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Shell Plc, one of the world’s top liquefied natural gas (LNG) traders, is ready to deliver more natural gas to Europe in case the Russia-Ukraine crisis escalates to a conflict that could interrupt Russian gas supply to Europe.
“So far Europe has never really suffered significant disruptions from Russia even in very troubled geopolitical times,” Shell’s chief executive officer Ben van Beurden said on Thursday, as carried by Bloomberg.
However, if there are “disruptions because of sanctions or otherwise of course we will step in to keep Europe supplied,” van Beurden added.
One option of getting more gas supply to Europe could be to redirect LNG cargoes from Asia into Europe, Shell’s top executive said.
The United States and Europe are talking to major LNG importers in Asia—including Japan, South Korea, India, and even China—to potentially send some of their gas supply to Europe in case the Russia-Ukraine crisis escalates into a conflict, Bloomberg reported earlier this week, citing sources with knowledge of the discussions.
The U.S. Administration is also in talks with energy companies and major gas-producing countries globally about the potential for a large supply of natural gas to Europe in case Russian deliveries are interrupted.
Major LNG exporter Australia said last week it was ready to ship LNG cargoes to Europe to “support its friends and allies,” while Qatar has signaled willingness to divert some cargoes if the European Union restricts the resale of gas cargoes outside the EU.
“There is still spare capacity that can be used to receive additional gas supplies, in particular through LNG terminals,” EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said on Wednesday.
“Thus, we think that the available gas stocks in the EU and our good network of LNG terminals will protect us against major security of supply problems,” Simson added.
Yet, analysts say that there isn’t enough LNG around the world to fully replace in a worst-case scenario the large amount of Russian gas, which accounts for over one-third of Europe’s gas supply.
By Tsvetana Paraskova 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.