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Prospects of US LNG Exports: The Allies’ Perspective

On July 9, Ambassador-at-large for energy security Vaclav Bartuska participated in the discussion on the geopolitical aspects of US LNG export trade liberalization from the perspective of the V4 countries (Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia). The event was co-organized by the Embassy of Hungary (V4 Presidency) and Rep. Michael R. Turner (OH-10).

Thanks to the shale gas developments, the United States has been increasing its domestic gas production which opens the door to the possibility of gas exports. According to the US law, such exports must be approved by the US Department of Energy. Such evaluation is currently ongoing and the first license for exports to non-FTA countries has already been issued. The decision has important geopolitical and economic consequences for countries such as the Czech Republic or Hungary and those were highlighted during the event.

The panelists agreed that energy security is one of the most important security challenges in Central Europe. It is also a main pillar of the transatlantic relationship. Congressman Turner reiterated the economic and geopolitical arguments for expediting US LNG exports to allies: “It makes perfect sense that you would look to the issue of how you can strengthen the United States’ energy position in the realm of export and look into Europe as an import partner.” The panelists from Central Europe also spoke in favor of the exports as they would provide a new market option that would allow for a better negotiating position with other suppliers.

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