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Joe Biden and Rishi Sunak agree to increase gas exports from US to UK | Energy


Joe Biden has agreed a deal to ramp up gas exports from the US to the UK as part of a joint effort to cut bills and limit Russia’s impact on western energy supplies.

Sunak and Biden announced an “energy security and affordability partnership” and set up a joint action group, led by Westminster and White House officials, with the aim of reducing global dependence on Russian energy.

Britain was not reliant on large quantities of Russian gas before the invasion of Ukraine but has been exposed to the huge rises in prices as European neighbours competed for other supplies as they rushed to fill up storage facilities.

Under the deal, the US aims to more than double the amount of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exported to the UK over the coming year, compared with 2021.

The two countries also intend to collaborate on accelerating green initiatives such as decarbonising the aerospace industry, boosting the electric vehicle market and developing energy efficient appliances. They also plan to further collaborate on nuclear, hydrogen and carbon capture projects.

Sunak said: “Together the UK and US will ensure the global price of energy and the security of our national supply can never again be manipulated by the whims of a failing regime.”

Britain has proved a key gateway for LNG imports and re-exports into Europe this year. However, its lack of gas storage facilities has meant it could still face tight energy supplies this winter.

The government said that, as part of the gas deal, the US will “strive” to export at least 9-10bn cubic metres (bcm) of LNG over the next year via UK terminals.

The deal has been rumoured for months and industry watchers have questioned how big a gas boost it represents. Data from ship-tracking service ICIS LNG Edge showed the UK imported 3.9bcm of LNG from the US in 2021, 26% of the UK’s total LNG imports.

Over the 12 months to October 2022, the UK imported 9.7bcm of American LNG, 42% of total imports.

Biden and Sunak said in a joint statement: “During this global energy crisis, brought on by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, it is more important than ever for allied countries to deepen their cooperation to ensure resilient international systems which reflect our shared values.

“Working with our allies, the United States and United Kingdom commit to intensify our collaboration to support international energy security, affordability, and sustainability, as Europe reduces its dependence on Russian energy.”

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