By MIKAEL HOLTER
Russias military intervention in Ukraine will boost
liquefied natural gas demand from Europe
an countries eager to
diversify their access to the fuel, according to Hoegh LNG
The crisis in Ukraine, which transits more than 15% of Europe
s gas use, may boost
demand for floating LNG import terminals such as the one the
Hamilton, Bermuda-based company will deliver to Lithuania
this year, the first in the former Soviet Union, CEO Sveinung
It will create an extra push in demand, he said
in an Oslo interview. It will put even more focus on
energy independence, especially on gas. The only way you can
be independent on gas is to import LNG.
LNG exports from the US, which is building plants to ship the
fuel after a boom in production, will boost global annual
supply by about 40 million metric tons in 2017 from
todays 250 million, Stoehle said. That is already
creating demand for import terminals and tankers that will
extend to Europe
an nations such as Ukraine,
Belarus, Romania, Italy and Croatia, he said.
The standoff between Russia and Ukraine, which escalated over
the weekend when Moscow invaded the Crimean peninsula, should
lead US authorities to ease restrictions on gas exports,
industry groups and politicians including House Speaker John
Boehner said this week.
While the first of six government-approved US export project
s wont start output
before next year, the Energy Department is considering at
least 24 applications for new terminals.
The Ukrainian crisis illustrates how the US can almost
get a new foreign-policy
instrument by eventually
being over- supplied with energy, both gas and oil,
said Jarand Rystad, managing partner at consulting firm
Rystad Energy. Energy exports can put more strength
into some of the sanction policies, he said in an
interview in Oslo.
US LNG exports may reach 60 million tpy by 2020, boosting
demand for tankers by as much as 25% from about 450 ships
expected in two years, Hoeghs Stoehle said.
Hoegh will in August deliver the floating import terminal --
named Independence -- to Lithuania, which is among countries
seeking to reduce its reliance on Russian gas. The Ukrainian
crisis may push others to follow, Stoehle said.
It will start a political thought process, he
said. It can create possibilities that we didnt
foresee just a short time ago.