EU ABOUT TO GET A BAD CASE OF GAS

11 comments

Posted on 4th March 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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So let me get this straight. Obama and the nattering nabobs of NATO are threatening Russia with economic sanctions. Meanwhile, Europe is entirely dependent on Russian oil and natural gas to run their societies. Even the U.S. imports 200,000 barrels of oil per day from Russia. The American and European oligarchs can certainly make Russia feel pain by freezing assets and hurting their currency, but at the end of the day, they will still have the oil and gas in the ground.

If I was a betting man, I think our old friend China might just take some of that oil and gas off of Russia’s hands and provide some short term liquidity to old Vlad.

I wonder how the booming American economy will function at $150 per barrel oil? Maybe Obama can ramp up those student loans and subprime auto loans to save the country.

This little political incident has all the makings of a tipping point in the decline of the teetering American Empire. The rise of China/Russia has never been more evident.

But at least we gave out multiple Oscars to slave films and gay films to prove we are progressive. We got that going for us.

 

It Begins: Gazprom Warns European Gas “Supply Disruptions” Possible

Tyler Durden's picture

We had previously warned that Putin’s “trump card” had yet to be played and with Obama (and a quickly dropping list of allies) preparing economic sanctions (given their limited escalation options otherwise), it was only a matter of time before the pressure was once again applied from the Russian side. As ITAR-TASS reports, Russia’s Gazprom warned that not only could it cancel its “supply discount” as Ukraine’s overdue payments reached $1.5 billion but that “simmering political tensions in Ukraine, that are aggravated by inadequate economic conditions, may cause disruptions of gas supplies to Europe.” And with that one sentence, Europe will awaken to grave concerns over Russia’s next steps should sanctions be applied.

 

It would appear this is the most important map in Europe once again…

 

 

Some recent history…

In late January, Ukraine asked Russia for deferral of payments for gas supplied in 2013 and in early 2014. President Vladimir Putin said Ukraine’s debt totalled $2.7 billion then.

and then…

On March 1, Gazprom’s spokesperson Sergai Kupriyanov said the gas holding could cancel its gas supply discount for Ukraine as its overdue debt for gas reached $1.5 billion. This figure includes debts not only for last year’s supplies, but also for the current deliveries.

 

The situation with payments is worrying,” said Andrei Kruglov, Gazprom’s chief financial officer.

Ukraine is paying but not as well as we would like it to. We are still thinking about whether to extend the pricing contract into the next quarter based on current prices.”

And now today…

Russia’s gas giant Gazprom said on Monday it did not rule out possible disruptions of gas supplies to Europe over Ukraine’s political situation.

 

Simmering political tensions in Ukraine, that are aggravated by inadequate economic conditions, may cause disruptions of gas supplies to Europe,” the monopoly said in its materials, adding that it would do its utmost to reduce export risks.

 

“We will further invest into other export-oriented projects such as South Stream and will enhance our LNG (liquefied natural gas) production and export capacity. We also increase our access to underground gas storage facilities in Europe.”

 

Andrei Kruglov, Gazprom’s chief financial officer, said at the moment Russia had been supplying gas to Ukraine according to schedule, although the latter failed to fulfil its debt obligations.

With that last sentence providing exactly the ‘real world’ cover Gazprom needs to cut its supplies “through” Ukraine and thus to Europe…

And, as The Guardian notes, this would…

not the first time Russia has used gas exports to put pressure on its neighbour – and “gas wars” between the two countries tend to be felt far beyond their borders. Russia, after all, still supplies around 30% of Europe’s gas.

 

In late 2005, Gazprom said it planned to hike the price it charged Ukraine for natural gas from $50 per 1,000 cubic metres, to $230. The company, so important to Russia that it used to be a ministry and was once headed by the former president (and current prime minister) Dmitry Medvedev, said it simply wanted a fair market price; the move had nothing to do with Ukraine’s increasingly strong ties with the European Union and Nato. Kiev, unsurprisingly, said it would not pay, and on 1 January 2006 – the two countries having spectacularly failed to reach an agreement – Gazprom turned off the taps.

 

The impact was immediate – and not just in Ukraine. The country is crossed by a network of Soviet-era pipelines that carry Russian natural gas to many European Union member states and beyond; more than a quarter of the EU’s total gas needs were met by Russian gas, and some 80% of it came via Ukrainian pipelines. Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Poland soon reported gas pressure in their own pipelines was down by as much as 30%.

Short of an actual war, the consensus appeared to be, Europe’s gas supplies are unlikely to be seriously threatened (since Putin relies on those revenues)… that is clearly about to change with Gazprom’s comments.

As the following image from Agence France Presse (created at the end of last year) indicates, things are about to get a lot more problemati for Germany, France, and Italy…

11 Comments
  1. Administrator says:

    NEVER MIND. IT’S ALL FIXED. PUTIN SAYS HE WON’T INVADE. BUY STOCKS.

    Futures Soar, Near Record As Putin Speaks, Softens Russian Stance On Ukraine

    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/04/2014 06:51 -0500

    Futures are soaring and are just shy of their record high first following news that the Russian military drill has ended, even if Russian troops stationed in the Crimea remain, but more importantly driven by a just completed press conference by Vladimir Putin in his residence outside of Moscow, in which the Russian leader appears to have softened his stance on Crimean aggression, saying he does not consider adding Crimea to its territory. What the market is focusing on is the repeat of Putin’s stance that he will not be sending troops to the Crimea yet (even though they are there already), and that he suddenly appears concerned about the impact on markets and the fallout from sanctions.

    The key highlights from the speech from Blooomberg.

    •PUTIN SAYS UKRAINE SUFFERED COUP
    •PUTIN SAYS UKRAINE GOVT OVERTHROW UNCONSTITUTIONAL, ARMED COUP
    •PUTIN SAYS YANUKOVICH AGREED WITH OPPOSITION TO SURRENDER POWER
    •PUTIN SAYS UKRAINE’S YANUKOVYCH DIDN’T GIVE ILLEGAL ORDER TO SHOOT
    •PUTIN SAYS UKRAINE USED TO ONE SET OF CROOKS REPLACING ANOTHER
    •PUTIN SAYS YANUKOVYCH IS UKRAINE’S LEGITIMATE PRESIDENT
    •PUTIN SAYS YANUKOVYCH ASKED RUSSIA TO SEND TROOPS TO PROTECT PEOPLE
    •PUTIN SAYS YANUKOVYCH HAS NO POLITICAL FUTURE
    •PUTIN SAYS UKRAINE POLITICAL LIFE HAS BECOME FARCE
    •PUTIN SAYS NO NEED TO SEND TROOPS TO UKRAINE YET
    •PUTIN SAYS RUSSIA’S MILITARY EXERCISE HAD BEEN PLANNED LONG AGO
    •PUTIN SAYS RUSSIA WOULD SEND TROOPS TO UKRAINE ONLY IN EXTREME CASE
    •PUTIN SAYS NO BLOODSHED IN CRIMEA
    •PUTIN SAYS RUSSIA TROOPS IN UKRAINE’S CRIMEA JUST REINFORCEMENT
    •PUTIN SAYS MARKETS REACTED NERVOUSLY TO EVENTS DUE TO U.S. POLICY
    •PUTIN SAYS POLITICS HAD “TACTICAL”, TEMPORARY IMPACT ON MKTS
    •PUTIN SAYS SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA WOULD CAUSE MUTUAL DAMAGE
    •PUTIN SAYS CRIMEAN ADMINISTRATION IS FULLY LEGITIMATE
    •PUTIN SAYS RUSSIA NOT CONSIDERING ADDING CRIMEA TO RUSSIA
    •PUTIN SAYS CRIMEA SELF-DEFENSE BLOCKED UKRAINE FORCES
    •PUTIN SAYS WE DON’T PLAN TO FIGHT UKRAINIAN PEOPLE
    •PUTIN SAYS DOESN’T WANT TO RECALL AMBASSADOR FROM U.S.
    •PUTIN ORDERED RUSSIAN GOVT TO RENEW CONTACTS WITH UKRAINE GOVT
    •PUTIN SAYS WEST ASKED RUSSIA NOT TO BUY MORE UKRAINE BONDS
    •PUTIN SAYS NO IDEA WHO UKRAINE WILL ELECT AS PRESIDENT
    •PUTIN SAYS AGREES W/ UKRAINE PROTESTERS’ DEMAND FOR NEW LEADERS
    •PUTIN SAYS MET YANUKOVYCH 2 DAYS AGO, SAYS HE’S ALIVE

    On the oh so sensitive topic of Russian gas:

    •PUTIN SAYS UKRAINE MAY OWE $2B FOR GAS AT END FEB.
    •PUTIN SAYS GAZPROM CANCELLING UKRAINE GAS DISCOUNT OVER DEBT
    Then

    •RUSSIA’S LAVROV SAYS HOPES “OUR PARTNERS” WILL NOT IMPOSE SANCTIONS OVER UKRAINE AND WILL UNDERSTAND RUSSIAN POSITION
    •RUSSIA’S LAVROV SAYS OUR MOVE IN CRIMEA WAS CORRECT, FORCES SEIZED ARMS AND EXPLOSIVES

    So is this Putin offering an olive branch to the West and de-escalating Crimea, or just more smoke and mirrors for the media to consume even as Putin fully entrenches in the territory? Expect to find out shortly.

    Finally, here is Reuters recap of events:

    President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia saw no need to use military force in the Crimea region of Ukraine for now, in remarks apparently intended to ease East-West tension over fears of war in the former Soviet republic.

    The use of force by Russia in Ukraine would be a choice of last resort, Putin said, and sanctions being considered against Moscow by the West would be counter-productive.

    Putin told a news conference at his state residence outside Moscow there had been an “unconstitutional coup” in Ukraine and ousted leader Viktor Yanukovich, an ally of Russia, was still the legitimate leader of the country despite giving up all power.

    Earlier on Tuesday, Putin ordered troops involved in a military exercise in western Russia, close to the border with Ukraine, back to their bases.

    Russian financial markets rebounded after sharp falls on Monday, and the euro and dollar rose in Japan, though Moscow’s forces remained in control of Ukraine’s Crimea region, seized bloodlessly after Yanukovich was ousted last month.

    Russia paid a heavy financial price on Monday for its military intervention in Ukraine, with stocks, bonds and the rouble plunging as Putin’s forces tightened their grip in Crimea, whose population is mainly ethnic Russian.

    The Moscow stock market fell more than 10 percent on Monday, wiping nearly $60 billion off the value of Russian firms, but Russian stock indexes rose more than 4 percent early on Tuesday before slipping back again slightly, though still up on the day.

    Putin said the turmoil in Russian markets was a “tactical, temporary” decision by investors.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will propose ways for a negotiation between Russia and Ukraine to be overseen by a multilateral organisation when he visits Kiev on Tuesday.

    NATO allies will hold emergency talks on the crisis on Tuesday, for the second time in three days.

    GAZPROM PRICES

    In further pressure on Kiev, Russia’s top gas producer Gazprom said it would remove a discount on gas prices for Ukraine from April, Interfax news agency cited the company’s chief as saying on Tuesday.

    However, Gazprom chief Alexei Miller also said the company could offer Ukraine a loan of $2-3 billion to pay off the country’s debt of more than $1.5 billion after Ukraine said it was unable to pay in full for gas deliveries in February, Interfax news agency said.

    Putin said at the weekend that he had the right to invade Ukraine to protect Russian interests and citizens after Yanukovich’s downfall following months of popular unrest. Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has a base in Crimea.

    But the military exercises in central and western Russia, which began last week and raised fears that Russia might send forces to Russian-speaking regions of east Ukraine, were completed on schedule.

    “The supreme commander of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, gave the order for the troops and units, taking part in the military exercises, to return to their bases,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

    Although the end of the exercises had been planned, the announcement sent a more conciliatory message than much of the rhetoric from Russian officials, who say Moscow must defend national interests and those of compatriots in Ukraine.

    Putin is dismayed that the new leadership in Ukraine, the cradle of Russian civilisation, has plotted a course towards the European Union and away from what had been Moscow’s sphere of influence during generations of Soviet Communist rule.

    Moscow’s U.N. envoy told a stormy meeting of the Security Council that Yanukovich had sent a letter to Putin requesting he use Russia’s military to restore law and order in Ukraine.

    Ukraine said observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a pan-European security body, would travel at its invitation to Crimea in an attempt to defuse the military standoff there.

    4th March 2014 at 8:15 am

  2. Hollow man says:

    Looks like to me the bear can take a shit anywhere it wants. The woods or the Ukarine or anywhere else.

    4th March 2014 at 8:18 am

  3. Administrator says:

    Isn’t it precious how the world actually believes Putin – hook, line and sinker.

    4th March 2014 at 8:48 am

  4. bluestem says:

    Happy day’s are here again, market opened up 150 all is well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Right. John

    4th March 2014 at 9:42 am

  5. ThePessimisticChemist says:

    “If I was a betting man, I think our old friend China might just take some of that oil and gas off of Russia’s hands and provide some short term liquidity to old Vlad.”

    Get out of my head, I called this when the shit first hit the fan and people started talking about sanctions hurting Russia.

    Also, when my wife saw it was Will Smith presenting the Oscar for best picture, she said “Great, the slave one must have one!”

    4th March 2014 at 9:48 am

  6. Bostonbob says:

    It appears to me that Putin has played the EU to perfection. While they will continue to put pressure on the ruble he has them hooked on the gas heroin. 36% of Germany’s gas supplied by Russia. It probably never gets cold in Germany and industrial output has so little to do with carbon inputs. 27% of Italy’s natural gas. Who cares, they are already broke, Rome is about to declare bankruptcy. These people have so screwed themselves. This will be interesting to watch, I suspect Vlad has no fear of any of these EU douche bags. While the Russian army may not be what it once was it is still quite formidable. What does Europe have to counter with. Let the fun begin.
    Bob.

    4th March 2014 at 9:57 am

  7. Treemagnet says:

    The Pute, its his show. Or Medvedev’s. Isn’t Putin his puppet?

    4th March 2014 at 10:02 am

  8. Administrator says:

    To Celebrate Detente Russian Navy Blocks Channel Between Crimea And Russia

    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/04/2014 10:02 -0500

    It took just a few short hours after Putin’s Cold War 2.0 “detente” overtures for Russia to show that there is a difference between actions and words. In this case, and as always, the former continue to outperform the latter, and Reuters reports that Russian navy ships have blocked off the Kerch Strait which separates Ukraine’s Crimea region and Russia.

    According to the news service, which however cites Ukraine border guards so it must be taken with a large grain of salt as last seen during yesterday’s “ultimatum” escalation, the border guards have said that Russian servicemen are in control of the Crimean side of the narrow channel and that Russian armored vehicles have been sighted on the Russian side.

    “The Kerch Strait is blocked by two Russian ships – from the north and from the south,” Pavel Shishurin, the deputy head of the border guards, told reporters.

    The Russian military has not confirmed his comments.

    But as long as Putin contemplates whether or not to put troops in the Crimea, as in more, all is well. At least according to the “markets.”

    4th March 2014 at 11:31 am

  9. TRUMAN UCCNOT says:

    At some point Russia will have nothing left to lose if they shut off all life giving gas to Europe…
    no different than the line China just crossed with rapidly depreciating US dollars they
    were apprehensive to dump for fear of not being able to dump the rest before it turned into
    a pumpkin

    That idiot “Al Korlin ” said today that they’ll work it all out somehow….yeh Al… uh huh…work it out…
    once this all unravels, it’ll be like looking for the spent match that burned down Yellowstone….
    nobody will even care how it started anymore…. that’s the anatomy of a Rothschild instigated world war… give it a push and watch the show.

    .

    4th March 2014 at 6:53 pm

  10. Stucky says:

    from a link in the article …

    “Britain is preparing to rule out trade sanctions against Russia amid fears that the Ukraine crisis could derail the global economic recovery. Perhaps it is the fear of a massive liquidity suck out from London’s real estate market (or its banking system) that has the Brits on edge. We suspect Germany will be close behind as they eye exploding gas and oil prices and their dependence on Russia’s marginal production.”

    Haha. Even the war-mongering Brits and the Obama-dick-sucking Germans aren’t on board the Sanction Train.

    Go Ketchup!
    Go Oreo!
    Go Ass Clowns!!!

    4th March 2014 at 7:32 pm

  11. Stucky says:

    CuNNt and Fux have been showing that vid @8:48 all fucken day.

    “Russians!” “Firing warning shots at Ukrainian soldiers!” “OH MY GOD!!!”

    Anyone with half a fucking brain will see the camera men marching along side the Singing Ukrainians.

    Anyone with half a fucking brain can deduct that this was all …….. STAGED, by the Ukes, for effect. THEY should have won an Oscar!

    4th March 2014 at 7:40 pm

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