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Photo: Odd Andersen Agence France-Presse Le gazoduc Nord Stream 2 de la compagnie russe Gazprom soutenu par d’importants groupes énergétiques européens est achevé à 95%.

La plupart des pays d’Europe se réjouissent du fait qu’après avoir été bousculés par le gouvernement Trump sur bien des enjeux (retrait de l’Accord de Paris, répudiation de l’OTAN, désengagement de l’OMS), ils retourneront, avec le gouvernement de Joe Biden, à une relation de bon ton avec le continent. Mais cette relation ne pourra faire l’économie de certains litiges qui l’ont marquée au cours des dernières années. Parmi ceux-ci : le gazoduc Nord Stream 2 reliant la Russie à l’Allemagne.

Ce gazoduc de la compagnie russe Gazprom soutenu par d’importants groupes énergétiques européens est pourtant achevé à 95 %, avec plus de 10 milliards d’euros déjà investis.…  Seguir leyendo »

Russia’s decision last week to cut off natural gas shipments to Ukraine is adding urgency to discussions on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are considering legislation to speed approval of U.S. natural gas exports.

After the announcement was made, the House Energy and Commerce Committee noted, “For decades, Russia has been wielding its energy resources as a weapon to exert power over our allies, but the U.S. now has the opportunity to fight back against this Russian aggression with our own emerging energy prowess.”

Fighting Russian aggression by providing U.S. energy supplies to our allies is a new concept. For more than 40 years, the United States watched in frustration as its oil and natural gas output declined, oil imports climbed, and payments to foreign suppliers skyrocketed.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ever since the crisis in Ukraine began, oil and gas interests have been arguing that the U.S. could roll back the Russian incursion in Crimea if only we “fast-track” U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas.

There is an easy logic to this argument -- provided you ignore some awkward arithmetic. Russia has been selling gas to Ukraine at the bargain price of about $7.50 per million British thermal units. Germany, by contrast, pays about $11. Meanwhile, gas in Oklahoma costs around $6, suggesting U.S. producers could beat OAO Gazprom’s price.

Trouble is, it's a long way from Oklahoma to Kiev. Liquefying and shipping U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

Russia will not cede control of the Crimea any time soon.

Western saber-rattling would prove hollow: NATO has insufficient forces in the region to challenge Russian control and economic sanctions are not likely to work. Paranoia about Western threats to its security incline Russians to endure great costs to assert the "sphere of privileged interest" Vladimir Putin claims regarding former Soviet Republics now outside the Russian Federation.

Near term, Russia holds the cards. It supplies Europe with about 30% of its natural gas, or 8% of its energy overall. While that gas can be replaced, Europe can't change course overnight.

Europe has substantial shale deposits that France, Germany and several others have chosen not to develop.…  Seguir leyendo »

The news that the Obama administration wants to use America’s new natural gas abundance as a lever against Russia offers a chance to change a long-term dynamic in Europe, which allows an undemocratic petrostate to dictate terms to our closest allies.

This won’t happen overnight, and it won’t be of use in the current crisis. But by accelerating the process now, we can give our allies freedom to respond to future aggressions like the one in Crimea. And we will increase our capacity to shape coalitions that manage a resurgent and aggressive Russia.

Europe imports 15 billion cubic feet of gas per day from Russia.…  Seguir leyendo »