Hungary’s appetite for US shale gas grows

Hungary has a keen appetite for American shale gas according to the nation’s Foreign Secretary Péter Szijjártó. On Tuesday he met with US officials to discuss Hungarian-American economic cooperation and […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Hungary has a keen appetite for American shale gas according to the nation’s Foreign Secretary Péter Szijjártó.

On Tuesday he met with US officials to discuss Hungarian-American economic cooperation and Europe’s energy security.

Mr Szijjártó said that allowing US natural gas exports to Europe would significantly enhance energy security for Hungary and Europe, according to the Hungarian Prime Minister’s office.

Over the weekend, Hungary and fellow countries known as the Visegrad Four – Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia – sent a letter to politicians in the US Congress calling on America to export natural gas to counter Russian aggression in Ukraine.

There are two proposals before Congress to allow America to export gas to allied countries.

Mr Szijjártó asked Hoyt Brian Yee, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic and Eurasian Affairs, to pass on Hungary’s request for the US to come to a decision on the issue as soon as possible.

Hungary's Foreign Affairs Secretary Péter Szijjártó (C) met US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Eurasian Affairs Hoyt Brian Yee (R). Image: Gergely Botár.
Hungary’s Foreign Affairs Secretary Péter Szijjártó (C) met US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Eurasian Affairs Hoyt Brian Yee (R). Image: Gergely Botár.

A number of US politicians favour the move. Republican House Speaker John Boehner wrote in the Wall Street Journal last week: “In response to Mr. Putin’s aggression in Ukraine, President Obama should announce a series of steps that will dramatically expand production of American-made energy, beginning with lifting this de facto ban on exports of US-produced liquefied natural gas.”