World Economy

US Still Imports Natural Gas From Russia

US Still Imports Natural Gas From Russia
US Still Imports Natural Gas From Russia

The US may be exporting natural gas at a record clip, but that has not stopped it from accepting imports of the fuel, including a shipment of Russian gas likely headed for Massachusetts.
Pipeline constraints, depleted stockpiles and a 98-year-old law barring foreign ships from moving goods between US ports is opening the way for liquefied natural gas to be shipped from overseas with prices expected to spike as the East Coast winter sets in, Bloomberg reported.
In the next few days, tankers from France, carrying gas that originated in Russia, and Nigeria are set to deliver to East Coast terminals about 170 million cubic meters of the fuel, enough to power about 150,000 homes for a year. At one point Thursday, the ship carrying Nigerian gas to Cove Point in Maryland passed another tanker filled with US gas that was headed abroad.
"It is ironic,’" said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC in New York. But the "super cheap gas” produced in the nation’s shale fields “is trapped down west of the Mississippi unable to serve its own market," he said by phone. “The gas is where the people aren’t.”
As usual, it is all about the money. The companies shipping the gas into Maryland -- BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc -- will likely have it stored until freezing East Coast temperatures push prices higher as local suppliers struggle to meet demand, according to Trevor Sikorski, head of natural gas, coal and carbon with the London-based industry consultant Energy Aspects Ltd. 

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