Poland reacted frostily to an surprise announcement on Friday by Russia’s Gazprom that it had signed a preliminary agreement to build a new gas pipeline across Polish territory, saying it had no desire to increase its dependence on Russian energy.
“Strategically speaking, we do not want to expand the pool of Russian gas,” premier Donald Tusk said on Friday. Back to you, Gazprom! Continue reading »
By Ben Aris of bne
It was only a few years ago that state-owned Gazprom was worth $350bn, making it the third most valuable company in the world. But as doubts have grown over the future of the Russian gas export monopoly-cum foreign policy tool, its share price has tumbled.
On April 2, its valuation dipped below $100bn for the first time since 2009, which will only heighten calls to break it up and put the firm on a more commercial basis. Continue reading »
Long the main transit route for Russian natural gas exports to Europe – and a big consumer of Gazprom fuel itself – Ukraine is now starting to use its vast gas transit pipeline network in reverse mode. It is importing less expensive gas from Europe to the West, and at prices lower than its “brotherly” Slavic neighbour charges. Continue reading »
A three day visit to Moscow by Xi Jinping got off to a flying start on Friday with the signature of a clutch of agreements that will deepen energy ties between Russia and China.
As the Chinese president told reporters after meeting Vladimir Putin in the Russian capital, “We did not come to see you for nothing.” Continue reading »
Xi Jinping has picked Moscow as the first foreign capital he will visit as Chinese president, raising hopes that Russia and China will finally agree the terms of a gas supply deal that has been in the works for more than six years.
Gazprom sees the fast-growing Chinese market as critical to its plan to globalise Russian gas trade, but has so far been unwilling to reduce gas prices enough get China to sign up for supplies. But with rival Russian gas producers suddenly courting China, Gazprom may have to cave in. Continue reading »
Sometimes, you shouldn’t read too much into what a politician says on television with voters watching closely. A televised question-answer session with citizens held on Friday by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich is a case in point. Continue reading »
Gazprom has rejected an appeal by Kiev to renegotiate its gas supply contract, insisting Ukraine must pay it $7bn for unused gas, writes Guy Chazan.
The uncompromising stance will stoke fears that the dispute between Russia’s state controlled energy giant and its biggest foreign customer could escalate into the kind of trade war that disrupted the supply of Russian gas to Europe in 2006 and 2009. Continue reading »
Should independent Russian gas producers be allowed to sell their gas abroad? Or should state-owned Gazprom retain its monopoly status?
These are the questions Vladimir Putin’s presidential energy commission met to discuss on Wednesday – and will be discussing, it appears, for some time. Continue reading »
With billions of dollars of natural gas at stake, Ukraine and Russia seem to once again be putting brotherly Slavic love aside in favour of poker-faced brinkmanship.
It’s been two weeks since the FT revealed that Russia’s Gazprom had slapped Ukraine with a whopping $7bn bill for natural gas not supplied in 2012. Strangely, Gazprom has not said much on the matter since then. It could yet challenge Ukraine through arbitration, yet Ukrainian officials appear unphased by the prospect. Continue reading »
By Riccardo Puliti of the EBRD
Ukraine has been an independent state for nearly 22 years. Yet its struggle for energy independence is still ongoing. Despite a generous endowment in both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon reserves, Ukraine is still highly dependent on natural gas imports from Russia, which has impacts both on the country’s budget and on its geopolitical situation. Continue reading »
The ink has not yet dried on the shale gas exploration deal signed on Thursday in Davos between Ukraine and Royal Dutch Shell. The energy giant, which might invest up to $10bn, has yet to commence exploration, let alone find commercially-viable reserves.
Yet Ukrainian officials are already waving the agreement in front of Russia’s Gazprom, counting gas flows and predicting that Kiev may not need costly Russian gas in the future. Continue reading »
Another cliff hanger in the long-running saga of Russia’s gas dispute with Ukraine. Viktor Yanukovich was expected to sign an agreement in Moscow this week that would have drawn Ukraine closer to the Russia-backed Customs Union in exchange for concessions on gas prices.
But the Ukrainian president backed out at the last minute. Did he get cold feet or is he playing a game? And will the drama affect Gazprom’s gas supplies to the European Union, most of which are piped across Ukraine? Continue reading »
What price a reputation? Earning a good one takes time. Losing it can take a moment. So some of the biggest companies based in Brazil, Russia, India and China may not be pleased to read a report issued this week by RepRisk, a consultancy that calls itself “the leading provider of business intelligence on environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks”. Continue reading »
Vladimir Putin took part in a ceremony on Friday to launch of construction of the South Stream pipeline that will provide Russia with a new route to European gas markets bypassing Ukraine.
Energy pundits who have dismissed the €16bn project as a Kremlin ruse designed to force Kiev to accept Russian terms for gas trading, may have to think again. It looks as if South Stream is really happening. Continue reading »