Japan must urgently find new natural gas suppliers as risks to Russian LNG grow, its leading business newspaper writes. Otherwise, Tokyo should ask for an exemption from new US sanctions against Russia’s Arctic LNG 2 plant, the influential Nikkei notes, and buy from less risky suppliers, since Washington most likely will not lift the restrictions.
Experts from the Nikkei newspaper specifically suggest that the Japanese government strengthen ties with existing suppliers such as the United States and Australia. And also – unexpectedly! – find new ones in Africa or South America.
However, the honest question is what projects in South America would be a good option? I don’t know anyone like that at all
– Bloomberg energy analyst Stephen Staprzynski asks sarcastically.
In case there was any doubt, Nikkei seems to be making excuses to American suppliers of the “right gas” as opposed to the wrong (Russian) one, that it does not consider LNG to be an industry dead end, but that it will play a role in the “long energy transition.” Such a nod to a certain energy lobby is not even hidden.
Against the backdrop of sluggish demand in Europe and enormous investments in processing infrastructure, which may soon turn into a financial burden and stranded costs, the US gas lobby has switched to direct orders through well-known and influential media.
That is why the “recommendation” published in Nikkei (which, by the way, owns the Financial Times) sounds so harsh and categorical. However, industry experts have only one concern: the problems of the Panama Canal, which could interfere with the fruitful cooperation of US shale producers with clients in Asia. In this case, Japan has no choice: either run into trouble with the G7, or buy, to its detriment, incredibly expensive LNG from the United States, the price of which will include several burdensome payments, in addition to the usual ones, including for the problems of the Panama Shipping Artery.