Consistent with European energy policy, gas markets across Europe are commercial, liberalised and competitive. Europe is currently importing approximately 70% of its gas needs, with this share expected to increase. The diversification of sources is important for security of supply purposes. The involvement of US or other companies or corporations in the European gas industry is a commercial decision by those entities in a liberalised gas market. The EU has acknowledged the importance of importing gas from the USA and other sources to diversify and render its energy supply more secure.
At present Russia is the largest source of these imports, whereas the USA is of the order of 1% to 2%.
The diversification of sources of supply is important for security of supply purposes and liquid natural gas, LNG, offers the opportunity to diversify supply.
In Ireland since the Corrib field opened, we have reduced our dependence on gas imports from 95% to approximately 33% in 2017. However, that reliance will rise again as the flow from these fields reduces. We import from just one source in Scotland.
The Shannon LNG project has been designated am EU project of common interest. Ireland has supported that designation as it offers Ireland the potential for improved security of supply.
In August 2018 Shannon LNG announced it had entered into an agreement with New Fortress Energy to develop the proposed LNG terminal at Ballylongford, County Kerry. As this is a private commercial project, any future investment decisions on the development of this project are ultimately the responsibility of the project promoters, subject to compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements.