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Thread: 4 nations urge US gas exports amid Ukraine crisis

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    4 nations urge US gas exports amid Ukraine crisis

    4 nations urge US gas exports amid Ukraine crisis

    Four Central European nations are urging the United States to boost natural gas exports to Europe as a hedge against the possibility that Russia could cut off its supply of gas to Ukraine.

    Ambassadors from Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic made their appeal Friday in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. A similar letter was expected to be sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

    "Gas-to-gas competition in our region is a vital aspect of national security and a key U.S. interest in the region," the ambassadors wrote in a letter obtained by The Associated Press.

    Ukraine is heavily dependent on Russian natural gas, and previous disputes between Ukraine and Russia have led to gas supply cuts. Russian state gas company Gazprom has increased the pressure on Ukraine's new government, which now owes $1.89 billion for Russian natural gas, by warning that if Ukraine doesn't pay off its debt, there could be a repeat of 2009, when Russia cut off supplies to Europe because of a pricing dispute with Ukraine.

    Recent advancements have made it possible for gas that normally flows through Ukraine to the EU to instead flow the other direction, so that nations like Poland and Hungary can supply gas to Ukraine if Russia were to cut off its supply. But with gas supplies limited, the region is still vulnerable unless the U.S. makes it easier to import American natural gas, the ambassadors argued.

    Boehner and Republicans have been urging the Obama administration to clear the way for more exports amid a natural gas boom in the U.S. The Energy Department has only approved six export licenses in recent years out of about two dozen pending.

    The White House has argued that Russia's dependence on gas revenues makes it unlikely that the country will cut off supplies to Europe despite the ongoing crisis in the Ukrainian region of Crimea, where the Russian military has intervened in what the U.S. regards as a violation of international law.

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday that because Europe has had a relatively mild winter, gas supplies are at or above normal levels. He said even if the U.S. did approve more export licenses, it would take until the end of 2015 for gas to be delivered.

    Can the US spare any excess to export more natural gas, with all the new finds and explorations in North American? Is it too cost prohibitive and not in our interest, or will it give us more leveage economically to deal with Russia's aggression?
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    Re: 4 nations urge US gas exports amid Ukraine crisis

    Just saw this article, so we may not have much of a choice if this leads into next Fall.

    Putin mocks the West and threatens to turn off gas supplies
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    Re: 4 nations urge US gas exports amid Ukraine crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by grip View Post
    4 nations urge US gas exports amid Ukraine crisis






    Can the US spare any excess to export more natural gas, with all the new finds and explorations in North American? Is it too cost prohibitive and not in our interest, or will it give us more leveage economically to deal with Russia's aggression?
    The US has lots of natural gas, but it seems to me it would be expensive to ship it to Europe. It's not like there is a pipeline across the Atlantic.
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    Re: 4 nations urge US gas exports amid Ukraine crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    The US has lots of natural gas, but it seems to me it would be expensive to ship it to Europe. It's not like there is a pipeline across the Atlantic.
    I've read this is the case and why we currently don't do it much. If we had some mass capacity to ship it, I think they would.
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    Re: 4 nations urge US gas exports amid Ukraine crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    The US has lots of natural gas, but it seems to me it would be expensive to ship it to Europe. It's not like there is a pipeline across the Atlantic.
    Current shipping capacity (I think there are about 300 ships)....could possibly ship about 10% of what flows through Russian pipelines each day....once a month or so.

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    Re: 4 nations urge US gas exports amid Ukraine crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by tecoyah View Post
    Current shipping capacity (I think there are about 300 ships)....could possibly ship about 10% of what flows through Russian pipelines each day....once a month or so.
    Shipping gas to Europe wouldn't seem to be a solution, then.
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    Re: 4 nations urge US gas exports amid Ukraine crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    The US has lots of natural gas, but it seems to me it would be expensive to ship it to Europe. It's not like there is a pipeline across the Atlantic.
    It's no different than shipping oil from the ME.
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    Re: 4 nations urge US gas exports amid Ukraine crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    It's no different than shipping oil from the ME.

    Shipping natural gas is very different

    To ship natural gas effectively by ship it needs to be liquefied, meaning very cold temperatures and high pressures. Meaning a far higher investment in infrastructure at the ports and the ships themselves. The US does not have a surplus of oil, but in certain areas can or does have one of natural gas. To my knowledge Qatar and another country that I can not remember are the only countries that engage in shipping liquefied natural gas in any real volume.

    Overall the costs are very high, the lead times quite long. By the time the infrastructure in the US is built, Europe may have engaged in fracking (Poland and Ukraine are believed to have significant quantities of shale gas). Making the export of liquefied natural gas from the US uneconomic (at least to Europe, Asia is a different story
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    Re: 4 nations urge US gas exports amid Ukraine crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Tammerlain View Post
    Shipping natural gas is very different

    To ship natural gas effectively by ship it needs to be liquefied, meaning very cold temperatures and high pressures. Meaning a far higher investment in infrastructure at the ports and the ships themselves. The US does not have a surplus of oil, but in certain areas can or does have one of natural gas. To my knowledge Qatar and another country that I can not remember are the only countries that engage in shipping liquefied natural gas in any real volume.

    Overall the costs are very high, the lead times quite long. By the time the infrastructure in the US is built, Europe may have engaged in fracking (Poland and Ukraine are believed to have significant quantities of shale gas). Making the export of liquefied natural gas from the US uneconomic (at least to Europe, Asia is a different story
    Looks like a new demand that will create jobs.
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    Re: 4 nations urge US gas exports amid Ukraine crisis

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    Looks like a new demand that will create jobs.
    If there are any companies willing to make the multibillion dollar risk of building the port facilities and the ships for a potential profit, or potential white elephant

    If there are, then a large number of construction jobs will be create in the US for the ports, and in China/South Korea for the ships
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