Italy looks at Mediterranean for alternatives to Russian gas

Italy could increase gas imports from Algeria, Libya and the Netherlands to counter any disruption of supplies from Russia, Deputy Industry Minister Claudio De Vincenti said on Monday as G7 energy ministers gathered in Rome.

“We are capable of rapidly increasing imports from the supplier countries … Libya, Algeria and the Netherlands,” De Vincenti told Reuters.

Italy, which generates more than 40% of its electricity from gas, is increasingly dependent on Russian gas as Algerian imports decline and Libyan supplies are limited by growing unrest in the country. Continue reading

Israel’s natural gas reserves reshape Middle East dynamics

As the prospects of another war in the Middle East increase, one country is looking to cut its energy ties with the region and manage its own needs, thanks to newly discovered gas riches.

Indeed, the recent discovery that Israel’s offshore natural gas reserves are far larger than previously thought has the potential to revolutionize the country’s economic fortunes. The find could save Israel tens of billions of dollars in energy imports from Egypt and other places, and see it positioned as a new natural gas source for Europe, one of the world’s largest LNG markets.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, recoverable natural gas in the Levant Basin located in Israeli and Cypriot waters of the eastern Mediterranean Sea, amounts to a massive 18.9 trillion cubic feet. Continue reading

China betting on overland energy-supply lines

SINGAPORE – China’s strategy to diversify supply routes for its rapidly rising energy imports has just taken a major step forward.

On July 15, natural gas from Myanmar (aka Burma) started to flow along a recently completed pipeline that stretches for 1,100 kilometers from the sea coast, through jungle and mountains, to Kunming in southwest China.

There it will feed into other gas lines supplying homes, industries and power plants generating electricity in the world’s biggest energy user. Continue reading

Implications of new ‘Silk Route’

Dubai: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s recent five-day trip to China after assuming power has been termed highly successful in Islamabad. Important deals were inked on this visit that is emblematic of Sharif’s economic policy aimed at fixing the country’s staggering economy. But more significant is the strategic development pertaining to the decision to develop the trade corridor between the two countries — a project with regional implications beyond South West Asia.

The much-publicised agreement to speed work on developing a 2,000-km trade corridor linking Gwadar Port on Pakistan’s Makran Coast to Kashgar in China’s Xingjian province has been called a “game changer” by Sharif. Continue reading

Russia Lets China Into Arctic Rush as Energy Giants Embrace

Russia’s decision to give China a share of prized Arctic exploration licenses as part of a “breakthrough” deal signals how the world’s largest oil and gas producer and the biggest energy consumer are redrawing the global energy map.

Under agreements signed during President Xi Jinping’s first state trip abroad, China may double oil imports from state-run OAO Rosneft (ROSN) to more than 620,000 barrels a day, challenging Germany as the biggest buyer of Russian crude. The two also plan to sign an agreement this year to build a pipeline to ship Russian gas to China. Continue reading

China eyes post-Chavez oil axis

China is set to overtake the United States as the world’s largest importer of oil this decade. While the expansion of China?’s economy has slowed from a breakneck 10% yearly rate to a still-formidable 7% per annum, the economic metamorphosis of the Middle Kingdom is having huge impacts on global energy markets.

The growing ranks of China’s middle class increasingly aspire to a lifestyle – and level of consumption – that approximates the patterns of their counterparts in the world’s richest countries. The death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has further highlighted China’s need for the lifeblood of a modern economy and the economic and geopolitical threats China’s dependence on imported energy hold for the leadership in Beijing.  Continue reading

Putin launches construction of key South Stream pipeline

President Vladimir Putin yesetrday launched construction of the long-awaited South Stream pipeline that the Kremlin hopes will pump Russia’s gas to Europe while avoiding its unpredictable neighbour Ukraine

The pipeline will flow underneath the Black Sea and through the Balkans to supply energy giant Gazprom’s big European clients with Russian gas and ensure the security of its energy exports. Continue reading