Central European Countries Ask For US Gas

World | March 8, 2014, Saturday // 10:34| Views: | Comments: 15
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Bulgaria: Central European Countries Ask For US Gas File photo

Several Central European countries have asked the US to provide them with natural gas.

The ambassadors of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia in Washington sent joint letters to the US Congress asking the lawmakers to loosen the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export limits and help them reduce their dependence on Russia's Gazprom, reports the Financial Times.

The Ukraine crisis and the Gazprom hints that it might cut the deliveries for Europe, passing through Ukraine, have revived the concerns that there might be another gas crisis, similar to the one in the winter of 2009, when Russian gas deliveries stopped for two weeks.

The US does not currently sell any LNG to Europe and Congress has no direct control over export approvals. That lies in the hands of the energy department.

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Tags: Gazprom, Ukraine, Russa, US congress, liquefied natural gas, LNG
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» To the forumComments (15)
Optimistic - 14 Mar 2014 // 08:20:17

Yes, peace and security, predicability, you can critize me for wanting these but they are in me.

An American - 14 Mar 2014 // 05:53:29

P.S. Please capitalize your proper nouns!

An American - 14 Mar 2014 // 00:11:29

Optimistic, my ignorant communist friend. Let me teach you a little about Capitalist strategies a la Starbucks. You flood the market and bankrupt the competition. Then you buy their property at auction block prices. Then you optimize your profits. You and your likes prefer security to freedom as you stated yourself. Alexander the Great knew that the Persian Empire would be difficult to conquer, but easy to rule. You catchin' my drift? Smell my gas...

Optimistic - 13 Mar 2014 // 23:42:52

I am amazed that the US will frack and pollute their own country to supply europe with gas, when europeans are not prepared to frack their own countries.

The americans are suckers!!!!!

Lana J. - 13 Mar 2014 // 22:53:32


An American - 9 Mar 2014 // 12:45:34

I ave not read the below referenced article in Foreign Affairs, but for what it's worth:

Hydraulic fracturing by country
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A number of protests occurred in Bulgaria after the government's decision to grant an approval for Chevron Corporation to research the possibilities of shale gas extraction in the country's northeast in 2011. After a nationwide protest in January 2012, the government decided to ban the hydraulic fracturing technology.

A December 2012 article in Foreign Affairs suggested that Russia, to preserve the high price it receives for gas exports, has financed environmental groups in Bulgaria and the Czech Republic to oppose hydraulic fracturing; arguing that there aren't normally large protests in those countries.

Optimistic - 9 Mar 2014 // 12:37:02

It is interesting that views from someone outside Europe can make us aware of issues in Europe that we are not being made aware of.

So Europe wants the US to supply it with gas that the US gets through fracking, Europe could get it gas through fracking but doesn't due to environmental issues but are happy to compromise the US environment.

If I was a US citizen I would be angry about this.

An American - 9 Mar 2014 // 12:23:45

From National Public Radio in US (story by Christopher Werth):

Title of story: Seeking Energy Independence, Europe Faces Heated Fracking Debate

While watching the turmoil in Ukraine unfold, you may feel as though it has little to do with the United States, but the conflict is stirring a contentious debate in Europe over a topic familiar to many Americans: fracking.

Much of the continent depends on Russian natural gas that flows through pipelines in Ukraine. European countries are asking themselves whether to follow the U.S. example and drill for shale gas. While France and Bulgaria have even banned fracking.

U.S. natural gas prices have fallen to as little as a quarter of those in Europe as a result of shale gas. That raises big concerns over the competitiveness of European companies, Lee says.

A more pressing worry, however, is energy security. On the whole, Europe imports at least a quarter of its natural gas from Russia. That leaves Europe in a vulnerable position.

The current conflict in Ukraine is just another reason for European countries to develop their own shale gas industries, Molchanov says. Those efforts have been sluggish so far; there is no commercial shale gas production anywhere in Europe today.

One reason for that slow pace: property rights. In the U.S., landowners own the rights to the minerals under their property. In Europe, the subsoil minerals are the property of the state, not the landowner. So all the benefits and profits go to the governments."

This reduces the incentives for shale gas drilling, he says. But the U.S. government is trying to help Europeans clear those types of hurdles.

"The State Department's motive, particularly in Poland and Ukraine, was diplomatic because we saw that their political survival, their economic survival, depended on diversifying their sources of energy because they're so dependent on Russia for gas," Goldwyn says.

Ukraine imports roughly two-thirds of its natural gas from Russia and it has just started to explore for shale gas. That topic could come up when President Obama travels to Brussels later this month for a U.S.-European Union Summit. And shale gas development could be part of the proposed free-trade agreement between the U.S. and the EU.

Goldwyn says shale gas has been on the agenda for past U.S.-EU summits and he says the goal this time should be to use American expertise to finally develop the region's nascent shale gas industry.

Optimistic - 9 Mar 2014 // 12:16:46

The Ukraine has the 4th largest fracking gas reserves in Europe, a lot of it is in the Eastern Ukraine.

See attached link


gasman - 9 Mar 2014 // 12:00:45

It seems you are very well informed.
There are huge gas reserves available in Ukraine.


Optimistic - 9 Mar 2014 // 11:59:50

What percentage of US gas comes from fracking?

How do you know about fracking gas reserves in eastern ukraine and crimea, do you have any links you can post?

Significant fracking gas reserves are not on the political agendas that we see at the moment.

Big gas reserves in these places explains EU US interest in the Ukraine and if ethic Russians are sitting on this gas, complex issues?

An American - 9 Mar 2014 // 11:44:49

Interesting comments. A capitalist entrepreneur might think to start manufacturing sweaters. More likely, "fracking" (hydraulic fracturing of shale to release natural gas) in eastern Ukraine and Crimea might ease Europe's dependence on Russian fuel (as long as they don't become part of Russia).

Optimistic - 9 Mar 2014 // 11:30:33

This will be expensive for them, the transport costs alone will bs enormous.

It is time to break up the Ukraine into federal states and allow each state to hold referendums to decide whether the want to be part of an EU NATO linked Ukraine or to join the Russian federation.

Vladimir K. - 9 Mar 2014 // 04:32:25

Just avoid dealing with America at all costs. What a disgrace to see their shady businesses in Europe. It's already bad enough.

Not on the same topic, but we all know how CEZ scews over their customers over and over. Czech company but extremely corrupt people in the Bulgarian management.

gasman - 8 Mar 2014 // 18:23:38

Are they stupid?
OR do they deliberately want to let their citizens pay much higher prices?

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