Russia wants Asian customers as they are not as difficult as Western ones. That’s fair enough. Why going with a difficult customer when there is a much easier around. But are they really easier to deal with? Two problems I see: FIRST – Asian customers are not like European ones. They require flexibly delivered LNG whenever they need it. They cannot accept baseload deliveries all year round as they have little o no storage capacity of their own and every demand swing needs to be bounced off supply. So, when the cargos are not needed they need to go somewhere else. The best place for that is Europe. SECOND – Asian customers are no fools. They know that Russia needs them more than they need Russia which means that Russia is between a rock and a hard place with them and especially with China, that’s not an enviable position to be in.
Russia is boosting Arctic production of liquefied natural gas to counter growing competition from the U.S. while looking to Asia’s major energy importers to buffer projects against Washington’s ire.