The European gas market has become more competitive as liquefied natural gas, or LNG, vies to replace declining local production from the North Sea and the Netherlands. Gazprom estimates that in 2019 its share of the European market was 35.5%. The company’s domestic rival, Novatek PJSC, is also expanding its LNG sales in Europe. But not all countries are equally dependent on Russian imports. Gazprom remains the traditional key supplier for Finland, Latvia, Belarus and the Balkan countries, but western Europe gets gas from a wider range of sources, including Norway, Qatar, African nations and Trinidad. More nations, from Germany to Croatia, are seeking to build LNG import terminals to accept shipments from around the world.

7. Will the U.S. sell more gas to Europe?

Before the Covid-19 pandemic slashed global fuel demand and sent prices to record lows, the U.S. was a significant supplier of tanker-borne gas to northwest Europe. But U.S. fuel must be chilled into a liquid form and shipped across the Atlantic at great cost. Russia is transporting its gas mostly through the world’s largest network of pipelines that have been in place for decades. This year transatlantic LNG shipments have become even less economic. Yet U.S. suppliers are focused on long-term prospects, and have had some success securing deals with Poland. More broadly, they have to hope for a resolution of the trade war between the U.S. and China, whose imports of U.S. gas have slumped since the government in Beijing applied tariffs in retaliation to levies imposed by the White House. The International Energy Agency expects the U.S. to become the world’s biggest LNG seller in 2025.

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