Russian Sanctions Reveal Export Hypocrisy


As DOE Continues to Slow-Walk U.S. LNG Export Applications, Export-Import Bank Considering Loan to Russian Export Project

 The Department of Energy continues to stall on approving export applications for U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG), with only seven export applications approved to date while at least 24 applications await action. DOE’s slow approval process is preventing the U.S. from taking meaningful action against Russia by opening up new markets for competition. And while DOE continues to hold our allies at Putin’s mercy, it appears the federal government has actually contemplated assisting Russia with its global gas sales. The new sanctions from the Obama administration revealed that the U.S. Export-Import Bank was considering a loan to a Russian LNG export project.  

Instead of finding ways to strengthen Russia’s energy influence, we should be focused on a strategy to end Russia’s monopolistic control on the LNG export market. By leveraging America’s abundant energy resources, we can expand our economy and free our allies from dependence on Russian gas. The Energy and Power Subcommittee this week will vote on legislation, H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, to clear the backlog of LNG export applications at DOE and ensure our exports to our allies are no longer subject to unnecessary delays. To learn more about H.R. 6, click HERE.

March 31, 2014

Russia Gas Project’s U.S. Credit Halted Amid Obama’s Sanctions

The U.S. Export-Import Bank halted a review of financing for a Russian natural-gas export project after the Obama administration imposed sanctions on individuals including a billionaire with a stake in the facility.

The bank, which provides credit assistance for companies to buy U.S. goods and services, is no longer considering support for OAO Novatek (NVTK)’s Yamal liquefied natural gas project in Siberia, spokesman Lawton King said today in an e-mail.

“Ex-Im Bank has not provided any support for the Yamal LNG project,” he said. “We have suspended it subject to any further developments — even though the company ownership percentage does not rise to the levels of the sanctions criteria.”

The bank’s ties to Russia are fueling criticism from opponents who say the lender’s actions distort markets by favoring certain companies. Those connections, revealed in U.S. sanctions on Russia for its military intervention in Ukraine, may galvanize foes as the bank presses Congress for reauthorization in September. …

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April 4, 2014

U.S. loan to boost Russian gas exports put on ice

The U.S. Export-Import Bank has suspended its consideration of a loan to a Russian natural gas export project but may look again at the project pending developments in the Russia-Ukraine standoff, bank officials say.

In question is a loan to the Yamal liquefied natural gas export terminal, a joint venture between OAO Novatek, which holds a 60 percent stake, and France’s Total and China’s CNPC, which each hold 20 percent shares.

The export facility would ship LNG from a port under construction on Russia’s northern coastline not far from the Barents Sea, focusing largely on Asian markets that are also the prize for a host of LNG export projects under consideration in the United States.

As was first reported by The Huffington Post, the Ex-Im Bank, a federal agency, has been weighing a loan to the project and is currently waiting on the submission of an environmental assessment from project developers to go forward, according to its website. …

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