Editor’s Note: This column is part of a regular series by industry veteran Brad Hitch for NGI’s LNG Insight dedicated to addressing the complexities of the global natural gas market.

Labor unions’ decision to partially stop work last week at the Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG export facilities in Western Australia spurred a significant rally in the European natural gas market, once again shining a light on the increasingly sensitive links between regional gas markets.

Australian labor relations have joined Norwegian offshore maintenance and European storage levels in the constellation of new variables that U.S. natural gas analysts can pay attention to. The issues facing Australia’s liquefied natural gas industry could alter the export outlook.

U.S. LNG projects were...