Spurred by a desire to acquire independence from Russian energy sources and buoyed by support from President Donald Trump, Poland’s state-owned gas and oil company has reportedly signed a five-year deal to purchase American liquefied natural gas.
As noted by The Wall Street Journal, this move presents a huge headache to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has long prided himself on using Europe’s dependence on his nation’s rich energy stores “as a diplomatic cudgel, threatening to cut off supplies” to any country that disobeys him.
But because of America’s ongoing fracking revolution — which the Obama administration tried to rein in and Trump has helped boost — the age of Russian dominance may soon be approaching an end.
“In 2015 — the year Moscow cut off gas supplies to Ukraine — the U.S. surpassed Russia as the world’s top natural-gas producer,” the Journal reported. “By February 2016 major shipments of American LNG were headed abroad for the first time.”
According to the deal reached by Poland’s PGNiG, the British utility company Centrica will deliver deliver roughly 30 billion cubic feet of American-produced liquified natural gas to Poland.
The liquified gas will be purchased from Cheniere Energy, a U.S.-based energy company that operates several liquification plants throughout the states.
In a statement published Nov. 21, PGNiG CEO Piotr Woźniak noted that this deal will likely only be the first of many more.
“This agreement is the first of its kind in PGNiG’s planned portfolio of medium-term LNG agreements,” he said.
It’s what he said next, though, that’s especially noteworthy: “Most of these LNG supply agreements will be dedicated to the gas markets of Poland and other Central European countries in order to increase the energy security of this region, which has historically been dominated by Russian gas.”
It all boils down to Poland — and the rest of Europe — ridding itself of Putin’s unwanted influence.
Trump himself supports this mission.
“America stands ready to help Poland and other nations diversify their energy supplies so that you can never be held hostage to a single supplier,” he said on a visit to Warsaw over the summer, according to the Washington Examiner.
Trump likewise deserves much of the credit for PGNiG’s deal, in the opinion of conservative political commentator Dan Calabrese.
“One of the most underreported stories of the Trump presidency has been the way he’s taken the shackles off domestic energy producers and cleared the way for these producers to market their product across the globe,” Calabrese wrote in a piece published by Canada Free Press.
“Much of this required little more than Trump’s reversing of Obama executive orders. Some required Congress to get involved in lifting regulations,” he wrote. “But the effect has been extraordinary, and it recently put U.S. exporters in a position to compete for the chance to service Poland’s natural gas needs. That has been an exclusive Russian gig in recent years.”
Not anymore, though, thanks to the American fracking revolution and Donald Trump’s support for it.