U.S. Record Natural Gas Production Spurs Export Talks with Europe 

BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 28: Exhaust rises from the smokestack of a natural gas-burning power and heating plant on February 28, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. The German government has set ambitious goals for carbon reduction, but while Germany as a whole has invested heavily in renewable energy sources in recent …
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The American Petroleum Institute (API) and the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) met at the inaugural Energy Council Business-to-Business Energy Forum in Brussels this week and released a position paper on Thursday to encourage large-scale U.S. liquid natural gas (LNG) importation to Europe.

“We’re experiencing a pivotal moment in U.S. energy leadership, as the number one producer and exporter of natural gas and oil,” Todd Snitchler, API vice president of market development, said in an announcement of the summit and paper. “It’s also a critical time in terms of collaborating and building our Trans-Atlantic LNG relationship, as we have an ability to not only continue to elevate the quality of life in America but globally as well.”

And the benefits of natural gas production go beyond its economic impact, including helping the environment.

“American natural gas has reduced CO2 emissions in the U.S. to the lowest levels we’ve seen in a generation, as well as provided substantial economic benefits to communities across the U.S., and by enabling greater flows of U.S. LNG to the EU we hope to bring more of this clean, affordable and reliable fuel to people around the world,” Snitchler said.

“If we really want to reach our climate objectives in Europe, we need our policymakers to acknowledge the value and role of gas in both in the short, and longer term,” Francois-Régis Mouton, IOGP director of European Union (EU) Affairs said. “The U.S., the UK and others around the world have shown what an impact shifting from coal to gas makes from a CO2 emission reduction and air quality perspective.”

“By making a smart use of Europe’s own gas resources and the LNG supplied by partners such as the U.S., we can bring about a system combining renewables and gas which provides a secure supply of affordable and clean energy to Europeans,” Mouton said.

According to the press release about the meeting and the position paper:

The joint policy recommendations for the U.S. include for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Department of Energy (DOE) to continue to enhance their established review and permitting processes while maintaining transparent and consistent approval timelines; expanding executive branch agency efforts to promote U.S. LNG in EU countries; and for executive branch agencies to highlight U.S. industry standards and promote streamlined approval processes to ensure the construction of critical energy infrastructure in a timely manner.

Regarding recommendations for the EU, the press release stated:

For the EU, the joint policy recommendations include sending consistent signals expressing confidence in the medium and long-term role of natural gas in the EU energy mix; for the European Commission to work with member states to increase interconnectivity and to encourage public entities and businesses to use LNG and compressed natural gas (CNG) in transportation to reduce CO2 emissions and improve air quality; and for the Commission to avoid unduly restrictive gas quality specifications that could create unnecessary barriers for LNG to enter the EU.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2018 the United States hit record-high natural gas production for the second year in a row.

The EIA also announced in September 2018 that the U.S. became the world’s largest producer of crude oil, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.