US aims to halt development of major Russian LNG project in Arctic

Washington wants to ensure that Novatek’s Arctic LNG 2 project is “dead in the water,” the State Department has said

The US is aiming to halt the development of the Russian energy sector, including a major new LNG project in the Arctic, a senior State Department official said. Speaking at a Financial Times summit on Monday, Geoffrey Pyatt stated that the US is specifically targeting the Arctic LNG 2 project in Russia’s northern Yamal Region, which is being developed by private energy giant Novatek.
“Our goal is to ensure that Arctic LNG 2 does not succeed,” Pyatt, who serves as assistant secretary of state for energy resources, was quoted as saying by the British newspaper. “We’re very focused on ensuring that Russia is not able to develop new projects in order to [redirect] the gas that it had previously sent into Europe.”
The US has imposed several rounds of economic restrictions on Arctic LNG 2, the most recent of which was announced in November 2023.
Cutting Europe off from cheap Russian pipeline gas has been a key component of Western retaliation since Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine in 2022. While American LNG producers have seized a large share of the market, Russian gas continues to flow to some EU member states.
According to a Reuters estimate, the EU boosted purchases of Russian LNG in 2023 to compensate for the loss of pipeline gas. LNG currently holds a 15% share of the market, up from roughly 8% before 2022. The share of the Russian pipeline gas was previously 37%.

Moscow considers the Ukraine conflict to be part of a US-led proxy war against Russia, one of the goals of which is to quash economic competition. The wellbeing of Europeans has been sacrificed by Washington in the process, Russian officials have argued.
The loss of the European market has prompted Moscow to refocus on pipelines linking major gas fields with customers in Asia, primarily China.