One of Europe's largest energy companies, French Engie, has postponed the signing of a $7 billion contract to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the American NextDecade, Bloomberg reports.
According to the agency's sources, the French authorities, which own 23.6 percent of the company's shares, asked her to re-evaluate the deal due to environmental concerns. After that Engie agreed to study the project in more detail.
The agreement is calculated until 2045, a terminal in Texas is to be built for it. Gas for LNG will be produced by hydraulic fracturing, which is considered environmentally harmful. This could have served as a reason to slow down the deal.
Prior to that, the environmental group Les Amis de la Terre France urged Engie to abandon the contract with NextDecade precisely because it is about shale gas.
The United States began exporting LNG in 2016. Currently, the country needs partners to develop its products, and Europe is considered as one of the priority areas. In particular, the Trump administration insists that American gas can become an alternative to Russian gas.
At the same time, Washington claims that it intends to destroy the Nord Stream 2 project since its completion will lead to an increase in Europe's dependence on Russian gas. This week, the State Department announced an expansion of sanctions against the pipeline. The new restrictions apply to companies that help in the modernization or installation of equipment on pipe-laying ships, as well as provide money for such work. According to the construction operator Nord Stream 2 AG, the sanctions will affect about 120 companies.