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Thursday, June 8, 2023

Ukrainian: “Plan B” from the US for gas in Europe

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The United States is in talks to ensure the smooth flow of gas in the event of a war in Ukraine disrupting Russian deliveries to Europe. The Financial Times reports that the US is discussing with Qatar, the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, and EU countries how to transport gas by sea. The consultations became urgent following the virtually fruitless talks between Washington and Moscow last week.

However, the newspaper adds, officials warn that “there is no magic wand” to solve the problem of gas shortage, while Europe is affected by an energy crisis in the middle of winter. There are, as the officials explain, there are many parameters that should be taken into account, from the operation of the markets to the contracts and deliveries.

In the case of Qatar, officials familiar with the matter note that the country can adjust its flow of supplies in the event of a crisis, as it did in 2011 following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Most of Qatar's production is shipped to Asian countries that have long-term contracts.

US President Joe Biden will hold talks with Qatari leader Sheikh Al-Thani later in January in Washington.

The crisis in Ukraine has pushed up gas prices, and therefore the cost of living, in Europe, while at the same time stocks are at very low levels. In the event of a war, exports from Russia to Europe are expected to be cut off, causing serious problems for electricity, industry and the wider economy. Already, officials say, Russia has curtailed supplies to Europe as a lever of pressure against European countries.

Source: Protagon.gr

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