Official says USA strongly supports LNG terminal in Croatia

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The United States strongly supports the construction of a terminal for liquefied natural gas in Croatia, and Slovenia as well as the wider region would benefit from that project, said Robin Dunnigan, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Diplomacy in the Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources.

Dunnigan, who oversees the Bureau’s Office of Middle East and Asia and the Office of Europe, the Western Hemisphere and Africa, told the Ljubljana-based Delo daily that in light of increasing energy independence and diversification of natural gas supplies routes, it was vital for Europe to build the necessary gas infrastructure.

She predicts that new technologies and new gas sources will make gas prices more favourable, and that consequently, Europe will not depend much on gas supplies from Russia.

However, this won’t matter if Europe fails to have appropriate infrastructure, the U.S. official said.

Construction of new gas pipelines should be supported, and the USA strongly supports the construction of an LNG terminal in Croatia. Slovenia and a number of countries, including Ukraine, would benefit from that, Dunnigan said.

She explained that when it came to gas supply diversification, the USA was not against Russia, which, she said, would remain a significant provider of gas to Europe, but that sources of gas supplies should be diversified.

Infrastructure projects currently on the agenda in Europe, such as the North Stream or a pipeline going through the Baltic Sea or the Turkish Stream, are not economically justifiable from the U.S. point of view, as those investments require dozens of billions of dollars and gas would again arrive from the same supplier, meaning that it would not lessen Europe’s dependence on the Russian gas, she said.

Washington seems to be in favour of a pipeline that would transport natural gas from the Caspian Basin to Europe, a project that is already being realised, and Dunnigan said that this route would supply Europe with 16 billion cubic metres of gas annually. (Hina)

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