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European Union Interference in Central Asia: What Does It Mean for Russia and China?

... multilateral initiatives designed to bring Central Asia in line with EU interests and thinking. The region occupies an important place in EU strategic thinking because of its location between China and Russia, and because of its position in the East-West energy trade and developing transport corridors. The following paragraphs will first outline what the EU wants to achieve in Central Asia and how it goes about achieving it, before formulating some lessons that Russia and China could draw from this activity....

02.07.2017 16:47:52

It's economics, stupid!

... Consequently, in the atmosphere of the post-COP21 consensus, one might wonder whether the future in which electricity is produced from renewable sources can be envisaged at all. By the end of 2015, 110 countries adopted policies supporting renewable energy, with renewable share in power generation ranging from 10% to 97.9% on a country level, and reaching 100% to 200+% on a local community level (eg. Bavarian Effelter). By looking at these numbers, one might want to fully part ways with any doubts ...

05.06.2017 00:47:26

Can LNG ensure European security of supply?

In May 2014, in the aftermath of Russia-Ukrainian crisis, the European Commission adopted European Energy Security Strategy, establishing two pillars of European security of supply: prevention and mitigation. The main goal was to prevent gas supply disruptions by implementing “gas stress tests” (modelled by ENTSOG) and to foster solidarity ...

09.10.2016 21:21:00

Russian Gas Projects in the Context of New Paradigm

... from 2008 crisis and decreasing growth of the Chinese economy,in particular), political turmoil (Ukrainian crisis) “appearance of illegal and cheap oil” on the market (eg. ISIS’ expansion), as well as the overall strive to develop new energy sources in the view of global warming. That being said, a plummeted oil price (going lower than 50$ ‘leverage level’) could be utilized to boost local demand and, as a consequence, increase production in order to avoid low profits. ...

09.10.2016 20:58:00

Legislative framework of Russian APG flaring

... characteristic of APG content, whereas the oil fields that are responsible for flaring are mostly concentrated on the territory of West Siberia, between Yamalo-Nenetsk and Khanty-Mansiys regions. The underlying reason for flaring rather than the gas usage for energy purpose is the lack of nearby markets and sparse population with its insufficient local gas demand. Thus, in order to avoid flaring in these particular regions it is necessary to install relevant technology (gas-to-liquid, for instance) and redefine ...

07.06.2016 16:45:00

To flare or not to flare? Russian APG case.

... resource endowments and its ambition to increase production from the greenfield projects (such as in Sakhalin or in the Arctic offshore), it will be increasingly difficult for it to avoid international stigmatization regarding its not-so-well developed energy-efficient approach to resource management and production. In 2007, in his State of the Union address, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin recognized that 20bcm of annual flaring in Russia, which equals 30% of European annual gas consumption,...

07.06.2016 16:30:00

American LNG exports: still a good idea?

... result, natural gas production increased by 40% from the 2005’s level, driving the costs of production down,-typical economy of scale! Today, when the US’ inventories are so abundant in natural gas what in turn pushes the price down, many energy companies withdraw from drilling and production: there is too much product and not enough demand. For this reason, natural gas futures have plummeted below 3$ and the current market can be visually represented by a typical contango curve. NYMEX ...

01.04.2016 15:34:00

On Both Sides of Turkish Stream

Although Russia signed an enormous energy agreement with China last year, evidencing growing ties between Russia and the east, there remains in Russia’s policies an underlying pull towards Europe. After canceling the South Stream pipeline project, in response to strong EU and U.S....

20.07.2015 12:26:00

Russia-China Energy Relations: A Long-awaited Partnership Develops

In the early 2000s, advancements in Russia-China energy collaboration were slow. Russia sought to maintain its standing as a dominant energy provider in European markets, while China searched for greater energy security among its energy suppliers. China consistently showed an interest in a cross-border ...

01.07.2015 22:35:00

SPIEF 2015: Economic Opportunities in Russia Trump Western Political and Security Concerns

... EU’s more significant economic players are using a double standard—strong rhetoric against Russia in the security sphere contrasts with support for domestic companies to secure advantageous positions on the Russian market. To this end, energy companies, including BP and Shell, have received consent from the British and Dutch governments to pursue joint ventures with Russian energy firms despite London’s strong support for sanctions against Moscow. BP has already used this to ...

26.06.2015 16:07:00

The Tax Manoeuvre changes the oil industry but casts shadows on the future production.

... lowering the export tax was an obliged choice in order to avoid that russian companies export through Belarus and Kazakhistan, where duties are cheaper, once the Custom Union is completed. In 2008, after a similar crisis, some research papers by the Energy Ministry and by the entourage of Igor Sechin (who at the time was serving as Vice-Prime Minister for energy), had showed that the russian output would have slowed and decreased because of the unprofitability of new projects if the tax system had ...

27.12.2014 22:10:00

Diplomacy and hegemony in the “Horn of Africa”

... So far, peer-reviewed academics everywhere and major media have been wont to examine a paralell motive for the redesign of Africa. But China's growing regional role in economic development and in financing extractive industries, including energy, gives them one. SIPRI statistics of arms sales by Russia, and Ukraine, to Sub-Saharan Africa give them another. China is cooperating on major infrastructure projects with Ethiopa and and is a major developer of the oil industry in the conflict-riddled ...

17.11.2014 10:54:00

Business is business. Western duplicity towards Russia.

... Headquarter in Moscow. Behind, the Kremlin. Despite the sanctions issued by the United States and the European Union against russian politicians and businessmen and despite the neverending discussion about the need for diversification in the european energy market, many western oil companies are acting just the opposite of how expected. from the left: Bp CEO Bob Dudley, Vladimir Putin, Igor Sechin in St Petersburg One of the latest stories on the news was the billion-dollars contract signed by ...

23.07.2014 21:59:00

Recent US and World Energy Changes

The views in this blog are, of course, solely the author's own, and do not represent the official views of either the U of Michigan, Ann Arbor, or its Energy Institute, of which the author has been a Fellow since 2008 or so. I have been following the world energy industry, and the oil industry in particular, on a daily basis, ever since my MBA thesis on the evolution of Oil Tanker Shipping at the Sloan ...

09.07.2014 15:04:00

European Commission candidates’s foreign policies: Schulz softer, Verhofstadt harder on Ukraine

... confrontation. A softer line was endorsed by Martin Schulz. Despite arguing that sanctions have been the right choice so far, the socialist candidate called for more diplomatic efforts to solve the crisis. Schulz, a german, is more careful on the energy issue and the economic partnership with Russia, vital for his country and many others like Italy, currently lead by democratic prime minister and Schulz-backing Matteo Renzi. “Tough sanctions mean we should tell our citizens: higher gas prices,...

22.05.2014 11:59:00

Energy Outlook 2035 - BP

... Ruehl, Group Chief Economist and Vice President of BP, this time around the multinational oil supermajor aimed to “shake-up the crystal ball” by recalibrating some of its old formulas in the bid to provide a fresh outlook on the way global energy markets will evolve. In this post Casing Point explores to what results this recalibration leads and what is in store for us in the world of energy; at the end should we anticipate major shifts or expect much of the same as in the last several ...

02.03.2014 19:14:00

Nuclear geopolitics. Shifting sands along Africa’s Uranium Road

... mining of uranium through a contractual relationship with the French state-owned company Areva. World annual production of U3O8 for now is growing but the market is considered “slow.” As a result spot uranium prices do not impact the broad energy market like spot oil prices do. But the market remains a target of opportunity for “pump and dump” specialists, and for speculators and arbitragers seeking to control, or otherwise stockpile inventory. Last year, according to the ...

19.02.2014 18:44:00

Breaking the Ice: The Northern Sea Route

... credibility. Moreover, as 70% of the NSR traffic carries hydrocarbons with vessels of 50K DWT and above (i.e. Panamax Size), it makes this route reliant on shipping large hulls of natural resources in fewer vessels; hence the route rests greatly on the energy markets of both the Arctic and wider world, which are naturally volatile. In addition, historic successes of USSR leave a bitter after taste. As Vladimir Mikhailichenko of a Non-Profit Partnership points out, the recent jump is a mere hop in contrast ...

08.01.2014 19:53:00

The Arctic Frontier - Armed with Cooperation

... impeding Armageddon almost by nature. Hence, this post will dwell into an Arctic from a pragmatic stance of promising potential and a need for stakeholders to cooperate, as certain waters cannot be crossed alone. As customary Casing Point will take an energy based angle and to assist analysis will draw from the recent conference hosted by RIAC. Enjoy & Feel Free to Comment! Personal Note: As my list of ''conferences attended'' grows, I am starting to feel like ...

11.12.2013 06:16:00

Andrei Zagorsky: Improving the odds of an Arctic gamble

... Russian consulate general in Hong Kong Friday to protest the detention of its activists by Russia's authorities. Photo: AP RD: What is more reasonable today - to focus on environmental challenges and to work on environmental projects or to invest into energy projects in the Arctic? A.Z.: Everything here is important because everything is very much interlinked. The Arctic ecosystems have been very much under shock over the past decades because of the climate change which affects both ecosystems and ...

28.11.2013 14:28:00


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Poll conducted

  1. In your opinion, what are the US long-term goals for Russia?
    U.S. wants to establish partnership relations with Russia on condition that it meets the U.S. requirements  
     33 (31%)
    U.S. wants to deter Russia’s military and political activity  
     30 (28%)
    U.S. wants to dissolve Russia  
     24 (22%)
    U.S. wants to establish alliance relations with Russia under the US conditions to rival China  
     21 (19%)
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