Energy Regulatory Commission Head Says US LNG Allies Want to Collaborate in Post-Pandemic World

Energy Regulatory Commission Head Says US LNG Allies Want to Collaborate in Post-Pandemic World

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US allies in the liquefied natural gas market – including India, Hungary, and the Czech Republic – are keen to partner with Washington to explore opportunities for LNG in a post-coronavirus (COVID-19) world, Neil Chatterjee, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said.

“US LNG, prior to this pandemic, has been a real success story and demand is definitely impacted now, but it’s the future that we need to figure out and it’s still uncertain”, Chatterjee told a briefing via video stream hosted by the Atlantic Council think-tank on Tuesday. “I’ve met with counterparts in India, Hungary, and the Czech Republic and they’re interested in partnering with the US on LNG. They also want to learn from our expertise to figure out what’s working, what’s not working and what the challenges are”.

In January, just before the COVID-19 hit the United States in a major way, US LNG exports reached 8.1 billion cubic feet per day as the country’s gas exports reached 25 countries. That was the highest for US LNG exports since record keeping began in 1997, the Energy Information Administration said. It hasn’t published monthly data since.

“We need to really think through and bring in foreign policy experts to see what are the policy initiatives that are going to come out of this pandemic, and how will that impact energy policy”, Chatterjee said. “I think we have to anticipate a global rebound and resurgence of demand and will need to see what those implications are and what role the US will be able to play in a post-pandemic LNG export space”.

Bloomberg reported last week that buyers of US LNG have canceled at least 12 cargoes for June loading, and traders estimate that more than 20 shipments could have been canceled for the month. The report could not be independently verified.

Without the United States, gas importing nations rely on a global supply chain dominated by the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, which includes Russia, Iran, and Qatar — which together control some 60 percent of proven global gas reserves.

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