US LNG exports shift to Europe from Asia


US liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters have shifted their focus to Southern Europe from Asia as cold weather and problems with Algerian gas supply have driven Europe’s gas prices higher.

Gas prices in Europe are at their highest premiums to US gas prices for three years.

Several cargoes have already made their way to Europe, and analysts expect more to come.

The ongoing shutdown of some French nuclear plants as a consequence of the discovery of forged manufacturing documents for some parts used in those plants has also fired up demand for power from the region’s gas-fired plants higher than normal.

Spain, Greece and Turkey would be other possible destinations for the LNG cargoes, said Madeline Jowdy, senior director global gas and LNG at PIRA in New York.

The flow would likely slow in March, as winter comes to an end in Europe, said Ted Michael, LNG analyst, natural gas, at energy data provider Genscape.