U.S. and Canadian oil and natural gas producers have plans to scale down the scope or even to oust the biggest and a steady natural gas supplier to Europe, Gazprom.
According to the agency Neftegaz Russia, expectations of many good things from the recently discovered shale fields in the East of the United States, the country continues to construct star-bucks terminals for LNG processing. It is expected that the new fields could ensure production of enough gas to become LNG export base. Notwithstanding the multi-billion bucks expenditures these terminals at present stand idle.
The reasons for the losses include a low demand for the natural gas and low global prices. It is also due to U.S. and Canadian exporters to deliver their LNG to world markets including Asian countries.
Low demand for U.S. shale gas caused its re-orientation to different world markets. The first U.S. LNG tanker headed for Europe in 2010.
In the meantime a number of U.S. and Canadian companies joined hands in the work of 13 gas exports projects to Europe and Asia. Analysts of the International agency Timera Energy have calculated that if all the projects are materialized, North American export will amount to 15% of the total U.S. and Canadian gas, which could only satisfy one-fourth of the European demand, also because all the U.S.-Canadian joint projects are expected to become operational in 2015-2016.
In the circumstance it would be incongruous to speak about U.S. and Canadian natural gas suppliers to make competition to Gazprom.
As for the U.S. given all of its natural liquefying facilities are timely commissioned, the country’s export potential will amount to slightly over 142 billion cubic metres. The Office of Oil and Natural Gas at the United States Department of Energy suggests slightly different figures. Its experts think that the totality of export of all the export projects may amount to about 142 billion cu.ms.
Given that all Canadian LNG facilities are in operation, the country can annually export close to 34 cu.metres.
Taken in entirety, export potentials of both the USA and Canada as suppliers for global markets after 2016 could amount to 176 billion cu.m of gas. In comparison last year Gazprom exported 150 cu.m. of gas to Europe only.
And as we know from history, the short word “if” is a charged issue. But at least so far Gazprom has nothing to be wary of, except for maybe a downward demand trend and the fall of natural gas prices in Europe.