Pres. Trump certainly wants to go out of his way to help the natural gas industry. On July 27, he hosted the head of the European Union at the White House and he made some big pronouncements about the EU buying more natural gas from America. There is some question about what, if anything, was actually accomplished, but there is probably only good things for the industry that could come from having the President pitch American natural gas to world leaders.
Pres. Trump has had rocky relations with the European Union, going so far on a recent trip to Scotland as to call the European Union a “foe” of the United States because of what they do on trade. Using that kind of language was very upsetting to many allies, and European Union leaders were already frustrated about escalating trade, defense, and climate-related tensions with America.
With that as a backdrop, EU President Jean-Claude Junker and Pres. Trump met for three hours at the White House in a meeting largely focused on trade. Pres. Junker reportedly brought brightly colored flash cards to guide his discussion with Pres. Trump. European officials in the meeting have said that Pres. Trump came off as charming and well-briefed, and the two leaders struck a “deal” of sorts. The EU promised to buy more soybeans and liquefied natural gas from America, and Pres. Trump promised to not increase tariffs on European cars. Here is how Pres. Trump explained the gas deal to the press:
"[W]e agreed today to a strengthen and strengthening of our strategic cooperation with respect to energy. The European Union wants to import more liquefied natural gas — LNG — from the United States, and they’re going to be a very, very big buyer. We’re going to make it much easier for them, but they’re going to be a massive buyer of LNG, so they’ll be able to diversify their energy supply, which they want very much to do. And we have plenty of it."
Now, one pronouncement from the President does not build expensive new export facilities here in America and new import facilities in Europe. He cannot change the pricing dynamics that are leading many European countries to buy Russian gas. There is limited capacity for U.S. to E.U. gas trade right now, though new terminals are already under construction. Subsequent reports have indeed confirmed that not much tangible action has come yet from the “deal” struck by the two Presidents.
That said, it is always nice to hear the President tout the abundance of American natural gas, and much of that is coming from our region. If you are interested in exploration and production rights in Appalachia we encourage you to contact us today.