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Saturday, 1 November 2014

Prospects for Turkmen gas to Europe « Caspian Research Institute

Prospects for Turkmen gas to Europe « Caspian Research Institute:



"As the construction of the Russian-backed South Stream project continues to face regulatory problems with the European Union, analysts ponder how to make the Southern Gas Corridor viable. The current plan is to send 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas from Azerbaijan to Italy and Greece. This will meet approximately 2% of Europe’s current import needs. To expand the pipeline, other sources of natural gas need to be found. One that is frequently mentioned is Turkmenistan, holder of the world’s fourth largest deposits of natural gas. The British auditing firm of Gafney, Cline and Associates released a report in May 2011 that stated the South Yolotan natural gas superfield, discovered in 2006, contained more than 20 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, enough to satisfy European demand for more than 50 years.



Bilateral trade relations between the European Community and Turkmenistan are governed by an interim trade agreement negotiated in 1998, and approved by the European Parliament in April 2009. The first serious discussion about Turkmen gas was the 2004 Baku initiative that tried to integrate the energy markets around the Black and Caspian seas. In March 2007, the European Council held two days of meetings in Brussels in which they agreed to strengthen cooperation with Central Asian countries in the field of energy. In June 2007, the Council expressed the intent of the European Union to comprehensively support Central Asian countries in developing a Caspian-Black Sea-EU energy transport corridor. Then, in an April 2008 Memorandum of Understanding between the European Commission and Turkmenistan, Ashgabat expressed a willingness to reserve 10 bcm per annum for Europe.



European chances of seeing Turkmen gas improved in April 2009. Gazprom unilaterally cut its imports of Turkmen gas, causing a drastic drop in the pressure in the Central Asia-Center pipeline. This caused the pipeline to explode, depriving Turkmenistan of its major export market. Imports were resumed in January 2010, but at significantly reduced levels. Originally, Turkmenistan was sending Russia 42-45 bcm per annum, but the new levels were closer to 10 bcm (and at lower prices.)"



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Memo to the EU: give Ukraine a better gas deal | beyondbrics

Memo to the EU: give Ukraine a better gas deal | beyondbrics:



"Thursday’s EU-brokered Ukraine-Russia gas deal restores energy flows to Ukraine, and thus also to Europe, that had been blocked by Moscow since June, ensuring that homes will be heated through the coming winter. However, beyond that obvious plus, it is a remarkably bad deal.



The agreement turns the gas back on for the next six months, for an undisclosed price, while the EU essentially buys Ukraine’s debt to Gazprom, putting Kiev in hock to Brussels instead of Moscow. What the deal doesn’t do is provide a transparent price point or any certainty beyond the end of the winter. Come the thaw, we can be pretty sure we’ll end up right back where we were.



Defenders of the deal and critics of Kiev make a useful point, summed up in a tweet by Harvard research fellow Simon Saradzhyan, who wrote, “Ukraine’s best friend should be Ukraine itself. Until they build [a] solvent, normal state, others [will] exploit [their] weakness.” At the end of the day, Ukraine has to look out for its own interests. No one will ever protect Ukraine as well as Kiev will – or as well as Kiev could, were it solvent. But it is not and never has been. It’s hard to see how it will ever be."



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Memo to the EU: give Ukraine a better gas deal | beyondbrics

Memo to the EU: give Ukraine a better gas deal | beyondbrics:



"Thursday’s EU-brokered Ukraine-Russia gas deal restores energy flows to Ukraine, and thus also to Europe, that had been blocked by Moscow since June, ensuring that homes will be heated through the coming winter. However, beyond that obvious plus, it is a remarkably bad deal.



The agreement turns the gas back on for the next six months, for an undisclosed price, while the EU essentially buys Ukraine’s debt to Gazprom, putting Kiev in hock to Brussels instead of Moscow. What the deal doesn’t do is provide a transparent price point or any certainty beyond the end of the winter. Come the thaw, we can be pretty sure we’ll end up right back where we were.



Defenders of the deal and critics of Kiev make a useful point, summed up in a tweet by Harvard research fellow Simon Saradzhyan, who wrote, “Ukraine’s best friend should be Ukraine itself. Until they build [a] solvent, normal state, others [will] exploit [their] weakness.” At the end of the day, Ukraine has to look out for its own interests. No one will ever protect Ukraine as well as Kiev will – or as well as Kiev could, were it solvent. But it is not and never has been. It’s hard to see how it will ever be."



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No Guarantee Saudis to Repeat Price Cut That Drove Oil Lower - Bloomberg

No Guarantee Saudis to Repeat Price Cut That Drove Oil Lower - Bloomberg:



"Asian traders are split on whether Saudi Arabia will deepen the crude price cuts that propelled oil into a bear market this month.



State-run Saudi Arabian Oil Co. will announce official selling prices for supplies to buyers in Asia for December next week after cutting prices to the lowest in almost six years for a month earlier. The world’s biggest oil exporter will further discount supplies, according to seven respondents in a Bloomberg survey of traders. Six people forecast prices to be unchanged and two predict an increase.



Saudi Arabia’s decision may signal whether the biggest producers in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will offer bigger discounts to defend market share as the highest U.S. output in three decades boosts global supplies. After the most recent price cut on Oct. 1, Brent crude tumbled 9 percent and West Texas Intermediate slumped 11 percent amid speculation that OPEC won’t reduce production."



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