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Brussels and Tokyo push for flexible LNG trade

Fri 14 Jul 2017 by Karen Thomas

Brussels and Tokyo push for flexible LNG trade
Hiroshige Seko, left, and Miguel Arias Canete agree Japan/EU LNG-trade partnership

Japan is to work with the European Commission to develop “a liquid, flexible and transparent global LNG market”, part of a wider agreement to co-operate on energy policy.

European commissioner for climate action and energy Miguel Arias Cañete signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan’s minister of economy, trade and industry Hiroshige Seko this week, pledging to exchange knowledge and to work together to promote more open trading in LNG – including more flexible supply contracts.

The wish-list also includes developing gas-supply hubs in consumer markets and promoting transparent pricing and reporting. The two sides will also work together to respond to disruption to gas supplies.

A statement from the commission says: “The objective is to involve all LNG producers and consumers in joint activities to promote the liquidity, transparency and flexibility of the global LNG market. This will help to ensure competitive LNG supplies and improve the resilience of the international market, and its capacity to respond to emergencies.”

Mr Seko said: “Collectively, Japan and the European Union account for nearly 50 per cent of global LNG demand. In close co-operation with the EU, Japan will lead the world’s efforts in enhancing a liquid global LNG market, including the abolition of restrictive destination clauses.”

Last year, the European Union produced a new strategy for LNG and gas storage, aiming to secure supply by diversifying member states’ supply sources. The strategy focuses on securing supply “to the most vulnerable” member regions: the Iberian Peninsula, southeast Europe and the Baltic.