More shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States to Lithuania are expected to follow after the first-ever LNG cargo was delivered to Klaipeda from across the Atlantic, but politicians and market participants do not predict that Russia's Gazprom will be driven out of the market for good, informs LETA/BNS.
Independence, the USA -based tanker, docked Monday in the port of Klaipeda to offload some 150,000 cubic meters (200 cubic yards) of gas at a fully functioning offshore terminal that is capable of covering most of Lithuania's annual energy needs.
Lithuanian energy minister Zygimantas Vaiciunas said the historic delivery from the United States strengthened partnership and energy independence in the Baltic region.
Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 has spooked the Baltic states, once ruled from Moscow but now members of both North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union. The latter company has delivered gas from Norway and Nigeria. The rest will be imported via a gas pipeline from Russian Federation.
In June, Lithuanian state-owned trader Lietuvos Duju Tiekimas signed a deal with a unit of USA firm Cheniere Energy, its first direct import of LNG from the United States.
Lithuania's LNG terminal in Klaipeda, which started operations in 2015, is one of the Baltic country's largest energy projects implemented to diversify natural gas supplies. The U.S. government has not been involved in the private company agreements between the Lithuanian company and Cheniere, Howard Solomon, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania, told Reuters.
The LNG is destined for supplies in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
"We are happy to reach a point where importing gas from U.S.is not only politically desirable but also commercially viable", Energy Minister Zygimantas Vaiciunas said. 1st # LNG shipment from USA arrives today in Klaipeda.
Both Energy Minister Vaiciunas and Lietuvos Energija CEO Dalius Misiunas said that US LNG is now cheaper than Gazprom's gas, but they do not predict that Russian gas will be forced out of the market.
While Russia is undermining the U.S. shipments to Europe, Lithuania is Central and Eastern Europe's second country to have received U.S. LNG cargo after Poland. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.