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Australia’s energy giant Woodside has shipped its first LNG cargo directly to Europe, Reuters has reported, noting that the 75,000-ton shipment was purchased by Germany’s troubled Uniper.
“We continue to work on securing the much needed gas supply into Europe from reliable sources like Australia and thus helping to strengthen security of supply during the ongoing crisis triggered by the Russian war,” Uniper’s head for LNG said, as quoted by Reuters.
The liquefied gas came from the North West Shelf project in Western Australia.
“Events over the course of 2022 have shown that the world cannot take reliable and affordable supplies of energy for granted, particularly as we strive to decarbonise,” said Woodside executive VP Mark Abbotsford.
“At such times it is more important than ever that buyers and sellers work together to flexibly respond to market dynamics. Our relationship with Uniper is an example of such cooperation. The delivery of a North West Shelf LNG cargo to Europe also highlights the role that Australian LNG can play in supporting global energy security,” Abbotsford also said
Europe has been looking for LNG supplies around the world in the absence of Russian pipeline flows, with Germany particularly focused on the task of reducing its dependence on Russian gas to a minimum and eventually eliminating its entirely.
This has pushed the country’s gas bill—and the EU’s gas bill—much higher than it normally is, and that has prompted protests among more than half of the EU’s governments. The protests led to calls for a price cap on gas imports, but an agreement on such a cap is currently proving elusive.
The fact that Germany is prepared to import LNG all the way from Australia, especially at a time when inflation in that market is already sizeable, illustrates the dramatic situation with energy supply in Europe’s largest economy even though storage facilities are full after a longer than usual refill season this year.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.