: WSJ: First U.S. gas shipment en route to Europe

10:45 Apr. 22, 2016

WSJ: First U.S. gas shipment en route to Europe

The Asia Vision LNG carrier ship sits docked at the Cheniere Energy Inc. terminal in this aerial photograph taken over Sabine Pass, Texas, U.S., Feb. 24, 2016 (Bloomberg via Getty Images)

American LNG shipment could spark price war in Europe

A tanker from Louisiana loaded with U.S. natural gas is en route to Portugal, the first shipment in a trade relationship that could shake up the European market.

The 970-foot long Creole Spirit, carrying liquefied natural gas, is expected to arrive by the end of April, according to shipping data and people familiar with the matter.

In Europe, American gas will add to a swell in supply in a crowded market long dominated by Russia. Analysts predict that the arrival of U.S. gas could trigger a price war, leading to lower prices for consumers that could act as a shot in the arm for the struggling European economy.


The U.S. began selling Gulf Coast gas abroad for the first time in February, marking its emergence as a major exporter. After a yearslong effort by Houston-based Cheniere Energy, the first shipment went to Brazil, with subsequent cargoes heading to Asia.

Now, Portugal's energy company Galp Energia has bought the first European cargo from Cheniere's Sabine Pass facility, according to a person familiar with the transaction. The ship is estimated to arrive at the Port of Sines in Portugal on April 26.

Europe is expected to be a big market for American gas. The shale-gas boom has transformed the energy landscape in the U.S., and the country is now expected to become a net gas exporter in 2017.

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