No ‘Peak Natural Gas’ Anytime Soon

One does not hear much these days about “peak oil”, as new technologies are developed and implemented that, together with market conditions, make feasible the exploitation of previously uneconomical or irretrievable deposits. A new report by the Diplomatic Center for Strategic Studies (DCSS), based in Kuwait, just published, confirms an International Energy Agency report from […]

The Southern Gas Corridor Gets a Kick-Start

Azerbaijan and Turkey have announced plans to construct a pipeline from the South Caucasus across Turkey to carry natural gas from Azerbaijan’s offshore Shah Deniz Two deposit to Southeastern Europe. At first glance, this would seem to leave Nabucco and two other candidate pipeline projects that have already submitted bids, out in the cold. However, […]

Endgame Looms on the Caspian Sea Chessboard

As the current game being played on the energy chessboard of the Caspian Sea basin moves towards its resolution, representations and misrepresentations multiply every day. In order to make sense of such a situation, it is necessary to recall how it came about – and what the real possibilities for further development are. Much attention […]

Putin Declares ‘Eurasian Union’ Goal of Russian Foreign Policy

On October 4, Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin published an article in Izvestiia, “A New Integration Project for Eurasia – The Future Is Being Born Today,” that announces the initiative to create a supranational political structure on top of the CIS Customs Union in which Belarus and Kazakhstan participate along with Russia. While the prospects […]

Azerbaijan Set to Sell Gas to Ukraine

Ukraine plans to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) port on the Black Sea for gas that it plans to buy from Azerbaijan. The two countries’ foreign ministers recently met in Baku with a view towards implementing this and other economic and energy agreements reached during Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s recent visit to Ukraine. The […]

The Eurozone Crisis Then and Now

The expansion of the European financial crisis and its deepening into a political crisis has followed a clear causal chain produced by a series of missed opportunities. The problem began in early 2009, as a knock-on effect from the 2008 global financial crisis, which had already claimed Iceland as a victim. Iceland was not an […]

Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Gas Pipeline Gets Official Four-Way Go-Ahead

After over fifteen years on the drawing-boards, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project was approved by the four countries’ leaders, meeting in Ashgabat in December. While the intergovernmental agreement naturally depends upon follow-on negotiations to be realized, it is anticipated that sales and purchase agreements will be signed at another four-way meeting that could take place as early as April 2011. The success of such a project would continue diversification of Turkmenistan’s gas export directions, provide needed resources to gas-hungry Pakistan and India, and not least give Afghanistan a keystone development project upon which to build economic reconstruction.

Turkmenistan Signals Readiness for Nabucco

A recent series of statements and concrete actions by leaders from Ashgabat shows a clear willingness and desire to implement the “European direction” as a component of the country’s international gas export policy. Technical obstacles are mainly solved, and the only remaining political obstacle appears to be Europe’s difficulty in concentrating its attention to take the necessary steps from its own side. The last chance for this seemingly will begin to expire early next year.

Russo-Chinese Relations

When Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited China the last week of September, pride of place in the diplomatic agenda was made manifest in a ceremony marking completion of the Skovorodino-Daqing oil pipeline between the two countries built in just 20 months. Comprising a 576-mile spur on the Chinese side of the border to the longtime energy-sector city of Daqing and a 45-mile connector on the Russian side to the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline, it will allow Russia to export 300,000 barrels per day to China over the course of two decades, representing roughly eight percent of current Chinese imports and four percent of current consumption. Pursuant to a February 2009 agreement, Russian para-statal energy companies received $25 billion in loans in order to construct this pipeline and as pre-payment for oil to be received.