After the first shipments of U.S. LNG landed in Poland and the Netherlands, Energy Secretary Rick Perry said the exports underscore the "unique role" the U.S. has in the global energy market.
"These actions, and our plans for the future, should underscore the message I delivered in [April] on behalf of the Trump administration regarding the United States' unique role in the world energy market," Perry said in a June 9 statement, referencing an earlier speech that lauded LNG exports as a way to advance energy security. "We will reassure the energy security of our allies and partners around the world, acting as a force for good in an environment of uncertainty."
U.S. and European leaders have promoted U.S. LNG exports as a way to wean allies across the Atlantic off Russian pipeline natural gas. From February 2016 to March 2017, the equivalent of 27 Bcf of U.S. gas from the terminal landed in Italy, Spain and Portugal. Poland on June 8 received its first cargo from Cheniere Energy Inc.'s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana, and a shipment to the Netherlands marked the entrance of U.S. LNG into northern Europe.
The former Texas governor has also pointed to U.S. LNG as a way to create jobs, offering his support for roughly a dozen proposed ventures that are seeking federal approval for liquefaction and export projects. Under Perry, DOE has approved two projects — the Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil Corp.-backed Golden Pass and the offshore Delfin LNG export projects — to ship gas to countries with which the U.S. does not have a free trade agreement.
Following the delivery to Poland, the U.S. State Department released a statement congratulating the Baltic country on its efforts to diversify its sources of energy. "U.S. LNG exports support American jobs, lower energy prices for our partners abroad, and contribute to Europe's energy security goals using a reliable, market-based supplier," the release said.
Research firm Wood Mackenzie has said 60% of U.S. LNG could find a home in Europe by 2020, a contrast to the low volume, representing less than 10% of U.S. exports, that was sent to the region in the first 12 months that Sabine Pass was operational. Six projects under construction are poised to bring online the equivalent of more than 9 Bcf/d of LNG production capacity by the end of 2019, almost five times what the U.S. is capable of exporting now.