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Trading firm Trafigura helps Germany secure more natural gas

Dec. 5 (UPI) — Commodities trading firm Trafigura on Monday said it brokered a $3 billion, four-year loan to help Germany, Europe’s largest economy, secure long-term supplies of natural gas.

Underwritten by Deutsche Bank and a handful of international lenders, Trafigura said it would use the funds to help bring “substantial volumes” of natural gas into the European economy, and ultimately Germany, over the next four years.

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The company said it would secure those volumes from its existing gas and liquefied natural gas reserves.

“We are proud to be contributing to Europe’s energy security by supplying this significant volume of gas to Germany backed by our extensive portfolio and long-term U.S. LNG contracts,” said Richard Holtum, the head of gas and power trading for Trafigura.

Liquefied natural gas sourced from U.S. shale basins has gone a long way toward addressing European energy security concerns.

Before the outbreak of war in Ukraine, members of the European Union relied on Russia for 40% of its natural gas supplies. Dependency has been cut more or less in half, however, largely with the help of U.S.-derived supplies.

Germany, meanwhile, sits at the terminal end of the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline network that delivers Russian supplies through the Baltic Sea. Closed ostensibly for maintenance during the summer, the network was idled by suspected sabotage in October.

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration, the statistics arm of the Energy Department, expects the capacity to take in LNG in Europe and the United Kingdom will be increased by around 30%, or around 5.3 billion cubic feet per day, by the end of next year. For Germany, EIA expects that U.S.-sourced LNG will at least partially replace what would normally come by pipeline from Russia.

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