RUSSIA has teamed up with Turkey to announce a coordinated military strategy for Syria and the construction of a new gas pipeline running between the two countries.
The collaboration between Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan comes amid growing tensions between Russia and the West.
The ruthless leaders met in Istanbul on Monday to discuss the Turkish Stream gas pipeline and a joint military strategy in Syria, resulting in an agreement to share intelligence and the joint provision of humanitarian aid.
The first U.S. LNG shipment will soon arrive in Europe, marking a new era for energy on the continent. Cheniere Energy’s newly completed Sabine Pass facility on the U.S. Gulf Coast recently sent a shipment of American liquefied natural gas, which should arrive in Portugal within a few days.
“LNG coming out of the U.S. is probably the single most important thing that will transform the future LNG market,” Melissa Stark, energy managing director at Accenture, told Bloomberg. “It heralds the arrival of a global market.” Continue reading
Yet more signs that the two are working together
Is the cold war between the West and Russia over Ukraine finished? For the United States certainly not. But Germany, and therefore much of the European Union, are returning to business as usual.
On June 22, the EU voted to extend sanctions against Russia. Yet in other areas, the relations between Germany and Russia are improving.
The biggest sign of this is the Nord Stream gas pipeline between Russia and Germany. That’s an important story in its own right—read Robert Morley’s article “Gazprom’s Dangerous New Nord Stream Gas Pipeline to Germany” if you’ve not done so already. The two countries have teamed up on a project that allows Russia to cut off gas to any Central or Eastern European country it wants to, while keeping its lucrative contracts with Western European customers intact.
Does the latest Russian-German deal reflect the spirit of Molotov-Ribbentrop?
Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom signed a deal June 18 to double the capacity of the Nord Stream gas pipeline that delivers Russian gas directly to Germany. The deal is a precursor to war.
Analysts are wondering: Why would Germany continue to work with Russia’s Gazprom when it is supposedly targeting Russia for its invasion and occupation of Ukraine?
When asked how he convinced Germany’s E.ON, Austria’s omv and British-based Royal Dutch Shell to do business with Gazprom, chief executive Alexei Miller said: “As far as Nord Stream is concerned—there was no politics at all. The decision was taken in November 2011, and all the work has been done based on the decisions taken three years ago.” Continue reading
Whether it is to cripple the will of Putin and end his support of the Syria regime (thus handing the much desired gas-pipeline traversing territory over to Qatari and/or Saudi interests), a hypothesis first presented here in September and subsequently validated by the NYT, or much more simply, just to destroy any and all marginal producers so that Saudi Arabia is once again the world’s most important and price-setting producer and exporter of oil, one thing is clear: the Saudis will not relent from pumping more oil into the market than there is (declining) demand for, until its biggest threat and competitor – the US shale patch – which recently had become the marginal oil producer, as well as its investors – mostly junk bond holders gambling with other people’s money – are crushed, driven before the Saudi royal family, and the lamentation of their women is heard across the globe.
That much is known.
MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. Russia’s steel pipe manufacturers hope that all their products originally meant for the South Stream project will be redirected to the just-unveiled plan for a gas pipeline to Turkey, the chief of the Pipeline Producers’ Association, Ivan Shabalov, has told TASS, adding that no costs would ensue.
“The South Steam’s infrastructure in Russian territory is absolutely adjustable to the plan of a pipeline to Turkey, Shabalov said. “The Turkish route will entail no losses for Gazprom or for the pipe manufacturers.” Continue reading
A Russian newspaper has published an article suggesting that the Kremlin-favoured South Stream gas pipeline could drop Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, and Slovenia for its route, and instead reach its final destinations, Italy and Austria, through Turkey and Greece.
On Monday (18 August), Russian business newspaper Vzglyad published an article by journalist Oleg Makarenko, claiming that Gazprom has a “plan B” in case Bulgaria continues to obstruct the construction of the South Stream pipeline.
A caretaker government in Sofia, which took office on 6 August, has frozen the construction of South Stream, following clear indications from Brussels that the EU executive would impose infringements on Bulgaria, unless the country re-negotiates its bilateral agreement with Russia for the construction of the pipeline, which is in breach of EU law.
China intends to invest in massive projects in Crimea less than a month after the former Ukrainian province was annexed by the Russian Federation.
Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s ambassador to the European Union, said Russia is partnering with China in two major Crimean projects: the “Power of Siberia” gas pipeline and a 25 meter deep Crimean deep water port. These projects will continue despite the ongoing crisis in the Ukraine, Chizhov said.
Chizhov described the “Power of Siberia” gas pipeline as a mega-project that will pump 60 billion cubic meters of gas annually from the Kovykta and Tchayandinskoe gas fields to Russia’s far east, where a branch line will deliver 38 billion cubic meters a year to China. Continue reading
This isn’t a warning of random terrorism, but a Russian-style hint that their proxies might leave Europe out in the cold — again. From the state-sponsored (FSB/KGB) propaganda outlet, Russia Today:
RT: Just a few hours ago, a threat emerged from a leader of Ukraine’s far-right group Right Sector – where he suggested blowing up a gas pipeline from Russia to Europe. What does that say about the approach people who played an active part in the Maidan protests are taking?George Galloway: Well, it’s a very serious threat and they have the means and the capability to carry it out, so the west must be wondering at least if they have a sense just what kind of a Frankenstein monster have they created in Ukraine, when they encouraged and funded 50 dollars a head per day, the people who overthrew the elected government, destroyed the constitution, set fire to government buildings, killed policemen. That must have all looked rather thrilling in western chancelleries. Unless they had read the novel Frankenstein right to the end, because if they had they’d know that the monster that Dr Frankenstein created quickly got out of control, that’s why it’s called a monster. And this monstrous threat by the Right Sector is a very grave one for people in Europe, because at least a third of the European Union’s gas supply is coming from Russia and if the pipeline is blown up then we won’t have any and then we’ll be in very serious trouble indeed. Continue reading
Azerbaijan holds the main cards as gas producer country, with cash reserves to build a pipeline that Europe seems unable to finance, and coherent planning that eludes Europeans outside the European Commission. Thanks to Azerbaijan, moreover, Turkey can finally advance toward its goal of becoming a transit county for Caspian and Mideastern gas to Europe. Other transit projects, on which Turkey had based that hope, never came close to implementation via Turkey (Russian Blue Stream Two, Iranian gas, Nabucco, Arab Gas Pipeline from Syria) while gas projects in northern Iraq or offshore Cyprus look unrealistic for the foreseeable future. Thus far, it is mainly Azerbaijan that has enabled Turkey to become a transit country for oil (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline) and is now poised to make Turkey into a major transit country for gas. Ankara could jeopardize that prospect, however, in case it reverts to its former ambitions to become a “hub” country, rather than a transit country.
Caspian gas politics and the investment decisions are clearly moving into a post-Nabucco era. Among the five rival solutions (TAGP, SEEP, Nabucco, ITGI, TAP), the Azerbaijan-led TAGP holds an unmatched combination of comparative advantages (see “Trans-Anatolia Gas Project and its rivals in Comparative Perspective,” EDM, February 2). Baku’s decision to proceed with TAGP in partnership with Turkey has cut the decade-old Gordian knot of Caspian pipeline projects.
Full article: Post-Nabucco Era in Caspian Pipeline Business and Politics (The Jamestown Foundation)