German energy major Uniper: Europe needs to fend off expensive American gas

© Jasper Juinen / Bloomberg / Getty Images

The European Union should be more active in finding alternative gas supplies, as the United States will be actively pushing its liquefied natural gas (LNG) into Europe, according to the CEO of German energy major Uniper.

"The core reason (for the sanctions) are strategic economic interests, meaning the targeted dominance of the US in energy markets," Uniper CEO Klaus Schaefer said on Tuesday.

Uniper is among five European energy companies who have invested in the extension of the Nord Stream pipeline from Russia to Germany. The other four are ENGIE, OMV, Shell, and Wintershall.

The Nord Stream-2 pipeline plans to double the delivery capacity of Russian natural gas to Germany from the current 55 billion cubic meters per year.

According to Schaefer, US shipments are 50 percent more expensive compared with European reference prices.

"Nobody wants to pay such a premium," he said.

Last week, US President Donald Trump signed sanctions targeting Russia's oil and gas sector. The new measure means Washington could now penalize European investors in Russian energy projects.

Senior officials in Germany have spoken against the sanctions and promised retaliation if European companies' interests are hurt.

Trump has been seeking American "energy dominance." In June, the first US tanker carrying LNG arrived in the Polish port of Swinoujscie.

As a group, the countries aim to diversify energy supplies, reducing their dependence on oil and gas provided by Russia.

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