Europe misses out on global LNG surge as Russian gas pumps at record rate
* Russian gas exports to Europe hit record
* Europe misses the boat despite growth in LNG exports
* Gas tankers to challenge Gazprom supplies from mid-2017
* Atlantic LNG failures give Algeria's exports a boost
* Graphic: LNG terminals in EU tmsnrt.rs/2iawIPA
By Oleg Vukmanovic
MILAN, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Russia looks set to grab more market share in Europe's natural gas sector in the first half of this year after gaining ground in 2016 despite EU efforts to diversify away from Moscow's energy exports and a global glut of liquefied natural gas.
With the United States finally breaking the seal on LNG exports last year, analysts envisaged the ocean-going tankers challenging Russia's land-locked pipelines supplying Europe in a race that would send gas prices ever lower.
But with attacks on Nigerian pipelines that would have sold supplies into Latin America, new consumers and nuclear outages in Asia, major U.S. gas shippers and other exporters took advantage of the shortages to plug those gaps. The United States sent only two shipments to Europe, analysts said. Continued...