The United States more than doubled its liquefied natural gas exports to Europe in 2022. The relevant statistics are given in the Presidential Economic Report, which is published on the Website of the White House.

The document reports that at the end of last year, the United States exported 117.4 million cubic meters of LNG to the EU countries and the UK. At the same time, the volume of supplies in 2021 amounted to 47.8 million cubic meters.

The authors of the report explained the significant increase in American exports by a decrease in sales to Europe of blue fuel from the Russian Federation due to a new round of the Ukrainian crisis. Along with LNG, European consumers began to receive more American oil. In 2022, the US supplied 552.5 million barrels to the EU and the UK against 400 million barrels in 2021.

"U.S. LNG and crude oil exports have grown significantly, even compared to the already high levels of 2021. In addition, in the case of LNG, American exports have shifted sharply to European countries, as Russia has limited its once prevailing supply of natural gas through pipelines, "White House analysts explained.

According to statistics, European countries are the only ones that began to import more American LNG. Last year, other states significantly reduced the volume of purchases. Thus, the countries of the Asia-Pacific region (APR) in 2022 purchased 24.7 million cubic meters. m of American LNG against 39.1 million cubic meters. m in 2021.

Four times less American fuel was bought by China. Last year, Beijing imported 5.1 million cubic meters against 21.9 million cubic meters a year earlier. The authors of the report suggest that, probably, China is increasing supplies from other countries, including russia.

According to the latest calculations of the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China, Russia has become the leading exporter of energy to China. In January, Russia supplied China with 2.7 billion cubic meters of blue fuel, ahead of Turkmenistan, Qatar and Australia.

Shipment of oil from Russia to China in the first two months of this year increased by almost a quarter compared to the previous similar period.

Along with this, Moscow is reducing the supply of energy resources to Western countries. According to the calculations of analysts of Promsvyazbank (PSB), the volume of Russian gas exports to the EU in February compared to the same period last year fell by 59.5%.

In turn, as the head of the European Commission (EC) Ursula von der Leyen has repeatedly stated, the EU has ceased to be the main buyer of Russian energy, reducing, according to her estimates, the import of pipeline gas from the Russian Federation by 80%.

Nevertheless, Europe still maintains a serious level of dependence on energy resources from the Russian Federation, including liquefied natural gas. According to a recently published fact sheet by the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), in 2022 the EU did reduce imports of Russian pipeline gas compared to 2021, but the cost of Russian LNG has increased.

"In total, for the first three quarters (of 2022. – RT) EU member states imported 16.5 billion cubic meters of Russian LNG (about 4% of total EU consumption in 2021), spending a record € 12.5 billion due to high prices, which increased fivefold compared to last year, "the document says.

"Well earned"

According to experts, the published statistics indicate significant changes in the global energy market. Russia is reducing the supply of pipeline gas to Europe and at the same time increasing cooperation with friendly countries. Against this background, the United States is becoming an almost uncontested supplier of large volumes of blue fuel for the EU.

"The statistics that are now available allow us to conclude that the United States has significantly strengthened its position in the European market. Last year, when there were record prices, Europeans were among the few who could actually pay. American LNG went there, and the United States made very good money on this, "said Sergei Pravosudov, director general of the Institute of National Energy, in an interview with RT.

  • LNG Terminal in Massachusetts
  • © Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

According to the expert, last year European states could have saved significantly if they had bought pipeline gas in the same volumes, which is a priori cheaper than LNG delivered by sea.

However, in order to counter Russia, which launched a special operation in Ukraine, the EU set a course for a radical reduction in dependence on domestic energy imports.

The eu plans to completely abandon hydrocarbons from the Russian Federation by the end of 2023. This was announced in January by the head of EU diplomacy Josep Borrell during a speech at the International University in Spain. According to him, the only exception can be only Hungary.

At the same time, Brussels admits that the current energy policy may not solve the problem of gas shortage. In particular, in February, European Commissioner for The Economy Paolo Gentiloni wrote about this on his Twitter page.

"Energy prices are still well above the levels of recent years and may remain volatile, and in the coming months there may be a supply shortage again," Gentiloni said.

To prevent a negative scenario, Brussels is introducing a joint procurement tool. This mechanism assumes that gas companies will transfer data on their needs to the European Commission.

After that, the EU executive authorities must hire an intermediary who will calculate the requests and find a supplier. Thus, Brussels intends to solve the problem of filling gas storage facilities "before the next filling season." The mechanism should work from April.

Another measure designed to solve the problems of the EU was the mechanism launched in mid-February to limit exchange prices for gas.The instrument allows you to block any transactions on the stock exchange if the raw materials are sold for more than $ 2 thousand per 1 thousand cubic meters. m. However, this ceiling on the cost of blue fuel is floating due to various factors on the market, including the price of LNG.

"Unfavorable situation"

According to Sergei Pravosudov, the regulatory measures taken by Europeans are aimed at leveling the consequences of the energy crisis, the culprit of which was largely themselves.

"The Europeans are trying to correct a completely unfavorable situation for them. Sanctions against the Russian Federation led to an explosive increase in prices for gas, electricity, and food. There was a huge inflation. Industrial enterprises - the main consumers of energy resources - found themselves in a difficult situation," Pravosudov said.

  • Gas Processing Plant in Texas
  • © Donovan Reese Photography / Contributor

The expert is confident that with the help of regulatory measures, Brussels will not be able to get out of the energy crisis and achieve a reduction in prices to an economically acceptable level.

According to Pravosudov, after the undermining of Nord Streams, Europe will turn into a major market for expensive American liquefied natural gas. To date, Brussels does not prevent such a scenario.

On March 10, Ursula von der Leyen, during a meeting with US President Joe Biden, thanked Washington for its help in eliminating energy dependence on Russia.

"You helped us tremendously when we wanted to get rid of our dependence on Russian fossil fuels. You helped us tremendously by supplying large volumes of LNG, helped us survive the energy crisis," von der Leyen said.

Biden himself said that the United States supplied the EU with twice as much LNG "as expected."

In a comment to RT, Igor Yushkov, a leading analyst at the National Energy Security Fund, said that the high sales of American reduced natural gas to Europe were largely ensured by the undermining of Nord Streams.

"The United States could not compete with Gazprom for the European market in legal and civilized ways. They tried in vain to persuade the Europeans not to buy "bad" Russian gas and stop the Nord Stream 2 project, and then blew up the gas pipeline strings. Now, according to this logic, we can see the cessation of pumping Russian gas through Ukraine. The United States does not tolerate competition in the EU gas market," Yushkov explained.

At the same time, according to the expert, increasing the supply of American LNG to Europe is not an "end in itself" for Washington.

"The main calculation of the United States is that its business, its industry, and the influx of investors into the US economy should develop, including because of affordable energy. Apparently, European statesmen believe that the purchase of American LNG punishes Russia. But in reality, they deprived themselves of a reliable source of available energy resources, as a result, created risks that have yet to be dealt with, "Yushkov summed up.