At least a dozen U.S. shale gas executives met on Wednesday with European energy officials to discuss expanding U.S. fuel supplies to Europe amid a scramble to replace Russian imports.
The group met in Houston with foreign affairs and economic ministers and commercial buyers looking to reduce their imports of Russian oil, coal, and liquefied natural gas over its invasion of Ukraine, executives said. The European Union plans to cut its reliance on Russian gas by two-thirds this year.
Delegations from Latvia and Estonia, diplomats from Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, and the UK toured the Golden Pass LNG export project in Sabine Pass, Texas, and later met in Houston with shale gas producers, said Fred Hutchison, chief executive of trade group LNG Allies.
Group discussions included top executives from Chesapeake Energy, Coterra Energy, EOG Resources, and EQT Corp, he said. Individual meetings are planned between U.S. executives and Latvian, Estonian, and Slovak commercial representatives.
"The situation in Europe is so precarious. All these countries that are dependent on Russian gas are committed to giving it up, in some cases completely," said Hutchison.
Building new LNG capacity takes years and ample new supplies will not be available until mid-decade. "The capacity challenges in 2022 are great but the opportunities in a few years are really terrific," he said.
The need for new LNG plants was highlighted at a congressional hearing earlier in the day by Pioneer Natural Resources Chief Executive Scott Sheffield. He urged Congress to embrace construction of new U.S. plants.
"We need to build LNG facilities in the northeast," Sheffield said.