U.S. attempts to export natural gas to Europe appears likely to increase the pressure on the region's dominant player at a time when Washington has vowed to break down Russia's stranglehold over the market.
Lithuania became the first former Soviet state to receive a shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the U.S. on Monday. The deal is aimed to reduce Europe's dependence on Russia's gas supplies.
"We are happy to reach a point where importing gas from U.S. is not only politically desirable but also commercially viable," Lithuania's Energy Minister Zygimantas Vaiciunas said Monday.
While Lithuania is expected to import another shipment of LNG from the U.S. in September, several other European countries could soon opt to follow suit. As a result, the increased competition in the gas industry could help to drive down prices for European customers.