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US forcing Europe to abandon Russian gas & buy more expensive American LNG – Lavrov

RT | January 15, 2018

The United States is afraid of fair competition in the energy sector, and is hampering the implementation of the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“There is reprisal in the energy sector against North Stream 2. It is the US which is calling it politicized, leading to a split in Europe, and the strangling of Ukraine,” he said at a press conference on Monday.

“Washington clearly forces Europeans to abandon Nord Stream 2, despite the fact that gas deliveries to Germany via the pipeline could be 2,000km shorter than through Ukraine, and the cost of transit could be halved,” said the Russian diplomat.

Europeans “are being forced to buy much more expensive liquefied gas from the United States instead of Russian gas,” Lavrov added.

He also said that the US could not withstand fair competition from Russia in the gas-export sector.

Russia plans to build the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany, and to double the existing pipeline’s capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year.

The project has faced fierce resistance from some EU members, especially from the Baltic states and Poland. They say the pipeline will cut gas transit through Ukraine and will result in a Russian monopoly in the EU gas market.

Other countries like Austria, Hungary and Germany are in favor of buying Russian gas.

January 15, 2018 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | 3 Comments

First tanker crosses northern sea route without ice breaker (Because it is one anyway!)

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | August 25, 2017

A commercial LNG tanker has sailed across the colder, northern route from Europe to Asia without the protection of an ice-breaker for the first time.

The specially-built ship completed the crossing in just six-and-a-half days setting a new record, according to the tanker’s Russian owners.

The 300-metre-long Sovcomflot ship, the Christophe de Margerie, was carrying gas from Norway to South Korea.

Rising Arctic temperatures are boosting commercial shipping across this route.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-41037071

There is only one slight problem – the newly built tanker is actually an icebreaker itself, as Matt McGrath goes on to elaborate:

The Christophe de Margerie is the world’s first and, at present, only ice-breaking LNG carrier.

The ship, which features a lightweight steel reinforced hull, is the largest commercial ship to receive Arc7 certification, which means it is capable of travelling through ice up to 2.1m thick.

On this trip it was able to keep up an average speed of 14 knots despite sailing through ice that was over one metre thick in places.

Popular Science has more details on the project to build another 15 of these icebreaking tankers:

There’s a lucrative shipping route between Europe and Asia that has the potential to cut thousands of miles and months of time off the trip. The only catch: it’s covered with thick, ship-sinking Arctic ice.

Heavy ice blocks the Arctic route from December to July, more than half the year. Even with icebreaking escort ships, few merchant vessels run it.

Now, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering is building the world’s first icebreaker tankers–16 of them–to carry liquid natural gas (LNG) through the route year-round. LNG tankers today have to be escorted by icebreaking ships that clear the way through the Northern Sea Route.

The Yamal LNG project, run by companies in Russia, France, and China, proposes drilling more than 200 wells in the Arctic to produce 16.5 million tons of LNG per year, supported by Daewoo’s first 16 Arc7 tankers. Year-round, Yamal LNG will ship LNG from the project’s Sabetta port in Russia’s Yamal Peninsula westward to Europe, South America, India, China, and South Korea. For the warmer half of the year, it’ll also ship east from Sabetta to Japan and South Korea.

As Russia leans more heavily on fuel exports and the prices for them drip lower and lower, a dormant 17th-century Russian ambition is coming back to life: to open the Arctic year-round.

http://www.popsci.com/worlds-first-ice-breaking-tanker-ships-open-arctic-route#page-2

French oil company Total, who are involved in the Yamal project also have this:

To transport Liquefied Natural Gas from Yamal LNG, which is located in the Arctic and constitutes one of the world’s biggest LNG projects, Total and its partners have designed a new type of ship: an LNG ice-breaker. This innovative solution allows large shipments of LNG to be transported efficiently and at a steady pace throughout the year and without the assistance of ice-breakers. The ship, which is 300 metres long and has a capacity of 172,600 m3, can sail in temperatures that fall as low as -52°C and in ice thickness up to 2.1 metres. Between December 2016 and 2019, 15 LNG ice-breakers will be commissioned. In this article, we delve into this technological microcosm.

http://www.ep.total.com/en/expertises/liquefied-natural-gas/lng-ice-breaker-first-shipment-liquefied-natural-gas

The tankers are certified as Arc7, which is the Russian system of classifying ice breakers and ice strengthened ships. The classification goes up to Arc9 for the strongest ships.

So the fact that the Christophe de Margerie has just made this trip has nothing at all to do with global warming.

It is however a reminder that the French, along with Russia and China, will carry on developing oil and gas reserves, regardless of whatever was agreed at Paris.

August 25, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | 1 Comment

Iran pitches huge gas reserves for Asia markets

With more than 34 trillion cubic meters, Iran owns the world’s largest natural gas reserves but its share of global trade in gas is less than 1%

Press TV – August 21, 2016

Iran is pitching its massive gas sector for trade with Asia where it sees a better market for exports than Europe.

“Gas prices are more attractive in East Asia than in Europe,” Deputy Petroleum Minister for trade and international affairs Amir-Hossein Zamaninia has said.

The country hopes to eventually export natural gas to East Asia, including Japan, he told the Kyodo news agency in an interview on Sunday.

Zamaninia held the prospect of Iran and Japan forming a long-term partnership for the supply of Iranian LNG to the Asian country.

“Japan has a great potential of becoming a major partner for Iran in developing its gas industry,” he said.

The two countries have a chequered history of trade relations. They had to ditch a massive petrochemical project in 1991 as the Iraqi war of 1980-1988 under former dictator Saddam Hussein dragged on.

In 2010, Japan’s state-owned Inpex walked out of an agreement to develop Iran’s South Azadegan oilfield under US pressures.

Tokyo, however, was among the first countries to rush through a series of measures to lift sanctions on Iran before a nuclear agreement with Tehran went into effect.

In August, Japan sent its State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Daishiro Yamagiwa to Tehran with executives from major trading houses such as Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsui & Co. and Itochu, as well as plant-engineering giant JGC and major banks.

Tehran accounted for 10% of Japan’s oil imports before sanctions cut them to five percent. Japan wants to raise the purchases to the previous level.

“Given that Iran’s oil and natural gas reserves are one of the world’s biggest, there is a possibility that Iran will play a part if Japan seeks to diversify its supply sources,” Kyodo quoted a Japanese gas and oil industry source as saying Sunday.

Zamaninia said Japanese companies are interested in being re-engaged in the Iranian energy sector, especially in the gas sector, adding he thinks Japan’s current policy seems to be focusing less on crude oil.

With more than 34 trillion cubic meters under its belt, Iran owns the world’s largest natural gas reserves but its share of the global trade in gas is less than one percent.

According to an Iranian energy official, natural gas will be the main fuel in the next 20 to 30 years. Zamaninia said within two to three years, Iran will be a major supplier of gas to its neighbors.

Currently, Turkey is Iran’s biggest customer with 30 million cubic meters a day of imports under a 25-year deal signed before the West imposed sanctions on Tehran.

Iran seeks to raise gas production to 1.2 billion cubic meters (bcm) a day in five years, from 800 million cubic meters now. Annual output totals 166 bcm, which is mostly used at home.

The country exports 10 bcm of gas per year. To put it in perspective, Russia exports about 150 billion cubic meters of gas a year.

South Pars in southern Iran is the world’s largest gas field which the country is developing in two dozen phases.

It provides feedstock for a number of petrochemical complexes in an area known the Pars Special Economic Energy Zone (PSEEZ) in Assaluyeh on the Persian Gulf coast.

Yoichi Yamamoto, adviser in charge of the Middle East at the Japan External Trade Organization in Tokyo, says petrochemical products, rather than natural gas itself, might be more attractive for Japanese companies for now.

“To transport gas across the sea, it is necessary to convert gas into liquefied natural gas and use special tankers, resulting in relatively large investment,” he told Kyodo.

“If Japanese companies are to form joint ventures or invest funds in the PSEEZ, petrochemical products produced there would be attractive,” he said.

“They cannot sell all the products in Japan. If they could draw up a business model in which they will sell the products also to third-party countries, I think it would be possible for them to invest,” he added.

August 21, 2016 Posted by | Economics, Phony Scarcity, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

Iran to emerge as US rival in gas markets

Press TV – July 25, 2016

Forbes in a report has hailed Iran’s success in the development of its gas industry and says the country can soon become a main rival over market access to key players like the United States.

The world’s leading business magazine says Iran owes the progress it has made in its gas industry to its high exploration success rate which it says stands at a whopping 79 percent.

The rate, it says, is specifically high given that the world’s average is only 30 to 35 percent.

The Forbes report further emphasizes that the progress in Iran’s gas industry could soon enable it to exploit the promising markets in India, Pakistan, Kuwait, and UAE.

It adds that the country’s planned reductions in subsidized pricing, which will help reduce wasteful usage, will free up more of its gas for exports.

Forbes further stresses that Iran’s plans to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) will specifically have a prosperous future.

“Iran is currently working on several options to join the same ‘international LNG club’ that the US is also joining,” wrote Forbes in its report. “And Europe is the mid- and long-term target. Europe’s gas demand is projected to increase 15-20 percent by 2025. This means that Iran is competition for the US”.

The report emphasizes that Iran’s LNG plans are expected to become operational after 2020, adding that the country could benefit from the growing demand over the succeeding years particularly given that Europe’s gas demand, for example, is projected to increase 15-20% by 2025.

July 25, 2016 Posted by | Economics, Phony Scarcity | , , , , , | 2 Comments

US Energy Envoy Flies to Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt and Israel for Discussions

Sputnik — 18.04.2016

WASHINGTON – The US government has sent Special Envoy Amos Hochstein to Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt and Israel to discuss falling oil prices after the failure of the Doha energy talks, the US Department of State announced in a media note on Monday.

“Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs Amos J. Hochstein will be travelling to the region to meet with key interlocutors in Jerusalem, Cairo, Kuwait City and Doha,” the note stated.

As global oil prices remain near record lows, and the United States emerges as a global exporter of liquefied natural gas, Hochstein will be seeking to strengthen US relationships with partners in the region as well as discuss strategies for addressing the market realities of the energy sector, the note explained.

Hochstein will discuss energy security issues in Israel, power generation issues in Egypt and plans to investment in developing new oil fields and build additional oil refineries in Kuwait, the State Department pointed out.

In Qatar, Hochstein will give a speech emphasizing US support for liquefied natural gas development and its role in reducing global carbon emissions, the note said.

April 19, 2016 Posted by | Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | Leave a comment

Global gas demand to grow 32% by 2040 – Putin

RT | November 23, 2015

World demand for gas is growing faster than any other energy source, and will grow by a third in the next 25 years, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The growing demand opens up great opportunities for increasing production and exports of gas. At the same time, it’s a major challenge, because there’s a need to dramatically accelerate the development of new deposits, modernize the refining capacities, expand gas transportation infrastructure, bring into operation additional pipelines and make new LNG routes”, said Putin at a Gas Exporting Countries Forum in Tehran on Monday.

According to Putin, Russia seeks to increase its gas output by 40 percent by 2035, reaching 885 billion cubic meters. One of the biggest tasks ahead of Russia is to boost the supplies of gas to China, India and other Asian countries from the current 6 percent to 30 percent, said Putin. Kremlin also intends to triple the LNG supplies. He added that Russia would be able to deal with all these tasks.

During his visit, Putin is meeting with Iranian leaders. He’s talked to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei about energy cooperation, Syria and other key issues. Putin’s also meeting Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.

November 23, 2015 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gazprom eyes Japanese expansion

RT | April 30, 2013

Seeking to expand in its export markets, Russia’s gas major Gazprom is now looking to develop terminals to process liquefied natural gas as well as distribution networks in Japan.

Japan is largely dependent on gas exports, as the country consumes above 100 billion cubic metres of gas a year while producing domestically no more than 4 billion. Since the Fukushima disaster in 2011 Japan is seeing a greater need for gas.

After the incident, “of 50 nuclear power units, only two are working – that’s a large drop in power generation, we understand that perfectly,” said Russia’s President Vladimir Putin at a press conference following talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Given Russia’s abundant hydrocarbon reserves, the country is quite “capable of providing for the growing consumption of hydrocarbons in Japan without harm to our traditional partners and without harm to our own consumers,” Putin added.

Russia supplies about 6.5 million tonnes of gas to Japan each year, which is about 8% of the total need of the Japanese.

Russia must need closer energy cooperation with Japan to back its Eastern Gas Program, which exports to Asian – Pacific countries, says Michael Korchyomkin, a director at East European Gas Analysis.

Among the joint gas projects between Russia and Japan are Vladivostok LNG and Sakhalin–2, an oil and gas joint venture between Gazprom, Shell and Japanese companies Mitsui and Mitsubishi.

Gazprom’s chances to successfully compete in regasification in Japan look slim, as currently the country processes about 250 bn of cubic metres of liquifed gas. So, new LNG terminals are unlikely to have a huge effect on the country’s economy, analysts say.

Further cooperation between Gazprom and Japan should deal mainly with the latest projects aimed at increasing Russian gas exports to Japan, says Grigory Birg, an analyst from Investcafe.

The Sakhalin – 2 project should be more attractive for the Japanese, as the prime costs there are acceptable, Korchyomkin added. The situation around the Vladivostok LNG plant, that’s due to start operations in 2018, so far looks vague. The price of gas produced there could rise too much – to as much as $700 per a thousand cubic metres, the expert concluded.

Pricing it in

At the moment the price issue remains a key one for the Japanese. “Cutting prices for the fuel bought abroad is an urgent task for our country,” said Toshimitsu Motegi, the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry.

People in Japan pay about $550 per thousand cubic metres of gas, which compares to the average of $365 in Europe.

The Japanese have started to ask for lower prices, Valery Nesterov, an analyst at Sberbank Investment Research, told Kommersant daily. This isn’t surprising, as the number of similar requests has increased, adds Mariya Belova, a senior analyst at the energy sector at Moscow School of Management, Skolkovo. Rosneft and Novatek are among other Russian companies offering their LNG (liquefied natural gas) projects, and looking for possible delivery contracts to the country.

April 30, 2013 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | Comments Off on Gazprom eyes Japanese expansion