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U.S. and German government officials are meeting this week to discuss the supply of liquefied natural gas and hydrogen to Europe's largest economy, which is the most dependent on Russian oil and gas imports.
Reuters reported that a roundtable had been scheduled for the two governments and industry executives. The meeting will be led by the U.S. Commerce Department.
The round table follows a deal sealed by the White House and the European Commission for the delivery of an additional 15 billion cubic meters of American liquefied natural gas this year, with deliveries set to grow further over next year and in the future.
Already 70 percent of U.S. LNG exports are going to Europe as the energy-thirsty continent continues to struggle with an energy crunch that just might get even worse as Russia has demanded payment in rubles for the gas it exports to the EU.
Russia exports more than 100 billion cubic meters annually to Europe, including Turkey. To Germany alone, it exported some 59 billion cubic meters, which was a record high.
Critics of the U.S.-EU deal have pointed out that the U.S. president was making promises without first consulting the energy industry. Industry veteran David Blackmon, for instance, last week wrote that the deal had apparently taken the LNG industry off guard, given the current attitude of the administration to oil and gas.
Blackmon also wondered how the administration would reconcile its differences with the industry as the environmentalist lobby sprang into action soon after the deal's announcement, protesting more LNG production.
Commenting on the planned roundtable for Germany, one U.S. official told Reuters that "Industry moves at a different speed than government, so we'll see. At least we'll start the talks."
Meanwhile, a source from the LNG industry said the details of the deal with the EU were currently being hammered out.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.