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Gazprom taking long view on LNG

Liquefied natural gas less vulnerable to some of the risks faced by Russian energy company.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Gazprom taking long view on LNG
Russian energy company Gazprom announces St. Petersburg will host a conference on liquefied natural gas in 2022. Photo courtesy of Gazprom

PERTH, Australia, April 12 (UPI) -- Taking a long view on the global market, Russian energy company Gazprom said it selected St. Petersburg as the 2022 host of a liquefied natural gas summit.

Billed as the largest global event for the LNG sector, Gazprom said it was taking advantage of its leadership in the gas market to the forefront with an international forum in St. Petersburg.

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"It is therefore quite logical that the largest international conference in the industry will take place in St. Petersburg," Gazprom Deputy Chairman Alexander Medvedev said in a statement from the sidelines of an LNG conference in Australia. "We are convinced that Gazprom group's current LNG projects will make a significant contribution to the development of global LNG trading."

Russian state media reported last week that Gazprom received word from the government of Jordan it was interested in buying LNG. According to the report, the Jordanian government also wanted to set up joint ventures with Russian counterparts for the potential sale of mineral resources and the possible future exploration of Jordanian shale resources.

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Relying primarily in maritime deliveries, LNG is less vulnerable to geopolitical issues than pipeline transit because of the freedom of maneuverability. Those vulnerabilities were exposed when European consumers were left in the cold in 2006 and 2009 following contractual disputes between Russia and Ukraine. Europe at the time received about a quarter of its gas needs from Russia, though most of that ran though Soviet-era pipelines in Ukraine.

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Maros Sefcovic, a European leader on energy issues, said last year the European community was examining new strategies for bringing LNG to the European market. For former Soviet republics in Eastern Europe, he said LNG could be a "game-changer."

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