Sunday, August 30, 2020

LNG: Ebony Bennett is hard on the australian gas industry

 Ebony Bennett roasts the australian gas industry:

"Here's how the gas industry shafted Australians over the past 10 years. As my colleague and Australia Institute chief economist Richard Denniss has pointed out, Australia once had abundant and cheap domestic gas. The federal government then allowed the gas industry to build massive LNG gas export facilities so that gas companies could sell Australia's cheap gas overseas for higher prices, simultaneously driving up domestic gas prices.

Just as Ireland was exporting potatoes to England during the Irish potato famine, Australia had abundant and cheap gas - we just allowed companies like Santos to export it overseas for bigger profits. On the east coast of Australia, gas production roughly tripled, and so did domestic gas prices.

In the past few years, Australia has overtaken Qatar as the largest producer of liquefied natural gas. But Qatar is better at managing its mineral wealth. In one year, Qatar received $26 billion in royalties from LNG production, while Australia received around $1 billion from our poorly designed Petroleum Resources Rent Tax. Gee, wouldn't it be nice if we had an extra $25 billion in gas royalties right about now?"

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


Mediterranean: EU considers sanctions against Turkey

 Turkey's line of action in exploring possible gas fields in the Mediterranean viewed as illegal by Greece and the increasingle reckless actions of the NATO-member in Libya brings the EU to ponder sanctions against turkish state officials, writes french newspaper Le Monde:


"New stage in the dispute between Istanbul and Athens in the eastern Mediterranean. The 27 member states of the European Union are preparing sanctions against Turkey, which could be on the agenda of the next summit, scheduled for September 24, announced Friday August 28, the high representative of the 'Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell.

"In the absence of progress on Turkey's part, we could draw up a list of new restrictive measures" to be discussed at the EU summit on September 24, Borrell said after a meeting of foreign ministers of member states in Berlin.

These sanctions, intended to limit Turkey's ability to prospect for hydrocarbons in disputed areas, could concern individuals, ships or the use of European ports, said Josep Borrell, adding that the EU is would focus on everything related to “activities that we consider illegal”.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Nord Stream 2: how the impeding sanctions might affect the contractors and population of Sassnitz

 Reporters of the newspaper "WELT" have transported to the port of Sassnitz in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania for a local inspection:

"There is black coffee and apricot strudel in the Peters bakery, Am Fährhafen 4. From the terrace with the neatly laid bricks you have the best view of the yellow crane with the orange tip that towers over everything here.

Nord Stream 2: EU-member-states protest against impending sanctions against contractors

 A majority of member states of the bloc has initiated a "démarche" against the threat of sanctions of contractors who perform services to complete the controversial pipeline "Nord Stream 2". 24 member states supported this "démarche" except for 3 member states not otherwise specified, WELT:

"The European Union has almost lunanimously opposed with a sharp protest note against further American interference in the construction of the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2. The wording of the protest note submitted in the US State Department is exclusively available to WELT.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Greek-turkish conflict: France sends battleships and fighter aircrafts to back Greece

 French newspaper "Le Monde" writes:

"France has temporarily deployed two Rafale fighters and two naval vessels in the eastern Mediterranean amid tensions between Greece and Turkey over gas exploitation, the French Ministry of the Armed Forces announced Thursday (August 13th). 
On Tuesday, Ankara said it had sent a ship the day before to search for hydrocarbons in an area two-thirds of the Greek maritime zone, contested for decades by Turkey. Greece immediately reacted by sending a boat to "monitor" Turkish activities, according to Athens, warning through the voice of its prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, "that no provocation would go unanswered". 

Greek-turkish conflict over gas in the Mediterranean; France comes to aid of Greece

 The turkish government makes another attempt for explorations for gas in the Mediterranean. The greek government opposes those activities, because it estimates Turkey hereby violates the greek exclusive economic zone, writes WELT

"The "Oruc Reis" is on the way again. The 86-meter-long Turkish research ship, named after a legendary admiral from the Ottoman Empire, searches for gas and oil deposits in the eastern Mediterranean. The technical equipment on board enables the seabed to be explored seismically to a depth of 15,000 meters. It is already the second research voyage of the ship, it should last until 23 August. But whether this will actually happen is uncertain. The “Oruc Reis” had to abort its first mission three weeks ago. And today the situation is similar to that which already forced the ship to return to the port of Antalya


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Nord Stream 2: Germany's indifference to US positions and the unpleasant surprise of sanctions

 An interesting op-ed piece in the german newspaer "WELT" by Matthew Karnitschnig Chief Europe Correspondent of Politico: 

"If there is one thing that the American president has been extremely adept at since his inauguration in 2016, it is getting under Germany's skin. This is the case with transatlantic trade policy, with defense spending and also with the controversial German-Russian gas project Nord Stream 2.
The latest outburst of anger was triggered in early August by a letter sent by three US senators who supported Trump to the operator of a Baltic port in the constituency of Chancellor Angela Merkel. The senators threatened the port managers with "devastating legal and economic sanctions" if they continued to support the pipeline project by supplying the Russian ships that are building the pipeline. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Destination China: Iran secretly transfers oil to other vessels on the high seas

 Radiofarda writes: 

", a company that tracks and reports shipments and storage of crude oil says Iran probably exports twice as much oil as estimated.
In its latest report, the online service has referred to India's tanker Giessel that recently received its cargo from an Iranian oil tanker in the Sea of Oman and delivered it to China.
Various cases of transferring Iranian oil shipments to other tankers in the middle of oceans have been reported. Such operations are aimed at covering up the source of oil shipments and movements of tankers.
Based on the data provided by Kpler, an international data intelligence company, Giessel's case was first reported by Radio Farda on August 6.2

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

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.