Trump’s intervention in the global LPG market is both strategic and geopolitical. For Europe, which has been dependent upon Russian gas with all its political caveats, the opportunity to buy competively priced US gas would again bring Europe back in the US orbit, and on Trump’s watch.
But the economics will be interesting. Even if we assume that US cost of production can match Russia’s, it is hard to see how US distribution costs could match those of Russia who has major pipelines in place. I struggle to see the cost benefit case of a gas pipeline under the Atlantic Ocean.
More widely, it’s not clear how US intervention will impact production and distribution from the Eastern Mediterranean. Countries at risk include Israel, Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt and Greece.
Major players in the LPG market will have to take a view on whether Trump is bluffing and if not, how quickly could the US set up a global export market for LPG?