January 20, 2016
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The EU's move toward a freer energy market and a global shift toward gas by climate-conscious consumers are likely to help fuel growing demand for US liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the coming years, Senior Fellow and former leading CIA analyst Bud Coote writes in Surging Liquefied Natural Gas Trade, How US Exports Will Benefit European and Global Gas Supply Diversity, Competition, and Security.

The European Commission will announce an energy package in February that will consist of various proposals, including one for a US LNG strategy that is likely to reflect a desire for greater supply diversity, competition, and security amid Russia's outsize hold on the European energy market. "The great lesson in Europe is that the countries with the fewest alternatives to Russian gas pay the highest prices," Coote writes. In the long term, cleaner LNG will also likely profit from the ambitious commitments made at the COP21 climate summit, Coote adds.

While some regulatory hurdles to speedier US LNG exports remain, market demand and currently low gas prices will be far more important determinants governing the pace of new exports. In this environment, the strong match between Europe's energy objectives and US LNG exporters' goals will not only bolster a secure and competitive energy market in Europe, but help lead the fight against climate change.

This report was produced by the Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative, a joint initiative of the Atlantic Council's Global Energy Center and Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center that covers critical energy issues in the wider Eurasian space.

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