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3 Apr, 2024 09:30

Washington eyes resuming LNG exports to facilitate Ukraine aid package – Reuters

US President Joe Biden ordered a pause on approvals of the sale of gas from new projects in January
Washington eyes resuming LNG exports to facilitate Ukraine aid package – Reuters

US officials are in talks about unfreezing approvals of new liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports in order to get a Ukraine aid package passed in Congress, Reuters reported on Monday, citing sources close to the discussions.

President Biden ordered a temporary pause on LNG exports from new projects in the country on January 26, citing their potential contribution to climate change. The move was welcomed by climate activists, but has been opposed by many large producers, who say that LNG plays a vital role in the energy transition.

The White House has been pushing Congress to pass a foreign aid bill that includes another $60 billion in military aid for Kiev for months. However, the bill has been stalled by Republicans in the House of Representatives, who are demanding more efforts to increase security on the border with Mexico.

The White House may consider resuming the LNG sales in question in order to move ahead with the Ukraine aid, partly because the pause has no bearing on near-term LNG exports, the White House sources told the news agency.

In 2023, the US was ranked the world’s number one exporter of the super-chilled gas after the EU switched from Russian piped gas to American LNG. The country’s LNG export capacity is expected to double by the end of the current decade thanks to already-approved projects.

The suggestion to reverse Biden’s pause on LNG export approvals was put forward on Sunday by Republican US House Speaker Mike Johnson, who told Fox News that the move could make it easier for his party to support a new aid package for Ukraine.

An unnamed industry source familiar with the discussions told Reuters that the White House may find it feasible to relent on the LNG export pause, adding that substantively, no new approvals have been granted. This perspective suggests that such a move could be less challenging for the administration, particularly when considering climate concerns.

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