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'LNG exports by US will strengthen India's energy security'

Press Trust of India 

Natural gas exports by America will help its economy grow and strengthen energy security of countries like India, a top official of a trade association said here today.

"For the first time in generations, the United States is an energy superpower. And the world, especially Europe and countries like Russia, China and India is watching closely to see if American policy makers are ready to harness that power on the international stage," American Petroleum Institute Director, Upstream and Industry Operations, Erik Milito told reporters in a conference call.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports will grow the US economy while strengthening the energy security of America and its allies like India and countries like Ukraine, he added.

"Now is the time to build our energy infrastructure, expand exports, and lock in the economic and geopolitical opportunities that our energy revolution has created. To do that, we need continued support from policy makers in Washington to build LNG export terminals," he said.

Milito said the allies of the US know that its exports will undoubtedly have an impact long before the first tanker leaves its shores, and they are eager to diversify their energy supplies with reliable, steady supplies from the United States.

"By accelerating exports, we can strengthen the global energy market against future disruptions and send a signal to the world that the United States is ready to lead. Our growth as a major exporter would bring competition into the market and help ease the ties that bind our allies to any single supplier," he said.

The US Department of Energy commissioned a study by NERA, which concluded that LNG exports would yield net economic benefits across all scenarios, he said, adding that it also showed that concerns about domestic natural gas prices were unfounded.

The only thing standing between America and a steady flow of jobs and capital are self-imposed bureaucratic curbs, he said.

Oil and natural gas industry supports 9.8 million US jobs. Export of LNG could add an additional 665,000 jobs by 2035. Exports will also reduce our trade deficit, increase government revenues, and grow the economy, he said.

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First Published: Thu, March 13 2014. 22:44 IST