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US attempts to harm Russia’s large-scale Arctic LNG project

The US makes no secret of the fact that it wants to “kill” the Arctic LNG 2 project, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Washington has stopped deliveries of specialised tankers to Russia and is trying to make it more difficult to build alternative vessels in the country. Moscow will build the tankers on its own, but the project will face difficulties.

Supercooled gas has instantly become one of the world’s most important energy sources – and an explosive factor in Russia-US relations. That competition is most evident in northern Russia, where a huge LNG facility – a key project for Russian President Vladimir Putin – is under construction. US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Geoffrey Pyatt told a conference in Switzerland:

“The US, through a host of sanctions, is trying to harm this initiative, known as Arctic LNG 2, in every way possible. They prevent Russia from accepting the special-purpose tankers needed to transport the gas and make it difficult to create alternative vessels domestically. Our goal is to kill the Arctic LNG 2 project.” 

Russia is trying to build its own ships at a Pacific coast shipyard. But in addition to the completed hulls, it needs membranes for the storage compartments, which are mostly made by France Gaztransport & Technigaz, a company that has left Russia. France’s Total Energies, which owns 10 per cent of the Arctic LNG 2 project, declared force majeure earlier this year and is unable to supply its customers’ needs for reasons beyond its control. It said it was complying with sanctions and had no plans to supply gas to the project this year.

In total, the US has hit Russia’s nascent LNG industry with four waves of sanctions since September. The targets include the Arctic LNG 2 project’s operating organisations, storage vessels, shipping companies that allegedly intended to buy special purpose ships for the project, and those working on a second facility near the Baltic Sea. Pyatt said:

“We are placing particular emphasis on ensuring that Russia cannot develop new projects to divert gas that previously went to Europe. The G7 is collectively committed to doing everything we can to prevent it from having an income from energy sales.” 


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