Gazprom Announces Final Nail in the South Stream Coffin

Russia’s refusal to bow down to the caprices of her neighbors is one of the reasons why the Paris “Je Suis Charlie” has to be launched, out of desperation.

The EU is shooting itself on the foot by issuing multiple sanctions against Russia, at the time when it was so easy for Putin to retaliate having made substantial preparation beforehand. The ongoing slump in  oil prices only feeds the tabloid narrative of the West, but is not in any way affecting the internal balance sheets of Russia.

This arrogance has rendered Bulgaria as collateral damage, wittingly.

The final announcement to withdraw South Stream comes in parallel with Norways StatOil’s decision to stop all oil explorations in Greenland.

Gazprom Announces Final Nail in the South Stream Coffin

Europe will have to get gas via Turkey or Ukraine, there will be no direct transcontinental pipeline to Europe, Gazprom has confirmed. It is disappointing news for Bulgaria, which was hoping to get gas directly from Russia, and not via Ukraine.

Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller made it clear that Turkey, and not Bulgaria, will become the main gas valve between Russia and Europe.

“South Stream is dead. For Europe there will be no other gas transit options to risky Ukraine other than the new ‘Turkish Stream’ pipeline,” Miller said Wednesday, as reported by RIA Novosti.

gas_to_eu_final_3

“Now, the ‘Turkish Stream’ on the agenda,” he emphasized.

EU Energy Commissioner Maros Sefcovic was in Moscow Wednesday to discuss EU energy security and the fate of South Stream with Miller and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.

Gazprom’s decision to create ‘Turkish Stream’ will damage to the company’s image, according to the Energy Commissioner Maros Sefcovic.

Ahead of the meeting, Bulgaria expressed optimism that it would reach a solution with Moscow on South Stream.

In the wake of the South Stream closure, the European Commission is supporting Bulgaria’s proposal to build a gas storage hub. At present Bulgaria only has a big enough gas hub to hold 2 months’ consumption.

“I really hope we’ll be able to find the right solution, especially after the visit to Moscow; the right solution as far as the gas hub is concerned or the continuation of the work on South Stream,” Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said in Brussels on Tuesday, Bloomberg News reports.

Russia stopped deliveries to Europe in 2006 and 2009 over disputes with Ukraine.

south-stream-1
Gazprom chairman of the board Alexei Miller, center, and heads of shareholding companies are in Anapa at the launching ceremony of South Stream gas pipeline construction, 7 December 2012. (RIA Novosti / Sergey Guneev)

READ MORE: Bulgaria ready to issue South Stream permits

Bulgaria lost more than 6,000 new jobs and over $3 billion of investment with the cancellation of the project. The country also receives 90 percent of its gas imports from Russia, the majority of which crosses through Ukraine, which is seen as an energy risk.

The parties agreed to hold a future trilateral meeting between Russia, EU, and Ukraine in Sofia.

Aleksey Miller said that transit risks in Ukraine are not over, even though Kiev has managed to pay its debt and resume gas flows, after a 6-month hiatus. At present, Ukraine hasn’t stored up enough in its underground storage reserves, according to the Gazprom head.

Russia pulled the plug on the project to Europe in December after standoffs with Brussels over the placement of the pipeline in Bulgaria, the first land section of the pipeline. It would have pumped 63 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe annually.

READ MORE: Putin: Russia forced to withdraw from South Stream project due to EU stance

Russia will instead build an alternative pipeline using funds and materials intended for the original South Stream project. Europe will have to buy gas at the Turkish border. It will across the Black Sea to Turkey and be able to pump 63 billion cubic meters a year.

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The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said during the visit, Kerry will meet with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov

© EPA

SOFIA, January 15. /TASS/. US Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Bulgaria on Thursday for talks with Bulgarian leaders on Russia’s refusal to build the South Stream gas pipeline and the situation in eastern Ukraine.

© EPA/SERGEI KARPUKHIN / POOL

Bulgarian PM hopes European energy envoy’s visit to Moscow will decide South Stream future

This is Kerry’s first visit to Bulgaria on the post of US secretary of state. He will be accompanied by Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland.

The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said during the visit, Kerry will meet with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov. The talks will focus on regional security, bilateral cooperation in the field of defence, trade and economic contacts, investments and energy.

Local mass media said referring to diplomatic and government sources that the Ukrainian crisis and the terrorist acts in Paris, prospects for developing shale gas in Bulgaria and the fate of the South Stream pipeline would be touched upon at the talks.

Sofia does not consider Russia’s refusal from the South Stream project final because no official notification has been received yet. Experts believe that American diplomats will do their best to lift the moratorium on extracting shale gas through fracking and to support trans-Atlantic trade and investment partnership between the EU and the US.

 source »

Major oil companies pull projects from Greenland

Published time: January 14, 2015 11:51

Major energy companies such as Norway’s Statoil, France’s GDF Suez and Denmark’s Dong Energy have decided to end projects in Greenland as oil exploration there has became too expensive and risky.

A number of other companies, such as Shell, Maersk of Denmark, and Scottish Cairn Energy, are looking for a two-year grace period before investing in expensive oil exploration.

READ MORE: Oil plummet: Crude dives below $45 for first time since 2009

Cairn Energy invested around $7 billion in 2010 and 2011 in a series of projects that turned out to be unsuccessful. Now the interest has cooled as the company closed its office in Greenland in the New Year and has no plans to reopen it. The company slashed its workforce by about 40 percent and shifted its focus to West Africa from Greenland.

The outflow of investment is a tough blow for Greenland’s ambitions of becoming a mining center. In 2011, the country which is run as part of Denmark, earned $392 million in taxes from oil exploration. This compares to the total Danish budget of $39 billion.

GDF Suez says it is hard to imagine ever participating in Greenland exploration again.

“Given the current situation on the market together with the fact that Greenland is an area with very little infrastructure, rather large environmental requirements and a very challenging environment, it will be very expensive to develop these fields,” said John Finborud, Director of GDF Suez Greenland.

Statoil has chosen to focus on the Barents Sea in western Norway and other places where the chances of winning are higher, said the company’s spokesperson Knut Rostad to Politiken magazine.

“When we have to evaluate the different licenses in the company’s portfolio, we look at the global situation and prioritize the projects that have the best potential,” he explained.

Although there’s still going to be a focus on attracting interested oil companies, the time has come to diversify natural sources, Birger Poppel, research project chief from the University of Greenland told RT. He says the goal of Greenland will be to develop other economic fields, such as the mining industry, and still focus on oil.

“There’s a population of 65,000 people here, so I think the concern will be to develop different kinds of economic activities,” he said.

The oil prices have seen the largest drop in six years with both Brent and WTI below $46 per barrel. Brent crude was trading at $45.79 a barrel at 12:15 MSK Wednesday; the price for WTI was $45.21.

Richard Wolff, economics professor at the University of Massachusetts, told RT “the continuous race between OPEC and the US,” was the major reason of the oil drop.

READ MORE: Oil needs to stay at $40 to curb US shale boom – Goldman Sachs

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John Kerry to visit Bulgaria for talks on Ukraine, prospects for gas cooperation

The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said during the visit, Kerry will meet with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov

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© EPA

SOFIA, January 15. /TASS/. US Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Bulgaria on Thursday for talks with Bulgarian leaders on Russia’s refusal to build the South Stream gas pipeline and the situation in eastern Ukraine.

© EPA/SERGEI KARPUKHIN / POOL

Bulgarian PM hopes European energy envoy’s visit to Moscow will decide South Stream future

This is Kerry’s first visit to Bulgaria on the post of US secretary of state. He will be accompanied by Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland.

The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said during the visit, Kerry will meet with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov. The talks will focus on regional security, bilateral cooperation in the field of defence, trade and economic contacts, investments and energy.

Local mass media said referring to diplomatic and government sources that the Ukrainian crisis and the terrorist acts in Paris, prospects for developing shale gas in Bulgaria and the fate of the South Stream pipeline would be touched upon at the talks.

Sofia does not consider Russia’s refusal from the South Stream project final because no official notification has been received yet. Experts believe that American diplomats will do their best to lift the moratorium on extracting shale gas through fracking and to support trans-Atlantic trade and investment partnership between the EU and the US.

source »

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