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Europe Looks to US, Qatar Gas to Reduce Reliance on Russia

— As Russia and a West order tit-for-tat sanctions over Moscow’s cast of Crimea, European leaders assembly in Brussels are deliberating ways to revoke a continent’s coherence on Russian gas imports.  Europe buys around 30 percent of a gas from Russia, and many EU leaders fear that trade gives Moscow too most leverage.  

Engineers work a shale gas trickery in Pennsylvania – one of dozens of hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ sites opposite a United States that have done it a world’s tip healthy gas producer.

Europe hopes this could be a long-term answer to tackling a coherence on Russian gas.

European leaders wish a U.S. to start shipping shale gas opposite a Atlantic as Liquefied Natural Gas or LNG.

At talks in Brussels on a due EU-U.S. giveaway trade understanding final week, EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht pronounced appetite was high on a agenda.

He says Europe is too contingent on unfamiliar countries for a appetite needs, generally from Russia, and there is no easy solution.  But he says he will negotiate with a United States to import shale gas.

Analysts indicate to many obstacles. Transport costs meant a cost of LNG is aloft than Russian gas.

U.S. opponents of a thought contend a inexpensive shale gas should not be exported since it gives American attention a rival advantage.

Still, appetite diversification is pivotal to changing Europe’s geopolitical attribute with Russia, says Professor Alan Riley of City University London.

“Completing a singular marketplace in gas, and bringing gas from Qatar as LNG, potentially U.S. LNG over a subsequent few years creation a approach opposite Europe, switching to coal,” he said. “There’s a lot of use of spark now, U.S. coal, that has been replaced in a U.S. since of shale gas, pouring into Europe. There are lots of options.”

Russia’s actions in Ukraine have taken Europe by warn – and will expected feature efforts to demeanour elsewhere for gas, says Ian Bond of process organisation a Center for European Reform.

“Also to demeanour during other sources like Qatar and Algeria, so sources of Liquefied Natural Gas.  And maybe even in a somewhat longer tenure to convince a Germans to spin their chief appetite stations behind on, that would neatly revoke a approach for Russian gas,” he said.

In Jun final year Greece sealed a understanding to move a tube from Azerbaijan’s gas fields into a European Union – providing a approach choice to Russian imports. But a supposed Trans Adriatic Pipeline or TAP won’t come online until 2019.

The operation of alternatives give Europe leverage, says Ian Bond.

“Russia depends really heavily on a revenues from a gas that it sells to Europe.  At slightest half of a inhabitant state bill comes from sales of hydrocarbons to Europe,” he said.  “And nonetheless in a winter it would be loyal that Europe would solidify before Gazprom would go bankrupt, in a summer Europe has some-more levers.”

But many analysts counsel that cost stays a determining cause for many European gas buyers.  And Russia still offers a cheapest appetite – even if Europe disapproves of Moscow’s politics.

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