Lithuania may become the first country to receive liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States and, considering the agreements being signed, this might happen early next year, Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius has said.
Klaipėda LNG terminal
© DELFI (V.Spurytės nuotr.)

“It’s very positive that we are establishing certain contacts with potential suppliers as regards the supply of liquefied gas from the United States. Certain preliminary contracts have already been signed. So the Lithuanian port may actually become that first port which will be able to receive liquefied gas from the United States. We might say it’s a material development,” he told BNS by phone from Washington early on Tuesday.

Linkevičius met with US Secretary of State John Kerry, who, according to the Lithuanian minister, had once again assured him of Washington’s support for Lithuania’s accession to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which would help create “an even more favourable energy environment”.

Linkevičius admitted that the discussions thus far had centred on “long-term planning” of gas supply and Lithuania was also looking for potential gas suppliers in other countries. He said, however, that in a favourable scenario, Lithuania might receive first shipments of gas from the United States as early as in the beginning of next year.

“It won’t happen any time soon since the United States first has to make technical arrangements for the exports of that gas. It might take as long as until the beginning of next year… It’s not something that can be done overnight,” Linkevičius said.

Several weeks ago, Lithuania's natural gas supply and trading company Litgas signed a master trade agreement with Cheniere Energy. First shipments of LNG supplied by the US energy company may be delivered to Lithuania as early as in 2016.

Moreover, Litgas has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Delfin LNG, the first offshore floating natural gas liquefaction project in the United States.

As estimated, projects being developed in the United States may increase the output of LNG by 30 billion cubic meters per year by 2018. This quantity accounts for approximately 10 percent of the existing global LNG market. For comparison, the Baltic countries consume approximately 4 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually.

Litgas has signed 16 non-binding agreements enabling it to buy gas on the spot market.

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