As a major natural gas producer, Russia may be able to threaten Europe with winter supply disruptions in the midst of the Ukraine crisis, but that leverage doesn’t extend to the United States. And any pipeline disruptions in Ukraine would affect some parts of Europe worse than others.
Unlike oil, which is shipped via tanker and priced globally, much natural gas consumed in Europe is shipped by pipeline and priced by Russia. It often travels through Ukraine. That leaves Europe exposed to any supply disruptions in Ukraine or any use of natural gas by Russia for political leverage.
“This doesn’t directly affect the United States, which is not part of any of these pipeline networks, and does not buy any (liquid natural gas) from Russia, either,” said Olga Oliker, associate director of Rand Corp.’s International Security and Defense Policy Center.
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