US to sell energy to Europe in bid to cut reliance on Russian gas

New York Post – by Ariel Zilber

The United States will sell natural gas to the European Union as part of an overall plan to cut the continent’s dependence on Russian energy in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, President Biden said Friday.

The US will ship 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas to EU markets this year. The two entities also announced a joint task force that will work to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian fossil fuels.

“Today we’ve agreed on a joint game plan for that goal, while accelerating our progress towards a secure, clean energy future,” Biden told a news conference in Brussels on Friday.

Biden added that the initiative would also seek to maximize the use of renewable energy and reduce energy demand.

The European Commission will also work with EU countries to ensure they are able to receive about 50 bcm of additional liquefied natural gas until at least 2030, a factsheet provided by the White House said.

The announcement coincided with the German government’s pledge to cease all purchases of Russian oil and coal by the end of this year and completely halt all imports of Russian energy by mid-2024.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck qualified the announcement by stating that Berlin does not support an immediate embargo on Russian energy due to the severe damage it would cause to the European economy in the short term.

“In recent weeks, we have made intensive efforts together with all relevant players to import fewer fossil fuels from Russia and to put supply on a broader footing,” Habeck said.

“The first important milestones have been reached in order to free ourselves from the grip of Russian imports.”

Germany, which has few natural resources of its own, buys half of its gas and coal from Russia. A third of Germany’s oil is imported from Russia.

US crude hovered at just north of $111 per barrel on Friday while Brent crude stood at $115.50 a barrel.

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