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The White House is dealing with logistical challenges in its efforts to secure alternative natural gas supply to Europe if Russian supply is interrupted in case Russia invades Ukraine, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday.
The U.S. Administration is 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. Norway and Qatar, major gas producers and exporters, are among the countries with which the U.S. has been holding discussions about higher supply to European customers, U.S. officials with knowledge of the talks told CNN earlier this week.
Russia, which supplies over one-third of the natural gas that Europe consumes, could weaponize gas deliveries if the West imposes sanctions on Moscow over a possible invasion of Ukraine, European allies of the United States fear. In addition, in the event of military action and subsequent energy sanctions against Russia, Europe will be hit the first and the most, including in its gas supply from Russian gas monopoly Gazprom, analysts say.
On Tuesday, Press Secretary Psaki said that the United States had been working to identify additional volumes of non-Russian natural gas from North Africa and the Middle East, Asia, and the United States.
“We’re in discussion with major natural gas producers around the globe to understand their capacity and willingness to temporarily surge natural gas output and to allocate these volumes to European buyers,” Psaki added.
“And we’re also engaging with major buyers and suppliers of LNG to ensure flexibility in existing contracts and storage is managed and enables diversion to Europe,” she said, adding that as of Tuesday, there were no announcements on behalf of gas producers to make.
On Wednesday, Psaki acknowledged that “no question there are logistical challenges, especially moving natural gas. We know that. That’s part of our discussion with a lot of these companies and countries.”
“But again, these conversations are ongoing and we don’t intend to fail on them,” Psaki said.
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.