Russian President Vladimir Putin opened Russia’s first LNG floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) on Jan. 8, saying it bolsters the country’s energy security.
The Marshal Vasilevskiy FSRU has been set up in Kaliningrad, wedged between European Union members Poland and Lithuania, by Russian energy giant Gazprom to bypass pipeline gas deliveries via Lithuania in case transit is disrupted.
Moscow’s decision to set up the FSRU was in part to reduce gas transit risks to Kaliningrad, home to a Baltic Fleet base, as the EU steps up efforts to reduce its dependency on Russia, a Kremlin-published transcript of Putin’s speech said.
“In recent years we have paid much attention to energy supplies, to the energy of the region as a whole, including in connection with EU plans to remove the Baltic states from Russia’s energy ring,” Putin said.
“This is their (EU countries’) business. Additional tax payers’ money will be invested into that.”
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller told the Interfax news agency that supplies to Kaliningrad from Lithuania had been completely halted on Jan. 7 and replaced with natural gas from the FSRU.
The FSRU, the first of its kind in Russia which arrived from Singapore last month with a cargo on board to commission the LNG import facility, can provide Kaliningrad with 2.7 billion cubic meters of gas a year, Gazprom has said.
LNG is delivered by tankers, meaning it can be supplied to many markets.
The U.S. Energy Department said on Feb. 28 it is offering up to 6 MMbbl of sweet crude oil from the national emergency reserve in a sale mandated by previous laws to raise funds to modernize the facility.
Crude oil production in the U.S. continued to grow to a record high of 12.1 million barrels per day, rising from the all-time high in the previous week.
Crude inventories in the Permian Basin fell to 15 million barrels (MMbbl) in the week to Feb. 19, the lowest since October and down from a record 22 MMbbl in November. That glut had doubled in size from 11 MMbbl in June, according to the Genscape data.