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baroque
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:52 pm



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 48):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 45):
(As a separate matter, if Europe truly is paying $500 per 1,000 cubic meters, as Gazprom has claimed, it is seriously overpaying. That corresponds to $84-a-barrel oil.)

Is this the price the end customer pays or the price at which the German gas companies buy the gas from the Russians? If it is the first case (which I wouldn't be surprised if it is), then it is the effect of a f*cked up privatisation about 20 years ago, when the previously government controlled and state owned gas companies got sold to private owners, leading to a change from government and parliament controlled regional monopolies to privately owned regional monopolies.

It is not clear from the exact wording but such discussions are almost always (always really, but I am being cautious) about wholesale rates to the companies buying the gas. The gas sellers generally do not worry too much about what the reticulation charges are!!

That was really in part why I quoted at length because you need to include the bit about the lags. They are common in contracts. So Europe would have benefited from them last year when oil prices were ratcheting up. So having rates now well above CURRENT oil equivalent would be expected. They should however fall over the next couple of months.

The question about why Germany had locked in to a level of dependence on Russian gas goes back to the reserves pattern. If you want long term gas (and short term gas is a bit tricky!!), Russia is still Germany's best bet.

And pipeline gas even from Turkmenistan is going to be cheaper than LNG, and probably in the long run more reliable. If you are getting Qatargas LNG, there are all the usual ME problems. In any case, Qatar is really quite a way away from Europe - even from Turkey if that counts as Europe!
 
RussianJet
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:58 pm



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 49):
As THE supplier is Russia, it is the Russian reputation which suffers under this.

You make many good points here, and I am at pains to point out that I in no way wish to respresent Russia as being without fault. As far as some of what you said about reliability and so on goes however, it is fair to say that Russia itself has often been treated unfairly or, at best inconsistently, and in such circumstances rightly or wrongly resorts to using whichever means are at its disposal to assert itself. Also, with specific reference to the Russian reputation as the supplier, you are totally correct - but the Ukraine knows this and will seek to exploit that fact wherever possible.
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LTU932
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:52 pm



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 46):
It was a mistake that Germany so heavily went into this gas business with Russia

Well, with former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who's a known friend of Putin, Gazprom has a strong lobbyist for its cause in Germany.
Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer. - Ferengi Rule of Acquisition 208
 
AverageUser
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:30 pm



Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 23):
The world of gas is very interesting at the moment. Pipelines are being laid and planned. We all know about some of them, Nordstream for example between Russia and Germany and the pipelines planned from Southern Russia on to the Balkans and up to Austria.

I did not see anyone linking to a proper map on the current and the projected East European pipelines, so here you are: http://www.npr.org/news/graphics/2009/jan/russia-pipeline/index.html (but they forgot the pipeline running into southern Finland on the map)

If you look at the map, I see little reason for worry in Germany in the intermediate time scale. The (ex-)politicians are already addressing your worries -- Schröder and Putin are mates in business. If the German depency on natural gas is a problem, well, to avoid any "blackmailing" it would be a great idea to officially ban all use of natural gas in Germany and replace it by that wonderful fuel known as "the Alternative to imported Russian Energy".


We have in this country our ex-prime minister Paavo Lipponen being employed in a "consultant" capacity by the Nordstream pipeline project to ensure among others a smooth running of the environmental effets evaluation along the projected routing of the Nordstream line to be laid in the bottom of the Baltic.
 
baroque
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:42 am



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 53):
I did not see anyone linking to a proper map on the current and the projected East European pipelines, so here you are: http://www.npr.org/news/graphics/2009/jan/russia-pipeline/index.html (but they forgot the pipeline running into southern Finland on the map)

Thanks for the map. I looked high and low for a good map of the line through Georgia when that kerfuffle was on.

If I were Ukraine, I would be a great deal nicer than has been the case so far because with the OLD pipelines they get considerable transit fees that will evaporate with the routes that bypass Ukraine.
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:12 am

The natural gas shortage is rapidly worsening in much of Europe according to the BBC News:

"Seven European and Balkan countries have reported a complete halt in Russian gas supplies via Ukraine as the two countries' energy dispute worsens.

They join countries as far west as Italy and Austria suffering supply shortages since Russia halted its exports to Ukraine in a prices row. Russia's Gazprom says Ukraine has been stealing gas in transit to Europe. The EU depends on Russia for about a quarter of its total gas supplies, some 80% of which is pumped through Ukraine.

Bosnia-Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia and Serbia have now reported a total stoppage of gas deliveries from Russia."

The article goes to state that "The chief executive of Gazprom, Alexei Miller, said Ukraine was stealing 15% of gas delivered across its borders and that theft was "increasing by the hour". He said Russia would consider cutting gas supplied through Ukraine completely if none was getting through to central and western Europe.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the gas had been stolen "not from Russia but from western consumers because they have bought this commodity and paid for it".

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7814743.stm
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
baroque
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:27 am



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 55):
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the gas had been stolen "not from Russia but from western consumers because they have bought this commodity and paid for it".

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7814743.stm

And to an extent he could be correct. Ukraine does not have a simple or entirely innocent role in this spat.
 
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TripleDelta
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:27 am



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 55):
Bosnia-Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia and Serbia have now reported a total stoppage of gas deliveries from Russia."

Local media reports that Bosnia might be heading for what many call "a humanitarian catastrophe". All gas reserves were used up yesterday afternoon, meaning heating to a large number of apartments has been stopped. Buildings with their own tanks of gas for heating are expected to last only through the night, adding 5000 homes to the list of the unheated.

Only buildings with central heating are so far immune, but the thermal power stations - which run on heating oil - have reserves for only 4-7 days. The problem is compounded by the cold, this winter being one of the coldest in recent years.

Croatia is also facing problems, with gas flow being cut off again this morning, though the strategic reserves are expected to last between 10 and 30 days and can be at least partially augmented by the county's own gas production.
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Radar: "Well, none of it makes any sense. You just have to send in the right number of forms." - MASH 4077
 
Lumberton
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:03 am

Associated Press is saying that the Russians have cut off all shipments of gas to Europe via the Ukraine.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090107/ap_on_bi_ge/eu_ukraine_russia_gas

Quote:
KIEV, Ukraine – Russia has shut off all its gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine — the latest move in a pricing dispute that has reduced or halted fuel deliveries to a dozen countries during a winter cold snap.

Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom, which had sharply limited supplies through Ukraine on Tuesday, has stopped all gas shipments through the country as of 7:44 a.m. (0544 GMT), said Valentyn Zemlyansky, spokesman for Ukraine's Naftogaz.

About 80 percent of Russian gas to Europe is shipped via Ukraine. Other smaller pipelines run through Belarus and Turkey.

"It was the Russian side's decision to stop all gas deliveries to Europe" through Ukraine, Naftogaz head Oleh Dubina told reporters. "I think it is inappropriate."

Russia confirmed the cutoff, but said it was Ukraine's fault because it had shut down the last pipeline carrying gas from Russia. Gazprom also says it is reducing to compensate for the gas it accuses Ukraine of diverting.

The Russia-Ukraine natural gas dispute has left tens of thousands of people in Europe without heat as governments scrambled to find alternative energy sources.

By early Wednesday, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Croatia, Serbia and Turkey had all reported a halt in gas shipments, while France, Germany, Austria, Poland and Hungary had reported substantial drops in supplies from Russia.

"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
AverageUser
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:51 pm



Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 57):
but the thermal power stations - which run on heating oil - have reserves for only 4-7 days.

The key to the auxiliary solid fuel tank is no longer under the manager's welcome mat or what's the deal?

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 49):
Russia should have sent an official termination notice one year before a set deadline, officially advising the Ukraine about new rates more in line with world market conditions

I read that this was in fact the case, it was Ukraine that was demanding a succession on one-year terms, while Gazprom would have wanted a long-term contract. Too bad they terminate Dec 31st, which is near the peak of demand.

http://www.russiatoday.com/employee/27
 
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TripleDelta
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:29 pm



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 59):
The key to the auxiliary solid fuel tank is no longer under the manager's welcome mat or what's the deal?

No idea... I was surprised by the fact that they have almost no large reserves of either gas or heating oil (if the reports are true it must be said, given that the media tends to inflate everything these days).
Hawkeye: "It doesn't make any sense."
Radar: "Well, none of it makes any sense. You just have to send in the right number of forms." - MASH 4077
 
ME AVN FAN
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:52 pm



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 55):
Bosnia-Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia and Serbia have now reported a total stoppage of gas deliveries from Russia."

-
In pre-1990 times, your list would have been much shorter with
Greece, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary -- if you add to this that Yugoslavia whenever NOT in the Warsaw-Pact was a "Comecon-Associate", you get the picture

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 59):
Russia should have sent an official termination notice one year before a set deadline, officially advising the Ukraine about new rates more in line with world market conditions
---
I read that this was in fact the case, it was Ukraine that was demanding a succession on one-year terms, while Gazprom would have wanted a long-term contract. Too bad they terminate Dec 31st, which is near the peak of demand.

-
Even IF, the Russians failed to communicate this to the world-media in a way appropriate and good for their public relations

Quoting Baroque (Reply 54):
If I were Ukraine, I would be a great deal nicer

-
Ukraine, whenever with its 55mio. people only a third as large as Russia, nevertheless IS a rival of Russia. And whenever for long times under the same rule as Russia, a rival nevertheless.
 
slider
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:23 pm

I just want to thank everyone for the great posts in this thread---very educational for me as this is something I’m largely ignorant about, so this made for good reading. Thanks!

 Smile
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:35 pm

An article in today's Los Angeles Times reflects that the United States in firmly on the side of Ukraine in the Gazprom gas embargo, and made highly critical remarks to the Russian government regarding the widening European gas shortage:

"The EU accused both nations of using consumers as pawns in their quarrel. "It is unacceptable that the EU gas supply security is taken hostage to negotiations between Russia and Ukraine," EU spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen said, demanding an immediate resumption of gas supplies.

U.S. national security adviser Stephen Hadley warned Moscow that using its energy exports to threaten its neighbors will undermine its international standing.

Russia supplies one-quarter of Europe's natural gas, and about 80 percent of that is shipped through pipelines crossing Ukraine. Other smaller pipelines run through Belarus and Turkey."

Source: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...sia-gas8-2009jan08,0,5623650.story
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
RussianJet
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:21 pm



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 63):
U.S. national security adviser Stephen Hadley warned Moscow that using its energy exports to threaten its neighbors will undermine its international standing.

Maybe someone should point out to him that constantly displaying massive bias undermines the international standing of the US.

The EU is right to criticise both parties.
✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
 
AverageUser
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:34 am

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 61):
I read that this was in fact the case, it was Ukraine that was demanding a succession on one-year terms, while Gazprom would have wanted a long-term contract. Too bad they terminate Dec 31st, which is near the peak of demand.

-
Even IF, the Russians failed to communicate this to the world-media in a way appropriate and good for their public relations

At least my understanding of journalism is that you'll need to do some research on your own instead of just copy-pasting what Reuters etc feed you.
This crisis was certainly not a thing out of the blue, but a long-standing Ukranian political disaster where the EU failed as well and is now caught with their pants down.

Here's what Peter Lavelle (see his link above in my post) wrote:


Ukraine continues to purchase subsidized gas from Gazprom. Last year the price for 1,000 cubic meters was $179.50. In contrast, Gazprom's European customers pay up to $500 for the same amount of gas. Before Ukraine's 2008 contract with Gazprom expired, Kiev was offered a new price for 2009 -- $250 per 1,000 cubic meters.

By any standard this was a very generous offer. To top this off, the transit fees Gazprom must pay Ukraine to get its product to market in Europe would also have been increased.

Kiev rejected this deal. And it owes Gazprom hundreds of millions of dollars for gas supplies and penalties. In response, Gazprom made a new offer: Kiev would have to pay $481 per 1,000 cubic meters in any future contract.


[Edited 2009-01-07 18:37:59]
 
baroque
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:39 am

One thing that might help would be if the west kept its paws of Ukrainian politics, especially the bits where it can be see to be fomenting splits between Russia and the Ukraine. It must be difficult enough being a neighbour of Russia without others making Russia more nervous.

It might have been more sensible if the west had accepted that Russia would be more comfortable if Nato and the EU did not wash right up to its borders or at least not pushed the issue so obviously.

Beyond that political dimension, there seems to be a political one of Ukraine not being willing to pay its bills, even at the discounted rates it negotiated. Presumably because the gas was in effect more expensive than the highly subsidized rates it got when part of the USSR. But you cannot help wondering if there has been political interference even there with some (who knows where, but I will point, you look) urging Ukraine not to pay, just to twist the tail of the Russian bear.
 
ME AVN FAN
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:54 pm



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 65):
At least my understanding of journalism is that you'll need to do some research on your own instead of just copy-pasting what Reuters etc feed you.

-
yes AND no. Check not only the newspapers at hand carefully, but the contributions of each single journalist involved. You may swiftly find out the gigantic differences even among journalists of the same paper. There are journalists who take the pain to make investigations even in their private offtime, just to be really informed, and those who simply copy down whatever they can get hold of. Their are papers who even demand of their journalists to do research on everything and allow them to that within working hours and others who do NOT allow their journalists any deeper research, so that a good journalist in such a paper (primarily boulevard-press papers) will have to spend time in his spare-time in order to saveguard his reputation. AND do not forget that very often, journalists write about topics they themselves do not understand at all, and simply want to close before deadline. Here in Zurich, there were very thorough reports in papers like NZZ and Tages-Anzeiger, while the boulevard-press paper (according to their own advertising "the largest .....") Blick simply reported about the problem as a case of "Russian dominance and blackmailing".
-
The only surprise to me above was to see that the NYT apparently reported about the matter in the way of a boulevard-press paper (scandalmonger-journal). But again, we here only talk about the reporting in the NYT in the issue mentioned and about the topic at hand, so that I would not dare to generalize about what is a paper with an enormous reputation.
-
And once again, a problem for ALL journalists in daily newspapers is the deadline and the pressure upon them to have covered whatever comes in, regardless of topic and difficulties to get deeper information. Such things are the reason for strange "news" like, for instance :
-
Bangkok : the Japanese emperor ..... . 20th anniversary ......................
Nairobi : the new President of Ghana, Mr ........
etc etc etc  Big grin
 
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MillwallSean
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:38 am

Its also a game of chickens in many ways.
Eastern European countries where gas is transitting doesnt always want a diversified market. It reduces their importance and their bargaining power.
Poland, one of the countries that screams the loudest when it comes to Russian gas, had an agreement with Norway and Statoil. Statoil were to build a pipeline from its gasfields in the North Sea to Poland.
Statoil have quite a few new fields up in the north of Noway that are due to become fully operational so they would be able to increase their shipments to Europe and thought Poland would be all for it.

This plan was on and everything seemed rosy, then Warsaw decided to cancel the deal.
Now all of us may ask why they cancelled this contract, it happened in 2002 if my memory serves me correct.
Today another debated project is Skanled, a pipeline from Norway to Sweden and Denmark that can be extended to Poland. Poland now seems keen on this project but this project is less certain and will require alot more of private investments. This is probably the last pipeline that will be built from the gas fields in the North sea.
If Poland had followed through on the previous project that would have had a pipeline supplying gas from Norway online last year.
However a group of Polish politicians made sure this deal never came about.

Norway isnt exactly a small or unreliable producer of gas either, they are the second largest supplier in Europe, after Russia, with a marketshare of somewhere between 15-20%.

Poland is very critical about gaslines that bypasses it territory. They are the main critic of the Nordstream pipeline from Russia to Germany for example. Poland is also very supportive of the present Ukrainian regime.

What I want to say with this is that alot is politics, alot more than what we see when we hear about Russia shutting down gasdelivereries to Europe.
For Russia being seen as an unreliable supplier is not good. It reduces Europes interest in Russian gas and increases the amount of money European governments and companies are prepared to spend on diversifying supply.
Some countries have more - some have less, to win on this.

I think everyone should check the deal offered to the Ukraine, then check todays spotmarket rates for gas and then form an opinion on this issue.
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baroque
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:56 am



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 64):
The EU is right to criticise both parties.

 checkmark  It does appear that the Russians were able to work out that gas put into the E side of Ukraine and agreed to be to supply Europe W of Ukraine was not appearing on the other side. At which point was it all that unreasonable for the Russians to conclude that the gas was being used or stored by the Ukraine, a country that had unpaid bills. Was it then unreasonable to cut the gas supply to the Ukraine, that country already having interrupted supply to the west.

Or is that not what happened? If not what did and what are your sources?

All countries that were charging transit fees will be unhappy with a bypass route! That may be another part of the Ukraine "mix".
 
WunalaYann
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:08 am



Quoting Baroque (Reply 69):
It does appear that the Russians were able to work out that gas put into the E side of Ukraine and agreed to be to supply Europe W of Ukraine was not appearing on the other side. At which point was it all that unreasonable for the Russians to conclude that the gas was being used or stored by the Ukraine, a country that had unpaid bills. Was it then unreasonable to cut the gas supply to the Ukraine, that country already having interrupted supply to the west.

Or is that not what happened? If not what did and what are your sources?

All countries that were charging transit fees will be unhappy with a bypass route! That may be another part of the Ukraine "mix".

My question is probably not entirely related to the issue at hand but I seem to recall that Eastern Ukraine is broadly "pro-Moscow", while Western Ukraine seems to be more "pro-EU/Western countries". I am deliberately using very broad terms as I do not doubt regional realities are far more complex and intricate but it does look a bit funny...
 
baroque
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:32 am



Quoting WunalaYann (Reply 70):
My question is probably not entirely related to the issue at hand but I seem to recall that Eastern Ukraine is broadly "pro-Moscow", while Western Ukraine seems to be more "pro-EU/Western countries". I am deliberately using very broad terms as I do not doubt regional realities are far more complex and intricate but it does look a bit funny...

That was also my understanding. It would depend upon how thoroughly each of these factions "owns" the bureaucracy, but you can imagine a set up for internal ping pong politics if various levels have different "affinities" within a given organization.
 
Lumberton
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:15 am

In the meantime....
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7819429.stm

Quote:
Europe homes freeze amid gas row
Hundreds of thousands of homes in Europe remain without heating amid plunging temperatures as a gas row between Russia and Ukraine continues.

More than 15 countries have been hit by the shutdown of Russian supplies.

Serbia and Bosnia-Hercegovina are among the worst hit as many homes rely on heating stations that only run on gas.

The EU said it had reached agreement on an observer mission to monitor gas flows, but it was unclear when supplies would resume.

EU energy spokesman Ferran Tarradellas told the BBC that EU observers would leave for Ukraine on Friday.

But there has been no confirmation of the deal from the Russian side, which had, at the last minute, demanded Russian monitors be included on the team.

"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
ME AVN FAN
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:09 pm



Quoting WunalaYann (Reply 70):
Eastern Ukraine is broadly "pro-Moscow", while Western Ukraine seems to be more "pro-EU/Western countries".

-
People in what is today "Eastern Ukraine" are basically Russian-speaking ethnic Russians who only by post 1917 border-drawing got into the Ukraine. They therefore were opposed from Ukraine becoming a separate country. While most of Western Ukraine either are ethnic Ukrainians or even ethnically linked with countries on the Western side. That the "East Ukrainians" due to the heavy industries there were linked with similar regions inside Russia from Rostov-on-the-Don up to Wolgograd (formerly Stalingrad) in quite many ways, also contributes to the situation. Amazing is also that what now is the most important Ukrainian city on the Black Sea traditionally was not Ukrainian but Russian. I don't know whether the city population there today still IS ethnically Russian or whether the city really became "Ukrainized". Whatever, the way the East-Ukrainians are pictured in the world media as anti-democratic slightly-pro-stalinist and treacherous thugs simply is incorrect and mis-leading.
 
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OA260
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:53 pm



Quoting Danny (Reply 43):
The whole situation shows that EU must look for alternative sources of energy than Russia.

Yep they should have been building alot more wind farms and using solar power panels on rooftops etc... In alot of countries you can dig down deep and put pipes in to use the earth to heat homes. My neighbour a few doors down have it and it keeps the house at 19c all year round.

Until the EU and governments act and start to promote and actively look into these things then it will be left to the individuals to take the initiative. I would do it but the cost is prohibitive for me.
 
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MillwallSean
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:56 am



Quoting OA260 (Reply 74):
The whole situation shows that EU must look for alternative sources of energy than Russia.

Hmm, yet again, there are other options for energy. Its all about choice. You can pay more for energy or pay higher taxes and you will have other forms of energy. Europe in general isn't dependent upon Russian gas. Eastern Europe is, to a large degree dependent on Russian gas at the moment though.

The Russian gas is the cheapest option for eastern Europe and its doubtful if to many of the Eastern European countries would be prepared to pay more for their energy or invest in infrastructure that allows them to diversify.
If they want other supplies they are there. But it will cost, money most of these governments are not prepared to invest or for some of the Balkan countries money they don't have.
Poland could have had Norwegian gas for instance but Warsaw said no after half the planning was done. That was due to politics or mad twins, depends on who you ask.

Now Europe does need alternative energy sources, primarily because of environmental issues but becoming energy independent is a goal that probably will be put in writing at the EU energy summit later in 2009. One problem is that Western and Eastern Europe has different situations and different agendas.
What western Europe needs is a stable environment for our Russian supply. Russian, Norwegian, African plus LNG will be enough and make sure that western Europe always have options. Add the investments in nuclear and other energy sources that will be made in the next decade and western Europe should be set. What we shouldn't forget is that most of Europe doesn't receive any discounted gas and thus hasn't had any issues with Russian supply. NordStream and SouthStream or Nabucco is supposed to be the answer to this.
The subsaharan pipeline from Algeria and the connection from Egypt-Libya should solve the issue of diversification for Western Europe.
Eastern Europe is different. There is no clear solution for them. South Eastern Europe would be supplied by SouthStream and the present pipelines but in regards to diversification there isn't any plan ready.

For North Eastern Europe the situation is more complicated. NordStream is set to bypass these countries and present supplies goes through countries with discounted gas. These countries needs a new solution but non is present and the one solution that was offered was turned down by Polish politicians in some political game.
These countries will, if they want to diversify, have to come up with other energy sources. This will cost money, money eastern Europe isn't ready to commit or doesn't have.
the whole gas game is rather interesting and its more like the "big game" Kipling talked about than energy resources.
Everyone is playing the hand they got, some play better, some play worse and some have mad twins acting completely irrational.

With all this said Russia will be Europe's most important trading partner when it comes to energy and probably resources in general for the coming decades and Europe and Russia needs to find a way that makes sure energy supplies isn't disrupted.
No One Likes Us - We Dont Care.
 
baroque
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:26 am



Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 75):
The Russian gas is the cheapest option for eastern Europe and its doubtful if to many of the Eastern European countries would be prepared to pay more for their energy or invest in infrastructure that allows them to diversify.
If they want other supplies they are there. But it will cost, money most of these governments are not prepared to invest or for some of the Balkan countries money they don't have.
Poland could have had Norwegian gas for instance but Warsaw said no after half the planning was done. That was due to politics or mad twins, depends on who you ask.

Nicely and wittily put Millwall. There were other options, but even without discounts the Russian gas is the cheapest option - as well as offering the longest term supply "security" at least in terms of reserves. Getting caught up in political/economic disputes with third parties is just one of those things to be factored in. I will bet the Japanese would have had a more diversified solution, very cautious the Japanese, even if it costs money.

Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 75):
With all this said Russia will be Europe's most important trading partner when it comes to energy and probably resources in general for the coming decades and Europe and Russia needs to find a way that makes sure energy supplies isn't disrupted.

Difficult to see a way past that. Qatar gas is all very well, but difficult to find a pipeline solution and LNG is always going to be more expensive compared with a pipeline - well unless the pipeline is impossibly long. I suspect (even) Kamchatka gas would be cheaper in Europe than Qatar LNG.
 
WunalaYann
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:15 am



Quoting Baroque (Reply 76):
I suspect (even) Kamchatka gas would be cheaper in Europe than Qatar LNG.

If you drill it following the Polar route, by all means yes!  Smile
 
Dougloid
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:03 pm

I hate to remind everyone of this bu

Quoting MillwallSean (Reply 75):
Poland could have had Norwegian gas for instance but Warsaw said no after half the planning was done. That was due to politics or mad twins, depends on who you ask.

I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me
She showed me her ass
Isn't it good
Norwegian gas?


 Wink  Wink  Wink
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
Lumberton
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:55 pm

This doesn't look good at all. This morning, there were indications that with the dispatch of the EU monitors, the gas would start flowing again. However...
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090111/wl_nm/us_russia_ukraine_gas

Quote:
Russia-Ukraine deal on gas for Europe in doubt
MOSCOW/KIEV (Reuters) – A Russian-Ukrainian deal to restore Russian gas supplies via Ukraine to Europe appeared on the verge of collapse on Sunday after Moscow rejected handwritten additions by Kiev as a 'mockery of common sense'.

A Russian government source said Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had proposed sending officials to the EU in Brussels on Monday to discuss the deadlock, that has choked off much of Europe's gas supply at the height of a bitter winter.

"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
baroque
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:28 am



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 79):
A Russian government source said Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had proposed sending officials to the EU in Brussels on Monday to discuss the deadlock, tha

It seems the current holdup is the Ukrainians made a hand written alteration after the official signing. Seems a bit like Presidential signing habits of late??

If that is the case, hardly surprising if the Russians are less than thrilled.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:22 am



Quoting Baroque (Reply 80):
If that is the case, hardly surprising if the Russians are less than thrilled.

Certainly not surprising, or unjustified. Still, they will undoubtedly still get most of the blame.
✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
 
AverageUser
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:09 am

Gas flow to resume on Tuesday morning
Russia’s Gazprom is due to resume gas deliveries to Europe via Ukraine on Tuesday at 8.00am GMT, when the newly signed three-way gas transit deal between Russia, Ukraine and the EU comes into power


( www.russiatoday.com )
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:16 am



Quoting Baroque (Reply 80):
It seems the current holdup is the Ukrainians made a hand written alteration after the official signing

Here's the alteration according to the New York Times:

"Over the weekend, the Czech Republic’s prime minister, Mirek Topolanek, secured Mr. Putin’s signature in Moscow and then flew to Kiev, where Ms. Tymoshenko also signed the agreement. But Ms. Tymoshenko included a note beside her signature early Sunday morning, after the document had already been signed by Mr. Putin. In English, she wrote, “with declaration attached.”

Ms. Tymoshenko’s declaration, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, said that Ukraine had not been guilty of stealing gas from the export pipelines, a statement essentially asking Moscow to retreat on the allegation that had underpinned its justification for halting shipments to Europe."

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/13/wo...ope/13gazprom.html?_r=1&ref=europe

Ukraine also readily agreed to having international observers put into place to verify the amounts of gas that Russia was sending through the pipeline. Doesn't sound like the behavior of a natutal gas "thief" to me...  scratchchin 
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
RussianJet
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:22 am



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 83):
Ukraine also readily agreed to having international observers put into place to verify the amounts of gas that Russia was sending through the pipeline. Doesn't sound like the behavior of a natutal gas "thief" to me... scratchchin

Funny thing that, because Russia has similarly agreed to having supplies monitered. Hmmm.

Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 83):
already been signed by Mr. Putin. In English, she wrote, “with declaration attached.”

An absurdly provocative thing to do which, being an experienced politician as she is, she would be 100% certain to know would cause trouble.
✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
 
baroque
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:57 am



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 83):

Quoting Baroque (Reply 80):
It seems the current holdup is the Ukrainians made a hand written alteration after the official signing

Here's the alteration according to the New York Times:

"Over the weekend, the Czech Republic's prime minister, Mirek Topolanek, secured Mr. Putin's signature in Moscow and then flew to Kiev, where Ms. Tymoshenko also signed the agreement. But Ms. Tymoshenko included a note beside her signature early Sunday morning, after the document had already been signed by Mr. Putin. In English, she wrote, "with declaration attached."

Ms. Tymoshenko's declaration, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, said that Ukraine had not been guilty of stealing gas from the export pipelines, a statement essentially asking Moscow to retreat on the allegation that had underpinned its justification for halting shipments to Europe."

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/13/wo...ope/13gazprom.html?_r=1&ref=europe

Sorry to disagree. That link takes me to "here is a precis of what the NYT says the statement was".

This is a far far thing from knowing what she actually wrote. Fairly obviously the NYT do not know what it was or they would have printed it.

As RJ says, how to be certain you will cause trouble. That was a totally stupid thing to do. Russia had IIRC, already dropped its stealing charge. The statement could have been provocative in the opposite sense. It does appear that the Ukraine has no strong wish to solve the problem. Then there seems to be the technical gas problem - AS WELL.
 
AverageUser
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:18 am

Here's btw a new and improved map of the pipelines that include the lesser branches and projects as well. From the russiatoday.com site.

http://www.russiatoday.com/media/file/2/495c8e0ada1fb.jpg
 
baroque
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:10 am



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 86):
Here's btw a new and improved map of the pipelines that include the lesser branches and projects as well. From the russiatoday.com site.

Nice map. Many thanks AUBig grin

A more exact location is
http://www.russiatoday.com/media/file/2/495c8e0ada1fb.jpg
Wonder why they pushed the main line from Urengoy so far S? I presume a great circle route is also a bit further N
 
Lumberton
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:22 pm

So this still hasn't been worked out? According to this BBC article, the EU is "disappointed" by the gas flow to date.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7827636.stm

Quote:
The EU has told Russia it is disappointed that little gas has flowed into Europe from Ukraine, despite an agreement to resume deliveries.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said only limited access was given to EU officials monitoring Russia and Ukraine's gas network.

Moscow said it had resumed gas supplies into Ukraine early on Tuesday, but Kiev was refusing to pass the gas on.

Ukraine blamed Russia for changing the delivery route.

"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
Lumberton
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:06 am

Now a Russian official is blaming the U.S. ! EU diplomats are "baffled"....

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ebb4148e-e1a6-11dd-afa0-0000779fd2ac.html

Quote:
The bitter gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine descended into near-chaos on Tuesday, leaving European Union diplomats baffled as promises to restart supplies fully were broken and Moscow suggested that the US had meddled in the affair.

In a potentially alarming twist on Tuesday night, Gazprom, the Russian gas company, said it was unable to meet its legal commitments to supply European countries with gas because Ukraine was allegedly blocking the flow across its territory.

Russia and Ukraine both defied terms of a contract agreed last weekend with the EU to allow an EU-backed monitoring mission to observe gas transit, leaving people in 18 countries across the continent with supply disruptions.

José Manuel Barroso, European Commission president, expressed “disappointment at both the level of gas flowing and our concerns about the access of our monitors”, in a telephone conversation with Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister.

Russia began the day by feeding small volumes of gas into a pipeline across Ukraine to the Balkans, but Ukraine refused to transit the supplies, citing technical reasons.

Alexander Medvedev, the deputy chief executive of Gaz­prom, said: “We believed the door for Russian gas was open, but again it has been blocked by the Ukrainians.”

He accused the US of encouraging Ukrainian action: “It looks like . . .  they are dancing to music being orchestrated not in Kiev but outside the country.”

Oleh Dubyna, president of Naftogaz, Ukraine’s state gas company, said it was technically impossible to pump gas to the Balkans via the route proposed by Gazprom without cutting off supplies to eastern Ukraine. “We did not open the valve because there is no capability,” said Mr Dubyna. A spokesman at the US embassy in Kiev rejected as “baseless and bizarre” Gazprom’s charge that the US had interfered in the dispute.

On Tuesday night, Mr Medvedev said Gazprom had declared “force majeure” on its gas exports to Europe and warned it would unleash its “entire legal arsenal” against Ukraine.

The latest twist in the dispute made a mockery of the EU-mediated agreement, experts said.

"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Of

Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:08 am



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 89):
Now a Russian official is blaming the U.S. ! EU diplomats are "baffled"....

According to today's New York Times, there seems to be political implications for the Ukrainian government and a severe test of national loyalty among its citizens.

"Political experts say that neither side is motivated to settle the dispute, because it has never been about the stated issues. Instead, it has been a proxy for far more fundamental and insoluble matters, particularly Ukraine’s 2004 turn to the West in the “Orange Revolution,” which deeply shook Russia’s nationalists.

“The Russian side is appealing to a lot of technical details to explain why it still wants the conflict to go on,” Vladimir S. Milov, president of the Institute of Energy Policy in Moscow and a former deputy energy minister of Russia, said in a telephone interview.

“It’s very clear to see the desire to pressure the Ukrainian politicians, and pressure them that if they continue to pursue a pro-Western course and not adhere to the rules imposed by Moscow on the post-Soviet space, they will face difficulties,” he said.

Nationalists in Moscow could swallow the loss of the Baltic states and Russia’s former colonies in Central Asia, but they will never accept the notion of Ukrainians, nearly half of whom are ethnic Russians, as members of an independent, Western-oriented state, and potentially in NATO, no less."

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/14/wo...ope/14gazprom.html?_r=1&ref=europe
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
AverageUser
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:14 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 87):
Wonder why they pushed the main line from Urengoy so far S? I presume a great circle route is also a bit further N

Perhaps their perceived (export) market was actually already further south in the 1970-80s?

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 89):
EU diplomats are "baffled"....

In the EU commercial sector, Mr Barroso has now finally found a right tool in the Commission's toolbox.. Those Ukrainian and Russian companies could be sued!
I wonder what court that would be, not their own anyway as nobody's a member there except Mr Barroso's lot. Now send in Sarko or what?

It now seems there needs to be some serious money on the table before anything happens for real. The EU should make a generous offer to lend money to pay off all Ukraine's gas debts and update pipelines. That "stimulus package" would win it political influence in Ukraine, and solve the gas issue on its area as well. A stable Ukraine should be in everyone's interest.
 
baroque
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:00 pm



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 91):
Quoting Baroque (Reply 87):
Wonder why they pushed the main line from Urengoy so far S? I presume a great circle route is also a bit further N

Perhaps their perceived (export) market was actually already further south in the 1970-80s?

Or the main original purpose of the line was to supply the Ukraine itself and extension W was a tack on. Which would help explain why the present arrangements have caused such an intractable spat because both Russia and Ukraine would in a way be fixated on supply to Ukraine that we now tend to forget.
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:49 am

And the geo-political games continue today according to the New York Times:

"The collapse Tuesday of a monitoring agreement between the European Union, Ukraine and Russia dashed hopes that supplies via the Ukraine transit network could be restored without a resolution of the pricing dispute that lies behind the mess.

The monitoring agreement, which put inspectors on site at key points along the Russian export network, fell apart when Russia delivered a small fraction of the expected supply, and both Russian and Ukrainian officials claimed the other side had shown bad faith.

In Strasbourg, France, José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, told members of the European Parliament on Wednesday that officials were considering legal action against the Russian and Ukrainian companies involved in the cutoff.

“If the agreement sponsored by the E.U. is not honored, the commission will advise E.U. companies to take this matter to the courts,” Mr. Barroso told the Parliament."

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/15/wo...ope/15gazprom.html?_r=1&ref=europe
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
AverageUser
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:55 am

Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 93):
And the geo-political games continue today according to the New York Times:


Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 90):
According to today's New York Times,


Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 83):
Here's the alteration according to the New York Times:


Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 28):
according to today's New York Times:


Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 20):
Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/03/wo...urope


Quoting StasisLAX (Thread starter):
According to the New York Times:


I wonder what you would make of an occational redirecting of your browser out of the NYT for your World and European news needs?

[Edited 2009-01-15 01:01:56]
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:06 am



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 94):
I wonder what you would make of an occational redirecting of your browser out of the NYT for your World and European news needs?

I'm sure I'll find unbiased news at www.russiatoday.com  sarcastic 
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
AverageUser
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:18 am

Speking of www.russiatoday.com , a fresh interview of Mr Putin himself on the crisis by the German ARD news channel is now on the site. If you want to refer to the horse's mouth instead of a delayed editorial filtering by the NYT, right now would be a good moment to visit there.

If you want to be objective, you'll need to take a wider look on the issue from different sources.
That's at least how I feel.

[Edited 2009-01-15 01:46:47]
 
Lumberton
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:30 pm

It seems that the "Americans-are-to-blame" campaign didn't get much traction. Now the Russians are taking a new tact. Putin is saying that the EU is "siding" with the Ukraine in the dispute. Perhaps this will resonate better?

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D95OEGSO0.htm

Quote:
Speaking to reporters after talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Putin said that, by apportioning equal blame for the crisis between Moscow and Kiev, the EU had sided with Ukraine.

"The position of the EU, which puts Russia and Ukraine on equal ground, in fact means support for Ukraine, which has violated its transit obligations under the international energy charter," Putin said.


[Edited 2009-01-16 13:43:39]
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:37 pm



Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 93):
"The collapse Tuesday of a monitoring agreement between the European Union, Ukraine and Russia dashed hopes that supplies via the Ukraine transit network could be restored without a resolution of the pricing dispute that lies behind the mess.

The monitoring agreement, which put inspectors on site at key points along the Russian export network, fell apart when Russia delivered a small fraction of the expected supply, and both Russian and Ukrainian officials claimed the other side had shown bad faith.

I've heard on the Russian government shortwave programme that the Ukrainiansrefused the Russian inspectors access to the control room of their pipeline system and to their storage facilities.
Might be true or might be false.

I think it requires independent inspectors to make shure that the Ukrainians aren't tapping off gas they are not entiteled to.
The Ukraine also has it's share of rabid nationalists.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
Lumberton
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RE: Europe's Natural Gas Supplies Could Be Shut Off

Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:32 pm

Still no deal. This has been going on now for what...2 weeks?
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/090117/eu_ukraine_russia_gas.html

Quote:
MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian and Ukrainian leaders talked into the night Saturday in search of a deal to restore gas supplies to a freezing Europe.

An earlier meeting that also included officials from the 27-nation European Union ended without a resolution to a dispute between Moscow and Kiev that has drastically reduced supplies of Russian gas to Europe for nearly two weeks.

After hosting EU energy chiefs, government officials from gas-starved Balkan nations and Kremlin-friendly ex-Soviet republics, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev expressed confidence in a swift settlement.

"I'm certain that we will resolve the transit problem in the nearest future," he told a news conference.

But EU officials left without any assurance of a restoration of shipments of Russian gas via Ukraine, normally the route for about one-fifth of the gas Europe uses. Nations in eastern Europe that rely on Russia have been left with virtually no new supplies.

"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".

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