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Germany’s gas market is open to all players, a German government spokeswoman said on Monday, after U.S. officials said that U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) sales to Germany are not a question of ‘if’, but rather of ‘when.’
Last week, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette traveled to Berlin at the invitation of Ambassador Richard Grenell, who hosted a roundtable focused on how to jumpstart opportunities to bring U.S. LNG to German markets.
“U.S. liquefied natural gas is coming to Germany. The question is not if, but when,” Brouillette told German newspaper Bild in comments published on Sunday.
Germany, which currently gets around 60 percent of its natural gas imports from Russia’s Gazprom, has come under criticism by U.S. President Donald Trump for being a “captive to Russia,” due to its support for the Gazprom-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea.
Earlier this month, the world’s largest LNG exporter, Qatar, said that it would spend US$11.6 billion (10 billion euro) on investments in Germany that will include participation in the construction of an LNG terminal.
Last week, Steven Winberg, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), said at a Senate committee hearing that the European Union (EU) was becoming increasingly dependent on Russian natural gas supply, noting that exports of U.S. LNG could be part of Europe’s efforts to diversify its energy supply.
“Increasing exports of U.S. LNG to our allies in Europe creates great opportunities for our nation to advance this administration’s goal of strengthening our allies’ energy security,” Winberg said.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, for his part, said during a meeting with Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak in Moscow last week that the United States welcomes competition from Russia on the global energy markets, but Russia can no longer use energy as an economic weapon.
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.