More shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States to Lithuania are expected to follow after the 1st-ever LNG cargo was delivered to Klaipeda from across the Atlantic, informs The Baltic Course on August 21, 2017, but politicians and market participants do not predict that Russia's Gazprom will be driven out of the market for good.
«This is the 1st, but certainly not the last shipment. We can expect an increasing amount of these shipments,» Lithuanian Energy Minister Zygimantas Vaiciunas said at a conference in Klaipeda on Monday.
A tanker is to deliver a 2nd cargo of US gas to Lithuania in September and the minister expects further shipments from America to follow.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius says that the US LNG shipment strengthens the partnership between the countries.
«US & LT strategic partnership stronger every day. 1st LNG shipment from US arrives today in Klaipeda. Crucially important for whole region,» he tweeted on Monday.
Howard Solomon, deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in Vilnius, said that the gas supply contract between Lietuvos Duju Tiekimas (Lithuanian Gas Supply or LDT) and Cheniere Energy was commercially based.
«The US government was not involved in this specific deal,» he said at the news conference.
Both Energy Minister Vaiciunas and Lietuvos Energija CEO Dalius Misiunas said that US LNG is currently cheaper than Gazprom's gas, but they do not predict that Russian gas will be forced out of the market.
Frederik Smits van Oyen, head of marketing for Europe at Cheniere Energy, said that he could not comment on the price of the shipment, but added that it was competitive.
The arrival of the Clean Ocean tanker to the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda on Monday marked the 1st-ever shipment of US LNG to the Baltic countries and one of the 1st shipments to Eastern Europe.
LDT last June signed a contract for around 140,000 cubic meters of LNG with Cheniere Marketing International, a company of US Cheniere Energy, the operator of the Sabine Pass LNG export terminal in Louisiana.
Lithuania expects another LNG shipment from the US in mid-September under a contract signed between LDT and Gas Natural Fenosa in July.
To read the news in Russian.