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IEA: U.S. LNG won't matter much for Europe

Van der Hoeven addresses "talked up" LNG role.

By Daniel J. Graeber

STAVANGER, Norway, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Liquefied natural gas sent from North America to European markets likely won't make much of a regional difference, the director of the IEA said from Norway.

International delegates are gathered for an annual energy conference in Stavenger, Norway. The theme for the ONS conference, organizers said, is change.

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Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency, said the glut of natural gas from North American shale is changing the dynamics of a global energy sector where demand centers are pivoting toward Asian economies.

Van der Hoeven said time will tell how much of an impact exports in the form of liquefied natural gas will have on the global marketplace. For the European market, more LNG from North America is not the panacea "talked up by some" in Washington, she said.

"As I'm sure many of you in this room already know, a few tens of [billion cubic feet] of LNG will not make much difference, given that OECD-Europe production continues to fall by similar quantities," she said during her Monday address.

Measures passed in the U.S. House of Representatives that would facilitate LNG exports were touted by supporters as a means to boost European energy security in an era when Russia's role in the region's gas market is a growing cause for concern.

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"Continued strong gas demand in Asia and competition for LNG mean that new volumes will be hard to come by in the case of supply disruption," van der Hoeven said.

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