Thursday, August 6, 2020

Nord Stream 2: US sanctions designate german port of Sassnitz; threat of economic annihilation

US Senators, among them Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton and Ron Johnson have written a letter to the managment of the port of Sassnitz in northern Germany, where the pipes for the remaining 160 km of the controversed Nord Stream 2 pipeline are stored.
In this letter the senators made the management understand that they will face direct and immediate sanctions (travel bans, freezing of assets in the US) should they support further working steps to complete Nord Stream 2. What makes this additionally dicey is the fact that Sassnitz is in the constituency of german chancellor Angela Merkel. Welt

"After the recent US threats of sanction against German project partners of the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline, German government officials were outraged - nothing more. There was no comment on possible reactions to US interference.
But it can no longer stop tere: In a letter from Wednesday, US senators threaten the German ferry port Sassnitz on Rügen directly and “legally binding” for economic destruction. The port is in the constituency of Angela Merkel (CDU).

Natural gas: Turkey's sabre-rattling in the Mediterranean

Littoral states to the Mediterranean, and especially Greece, are at a loss how to deal with a turkish government that is increasingly bullying countries with natural resources, trying to have a piece of the cake writes german newspaper "WELT":

"A few weeks ago, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said something that sounded reassuring, but on closer inspection it was not. He was "mathematically certain," he told TV station A Haber, "that Greece did not want to go to war with Turkey." Akar referred to the continuing tensions between the two countries, which have been arguing over their sea borders and economic zones in the eastern Mediterranean for years.
Indeed, Greece certainly does not want war. Such a situation would be devastating for the small, economically troubled country. Nonetheless, one of NATO's largest and most expensive air forces and navies is affording itself - solely to be prepared for an armed conflict with Turkey.
Still, Akar's statement was anything but reassuring. Because two things remained unsaid, but clearly resonated.
Firstly, that Turkey is very willing to take up arms in an emergency. Second, that it can stick to the strategy of deploying its research ships and its Navy, which has been upgraded for this purpose since 2005, in waters that Greece claims to have.

Egypt: oil export from Sumed pipeline suffers from lack of demand

"The destruction of European lifting of crude from Sumed was particularly pronounced in June and there has been a slight revival in July. Demand may be helping. Data from the TomTom Traffic Index show congestion remaining well below normal levels in cities in Spain and Italy, key markets for Sumed crude, but a slow pick-up in run rates at the region’s refineries is beginning to draw more crude from the pipeline."

writes Bloomberg.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

European Green Deal: revision of 2 eco-directives

European Press Service:

"One of the aims of the European Green Deal is to increase the EU's climate ambition so that greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by at least 50% and towards 55% in a responsible way by 2030. This was a key pledge from President von der Leyen when she was confirmed in office by the European Parliament. The European Green Deal communication has identified a series of climate, energy and environmental legislation that needs to be reviewed and if necessary revised in order to achieve such increased ambition. Both the Renewable Energy Directive (2018/2001/EU) and the Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU and 2018/2002/EU) are among the instruments that are assessed.

As the first step in this process, the Commission has today published roadmaps for the review of both directives to inform stakeholders and citizens of what the goals of this initiative are and which policy options are being considered, and opened a seven-week period (3 August – 21 September) for public feedback on the concept. This will feed in to the Commission’s further preparatory work for these reviews."

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:



Nord Stream 2: Germany is wavering at the sight of US sanctions

The CAATSA sanctions have been aggravated and  can also hit german companies and indivuduals writes german Newspaper Welt:

"The federal government's response sounded ready to fight: the United States, with its threats of sanction against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, disregarded "the right and sovereignty of Europe to decide where and how we obtain our energy". European energy policy, said Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD), was not made in Washington: "We clearly reject extraterritorial sanctions."
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tightened the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, CAATSA for short, by a July 15 decree. This meant that European companies helping to complete the gas pipeline between Russia and Germany were immediately exposed to the risk of American sanctions. Or to put it more clearly: in order to weaken Russia geostrategically, the US is targeting its European trading partner.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

China: Record oil imports from KSA

Reuters writes: 

"Saudi, however, delivered bigger oil cuts from June and raised crude prices as a plunge in oil prices weighed on the kingdom’s budget.

China, the world’s biggest crude oil importer, took in a record 53.18 million tonnes last month, according to customs data.

China also boosted inflows from Brazil, Norway and Angola, said Emma Li, analyst from Refinitiv. 

Brazil, whose massive offshore projects are coming online, offered Asian refiners competitive deals on relatively high-quality oil just as China and other Asian countries contained the coronavirus and reopened their economies.

Analysts expect China to see another record amount of crude imports in July as some May-loading cargoes are still underway while swelling oil inventory at major Chinese ports slows new arrivals."


Nord Stream 2: US government increases the pressure on german contractors

While the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has come to a halt due to sanction threats against the pipelaying operator the US government has now made clear that also german contractors will be targeted by sanctions if they do not establish that they withdraw from the controversial project, writes german newspaper "WELT":

"According to information from WELT, the US State Department asked German and European companies for one-on-one video interviews immediately after this step and made clear to them the far-reaching consequences of further project participation. According to circles of business representatives, German managers sat in the short-term meetings with up to twelve representatives from the three US departments Department of State (Foreign), Treasury (Finance) and Energy.
Among other things, companies should explain what needs to be done on the pipeline to fulfill their work order. The US officials "had made it very clear in a friendly tone that they wanted to prevent the pipeline from being completed," said one observer: "I think the threat is very, very serious." 
Die Firmen selbst, darunter technische Dienstleister, aber auch große Energiekonzerne wie Uniper, Wintershall Dea und Shell, wollten dazu gegenüber WELT keinen Kommentar abgeben. Auch öffentlich zumeist unbekannte mittelständische Zulieferer des Pipeline-Projekts sind Adressaten der Sanktionsdrohung geworden.

Aus dem Außenministerium in Berlin hieß es: „Das Auswärtige Amt hat Kenntnis darüber, dass die US-Seite Gespräche mit deutschen Unternehmen führt, um die CAATSA-Durchführungsbestimmungen zu erläutern.“ Man sei „mit den Unternehmen dazu ebenfalls in Kontakt“.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: