And this is just the beginning. I predicted in 2016 that Europe will be the battlefield and its not going to be for political reasons. Russia has not much of a choice as long as they stick to pipes. Those pipes are impossible to redirect. The dynamics for LNG are very different as LNG may float somewhere else if there is the right kind of incentive. LNG players will want to play on the higher price Asian market and some other vanilla destinations. But those are flexibility takers. They can only take when they can take. When tanks are full, no more LNG can go in. When they are empty, another cargo must come at no matter what price. Europe on the other side can accept cargos at any time and release booked cargos at will as well. It provides the flexibility option for the worlds LNG traders. This also means when LNG traders need to dump LNG, they will do so even below cost as their cash cow is somewhere else. Not so for Russias pipes. Not a nice place to be in. Except for Europe.
Europe saved $8 billion on its natural gas bill last year because surging U.S. shale production and a shake-up in EU energy markets forced Russia to change its gas pricing mechanism, the head of the International Energy Agency said on Friday.