1 of 2 | Commodity trader Vitol said it made the first-ever delivery of LNG to a new receiving terminal in Finland. The LNG was sourced from the United States. Photo courtesy of Vitol
April 3 (UPI) -- Dutch commodity trader Vitol said Monday it delivered the first-ever cargo of liquefied natural gas sourced from the United States to a terminal in Finland.
Vitol delivered the cargo to Finland's new Inkoo terminal onboard the Vivit Americas LNG tanker. The tanker loaded from the Calcasieu Pass terminal on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
"The opening of the terminal will enhance energy security in Finland and the Baltic region, facilitating the flow of LNG from around the world to European industry and consumers," said Pablo Galante Escobar, Vitol's head of LNG in Europe.
Russia's now-idled Nord Stream natural gas pipeline network runs through the Baltic Sea to Germany. The pipeline was a source of concern before military forces invaded Ukraine as it represented the choke-hold that Russia had over the regional energy sector.
Saboteurs targeted the pipeline network with explosives last year and Western economies have largely shunned any fossil fuel deliveries from Russia. Before the war, Russia was the primary gas supplier to Europe, though U.S. LNG has now taken up a considerable market share.
Of the total volume delivered last year, Vitol said around 67% of its LNG deliveries went to Europe. Finland, meanwhile, started receiving small amounts of U.S.-sourced LNG only last year.
"A total of seven deliveries will arrive in Finland's Inkoo port in the spring and summer," Vitol said in a statement.
If it isn't already, the United States is expected to become the world's leading exporter of LNG, passing Australia and Qatar. U.S. LNG exports averaged 10.6 billion cubic feet per day last year and the government expects that to reach 12.7 Bcf/d next year.
For the seven-day period ending March 29, 20 vessels left U.S. export terminals carrying LNG. Only one left from Calcasieu Pass.