The EU's New LNG Strategy: A Game Changer for Europe’s Energy Security?

Belgium, Brussels, 1000, Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, 20 Rue du Commerce
Tuesday, February 23 2016 / 12:30
14:30

On 16th of February, the European Commission will unveil the EU’s long-awaited liquefied natural gas (LNG) and gas storage strategy as part of a comprehensive energy security package. With European LNG imports expected to triple in the following decades, the strategy will “explore the full potential of LNG, including as a back-up in crisis situations when insufficient gas is coming into Europe through the existing pipeline system”. Following a sharp decline in Asian natural gas prices, Europe has become an increasingly attractive market for international LNG exporters. This new and rather favourable energy reality gives the EU a unique opportunity to diversify natural gas supplies and enhance competition in natural gas markets.

The prospect of a more resilient and competitive energy market is good news, especially for Central and Eastern Europe, which relies on costly Russian imports for the majority of its natural gas supply. Other good news is coming from across the Atlantic where the US is on the verge of becoming a major LNG exporter thanks to the ongoing shale gas bonanza. During our discussion we will assess LNG’s potential to boost the EU’s energy market, redefine European energy security, and strengthen transatlantic energy cooperation. We will address the EU’s new LNG and gas storage strategy, as well as other crucial steps towards the Energy Union.