EU-US gas deal leaves Ireland out in the cold


Ireland will once again be out in the rain as the EU moves forward to boost joint gas purchasing and wean itself off Russian energy.

On Friday, the US announced plans to ship 15 billion cubic meters (bcm) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to EU markets this year, according to a White House factsheet.

“We want to reduce and eliminate this dependence on Russian fossil fuels. This can only be achieved through … additional gas supplies, including LNG supplies,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at a joint news conference with US President Joe Biden on Friday.

“We as Europeans want to diversify away from Russia to suppliers we trust, who are our friends, who are reliable,” she said.

“Therefore, the US commitment to supply the European Union with an additional at least 15 billion cubic meters of LNG this year is a big step in that direction, as it will replace the LNG supplies we are currently receiving from Russia.”

Ireland gets most of its gas supplies from the UK and the rest from the Corrib gas field, which will be exhausted in less than a decade.

Ireland has no LNG terminals to ship gas to and the government has frozen plans to build terminals. Planning permission for a US firm New Fortress Energy-backed terminal on the Shannon Estuary has been postponed.

Ireland’s dependence on oil and gas leaves the country “severely vulnerable” to Russia’s war in Ukraine, even if Moscow doesn’t supply our energy, the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC) said in an energy bulletin this week.

It also said an LNG terminal could allay supply concerns if it cost no more to build than transporting gas through Ireland’s two pipelines to Scotland.

Oil and gas prices fluctuated as Russia’s attack on Ukraine intensified. On average, Russia supplies around 40 percent of Europe’s gas needs, although that figure is higher in countries like Germany.

A month after the first Russian invasion, US President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also announced the formation of a task force to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels.

The US will work with EU countries to ensure they can receive about 50 billion cubic meters of additional LNG by at least 2030, the White House said.

Ms von der Leyen said it would replace a third of Russia’s gas supplies to the EU today.

The bloc has already ramped up efforts to secure more LNG after discussions with a number of supplier countries, resulting in record shipments of 10 bcm of LNG in more than 120 vessels in January.

“Looking ahead, the United States and Europe will ensure stable demand and supply for at least 50 billion cubic meters of US LNG through 2030 through 2030,” von der Leyen said.

“We need to secure our supplies not just for next winter, but for years to come. Our partnership shall carry us through this war.” EU-US gas deal leaves Ireland out in the cold

Fry Electronics Team

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