MadameConcorde
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Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:36 am

Russia may cut off oil flow to the West

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Last Updated: 9:26pm BST 28/08/2008

Fears are mounting that Russia may restrict oil deliveries to Western Europe over coming days, in response to the threat of EU sanctions and Nato naval actions in the Black Sea.

Any such move would be a dramatic escalation of the Georgia crisis and play havoc with the oil markets.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/mai...=/money/2008/08/29/cnrussia129.xml
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:07 am



Quoting MadameConcorde (Thread starter):
Russia may restrict oil deliveries to Western Europe over coming days

Again???  yawn 
Nothing we haven't seen or experienced before.
 
MadameConcorde
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:13 am

Russia has more power when it comes to manipulating prices than actual supply.

Russia needs the money from oil exports. That is their main source of state revenues.

However, Russia can manipulate prices and make it more difficult for western politicians at home. These threats are meant to manipulate prices. People seem to forget that high oil prices are good for Russia.

Oh and the naked capitalists will use ANY excuse to hyke up the price of oil even if they know Russia is bluffing.
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
baroque
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:27 pm



Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 2):
People seem to forget that high oil prices are good for Russia.

As they are for many of the friends of one G W Bush, a point that is seldom mentioned. Actually, I am quite partial to them myself!! But that is another story.  duck 
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:44 pm

This is a move designed to neutralize NATO. In our wish to accept Russia as a friend and trading partner over the past 20 years, some NATO countries have allowed themselves to become directly linked to Russia for oil and natural gas. It's not that easy for them to turn around and start getting it from someplace else again - the infrastructure is not in place.

So, if Putin decides to attack Poland - specifically the Standard battery they hate so much - even though that would be clearly an act of war on a NATO member, which should bring all of NATO countries together, a lot of them will refuse because Russia has a vice on their economy.

I am starting to think that the above scenario may very well happen, and that the only country to come to Poland's aide will be the U.S. (assuming Obama is not president). Britain would stand up if Blair was still there, but Gordon Brown is a cowardly wuss.
Forget dogs and cats - Spay and neuter your liberals.
 
PPVRA
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Fri Aug 29, 2008 3:21 pm

Hey, this move isn't targeted at the people of Western Europe, just the governments and their bad policies the Russians don't like. Tit for tat. It's like kindergarden all over again. I guess we never really grew up, though it seems we think we did.  sarcastic 
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
baroque
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Fri Aug 29, 2008 3:27 pm



Quoting PPVRA (Reply 5):
It's like kindergarden all over again. I guess we never really grew up, though it seems we think we did.

 checkmark  So it is. The big joke being that the players seem to think they are all grown up. Only the weapons systems are all grown up, the hands behind them are like a bunch of spoiled kids.
 
Arrow
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Fri Aug 29, 2008 3:42 pm



Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 2):
However, Russia can manipulate prices and make it more difficult for western politicians at home.

Interesting. The biggest potential price manipulator active these days is Gustav. Good Russian name, that ... Or is it German? oh well ...

Quoting Baroque (Reply 3):
Actually, I am quite partial to them myself!! But that is another story.   

 Silly Indeed. But it's been a disappointing summer so far.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 4):
I am starting to think that the above scenario may very well happen, and that the only country to come to Poland's aide will be the U.S. (assuming Obama is not president). Britain would stand up if Blair was still there, but Gordon Brown is a cowardly wuss.

Trying to relive old glories?
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Fri Aug 29, 2008 3:49 pm



Quoting Arrow (Reply 7):
Trying to relive old glories?

What??? What glory would be involved in a shooting war in heavily populated territory between the U.S. and Russia? It would be expensive and nasty. I don't want it to happen.

But (assuming the above scenario) for Russia to commit an act of war on a full NATO member without violent and immediate consequence is out of the question.

And after the dust settles, I would kick out of NATO any nation that refused to stand up and be counted. The whole point of NATO is that an attack of one of them is an attack on all, and if a country won't live up to its agreements, NATO has no use for them.
Forget dogs and cats - Spay and neuter your liberals.
 
Arrow
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:05 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 8):
The whole point of NATO is that an attack of one of them is an attack on all, and if a country won't live up to its agreements, NATO has no use for them.

Yes -- and that's why there's a NATO effort in Afghanistan. 9/11 was seen as an attack on the US and there was a corresponding reaction, given the safe-harbour the Taliban was providing for Al Qaeda. That's also why there's no NATO presence in Iraq.

But I think you are getting waaaay ahead of reality with your Russia/Poland scenario. Granted, there's a lot of sabre-rattling right now (on both sides of the issue) but it will never go beyond that, unless Washington's in-your-face approach to diplomacy matches Putin's and one of them does something really stupid. Unlikely, but based on recent history, not outside the realm of possibility unfortunately.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:08 pm



Quoting Arrow (Reply 9):
Granted, there's a lot of sabre-rattling right now (on both sides of the issue)

on both sides? That's like saying the police are inciting criminals to violence by wearing bullet-proof vests.
Forget dogs and cats - Spay and neuter your liberals.
 
Arrow
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:23 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 10):
on both sides? That's like saying the police are inciting criminals to violence by wearing bullet-proof vests.

C'mon. Your profile says you're old enough to remember the Cuban missile crisis. Do you recall the US reaction to those missiles? AFAIK, that's still the closest we've come to nuclear war, and it was based on the USSR messing around in the US back yard. And do you remember the not-so-well-publicized quid pro quo? Kennedy took some missiles out of Turkey.

You can believe, if you like, that this all Putin's fault -- but these things are never as one-sided as they appear during the emotion-driven event rhetoric.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:29 pm



Quoting Arrow (Reply 11):
C'mon. Your profile says you're old enough to remember the Cuban missile crisis. Do you recall the US reaction to those missiles?

Do you recall the difference between a Surface-to-Air missile and a Surface-to-Surface missile with nuclear warheads?

I'll give you a hint - It was not the installation of SAMs that got the US all upset in '62. Your analogy is preposterous.

Of course if the US installed Surface-to-Surface missiles in Poland, I could perfectly understand if they got upset. But we haven't.
Forget dogs and cats - Spay and neuter your liberals.
 
Arrow
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:04 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 12):
I'll give you a hint - It was not the installation of SAMs that got the US all upset in '62. Your analogy is preposterous.

You don't get it, do you.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
PSA727
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:15 pm



Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 2):
Russia has more power when it comes to manipulating prices than actual supply.

Russia needs the money from oil exports. That is their main source of state revenues.

However, Russia can manipulate prices and make it more difficult for western politicians at home. These threats are meant to manipulate prices. People seem to forget that high oil prices are good for Russia.

Oh and the naked capitalists will use ANY excuse to hyke up the price of oil even if they know Russia is bluffing

Madame, I share the same concern as you. This new threat by Russia shows that they
have no intent on solving the Georgia crisis diplomatically. It's as though they're saying
to the West, "Accept what we do or see your energy taken away."

And I think that this will work to their disadvantage in the long term. What Western
country will want to further strengthen it's ties with Russia, when it could all be taken
away from them by the whim of the Kremlin?
fly high, pay low...Germanwings!
 
Scotty
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:22 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 6):
The big joke being that the players seem to think they are all grown up. Only the weapons systems are all grown up, the hands behind them are like a bunch of spoiled kids

So its time the worlds population rose up in protest at the kids who are playing with the toys.

WE ARE THE PEOPLE AND WE SAY NO.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:35 pm



Quoting Arrow (Reply 13):
You don't get it, do you.

I don't get your equaiting SAMs with nuclear missiles, no.

Please enlighten us.
Forget dogs and cats - Spay and neuter your liberals.
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:51 am

Russia's energy minister and a top oil company denied on Friday they were preparing to cut oil flows to Europe in response to threatened sanctions, a step Moscow never took even at the height of the Cold War.
...
Shmatko said the reliability of Russian supplies would not be called into question.
"We have worked for many years to gain not just the image, but the status of a reliable energy supplier to Europe and we would never let it suffer, even in this political situation," Shmatko said in Dushanbe.

http://www.iii.co.uk/news/?type=afxn...58&subject=economic&action=article

Given the experience of the previous 2-3 years with such a "reliable" supplier I'd hate see what being unreliable would look like.
 
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Mortyman
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:21 am



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 8):
And after the dust settles, I would kick out of NATO any nation that refused to stand up and be counted. The whole point of NATO is that an attack of one of them is an attack on all, and if a country won't live up to its agreements, NATO has no use for them.

I don't think that there is any NATO member that has'nt involved itself in Afghanistan after 9 /11.


But, North Americans seem to only appreciate what the UK does and look upon the rest of the contributions as not much...


There is also a few other things to take note of:

1. NATO is in Afganistan, wich is an area of the world that tradittionally is not part of the operational area of the organisation. Now it's proabably correct that NATO involves itself in Afghanistan and the rest of the wolrd, but there has'nt really been a propper discussion about this. As a result alot of NATO members are still sceptical about this new task of NATO.

2. The focus of the war on terror has been on Iraq and not on the real issue in Afganistan for the past 7 years. Particularly the USA was very quick to shift it's focus to a part of the world that had nothing to do with the war on terror and what happend on 9 /11 in New York. This has led to a very sceptical Europe and further involvment. One thing is what our politicians and soldiers think, a totally different thing is what our people at home think. As a result we have soldiers ready to go, but politicians that are siting on the fence.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Sat Aug 30, 2008 12:10 pm



Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 2):
However, Russia can manipulate prices and make it more difficult for western politicians at home. These threats are meant to manipulate prices. People seem to forget that high oil prices are good for Russia.

Oh and the naked capitalists will use ANY excuse to hyke up the price of oil even if they know Russia is bluffing.

According to the German minister of economics, the German government should set up a strategic natural gas reserve similar to the existing one for oil.
Since the oil crisis in the 1970s, Germany stored a 90 day reserve of crude oil for emergencies.
Since we are now depending on natural gas, the minister suggests that the federal government of Germany should equally sore 90 days worth of natural gas. This can e.g. done in subterranean cavities in salt domes, of which many exist below the northen German plain. Total cost would be about 2 billion Euros, which would cost each citizen maybe 40 Euros per year.
Back during the 1980s, when West Berlin was connected to the Russian natural gas pipeline, the western allies insisted on keeping a one year reserve to prevent another blockede by the Russians similar to 1949 (during cold war the West Berlin government has also been hoarding a one year supply of food, drinking water, coal, coke, medications etc.). This natural gas reserve was stored in a huge cavern in a salt dome below the Grunewald forest in the former American sector.

Interestingly the gas supply companies in Germany are against this plan, possibly because such a reserve could be used by the government (which has major arguments with the gas supply companies due to their regional monoploy status and price gouging) to counteract price hikes by the gas companies. They argue that a strategic reserve would destroy competition and business, as well as increase gas prices.

http://de.news.yahoo.com/ap/20080828...tsministerium-plant-l-f8250da.html

(in German)

IMO, the additional expenses to be a little less dependent on Russia or other belligerent importers would be well spent.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
baroque
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:31 pm



Quoting Mortyman (Reply 18):
1. NATO is in Afghanistan, which is an area of the world that traditionally is not part of the operational area of the organisation. Now it's probably correct that NATO involves itself in Afghanistan and the rest of the world, but there has'nt really been a proper discussion about this. As a result alot of NATO members are still sceptical about this new task of NATO.

By the same token of an attack on one is an attack on all, there should, and maybe is (in the fine print) a clause that prevents any party from being unduly provocative.

The pressure on Russia has been provocative in ways that have not served any good purpose. Any urging of Georgia would come under that heading.

Your second point Morty is so well taken and gets me so angry I will not comment. The combination of neglect and inept tactics bids fair to lose that one too.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:39 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 20):
clause that prevents any party from being unduly provocative.

Yes it does. NATO mandates only come into play if a member is directly attacked.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 20):
The pressure on Russia has been provocative in ways that have not served any good purpose.

Oh jeez.

The russians have done ALL the provocation so far. WTF are you talking about?
Forget dogs and cats - Spay and neuter your liberals.
 
Arrow
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:28 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
The russians have done ALL the provocation so far. WTF are you talking about?

Like I said, you don't get it. Why don't you try bringing some rationality and balance to your political positions, instead of trying to paint everything as black and white. There are very few black and white issues in geopolitics.

This piece (below) was written by a poli-sci student, but it makes some interesting points.

Georgia Doesn't Belong in Nato

"It is madness to cry foul at the simple fact of Russia's retaliation. Whatever the excesses of Russia's military response, it is monstrous to obscure the fact that Georgia initiated hostilities with an artillery assault against its own people.

If anything, United States policy toward Russia and its neighbors has helped provoke this crisis. Current leaders both here and in Europe have started to use NATO as a social club, one to which anybody can aspire to be a member -- as long as they are not Russia.

But Russia gets tense when its neighbors start piling on against it. Russia feels like we're still fighting the Cold War. Just because we won, doesn't mean we should be spoiling for a fight.


http://www.redorbit.com/news/busines...240/georgia_doesnt_belong_in_nato/

When you consider, from a historical context, that Russia has been invaded by Europe twice in the last 200 years, you might begin to understand their siege mentality. I mean, all it took for the US was one nasty attack on 9/11, and look what happened in the aftermath of that.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
baroque
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:41 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
The russians have done ALL the provocation so far. WTF are you talking about?

1. Try to develop binocular vision. It is really good.

2. See post 22 above.

The first Cold War did not have the clear cut causes that you probably think it did.

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk...causes%20of%20the%20cold%20war.htm
* American fear of communist attack
* Truman's dislike of Stalin
* Russia's fear of the American's atomic bomb
* Russia's dislike of capitalism
* Russia's actions in the Soviet zone of Germany
* America's refusal to share nuclear secrets
* Russia's expansion west into Eastern Europe + broken election promises
* Russia's fear of American attack
* Russia's need for a secure western border
* Russia's aim of spreading world communism
This feeling of suspicion lead to mutual distrust and this did a great deal to deepen the Cold War

See also
http://www.johndclare.net/cold_war3.htm
and
http://www.essortment.com/all/effectswhatcau_mmy.htm
Not as clear cut as I suspect you think.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):

Quoting Baroque (Reply 20):
clause that prevents any party from being unduly provocative.

Yes it does. NATO mandates only come into play if a member is directly attacked.

Either you are deliberately missing the point or you are being obtuse about provocation.
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:12 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
The russians have done ALL the provocation so far. WTF are you talking about?

Come on, you've been long enough on a.net to notice his notoriety of playing apologists for the "other side"... regardless whether it's Hamas, Putin or Ahmadiwantjihad. As long as it's anti-US he will defend it.

Quoting Arrow (Reply 22):
This piece (below) was written by a poli-sci student

A very bad student one has to say, but considering how infested with the left-wing leaning faculty the US universities are it's not that surprisng. If anyone didn't get away from Cold War modus operandi of thinking it was Russia. The very first sentence just proves his superficial knowledge. The conflict of course did not start out of nowhere on Aug. 7 but way back in the early 1990s and failure of Kremlin to get over the fact that the empire held together by force and half of Europe they forced themselves into is their no more.
 
PSA727
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Sat Aug 30, 2008 9:41 pm



Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 24):
failure of Kremlin to get over the fact that the empire held together by force and half of Europe they forced themselves into is their no more.

Yeah, Russia is like a male stalker, who can't get over the fact that his ex-girlfriend
doesn't want to see him anymore. Hey, Valdimir, she doesn't want to be with you!!!

It's kind of telling that the lands Russia used to control and occupy do not want to
re-strengthen their "alliance" to the Kremlin.
fly high, pay low...Germanwings!
 
Scotty
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:15 am

Quoting PSA727 (Reply 25):
Yeah, Russia is like a male stalker, who can't get over the fact that his ex-girlfriend
doesn't want to see him anymore. Hey, Valdimir, she doesn't want to be with you!!!

but sometimes even the ugly guys have to be let into the party, otherwise they may stand outside shouting, swearing and bricking your windows (well in Glasgow thay do anyway!!)

[Edited 2008-08-31 02:16:36]
 
baroque
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:00 am

Memo to self. Johnny is the only one in step. All others are out of step. Now that is simple, why does it cause some anxiety?

Second memo to self. Irritating a nuclear superpower upon whom you rely for assistance with some "difficult countries" and for gas and oil to no good purpose is good policy.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:44 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 27):
Memo to self. Johnny is the only one in step. All others are out of step. Now that is simple, why does it cause some anxiety?

Second memo to self. Irritating a nuclear superpower upon whom you rely for assistance with some "difficult countries" and for gas and oil to no good purpose is good policy.

Ok, so what is the solution? As Putin stated, in his opinn the breakup of the Soviet Union (which actually means the Czarist empire) was the biggest mistake of the late 20th century.
So are you now giving all former Soviet Republics plus the former Warsaw pact countriers back to be controlled from Moscow, just to appease Putin and his buddies? No matter what the local populations want?
During Czarist and communist times, borders were deliberately made up and populations moved (e.g. the Crimean Tartars or the Wolga Germans) to create instability, in which peace could only be brought by having large Russian or Soviet garrisons present (or in Czarist times, the Cossacks, who were armed settler/ soldier farmers, quite similar to today's Israeli settlers, who were brought to freshly conquered land to bring it under Czarist rule).

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
baroque
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:10 pm



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 28):
Ok, so what is the solution?

There probably is no simple and satisfactory solution, but moving slowly and taking thought might be a good start. When the rush was on to recognise Kosovo, there were some suggesting caution, but it seemed a good idea and "what could Russia do even if it objected"?

I guess we now start to know what it might do in answer to that question!

The big error was made way back when NATO was being pushed E and Russia was only partly included in talks that had a strong effect on its strategic and tactical position.

Smaller and later error, but probably the tipping point was at one and the same time to reject the Russian offer for a base for a radar warning system in Russia - much better position to the level of Newtonian physics that I can manage!! - AND at the same time to persist with sticking a known annoyance and, as many keep saying an ineffective system, just where it will maximise Russian irritation.

It is rather difficult to know that Russia's appetite for whatever cannot be sated when its mood is being assessed by poking a stick up its nostril.

Germany above all, has need to recognise the importance of Russia in the supply of Russia and I note that the words out of Berlin seem a great deal more sane than those out of the UK. Has Blair injected half the Labour party with some strange virus?

All I know about the history of the various bits of the USSR is that their history is far too complex for me to begin to understand! I am sure there are those in State that do, but are they the ones being listened to? Probably not if recent history is anything to go by. Blair was certainly not listening to the Foreign Office in 2002 and 2003.

No simple answers Jan, not even any simple questions, but a few suggestions of suitable pre-conditions about how to get a better atmosphere for talking. And there is no alternative to talking, MAD is alive and well if push really comes to shove.  bitelip   bomb 
 
iowaman
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Sun Aug 31, 2008 6:43 pm

I highly doubt they would cut the flow off long-term, that is a huge amount of revenue lost to Russia.
 
Scotty
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:35 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 29):
"what could Russia do even if it objected"?

Even at the time of Kosovo independence Russia indicated strongly that this would lead to a reappraisal of its relationship with Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Quoting Baroque (Reply 29):
It is rather difficult to know that Russia's appetite for whatever cannot be sated when its mood is being assessed by poking a stick up its nostril.

Exactly. US hand wringing and pointing out "the bad guys" does not help. There is no black and white

Quoting Baroque (Reply 29):
Has Blair injected half the Labour party with some strange virus?

Bliar (no spelling mistake) was a sanctimonious political mercenary who used the Labour party to further ihs own egotistical ends and his legacy was to destroy any shred of credibility the party has remaining.

Brown is a joke and the rest of them are bumbling buffoons
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:36 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 29):
When the rush was on to recognise Kosovo, there were some suggesting caution, but it seemed a good idea and "what could Russia do even if it objected"?

So what will you do if you have two populations on a small piece of real estate? One wants to be connected to one neighbouring country, while the other one wants to join the other one, each fearing that once the region joins one country or the other, they would become a suppressed minority? Northern Ireland anyone?

Quoting Iowaman (Reply 30):
I highly doubt they would cut the flow off long-term, that is a huge amount of revenue lost to Russia.

They could e.g. cut off the supply of natural gas in the middle of winter. Over the last 20 years, many homeownwers in Germany as well as electricity companies switched over to natural gas, because it was offered cheaper than coal or oil and it was supposed to be more friendly for the enviroment.
Now, with the higher demand, gas is already almost as expensive as heating oil for home owners, but a short notice cutoff in the middle of winter would leave many people freezing in the dark. The Russians did this already with the Ukraine a few years ago.
This is why the conservative German minister for business and economy proposed the creation of a national German strategic natural gas reserve for 90 days.
This should be enough to find other suppliers and prevent Germany from being blackmailable. At least it would get us through the worst of winter.

Interestingly the German gas supply companies (which import, among other sources, Russian gas and distribute it to the consumers) don't like the idea. The government could use such a reserve to prevent them from fiddling with the market.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
baroque
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Mon Sep 01, 2008 6:14 am



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 32):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 29):
When the rush was on to recognise Kosovo, there were some suggesting caution, but it seemed a good idea and "what could Russia do even if it objected"?

So what will you do if you have two populations on a small piece of real estate? One wants to be connected to one neighbouring country, while the other one wants to join the other one, each fearing that once the region joins one country or the other, they would become a suppressed minority? Northern Ireland anyone?

Negotiations anyone? Notwithstanding agreeing with Scotty in reply 31 about Bliar (spelling intended) he did make a signal contribution to resolution of this type of spat and he did it by talking and not by making unilateral declarations.

You move AFTER you have got agreement by ALL parties, not before.

Quoting Scotty (Reply 31):
Even at the time of Kosovo independence Russia indicated strongly that this would lead to a reappraisal of its relationship with Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Indeed, that was the danger seen at the time about Kosovo - do it there and you invite Russia to start a declaration party. Then the Georgians provide an excuse and there is SURPRISE. The real surprise would be if Russia had not taken that course.
 
AverageUser
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:38 am



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 32):
They could e.g. cut off the supply of natural gas in the middle of winter. Over the last 20 years, many homeownwers in Germany as well as electricity companies switched over to natural gas, because it was offered cheaper than coal or oil and it was supposed to be more friendly for the enviroment.

Jan, there is no need to be afraid of Russian natural gas. It answers for some 3/4 of our municipal network's energy needs in two combination power plants (about half is electricity and half piped steam for city heating). The reliability of the supply is practically 100%, and has been that way since 1974. The statistics I fround from 2004 indicated 0,01% of energy remained undelivered in the whole of the Finnish network. Naturally, there are backup systems in place all the same both for gas-specific consumption and the production that can be replaced by various solid fuels.


I really don't see where the problem is according to the sentiment that has apparently resurfaced in Germany in recent times. The Germans have a central role in the EU that claims to promote freedom through mutual trade and economic dependancy. Since when has this ideology been destined to fail? The Russians will need Europe, the Europeans will need Russia -- unless they are willing to start cooking their own natural gas and oil. That's the new Realpolitik. I think I see Merkel and Schröder behind that policy already.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:08 am



Quoting Baroque (Reply 33):
Negotiations anyone? Notwithstanding agreeing with Scotty in reply 31 about Bliar (spelling intended) he did make a signal contribution to resolution of this type of spat and he did it by talking and not by making unilateral declarations.

You move AFTER you have got agreement by ALL parties, not before.

Sounds logical, but what do you do with people who have a mentality about "your great-grandfather killed my great-grandfather's donkey"?
From what I understand, the situtaion in South Ossetia wasn't as clearcut as both tjhe Georgian and Russian governments claim. While the majority of the South Ossetia was of Ossetian origin and wanted to go together with their fellow s in North Ossetia (and Russia), there was also a sizeable Geogrian population in the region.
Like in Kosovo, not in mixed villages as neighbours, but segregated in different towns and villages.
The Georgians apparently tried to make the Ossetians move out of the country, while the Ossetians did the same with the Georgians. Pinpricks included e.g. the Georgian villagers north of the South Ossetian capital cutting off the city's water supply in summer to water their fields and on the other hand harrasment by the Ossetian militias.
The Georhgians fought to make South Ossetia stay Georgian, since they were afraid to become a minority within an independent South Ossetia, while the Ossetians were already a minority IN Georgia and wanted to be independent to BECOME the majority in their region.

I have been following the Northern Irish peace process quite closely, because it happened while I was living in the Republic of Ireland. In this case it mostly happened because:
a) The majority of both the protestant and catholic population got fed up of fighting after almost 30 years and put pressure on their own militants to stop fighting.
b) The influencial outside powers (Republic of Ireland and the UK) were always civil to each other and never directly supported one or the other of the militants. (support for the protestant militants came usually from individual Northern Irish sympathisers in the establishment, but never from London, while the IRA was illegal in the Republic since the late 1930s).

Also, there was not that much of a vendetta mentality in Irish culture.

Jan
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:13 am



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 34):
I really don't see where the problem is according to the sentiment that has apparently resurfaced in Germany in recent times. The Germans have a central role in the EU that claims to promote freedom through mutual trade and economic dependancy. Since when has this ideology been destined to fail? The Russians will need Europe, the Europeans will need Russia -- unless they are willing to start cooking their own natural gas and oil. That's the new Realpolitik. I think I see Merkel and Schröder behind that policy already.

Sure, the Russians will not boycott Western Europe for a long period of time, but, as I said, a cutoff for a few weeks in winter will be more painfull to us than to them.
So what is the problem of having a strategic reserve? It could also be used to break the monopolies of the four gas distribution companies within Germany, which charge exortive prices to the end users and refuse to have their price structure controlled.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
baroque
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:41 pm



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 36):
So what is the problem of having a strategic reserve? It could also be used to break the monopolies of the four gas distribution companies within Germany, which charge exortive prices to the end users and refuse to have their price structure controlled.

My ignorance is showing. Do you not have any reservoirs that are charged before "the season"? I am amazed. There are plenty of nice structures under the N German plain S of Hamburg. You lose a bit of cushion gas, but the loss is just a one off, and subsequent recharging events employ the same cushion gas in effect.

The Sydney supply ended up not having them but we did do a study on suitable reservoirs. Excellent bit of work by the late Stan Ozimic. In the end they decided to install larger diameter pipes, but one day we will regret not having reservoirs.
 
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:54 pm

Quoting Baroque (Reply 37):

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 36):
So what is the problem of having a strategic reserve? It could also be used to break the monopolies of the four gas distribution companies within Germany, which charge exortive prices to the end users and refuse to have their price structure controlled.

My ignorance is showing. Do you not have any reservoirs that are charged before "the season"? I am amazed. There are plenty of nice structures under the N German plain S of Hamburg. You lose a bit of cushion gas, but the loss is just a one off, and subsequent recharging events employ the same cushion gas in effect.

Cold War West Berlin used to have a reservoir with enough gas to last the city for one year, though I don't know if it is still being used. It is a huge cavern washed out from a salt dome about 1000 meters below the Grunewald forest in the south west of the city. This was done under orders by the Western Allied city commanders with the bErlin blockade of 1948-49 in view, when the West Berlin gas works wanted to get the city connected to the Russian network in the 1980s.

Similar salt domes exist below all the Northern German plain.

Currently, while there exists a government controlled crude oil reserve for 90 days, the only gas reserves are in the hands of the gas importing and distribution companies. They are at odds with both the German government and the EU due to monopoly and anti-trust issues (mainly excessive increases of energy cost way beyond reasonable limits, simply because they can and there exists no competition (which is the result of a f*cked up privatisation of state assents in the 1990s). This already turned into an economical factor, companies, like the Hamburg aluminium factory, closing down ands moving to countries with lower energy costs).
The gas companies claim that a government reserve is not necessary, that they have their own reserves (which are less than half of what the government proposes) and, after all, we can always rely on the Russians to sell us gas.

Jan

[Edited 2008-09-01 07:57:27]
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PSA727
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:55 pm



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 38):
Cold War West Berlin used to have a reservoir with enough gas to last the city for one year, though I don't know if it is still being used. It is a huge cavern washed out from a salt dome about 1000 meters below the Grunewald forest in the south west of the city. This was done under orders by the Western Allied city commanders with the bErlin blockade of 1948-49 in view, when the West Berlin gas works wanted to get the city connected to the Russian network in the 1980s.

Isn't it funny how history is starting to repeat itself? If only the characters were different.
fly high, pay low...Germanwings!
 
baroque
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:14 pm



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 38):
The gas companies claim that a government reserve is not necessary, that they have their own reserves (which are less than half of what the government proposes) and, after all, we can always rely on the Russians to sell us gas.

Having a year's supply would be a bit expensive these days compared with a couple of decades ago but it would certainly mean that a threat to disrupt supply would be a little less - er, um - threatening!!

Some of those Zechstein salts (especially those from Poland) have naturally occluded gas within them. A mining engineer I knew whose field was gas in mines, had a party trick with pieces of rock salt. He dropped them in water and as the gas bubbles were exposed by the salt melting, the lump bounced up and down with the force of the freed gas. Then on a good day, he would light it.

Some rock salt has oil occluded within it. Probably quite a few examples from oil provinces have oil, but they are not all that easy to collect from a well being drilled with water!!
 
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:26 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 40):
Some rock salt has oil occluded within it. Probably quite a few examples from oil provinces have oil, but they are not all that easy to collect from a well being drilled with water!!

Sure, the oil wells in Lower Saxony around Hannover and the border area to the Netherlands are exactly this, oil caught on top of salt domes.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 40):
Having a year's supply would be a bit expensive these days compared with a couple of decades ago but it would certainly mean that a threat to disrupt supply would be a little less - er, um - threatening!!

West Berlin also stockpiled coal and coke (beneath the fields south of RAF Gatow), various essential foods, coffins and even bicycles (which got sold off in the late 1980s, you could get a brandnew 1950s bike in cosmoline for 50 Deutschmarks, 25 Euros. They were originally stored to provide a minimum of mobility for civil servants and emergency staff during fuel shortages),
Every autumn, there would be a sale of butter and meat in tins, when the government reshuffled the stores to get rid of stuff close to the shelf life limits.

I think in case of a fuel cutoff, rationing would be introduced to stretch the reserves, but it is still preferable to be blackmailed.

Baroque,

are you a geologist? My dad was a geologist as well and was researching and teaching vertebrarean palaeontology at Freie Universitaet Berlin. I grew up among geologists and palaeontologists.

Jan
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AverageUser
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:20 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 36):
So what is the problem of having a strategic reserve? It could also be used to break the monopolies of the four gas distribution companies within Germany,

I don't think the current EU regulations would allow any outright state interference in a working EU-wide free market branch of economy any longer.


The heat distribution system design we have in Finland is a strategic reserve in itself. Our city has a number of geographically distributed auxiliary oil-burning municipal heating power stations, whose primary function is that they will step in gradually at below minus 15 to 20 C., but they could also double as what you could call a strategic reserve.

[Edited 2008-09-01 22:27:35]
 
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:59 am



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 42):
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 36):
So what is the problem of having a strategic reserve? It could also be used to break the monopolies of the four gas distribution companies within Germany,

I don't think the current EU regulations would allow any outright state interference in a working EU-wide free market branch of economy any longer.

The problem is that the German energy market isn't really a free market, but is controlled by those 4 regional monopolists. You have to imagine Germany neatly divided up between those four companies. Each company supplies it's own region. They own both the energy sources (gas import plants, electric power plants) and the distribution networks in their respective area, but they refuse to do business on the turf of one of the other companies (I'm quite ssure that there are secret agreements between the four companies).
Outside competition is being kept out by excessive transit fees for using their networks (obviously we can't have 10-20 parallel distribution networks in the country).
They regularly raise energy prices, but refuse to cooperate with the anti-trust departments of both Germany and the EU. They also have been caught manipulating the German energy exchange by creating artificial lack of supply.
Last year the EU anti-trust department threatened to have the companies broken down into two independent companies each, one for tzhe power plants, and one for the distribution networks, if they don't allow competition in their markets. Still, no real answer.

Jan
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:06 am

Since Russia's current strengthened economic position is pretty much based on fossil fuel exports to the EU, cutting the flow would also cut off the money to them.
Threatening and doing so for a short time, to ex Warpac states or Soviet Republics is not the same as doing the same to European NATO members.
Aside from weapons and an aerospace industry (which is a shadow of it's former self), Russia is basically like Saudi Arabia with trees and tundra, in it's wealth creating.

Remember, even during the depths of the Cold War, the US sold a lot of it's grain surplus to the USSR.
Some no doubt objected, but had it been cut off and the USSR had a particularly bad harvest, it could have needlessly upped the tension or worse.
(Remember how major exercises on both sides, the really big mobilisation ones, were held in the autumn-when the harvest was in).

Russia though, unlike in the USSR/Warpac days, is not largely sealed off from the economic life of much of the world anymore. Not hermetically sealed within the COMECON system.
They still have massive social and economic problems, outside some major cities, the countryside is emptying, only the old left in many places.
The male average mortality is a shocking 58 years.

The Poles and the Czechs wanted that, frankly dubious, missile defence system on their soil for one reason only.
To further embed their NATO protection by actually having US personnel on thier soil, a further deterrent.

But Russia is not going after Poland-though with the 20th Century they had you can absolutely understand their fears.
The Ukraine though is different and a worry.
Any action there would not be like Georgia, who only had in effect a militia.
The operation in Georgia was about as much of a convincing show of Russian military power as was the US invasion of Grenada in 1983 for them.

Putin is no fool, for all the bluster (for internal consumption), he knows just how weak Russia is militarily, compared to the US and the other major NATO nations.
That over 15 year decline, decay and procurement 'holiday' left deep scars.
The one area where the capability is a match or better, with the US, are one weapons he can't use. ICBM's.
 
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:11 am



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 43):
(I'm quite ssure that there are secret agreements between the four companies)

Then there's an urgent need for the Commission to raid their offices so that the companies can be sued.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 43):
Last year the EU anti-trust department threatened to have the companies broken down into two independent companies each, one for tzhe power plants, and one for the distribution networks, if they don't allow competition in their markets. Still, no real answer.

If you ask me, money seems do the talking here. We the citizens can't legally influence the Commission in any way, however.
 
babybus
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:28 pm

Let Russia keep its stupid oil and gas. Without buyers it has no value. What are the Russians going to do with it?

It's about time the West got a little less oil hungry.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
baroque
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:50 pm



Quoting Babybus (Reply 46):
It's about time the West got a little less oil hungry.

Yes but about as useful a thought as shouting out "GET THEE TO A NUNNERY" at a rave party.
 
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Mortyman
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:44 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 47):
Yes but about as useful a thought as shouting out "GET THEE TO A NUNNERY" at a rave party.

Love it, just love it  Smile
 
babybus
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RE: Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To The West

Sat Sep 06, 2008 2:44 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 47):
Yes but about as useful a thought as shouting out "GET THEE TO A NUNNERY" at a rave party.

At a rave party they wouldn't hear you.

Many countries have oil now. Ireland for one. Not as much as other countries but more than they need for a tiny population.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.

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