In the age of Trump and Putin, Europe faces hard choices on gas

By NAUREEN S. MALIK and ANNA SHIRYAEVSKAYA

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Europe’s shrinking production of natural gas has made it an enticing target for exporters. It’s also left the region facing hard choices ahead at a time of growing political uncertainty.

Imports to the continent are poised to rise almost 20 percent by 2040 from 2016 levels, according to International Energy Agency. While Russia has long been the region’s top supplier, it’s now facing significant challenges from both the U.S. and Qatar, rivals with vast natural gas reserves.

For Europe, there’s both opportunity and risk. While competition can drop prices, geopolitics are becoming increasingly tricky in an age dominated by the strong headwinds coming from both U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

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Many of the continent’s buyers, particularly in Eastern Europe, are eager for alternatives to Russian supply. Gas flow to Europe was disrupted twice, in 2006 and 2009, over a pricing dispute between Russia and Ukraine. Meanwhile, Lithuania and Poland have built terminals to import cargoes of liquefied natural gas from overseas, reducing their reliance on Russia.

Read the article in full at Bloomberg.