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Russia vs US gas wars in Europe laid out in US embassy cable (2008)

The first shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States to Europe left the Gulf of Mexico and crossed the Atlantic, widely regarded as the first step in an impending gas war between the United States and Russia.

According to the theory, Russia has a stranglehold on the European gas market, which it uses to bully its neighbours and silence any major European states that oppose its geopolitical ambitions. It follows that US LNG will break Russia’s stranglehold. It is a less expensive and more dependable option.

Russia supplies 40 percent of the EU’s gas. It must divest its energy elsewhere if it is to wean itself off of that dependency.

Gas is already piped from Norway, but those pipelines are already at capacity. The North Sea provides little benefit to the EU.

New supplies will have to come from further afield, in the form of LNG (cooled and liquified gas).

However, there is already intense competition for LNG supplies from countries such as Algeria and Qatar, which has driven up prices.

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