Posts Tagged ‘Ukraine’

German investigators are sceptical of claims that Russian naval ships sabotaged the Nord Stream gas pipelines and are instead pursuing leads that point to the Ukrainian authorities, according to a report.

The vacuum of official information has been filled by speculation variously pinning the blame on the United States, Russia, the Ukrainian secret services and an unnamed businessman in Ukraine. All three states have denied responsibility.

Times of London

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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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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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Dr. Malcolm Sharples, a leading offshore engineer for many years, forwarded this interesting presentation by Peter Zeihan. It’s long (2.5 hours) but you can watch in chunks or jump around based on your particular interests.

I was surprised by Peter’s firm prediction that a US oil export ban was coming soon, but now I see that such a ban is actually being considered. This excellent assessment by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas explains why a ban on crude exports would not lower gasoline prices, but would reduce domestic exploration and production, increase the trade deficit, and increase US dependency on crude oil imports. Offshore projects, which require massive capital investment, could be particularly hard hit. Unfortunately, an oil export ban would be such a bad decision that it might actually happen.

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Consistent with our concerns about the lack of investment in offshore exploration and production, Aramco CEO Amin Nasser made this comment at CERAWeek in Houston:

“Today, we only have 2% of effective spare capacity, which is an imbalance,” Nasser said. “You need a resilient and strong spare capacity to make sure that you can absorb any supply shocks. Look at what’s happening. Before the Ukraine crisis, the spare capacity was declining fast.

Oxy CEO Vicki Hollub’s comments further justify our concerns about US over-reliance on shale production. She noted these impediments to production growth in the Permian Basin, the world’s largest shale basin:

  • Severe supply-chain constraints 
  • Labor shortages
  • Few already drilled wells ready to be completed
  • Rig shortages

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U.S. Oil Industry Uses Ukraine Invasion to Push for More Drilling at Home

New York Times

Actually, it’s a case of the Ukraine invasion demonstrating the obvious – domestic production is critical to our economy and energy security. Europe and the US have had a wake-up call and responsible leaders now recognize the importance of secure supplies and the need to halt purchases from a tyrant.

The oil industry is doing just fine with $100+ per barrel oil. They will produce oil and gas where the opportunities present themselves: Guyana, Mexico, North Sea, Africa, Brazil, Canada, private lands in supportive US states, and elsewhere. The folly is US policy that unreasonably restricts exploration on Federal lands, including the Outer Continental Shelf. These restrictions penalize the owners of those lands, the people of the United States, not the oil industry and certainly not the Russian tyrant.

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