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The Great Game Returns to Central Asia

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Australia Ships First LNG Cargo To Europe

Australia’s energy giant Woodside has shipped its first LNG cargo directly to Europe, Reuters has reported, noting that the 75,000-ton shipment was purchased by Germany’s troubled Uniper.

“We continue to work on securing the much needed gas supply into Europe from reliable sources like Australia and thus helping to strengthen security of supply during the ongoing crisis triggered by the Russian war,” Uniper’s head for LNG said, as quoted by Reuters.

The liquefied gas came from the North West Shelf project in Western Australia.

“Events over the course of 2022 have shown that the world cannot take reliable and affordable supplies of energy for granted, particularly as we strive to decarbonise,” said Woodside executive VP Mark Abbotsford.

“At such times it is more important than ever that buyers and sellers work together to flexibly respond to market dynamics. Our relationship with Uniper is an example of such cooperation. The delivery of a North West Shelf LNG cargo to Europe also highlights the role that Australian LNG can play in supporting global energy security,” Abbotsford also said 

Europe has been looking for LNG supplies around the world in the absence of Russian pipeline flows, with Germany particularly focused on the task of reducing its dependence on Russian gas to a minimum and eventually eliminating its entirely.

This has pushed the country’s gas bill—and the EU’s gas bill—much higher than it normally is, and that has prompted protests among more than half of the EU’s governments. The protests led to calls for a price cap on gas imports, but an agreement on such a cap is currently proving elusive.

The fact that Germany is prepared to import LNG all the way from Australia, especially at a time when inflation in that market is already sizeable, illustrates the dramatic situation with energy supply in Europe’s largest economy even though storage facilities are full after a longer than usual refill season this year.


By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com  

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on November 28 2022 said:
    The fact that Germany, the EU’s largest economy, was forced to import LNG from faraway Australia despite the huge shipping costs signifies two things: first its desperate need to get enough gas supplies in the absence of Russian piped gas supplies and second its disgust along with Europe for the exorbitant prices the United States is charging them for LNG supplies.

    French President Emanuel Macron accused the United States with double standards for the huge difference between what it is charging the EU for LNG and the price by which gas is sold home. Germany and many other EU countries have voiced their disgust of their ally’s exploitation of their urgent needs for gas.

    The only solution for the EU’s disastrous energy crisis is to lift its sanctions against Russia in return for plentiful and cheaper Russian gas. After all, the economies and prosperity of Germany and Europe as former German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently pointed out were built on cheap Russian gas.

    Moreover, Europe was dragged by the United States into a war where it has no vital interests. The hundreds of billions of dollars of weaponry it is sending to Ukraine could be far more profitably used to alleviate the burden of energy bills on its citizens and to support its collapsing economy.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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