Russian natural gas giant Gazprom has had a Houston office for a few years now, but it wasn’t until today the company decided to make a splash of its presence, announcing it has begun trading and marketing of natural gas in North America.
“The development of new markets and products is key to Gazprom Group’s global energy strategy. We have now achieved our goal of bringing the world’s largest gas company into the world’s largest gas market,” said Vitaly Vasiliev, Chief Executive Officer of Gazprom Marketing and Trading Limited in the United Kingdom. “Our U.S. affiliate is now off and running, and we look forward to significant growth and profitability from our expanding geographical base.”
The company has already signed deals giving it about 350 million cubic feet per day of physical supplies at several different locations across the U.S. over the next three to seven years.
Gazprom will also market liquefied natural gas exported to North America by its Gazprom Group affiliates, including LNG from the Sakhalin-2 LNG plant off Russia’s Pacific coast via a Baja California, Mexico regasification plant. (We had mentioned the possibility before.) U.S. LNG imports will also come from the Shtokman LNG projects in the Arctic.
The idea of a foreign nation’s government-directed energy company having a stake in U.S. domestic energy supplies may make some nervous. After all, the Cold War may be over but U.S. and Russian energy interests aren’t exactly aligned. But is it really any different from buying oil from Venezuela?