Its all about natural gas.

Natural gas, its supplies are becoming more and more important theme. So it would be logical to discuss 'gas events' at least sometimes.


A natural gas-supply dispute between Turkmenistan and Iran has the potential to significantly alter the Caspian Basin’s energy export calculus in Russia’s favor.
Iran normally exports up to 30 million cubic meters (mcm) of natural gas to Turkey every day, while importing roughly 23 mcm daily from Turkmenistan. Although Iran possesses the world’s second-largest gas reserves after Russia, a lack of infrastructure has forced it to import gas in order to meet its domestic needs, especially in northern Iran near the Turkmen border. Under its current agreement with Turkmenistan, Tehran pays $75 per thousand cubic meters (tcm), roughly half of what Russia pays for Turkmen gas.

The Iranian-Turkmen clash began January 1, when Turkmen gas supplies to Iran abruptly ceased. Originally, Turkmen officials attributed the disruption to technical difficulties, but it quickly became apparent that Ashgabat was disgruntled over the low price that Tehran was paying. The hard-line tactic backfired, however. Instead of rushing to the negotiating table, Iranian leaders responded to the Turkmen action by heaping invective upon Ashgabat, calling the behavior of President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov’s administration "immoral.

The two countries remain at an impasse, with Turkmenistan keeping the taps shut, and Iran refusing to negotiate until after the resumption of exports. The impact of the cut-off has been felt as far away as the EU. To try to compensate for the Turkmen cut-off, Iran severed its own exports to Turkey, which, in turn, found it difficult to meet its supply obligations to Greece.

On January 27, Iran resumed exports to Turkey, though only at a level roughly 10 percent of that which flowed before the start of the Iranian-Turkmen feud. Meanwhile, experts believe it unlikely that Berdymukhamedov will bend anytime soon in his effort to hike the price Iranians pay for gas.
The Iranian-Turkmen dispute has enable Russia to reinforce its image as the most reliable source of energy for the EU. When Iran cut off its gas supplies to Turkey, Russia helped offset some of the decrease. And, at the same time that the dispute between Ashgabat and Tehran helped put question marks around the possibility of Caspian gas coming to Europe, Russia signed a major deal with Bulgaria, laying the groundwork for a pipeline running under the Black Sea which would bring more Russian gas to Europe.

"The message for me is that you can rely on the Russians to supply more gas and that all this talk about diversification is good in theory, but very hard to do in practice," says the Oxford Institute’s Stern. "The reality of when things go wrong is that mostly Russia can be relied upon to supply more gas. That strengthens [Russia’s] hand."


Book Reviewer
Unless of course Russia shuts of gas to various EU countries . . . oh, it't done that too. So, why is Russian gas more reliable than gas from Iran?

Hows about some EU gas companies assist Iran in building their gas infrastructure and tell Russia to take a running jump at itself?
Biped said:
Unless of course Russia shuts of gas to various EU countries . . . oh, it't done that too. So, why is Russian gas more reliable than gas from Iran?
It's an opinion expressed by the academic from Oxford.

Biped said:
Hows about some EU gas companies assist Iran in building their gas infrastructure...
...that could be bombed by our American friends. Businessmen don't like (as a rule) to lose investments.

Biped said:
...and tell Russia to take a running jump at itself?
Meanwhile 'the Russians are coming'

Russia's state-owned energy giant Gazprom, believed by many to be an extension of the Kremlin that is being increasingly used for political leveraging, made international headlines this week (28 January) with its intention to acquire 15% of the UK gas market by 2011, a tenfold increase compared with current holdings.
In separate deals concluded on 25 January, Gazprom also acquired the entire Serbian oil and gas sectors, as well as a 50% stake in the Central Europe Gas Hub through a deal with Austria's OMV.

Shell Plans $2.5 Billion Iraq Natural Gas Project
Royal Dutch Shell Plc may spend $2.5 billion on a natural gas plant in southern Iraq to meet energy demand in the Middle East, where economies are growing 5.9 percent a year, according to a person involved in the plan.

Shell met with Iraqi officials in The Hague last week to propose building a pipeline that would link the Basrah region to a new facility on the country's coast, the person said. Shell would also build a facility that could freeze 16 million cubic meters of gas a day and ship it to Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, the person said.

Gazprom threatens Ukraine gas cut

Russian gas monopoly Gazprom has warned Ukraine it will reduce its gas supplies from next Monday if a $1.5bn (£772m) gas debt is not paid off.
Gazprom said only gas piped from Russia would be affected which would make up around 25% of Ukraine's total supply.
This is one of those stories that is playing big in other parts of the world but not here, not sure if I know why. There are also issues with resources in South Africa at the moment with refineries having to close due to lack of power and the threat of both electric and fuel shortages. Last month it was China with a massive diesel shortage that bought parts of the country to a standstill for some time. Where next ?

History shows that access to resources has been a major factor in many conflicts. The experts tell us that we will be seeing more of this not less in the next 20 years. As Britain sits at the end of a very long supply network and with both diminishing oil and gas reserves the lack of interest in this issue in terms of the associated investment in certain parts of the defence mix here is bordering on the negligent. I keep telling my MP that this is the grizzly thats going to come over the hill before long but he just isn't interested.

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