Ukraine developments prompt calls for more U.S. gas exports

The crisis in Ukraine has sparked renewed calls among Republicans and energy-state Democrats for an easing of restrictions on natural-gas exports.

While there are those in the West who would like to hit Russia hard with sanctions, the problem is that Europe relies on the country for 30% of its gas. The figure is 70% in Ukraine, which is also a key energy route.

Increasing U.S. gas exports could reduce that reliance and give the West a freer hand in dealing with Russia, particularly in the long term.

"I would certainly welcome consultation in terms of how to go forward," Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said yesterday.


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Comments (7)
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4598) | Send Message
    Europe has been targeting North Africa for gas alternatives but none of the countries/prospects there have settled enough for reliability.


    France and Italy among others moved very aggressively in making deals in post Ghaddafi Libya, but the security situation hasn't helped. Europe has also moved to build more capacity from Central Asia and NW Africa.


    It's pretty debatable that the US should sell cheap energy to it's international competitors to enable them to be more competitive, or that the US should be defending Europe's energy supply situation. If Europe wants Energy Security it needs to be more aggressive on promoting its own interests on its own behalf. Frankly, the call for the US to do provide Europe energy security is assinine.
    6 Mar 2014, 11:33 AM Reply Like
  • mlasell
    , contributor
    Comments (293) | Send Message
    I used to like the argument that cheap gas should be kept in the US to strengthen our manufacturing. But why is the government restricting this trade at all? If you do believe that the government should constrain one sector and not others, I think that favoring democratic friends over dictatorships is very good policy. We seem to have a vast amount of natural gas, with wells capped that could be re-opened to meet any extra demand from Europe. But I would prefer that the government stuck to effecting policy through taxation and let merchants decide where to sell their goods within that framework. Put high taxes on gas sold to China and low taxes on gas sold to our democratic friends in Europe and Japan. Let the dictatorships suffer the economic consequences.
    6 Mar 2014, 07:01 PM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4598) | Send Message
    As long as we import and consume what we produce, any notion of exports doesn't make sense: it increases domestics costs while decreasing the costs of int'l competitors. No matter how the argument is phrased to make it more appealing or to fit in a specific doctrine or political persuasion: 'picking winners', 'restricting private interests and business', 'favoring allies'... it doesn't change the fundamental point that it is bad for the public interest when it increases the costs of most Americans and the domestic business interests needing low cost energy.
    7 Mar 2014, 02:52 PM Reply Like
  • llaurenzo
    , contributor
    Comments (48) | Send Message
    really good analysis . fact .
    7 Mar 2014, 05:24 PM Reply Like
  • mlasell
    , contributor
    Comments (293) | Send Message
    I have been reading more about this- perhaps you are right. In any case it seems to be a non-starter - too expensive for too great a risk. Not much natural gas would be sent to Europe anytime soon.
    12 Mar 2014, 12:33 AM Reply Like
  • Hendershott
    , contributor
    Comments (1777) | Send Message
    No matter how many permits the government issues to export LNG to free trade and non free trade countries, it will be a bunch of years before we actually export much, Chineire (LNG) will be the first to market by at least two years.
    6 Mar 2014, 09:35 PM Reply Like
    , contributor
    Comments (14) | Send Message
    These comments are right on. The idea of exporting gas to Europe just shows you how little most know about how this would be done and the investment involved. By the time we spent billions to get the compression facilities to make LNG & the ports & ships built to deliver the enormous volume needed, the crisis would be over. Besides, we would never be able to compete economically with Russian gas delivered by their already existing pipe lines. The gas we are so fortunate to be finding will make the US industries competitive, for yrs. to come, in spite of our somewhat higher wages. We need to concentrate on value added and forget throwing our weight around.
    24 Mar 2014, 11:53 AM Reply Like
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