EU, Japan to cooperate on flexible LNG market development

The European Union signed a memorandum of cooperation with Japan to promote and establish a liquid, flexible and transparent global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market.

The MoC was signed by the European commissioner for climate action and energy Miguel Arias Cañete and Japanese minister of economy, trade and industry Hiroshige Seko.

Under the agreement, the EU and Japan will exchange experience and undertake joint activities to spread best practices to improve the functioning of the global LNG market.

These include flexibility in contracts for LNG sale and purchase, the organization of gas hubs in consumer markets, price transparency and reporting.

They will also enhance their coordination in international fora and organisations in the area of energy, in particular regarding responses to unexpected gas market disruptions.

The objective is to involve all LNG producers and consumers in joint activities to promote the liquidity, transparency and flexibility of the global LNG market to help ensure competitive LNG supplies and improve the resilience of the international market and its capacity to respond to emergencies, a statement by the European Commission reads.

Cañete noted that a more liquid, transparent and flexible LNG market will contribute to the diversification of gas supplies in Europe.

“This will not only strengthen our energy security, but will also lead to more competitive prices for consumers,” he said.

Seko remarked that jointly, Japan and the EU account for nearly 50 percent of global LNG demand and that in cooperation with the EU, Japan will look to enhance “a liquid global LNG market, including the abolishment of restrictive destination clauses.”