US LNG replacing Russian gas in Poland

Fuel Fix:
The U.S. is set to ship its first shale gas to a member of the former Soviet bloc as Europe seeks to cut its dependence on fuel from Russia.

Poland’s state-owned PGNiG SA bought a spot liquefied natural gas cargo from Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass plant for delivery in June to the nation’s Baltic Sea import terminal, the first such contract for Central and Eastern Europe, it said Thursday. No LNG has been shipped to northern Europe since Sabine Pass started exports more than a year ago.

Poland may offer a new outlet for Cheniere, which said it’s targeting emerging markets as new production facilities from Australia to the U.S. lead to a glut of the fuel. Poland’s Law & Justice government has sought to cut the nation’s dependence on Russia’s Gazprom PJSC for more than two-thirds of gas supplies, stating it has no plan to extend a long-term supply contract beyond 2022 and plans new infrastructure including a pipeline to Norway.
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I have long argued that US LNG was the answer to Russian mistreatment of its Eastern European customers.  Sales like this one have been a goal of energy secretary Rick Perry while he was still governor of Texas.  They make strategic sense, and it is strange that the Obama administration was so CO2 phobic that it overlooked the potential for replacing Russia as a supplier.

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