US liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to Lithuania would prevent Russia from using "energy blackmail" against the country, Lithuanian Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis, who is meeting with US energy companies this week, said, noting that energy resources are now as important as arms exports.
Rokas Masiulis
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

"There is much discussion now as to whether the US should supply arms to Ukraine. However, a decision to supply energy resources may be no less important than arms. If the US started supplying energy resources to other countries, that would deprive Russian of the key weapon it is now actively using, which is energy blackmail," Masiulis said in a press release on Friday.

"The US energy sector operates very efficiently and, therefore, it has a competitive advantage over those exporters that are using energy as a tool of political pressure. The activities of the latter are not as efficient," he said.

During his US visit, the minister met with business and academic representatives and the heads of Exxon Mobil, the largest US oil and gas company.

Lithuania's natural gas supply and trading company Litgas on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding with Delfin LNG, the first offshore floating natural gas liquefaction project in the United States. The MOU is not binding in terms of selling or buying LNG, but it will serve as a basis for continued cooperation with the liquefaction project developer.

Delfin LNG's deepwater port, a floating liquefaction and export facility located in the Gulf of Mexico, is expected to be operational in 2019. I

Litgas CEO Dominykas Tuckus this week is planning to sign an agreement with another energy company. The agreement will provide for the possibility of buying LNG as soon as it becomes available for purchase.

Lithuania has been making efforts to import LNG from the US for several years now. President Dalia Grybauskaitė and Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius have named this as a top priority.

BNS
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