Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

The Nord Stream discussion begins at the 21 minute mark, but the entire interview is interesting.

Also, Swedish prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist, is apparently unconvinced by the improbable Nord Stream explanation that was fed to the NY Times.

“We don’t rule out anything, but that it is a state actor who is directly or at least indirectly behind this is of course our absolute main scenario, given all the circumstances.”

Mats Ljungqvist

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“There is no evidence at this point that Russia was behind the sabotage,” said one European official, echoing the assessment of 23 diplomatic and intelligence officials in nine countries interviewed in recent weeks.

Washington Post

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LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Russia’s defence ministry said on Saturday that British navy personnel blew up the Nord Stream gas pipelines last month, a claim that London said was false and designed to distract from Russian military failures in Ukraine.

No evidence was presented to support the Russian claim; nor was any information provided on the results of their blitz investigation.

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It looks like it might be.

Nord Stream AG, or the operator of Nord Stream 1 pipeline, sent a specially equipped vessel on Thursday to investigate damage to the pipelines under the Baltic Sea.

Nord Stream AG, whose majority shareholder is Russia’s state energy giant Gazprom, said the chartered vessel arrived at the location of damage in Sweden’s exclusive economic zone. 

The vessel, bearing the Russian flag, would have specialists aboard to assess the damage within a day and investigation would take three to five days, the company said.

Nord Stream AG said it didn’t have relevant permits to conduct an investigation until now.


That’s a fast investigation!

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Germany’s navy is contributing to the investigation into the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipeline leaks, said Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht, who added that the situation must be clarified and those responsible must be identified quickly.


 Russia’s FSB security service is investigating the damage sustained by the Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea as “international terrorism”, the Interfax news agency cited the general prosecutor’s office as saying on Wednesday.


Meanwhile, “the U.S. is supporting efforts to investigate,” whatever that means.

Here is Al Jazeera’s summary video:

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  1. …that the SPR legislation authorized the sale of large volumes of oil for the purpose of easing worldwide prices. Per section 151 of the statute, which was passed following the oil embargoes in the 1970’s, the SPR was intended to diminish the vulnerability of the United States to the effects of a severe energy supply interruption.
  2. …that SPR oil could be sold to all entities including Chinese companies that are also buying oil from Russia, the country being boycotted. How absurd is that? (The confirmation of one such transaction is pasted below.)
  3. …that increased worldwide emissions from the consumption of SPR oil are okay, but emissions from the consumption of our offshore oil and gas are not. Remember that Lease Sale 257 was vacated because BOEM did not analyze the effect that lower prices (from increased US production) would have on GHG emissions. Why are EarthJustice et al silent on the SPR sales? Where is DOE’s environmental assessment of these sales?

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Following an alleged missile strike on three platforms operated by the Crimea-based oil and gas company Chernomorneftegaz, satellite images indicate the fire is still visible at the site in the Black Sea. Russian official claims that the strike left behind several injured and missing persons.


Background information on Crimea oil and gas resources.

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Per our previous post on this topic, the Ukranian shelf may contain more than 70 Tcf of natural gas, most of which was seized by Russia along with Crimea. This illegal seizure of resources in 2014 should be considered as part of any long-term settlement and before easing sanctions on Russia.

For those who want to learn more, this 2018 article by Ukranian journalist Kostiantyn Yanchenko has proven to be particularly insightful. A few key points:

when in 2014, two-thirds of the former Ukrainian water area passed to Russia with the occupation of Crimea, only a few experts assumed that the struggle for control over energy resources might have been among the main reasons for annexation. Against the background of Moscow’s famous explanation “Why Crimea? Be[cause]Kosovo!”, this version looked unconvincing, but there are many reasons to give it a second glance.

The naysayers often argue that Russia doesn’t have the technology to extract gas on the deep-water shelf. This is true, at least now. However, as researchers note, Russia’s short-term objective was not to benefit from the Black Sea gas but to block its production by the Western companies and hence secure its own positions in the European market. 

Furthermore, Russia largely relies on an energy leverage in international relations. Thus, “The Energy Strategy of Russian Federation Until 2020” starts with the statement: “Russia has significant reserves of energy resources and a powerful fuel and energy complex, which is the basis for economic development, an instrument for domestic and foreign policy.”

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This is what major oil companies are up against. Meanwhile China expands coal production and consumption without having to worry about groups like this.

ClientEarth, a Shell shareholder, notified the energy major on Monday that it would commence legal proceedings against the company’s 13 executive and non-executive directors for what it said was the board’s failure to adopt a strategy that “truly aligns” with the 2015 Paris climate agreement. The not-for-profit group, which has a strong record of winning climate-related cases, wrote to Shell in advance of petitioning the High Court of England and Wales for permission to bring the claim.

Financial Times

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Forbes 2/28/2019

These blurbs from the Atlantic Council and Middle East Institute give you a pretty good overview. No one should be terribly surprised by what is happening now.

The exact volumes of gas currently lying deep underneath the Black Sea are not yet known. Rough estimates predict that the Ukrainian shelf may contain more than two trillion cubic meters of gas. The exact figure is yet to be determined since two-thirds of the country’s maritime area passed to de facto Russian control following Moscow’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014. Ukraine’s state energy company Naftogaz is preparing to explore 32 remaining blocks.

Atlantic Council 3/30/2021

Ukraine’s chances for energy autonomy were effectively cancelled with Crimea’s illegal annexation. According to its Energy Ministry, Ukraine lost 80 percent of its Black Sea oil and gas deposits as a result. As of March 2014, the Crimean-based Chornomornaftogaz’s gas estimates totaled 58.6 bcm in an EEZ three times the peninsula’s land mass and potentially worth trillions. Upon annexation, Russia seized all its fields and production facilities; the U.S. imposed sanctions not long after. ExxonMobil withdrew from Ukraine’s EEZ while other hydrocarbon supers similarly retracted.


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