DOE Official Identifies Physical Constraints to U.S.-EU LNG Supply

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing to examine the role of U.S. LNG in meeting European energy demand.  In his prepared statement, Steven E. Winberg, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), stated that despite the availability of U.S. LNG imports into Europe, there are constraints affecting the amount of LNG imported, including: (1) the fact that the European Union’s (EU) LNG import capacity of approximately 20 Bcf/day has a utilization rate of only approximately 20%; and (2) most Central and South-Eastern EU Member States do not have LNG regasification terminals or adequate gas interconnection infrastructure to access LNG supplies. “Specifically the ability for U.S. LNG to compete with other pipeline gas alternatives in the EU has been slowed by two factors (1) pipeline permitting and (2) resistance to investment/build-out of critical infrastructure from regasification facilities. Storage capacity in the EU is also lacking.” Winberg stated that DOE is working with the EU and member governments to help address the infrastructure issues that are impeding energy supply diversification and security in Europe.

Back to top