Energy Crisis

France joins Germany in accusing US of using Ukraine war to overcharge for gas

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Photo: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Published

October 12, 2022

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21 Comments

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Published:

October 12, 2022

Country:

Comments:

21 Comments

Share

Senior officials of the EU’s two biggest powers, France and Germany, have accused the US of overcharging for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and using the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis to turn a profit and make Europe dependent on its gas.

Before the war in Ukraine, Russia was Europe’s biggest natural gas supplier, with a share of 55%, mainly due to lower prices compared to LNG deliveries. However, after the war broke out Europe began to introduce sanctions against Russia, reducing purchases from Gazprom, while the Russian state-owned energy giant responded by decreasing its gas deliveries to EU countries.

The EU was forced to start importing LNG, from the US as well as other countries, but the US’ share has increased sharply, from 28% to 45%. On the other hand, deliveries from Russia have dropped by 75%.

The US has been criticized by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Mair and German Economy Minister Robert Habeck.

Le Mair recently told French MPs that the conflict in Ukraine must not result in the US’ economic domination and a weakened Europe.

The US should not be allowed to dominate the global energy market as the EU suffers the consequences of the conflict in Ukraine, said Le Mair.

He also said it is unacceptable to let the US export LNG at prices four times higher than those paid by companies in the country. The French minister also called for establishing a more balanced relationship between the US and Europe.

Habeck: even some friendly countries are charging astronomical prices for gas

Habeck accused LNG exporters, including the US, of charging too much for gas at the time when Europe’s biggest economy is struggling to balance its energy mix without Russian supplies and when German companies are closing down manufacturing facilities due to high gas costs, according to reports.

Habeck told Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung that some nations, even friendly ones, are in some cases charging “astronomical prices,” adding that this situation has created problems that need to be talked about.

He recalled that the US turned to the EU when crude oil costs were jumping, and that Europe’s national reserves were then used to tame the prices. Such solidarity, according to him, would also be good for curbing gas prices, he said.

Habeck also called on the EU to synchronize gas purchases in order to bring the prices down, instead of having individual countries outbidding each other and thus pushing the prices up.

Comments (21)
MK / October 13, 2022

Finally somebody with balls.

rbli / October 13, 2022

Is it any surprise that Europe needs its Western allies to save its ass once again but moans whilst doing it

Adrian / October 13, 2022

America should not profit from the situation by charging only the cost of compression of gas possibly at a price of gas from Russia coming from a very expensive pipeline that was destroyed by more likely American special forces and possibly help from the UK.. It’s obvious. The west saying it was Russia bombing its own pipeline is just as stupid as the non existence of the trump pee video..

Jaime / October 14, 2022

With those friends who needs enemies?

Brenda / October 14, 2022

Torally agree no one should make profit from this now countries who sancioned Russia are arguing within themselvesand blaming Russia for this and pipelines is rudiclous

Gautam / October 14, 2022

High time Europe realises that US always looks for instability or war be it Asia & now in Europe. Ask others to finance war & crisis & US to sell arms to everyone even by twisting arms in the name of sanction. Russia is no longer a threat & cold war era is over. US should understand China is now a threat to world not Russia.

Chaz / October 14, 2022

This is why all countries that can use their own resources to be energy independent should do by whatever means available. Not to do so is stupid and shortsighted.

French son of Germany / October 14, 2022

EU Countries are supporting the US to bring Russia, but instead got fucked by US. Ha ha ha

denis casey / October 14, 2022

No invasion no occupation no war.
Mr Putin in poetic tones tells us he is ready to open up the taps if he was only asked.
Is that the same Mr Putin who ordered his defence ministers to reign terror on 40 towns , villages and cities, most if not all civilian targets?
Russia , China the USA right now on colonizing the moon and mars.
War by any nation in the 21st Century is unacceptable , barbaric and must be condemned.

Momo / October 14, 2022

Why no countries consider making peace between Russia and Ukraine

Echo / October 14, 2022

Then we have to make peace with Russia to shame USA.Russia is our neighbor they can help us better.

Odysseus / October 15, 2022

Good. America should charge Germany more, given it is giving Ukraine much more than helmets to fight Putin. Of all countries in Europe that should stand up for a Ukraine, it should be Germany. Instead, Germans have once again focused more on their own needs. So pay more for your gas or wear a thicker jacket.

Shane Weidle / October 15, 2022

WHY, WOULD WE?

Namo / October 15, 2022

The real reason is gas sale for US it was exploring the market and it has now got rich and big market in EU,well don US u clearly fooled the fool EUROPEAN.Insted try to bring peace US is openly and blatantly selling arms to Ukraine is it free?

Jimmy / October 15, 2022

The yanks look after themselves first and foremost. The CIA’s 2014 coup installed the puppet Zelensky and his Azov nazi’s who killed 14,000 ethnic Russians since then. And you expected Putin to allow this continue? Yankee sanctions are hurting us much more than the Russians, we will freeze or go hungry this winter while millionaire politicians won’t. We are mad to allow the yanks to prosper at our expense and suffering. No more brothers war!

Edward Houng / October 15, 2022

US is the biggest threat to peace. They are creating tensions everywhere and putting on sanctions to profiteer and rip everyone to maintain their hegemony through arms and energy sales. Wake up!!!!

Trisch / October 16, 2022

US is always hunting for markets and MONEY.

America First / October 17, 2022

1) US does not have a state controlled gas company like Russia’s Gazprom. So there is no ‘US exporter’ but several private companies that charge what the market can bear.

2) Natural gas is four times cheaper in the US because of infrastructure limits affecting what can be exported. US consumers don’t use LNG but Germany does.

3) Biden is under pressure to ban exports of all LNG and oil. When that finally happens, then Europeans will REALLY scream.

4) Who carries NATO’s water? Sure as hell not Europe.

German minister complaining either knows all of this and is having his fit for domestic politics or is an idiot. He’s a Green party member so I vote the latter.

Ryan / October 17, 2022

This is a market issue, not a price gouging issue.
Can the EU (looking at your especially, Germany) admit that doing away with nuclear power, a zero emission source of baseload energy, was a huge mistake?
Unless and until there is sufficient energy storage (batteries) to allow electricity from renewables to be dispatched, at scale, this issue will persist.
Russian gas could help, but it comes with the caveat that it supports Putin and his grandiose ambitions. US gas could help, but it’s across the ocean (and you have no nukes to lessen demand) so it’s super expensive!

Beck / October 18, 2022

While US gonna punish OPEC for reducing production. Smart move.

MT / October 24, 2022

“The U.S.” (or, more accurately, American natural gas companies) “should not profit from this crisis”! Oh really? Are people that ignorant of basic economics? Let’s try to work this out. Should it be that Europe, which, as a result of their own inept, naïve decisions, created a dangerous dependency on Russian natural gas, which has led to this crisis, may now ask U.S. companies to dramatically, practically overnight, increase the production of LIQUIFIED natural gas, ship it across the Atlantic ocean on a regular basis, renege on longstanding contracts with other, by the way much less fortunate nations in order to do so, that is, to meet the desperate demand in Europe, incurring enormous penalties worth many millions of dollars as a result, all to save Europe’s behind from Russian tyranny – and that not for the first time – all for a DISCOUNT, a pat on the back, and a nice warm smile? If there has ever been a greater megalomania I can’t imagine what it was! And please, do tell, how the new, multi-billion dollar ports and factories are going to be built, which are needed for the production and export of these vast new quantities of liquified natural gas, if the companies building them are to expect no profit on the enterprise whatsoever? Yes, that sounds reasonable! Everyone should drop everything, dishonor long term contracts with other nations, that is to say, stiff numerous partners and allies around the world, for no compensation or commensurate financial incentive, all because Europe has a little emergency. You have to be absolutely out of your mind to think THAT represents the most reasonable course of events!

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