Britain has agreed a new energy partnership with the United States that aims to end its reliance on Russia and lower soaring energy costs.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the partnership in a statement on Wednesday. He said the aim was to double the amount of liquified natural gas (LNG) the United States exports to Britain compared to 2021 levels.
“This will be good for both UK and European partners as we look to replenish gas storage next year,” the UK government said in the statement.
Under the “UK-US Energy Security and Affordability Partnership,” the two countries will work to reduce global dependence on Russian energy exports and step up collaboration on energy efficiency, nuclear power and renewables. The initiative will be overseen by senior officials from both sides.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, there has been a dramatic increase in shipments of US LNG across the Atlantic, as Britain and countries in Europe have scrambled to replace Moscow’s energy exports.
The energy crisis has driven prices to record levels, sending inflation to multi-decade highs across Europe and prompting governments to spend billions subsidizing household energy bills.
The initiative with the United Kingdom comes nine months after the United States agreed a deal with the European Union to increase LNG shipments to Europe. According to the US Energy Information Administration, the United States became the world’s largest exporter of LNG in the first half of this year.
Under the new partnership, the United States will aim to export “at least” 9-10 billion cubic meters of LNG via UK terminals. That’s in line with the increase in exports seen this year, according to Reuters.
Refinitiv Eikon data showed Britain has imported around 11 billion cubic meters of gas from the United States so far in the first 11 months of 2022, up from 4 billion cubic meters in 2021.
“This partnership will bring down prices for British consumers and help end Europe’s dependence on Russian energy once and for all,” Sunak said in the statement.
— Anna Cooban contributed reporting