Latranyi (When religions have to beg the gov't for a waiver, we are already under socialism.)
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To: DoodleDawg
Uh, no one seems to be talking about the **EU** except you. Total annual imports of natty in Poland, Hungary, Czech, and Slovakia last year (which was VERY cold, unlike this winter which has been considerably milder) were, depending on whom you choose to believe, on the order of 3.2 BCM. That 420 billion figure you cite, regarding the **whole** of the EU, is simply fantasy -- not even close enough for goobermint work -- regarding the 4 nations under discussion.

As one FReeper colleague has noted, just 1 large carrier every quarter would provide -- on current usage figs -- more than 10% of these 4 nations' requirements for a winter. In a severe winter, perhaps only 7-8 %. And, m'FRiend, in energy it is the barrel or cubic meter AT THE MARGIN that controls both price and availability, assuming only that world supply is ample at a given time. Which, regarding natural gas, it most certainly is today.

And -- if you've thought about it, which is NOT evident from your commentary -- 4 large shipments per year would be more than enough. Gospodin Putin would have exactly no choice but to turn the pipes back on to these nations, because his nation's economy is 100% dependent on the export of crude and natty. Losing customers on a long-term basis is not a shot on his board. Bluff and bluster are, of course, but the US (and Qatar, among others) can easily call his bluff, provided only that there is the political will to do so.

Strongly suggest you consider talking with several people who are IN the energy business, and also not confuse the entirety of the idiotic EU with the far more practical (and threatened) nations of Eastern Europe.

32 posted on 03/10/2014 2:11:12 PM PDT by SAJ
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To: cripplecreek

The shipping costs for LNG will be paid by Ukranians, I presume.


33 posted on 03/10/2014 2:13:01 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: cripplecreek

Actually it is dumb.

A better decision would be to occupy Syria, overthrow Assad and then build the cross med pipeline from Saudi Arabia.

Syria is a weaker foe than Russia. Syria can’t attack


34 posted on 03/10/2014 2:24:00 PM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... History is a process, not an event)
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To: WayneS

Do you have volcano insurance? Those ships aren’t new. They been in service and plying the ocean.


35 posted on 03/10/2014 2:24:10 PM PDT by meatloaf (Impeach Obama. That's my New Year's resolution.)
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder
ASD, while every particular you mention is more or less true, the absolutely unavoidable truth is that US natty is far TOO profitable not to liquefy and export. You have to be aware of this, mate, come on.

Granted, Zerobama and his Envirodildoes will do whatever they can to prevent this, but they will fail, post-Kenyan, and perhaps before. Liquefaction faciities and terminals are being built (too slowly, granted) as we speak, and you know this to be a fact (I assume). Cheniere are a bunch of clowns, but they'll have a large new facility operational prior to the 2016 election if not sooner. As may others.

You know I'm a trader, of NG among other things, but I'm not talking my book here, not a bit of it. For the rest of the year, I intend to be writing 40-60 day OOM calls on natty, and to stop when this strategy would lead to writing the Novies. I missed most of the move on LNG (and quite happy about it; trading LNG is like having your fingernails buffed by a power sander.)

36 posted on 03/10/2014 2:27:09 PM PDT by SAJ
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To: Olog-hai

This is a win-win for the US and the Eastern European states. Since, it makes so much sense, Obama will not do it. The stupid, it hurts!


37 posted on 03/10/2014 2:46:38 PM PDT by 3Fingas (Sons and Daughters for Freedom and Rededication to the Principles of the U.S. Constitution)
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To: SAJ
As one FReeper colleague has noted, just 1 large carrier every quarter would provide -- on current usage figs -- more than 10% of these 4 nations' requirements for a winter. In a severe winter, perhaps only 7-8 %.

I don't see how that's possible. If the largest LNG tankers can transport the equivilent of 100 million cubic meters of natural gas, and Poland imported 11 billion cubic meters of natural gas, then one tanker will provide less than 1 percent of Poland's imports. I wasn't a math major but it would seem to me that it would take more than 4 tankers per year to make a dent in Poland's imports. The four countries you mentioned import over 35 billion cubic meters per year.

38 posted on 03/10/2014 2:49:34 PM PDT by DoodleDawg
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To: Grzegorz 246
So Russian share is around 150 billion, so 1500 trips annually to replace that totally, I think ~100 large ships should be enough to deliver that, doesn’t seem to be totally unrealistic.

You are assuming there is sufficient excess capacity in the LNG tanker community to take on those 1500 trips per year. I highly doubt that.

39 posted on 03/10/2014 2:51:45 PM PDT by DoodleDawg
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To: DoodleDawg
It appears that you are basing your 35 BCM figure on LAST year, not this past winter. Thus, you are taking an extreme data point as opposed to the far more typical current fig. Not to say that next winter will be moderate -- no prediction on my part intended or implied.

Pls do keep in mind that "imports" never have implied "Russian imports", therefore, for any such analysis to be legitimate in the real world, one must know the PROPORTION of Russian imports, which, if I am not MUCH mistaken have declined in the past two years.

While Polish infrastructure regarding LNG imports is lagging, it IS proceeding. By 2015's winter, Russia will have lost its leverage over Poland regarding gas supply. I do not know the status of trans-Polish pipelines, north to south, but it is surely greater than zero.

Also, if I may, pls let me point out that I VERY deliberately postulated a LOW figure of large LNG imports via sea. On a regularised basis, a typical exporter (and its importing nation) will contract for considerably more shipments, in the current circumstance because the importing nation is absolutely aware that it can sell any excess imports quite profitably to another nation.

Not a 2-dimensional game here, m'FRiend, never has been. Russians may been fine chessmasters, but, to continue the analogy if I may, the energy "game" has always been rather closely more related to that odd 3-dimensional fantasy chess game that was occasionally featured on the old Star Trek telly series.

40 posted on 03/10/2014 3:03:45 PM PDT by SAJ
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To: SAJ

I will agree that ultimately, some NG exports and thus the massive infrastructures to do so will be built. But don’t you think that this is astoundingly risky if (as I understand it) fracking technology is largely unused outside of Germany? By that I mean, with fracking, we have discovered NG in dozens of places it was never suspected of being present. We both know the rabid depth of eco-freakishness in the EU, plus we know the resistance that is there for NG terminals in CONUS. So building same is likely a 5-year proposition. Meanwhile, sooner or later the Euros are likely to catch on to fracking and if you are an owner of facilities and ships on say the East Coast and NG is discovered in Europe in bulk, then overnight those facilities are surplus.


41 posted on 03/10/2014 3:07:26 PM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (At no time was the Obama administration aware of what the Obama administration was doing)
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To: Dallas59; skeeter
Obama has already awarded 6 natural gas export permits, 5 in the GOM and one in MD. The first of these is supposed come online in 2015.

I thought it was all headed for Asia

42 posted on 03/10/2014 3:15:31 PM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder
I daresay that future EU eco-freakishness will, very shortly, become a direct function of both winter temperatures and the availability of a sufficient supply of warm socks.

LNG terminals in the CONUS are increasingly less problematic than, say, in 2005. Further, they are NON-problematic in Emirates and Qatar, where (believe it or not) they are still flaring natty. Given those countries' resources, you don't really expect that they WON'T build LNG terminals, do you? As a side note, pls consider that the Persian Gulf is a far, far more weather-and-tide friendly locale for LNG terminals than is the Gulf, ne c'est pas?

As to Germany, what the devil does fracking (and/or the Germans' refusal to utilise this technique) have to do with the export/import of LNG to that besotted bunch of bozos in the so-called "EU"? Hmmm? The geologists that I read, just btw, consider the likelihood of finding enormous deposits of "frackable" natty (if I may use such a term) is, anywhere other than off the Portuguese coast and possibly the near North Sea, rather lower than Merkel winning any given beauty pageant.

43 posted on 03/10/2014 3:34:47 PM PDT by SAJ
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

“What a good enterprising US company should do is to offer to bring a several fracking rigs and poke some holes on spec until they find some damn natty in exchange for some decent royalty. “

The UK is sitting on about 400 years of natural gas reserves. Unfortunately, the majority of Britons believe that fraking causes earthquakes, pollution and probably hemorrhoids, too. Mention fraking and all these gnarled, old hippies show up to frighten the Brits back into their rabbit holes. Here’s one story about the initial discovery of the gas reserves:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2335163/Britains-new-Eldorado-Map-shows-massive-gas-deposits-self-sufficient-years.html

What can be said? Enjoy freezing in the dark...


44 posted on 03/10/2014 3:48:38 PM PDT by sergeantdave
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder
You've just provided me 100% of my personal natural gas knowledge base. Thanks for the info.

What makes nat gas a cheap easy fuel in petroleum producing countries makes it a precious expensive commodity in non-producing ones.

45 posted on 03/10/2014 7:06:56 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: DoodleDawg
“You are assuming there is sufficient excess capacity in the LNG tanker community to take on those 1500 trips per year. I highly doubt that.”

Not at the moment. But dozens are under construction:

“Currently there are orders for 94 LNG carriers
with delivery dates up to 2017”

http://www.brs-paris.com/annual/annual-2013/pdf/07-lng-a.pdf

And If demand grows, supply will follow.

“and Poland imported 11 billion cubic meters of natural gas, then one tanker will provide less than 1 percent of Poland's imports.”

But one ship should easily make ~15 deliveries a year, so that's ~15% of import with just one ship transporting LNG across Atlantic. Anyway, It's not about replacing Russian import totally for the whole EU or even for some of the members but about allowing the market of trans-Atlantic shipments to develop. Russia's share in EU’s import of crude oil is nearly the same as in case of natural gas but with several thousand of oil tankers in service, there's no way Russia can use it as a tool against Europe, before reserves are gone, other suppliers could increase production and tankers can be taken of the market to transport it. Natural gas is a different story at the moment and that's a problem.

46 posted on 03/11/2014 1:49:41 AM PDT by Grzegorz 246
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