Russia's use of energy supplies as a lever in its standoff with Ukraine could backfire if the U.S. and other nations ramp up their exports of natural gas, explains Reuters U.S. Diplomatic Editor Warren Strobel.
As Russia threatens to use its natural gas has a geopolitical weapon. It's -- in a way boomerang on Russian because other countries will respond by. Finding different ways to get their energy needs served. 7% of natural gas heat and uses comes from Russia so -- -- heavily dependent on and twice before in 2006 and 2000 and the Russians cut off supplies. To Ukraine and by Ukraine to Europe. We're in a much different place now and work factor in North America is now producing large amounts of natural gas and oil. And so when that might someday be exported to go to Europe. Which would undercut over time the Russian market -- the argument against it is less natural gas. Within the United States from the prices. -- -- But those who are in favor of it would argue this crisis has shown the need for. The US to export the chances I think can bring that that in fact what happened but when president could do today. Is that I hate him. Expands. Our exports -- we have terminals in here in the state of Maryland close to where we are in Washington we have terminals and we've Louisiana elsewhere the report builders in port terminals. Tune -- for the importation natural gas and they would be retrofitted. And it's expensive and take long time but so that they could be export terminals. Loaded on the ships -- taken out to them to Europe where the first exports are supposed to take place around 2015. The other big potential. Sources -- -- Which is one of the leading producers of natural gas in the world some of the ideas the countries could fairly easily shift their flow. Two other markets which would include Europe one thing that could happen the Europeans have more natural grass their own. They had very mild winter and they helpful storage tanks and they could do it's called reverse the pipeline flow and actually start sending natural gas back through pipelines. To Ukraine. It would make up for everything that -- that was different that was certainly have. Russia is still very powerful -- huge player in the energy market in Europe but the world sort of changed around them as -- where if your customer Russia. -- -- around the world and they either cut supplies -- the start using their resource natural gas and oil for political purposes. Or do what they did the recent days which is announce a cut in the discount -- to give you Ukraine and raising prices. I'm coming months and that the causes people to look for alternatives. Just as the west look for alternatives when members of airborne our rooms forty years ago.