On June 23rd, Jamison Cocklin headlined at Natural Gas Intelligence, “Venture Global Set to Become Germany’s Biggest Long-Term LNG Supplier” and reported: “Venture Global LNG Inc. has agreed to supply a state-owned German company with the super-chilled fuel for two decades as European offtakers continue to line up deals to replace Russian natural gas imports.” Upstream Energy simply bannered “Venture Global set to become Germany’s largest LNG supplier”. It’s a very big deal.
This is the culmination of an agreement that was signed just a year earlier. As Cocklin had bannered on 6 October 2022, “Germany’s EnBW to Buy More Venture Global LNG in Ongoing Shift from Russia”. At that time, he reported that, “Venture Global LNG Inc. said Thursday German utility EnBW AG would expand the amount of LNG it would take under a 20-year sales and purchase agreement (SPA) signed in June.” So: the basic agreement had been signed in June 2022.
Here is what is now known about the price that will be paid for that “amount of LNG”: Nothing. However, something is known about the history of this deal:
On 22 June 2023, Venture Global headlined “Venture Global and SEFE Announce 20-year LNG Sales and Purchase Agreement. Venture Global set to become Germany’s largest LNG supplier, with a combined 4.25MTPA of 20-year offtake agreements signed. Approximately half of CP2 20MTPA nameplate capacity has been sold, with 1/3 of the contracted capacity committed to German customers. Construction expected to begin in 2023.”
As-of yet, no one has indicated what the delivered price of product to Germany will be under this contract, nor what the price to Germany had been of the Russian pipelined gas that it will now be replacing. Of course, only on that basis can the net annual added cost to Germany, that will end up being paid by Germans, under this historic contract, be calculated.
Whatever it will turn out to be, the June 22nd announcement gives good indication that the biggest payoff from blowing up the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines from Russia to Germany will end up in American hands.
Venture Global Partners was founded on 30 July 2008, by Robert Pender and Mike Sabel. In 2010, they established Venture Capital Partners, and then they announced in 2013, that their “development strategy is to be a long-term, low cost producer of LNG Working with a global LNG technology vendor.” They received venture-capital funding of $125M in 2015, then in February 2021 $500M debt-funding from Morgan Stanley, Mizuho Capital, Bank of America, and JP Morgan, and then in January 2023, an additional loan of $1B from an unspecified source.
The losers in all of this are, of course, the people of Germany — and also of other European countries that had been buying the extra-cheap Russian pipelined gas — who will now be paying Americans a much higher price than previously they had been paying Russians. Not only will Germans and other Europeans now be paying for the super-chilled canned and cross-Atlantic shipped gas that previously was simply pipelined, but Europeans will now have lost what little sovereign independence they had formerly had when the U.S. Government allowed them to buy their gas and oil from Russia.
Perhaps they will be learning the hard way that it’s no fun to be a vassal nation.
For example: slide 2 of the 9 November 2017 “US LNG vs Russian pipe gas: impact on prices”, by Dr. Thierry Bros of the Oxford University Institute for Energy Studies, states that Russian gas is the least costly, US LNG can’t compete with it on price, Nord Stream 1 (NS 2 hadn’t yet been approved) is cheaper than gas piped through Ukraine, and Nord Stream 2 (once operational) will be cheaper than gas piped through Ukraine.
Slide 6 shows that the ”Full cost of US LNG” is more than twice the “Henry Hub” (or “HH”) gas price.
A CSIS (Pentagon think tank) blog post on 5 July 2019 was headlined “How Much Does U.S. LNG Cost in Europe?” and asked the “familiar question: Can U.S. LNG compete with Russian gas in Europe?” but conspicuously refused to answer it.
A 25 March 2021 German study concluded that Russia outcompeted America even on LNG supplied in Europe: “LNG exports from Qatar and Russia are relatively competitive in Western Europe,” and even under the best of circumstances, “U.S. LNG only displaces small volumes from other LNG suppliers in Western Europe.”
Germans will be paying the extra price for this, for at least 20 years.
If America still is a successful country, then this is the way it will be happening. The wealth will be coming from their colonies. It won’t just be trickle-down (as has been the case domestically in America ever since at least 1980) but also trickle-in (from the colonies). Uncle Sam has been getting hungrier, and is grabbing now from across the Atlantic.
At least there are some Americans who benefit from what Biden has been doing.