JRL NEWSWATCH: “Big Bounce: Russian gas amid market tightness” – Oxford Institute for Energy Studies

Gas Flame file photo

“The big bounce in Russian gas production in 2021 has proven to be insufficient to meet the simultaneous spikes in demand at home and abroad. Russian gas output has risen robustly and has been close to its maximum productive capacities but the necessity to fill the depleted domestic gas storage facilities in Q3 2021 limited the availability of Russian gas […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia, Belarus Agree on Economic Integration Pacts; The agreements, which cover trade, labor, currencies, taxes and energy, will deepen Moscow’s sway over its neighbor” – Wall Street Journal

Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.gov

“… Putin … [said] that in the end all 28 integration programs were approved. [Putin said that] [t]hey include the integration of currency systems, the principles of levying indirect taxes … the fight against terrorism … [and] the pricing of Russian energy resources, … that a document would be signed by Dec. 1, 2023, to create a single gas market […]

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Russia Says Ukraine Organized Gas Pipeline Attack In Crimea

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Oilprice.com – Charles Kennedy – Sept. 7, 2021) Russia accused on Tuesday Ukraine’s military intelligence of having organized an attack on a natural gas pipeline in Crimea at the end of last month, in another escalation of tensions between Moscow and Kyiv. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine back in 2014, straining the bilateral relations between one of Europe’s key natural […]

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Europe Needs Nord Stream 2 More Than It Likes To Admit

EU Map adapted from cia.gov image

Europe resents Russian gas for the influence it gives a country that the EU considers unfriendly, …, but … is increasingly thirsty for gas because … [last year’s] winter… drained its reserves. … [and] summer … LNG cargoes [got] diverted from Europe to Asia […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine feels the chill of Biden’s foreign policy” – Financial Times

File Photo of Joe Biden at Podium in Front of U.S. and State Department Flags, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

“Afghanistan withdrawal heightens Zelensky’s fears of dwindling support from Washington” “… Ukraine has fought an eight-year war against Russia and Russian-backed militants …. Yet even before the chaotic pullout from Kabul, alarm was spreading … over fears … [that] Biden wanted to focus more on other foreign policy issues, especially … China. The first warning sign … came … when […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Military Seeks to Outmuscle U.S. in Arctic” – Wall Street Journal

File Photo of Polar Bear on Snow with Bare Ground in the Background, adapted from image at nasa.gov with photo credit to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Eric Regehr

“For Moscow it is the last geopolitical battleground where it holds the advantage over Washington and Beijing” “… [N]ew and refurbished bases [are] meant to service the Kremlin’s ambitions in the resource-rich Arctic. … combined to form a new military district … under … the Northern Fleet, Russia’s foremost Arctic naval force[] … [with fleet] headquarters … on the Kola […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Arctic-Superpower Jostling Heats Up as Russia Takes on Key Role” – Bloomberg

File Photo of Arctic Fox Running Across Snow, adapted from image at USGS.gov, with photo credit to Mike Lockart and USGS

“Russia’s Sergei Lavrov claimed this week that ‘this is our land and our waters’ as NATO allies boost military activity” “… Russian and U.S. diplomats … [signal] rising tensions between [powers] racing to seize Arctic resources …. Arctic Council [participants] weren’t due to discuss security. But … Russia’s … Sergei Lavrov declared … the Arctic ‘is our land and our […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine urges Congress to maintain sanctions on Nord Stream 2” – Financial Times

Gas Flame file photo

“Completion of pipeline would be ‘victory for Russia’ and a ‘personal loss’ for Biden, says Zelensky.” “Ukraine has stepped up … pressure on Washington over the contentious Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, appealing to … Congress to maintain sanctions against the project. The Ukrainian parliament … overwhelmingly backed a resolution calling on U.S. lawmakers to override […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S., Russia and Brussels at war over energy” – Le Monde Diplomatique

Gas Flame file photo

“The battle over natural gas: Worsening relations between Europe and Russia are reflected in tensions over energy, in which US demands, Russian and German interests, the EU’s neoliberal doctrine and the climate emergency all play a part.” “… The Russia-Ukraine conflict … the Nord Stream 2 pipeline  … and tensions … over offshore reserves near Cyprus, have put natural gas […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia: Foreign Policy and U.S. Relations [Excerpt]” – Congressional Research Service

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rise to leadership more than 20 years ago, tensions have increased steadily between Russia and the United States […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia seizes on Suez blockage to promote merits of Arctic route” – Financial Times

Suez Canal and Environs Aerial File Photo, adapted from image at nasa.gov

Moscow is busy highlighting the northern sea route and Nordstream as alternatives for world trade […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “About the Kremlin Propaganda — Our Democracy Needs To Be Protected” – Bild

Brandeburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, file photo adapted from image at state.gov

“As a dictator, … Putin has continued what he failed to do as a KGB agent in the GDR [East Germany] … his fight against a freedom-loving Germany and a united Europe. For years, Putin has been running riot with impunity in [Germany]. … buying off influential ex-politicians with lucrative oil projects, such as Nord Stream 2. … support[ing] the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Where Climate Scientists See Danger, Russia Sees an Opportunity” – Bloomberg

Map of Arctic Highlighting Permafrost, adapted from image at nasa.gov

“Rising temperatures in the Arctic are a warning sign for the planet. The melting ice has an economic upside for Russia.” “Russia … fourth-biggest [greenhouse gas] emitter … [also faces Arctic] temperatures … warming more than twice [that of global rates] …. [With] more than a fifth of the planet’s forests, Russia has [had] two consecutive years of record-breaking wildfires […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH AUDIO: “Biden Faces Decision On Gas Pipeline From Russia That Could Alienate Germany” – NPR

Gas Flame file photo

“The Biden administration has to decide whether to alienate Germany … continuing … Trump administration[] sanctions on companies building Germany’s gas pipeline from Russia. … Hundreds of feet below the surface of the Baltic Sea is an enormously long pipeline, snaking from northern Russia to Germany. … Nord Stream 2 … [would] roughly double Europe’s energy supply when … finished. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Global structure of energy consumption unlikely to change much in coming decades, role of hydrocarbons to remain – Putin” – Interfax

Oil Wells file photo, adapted from image at usda.gov

MOSCOW. Jan 25 (Interfax) – The structure of energy consumption worldwide is unlikely to change significantly, with hydrocarbons all the same set to remain in demand for a long period, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday during a meeting of the government with university students to mark the occasion of the country’s Students’ Day. “The whole world is absorbed […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Prepares Earliest-Ever Arctic LNG Shipment to Asia” – Bloomberg/ Irina Reznik, Anna Shiryaevskaya, Dina Khrennikova, Olga Tanas

Arctic Map

“Russia is preparing to make the earliest-ever shipment of liquefied natural gas to Asia, taking advantage of thinning ice in the Arctic … paving the way for a record-long navigation season …. [S]uper-chilled cargo from Novatek PJSC’s Yamal LNG facility in early May will beat last year’s record for the start of eastbound voyages through the Northern Sea Route … […]

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RUSSIALINK: “U.S. Will Lift Nord Stream 2 Sanctions if Europe Suspends Construction, Says Biden Advisor” – Moscow Times

Gas Flame file photo

… The U.S. imposed sanctions at the end of 2019 in an effort to halt the construction of the pipeline, which will transport Russian gas to Europe […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Broadens Sanctions to Thwart Completion of Russian Gas Pipeline” – Wall Street Journal/ Brett Forrest

State Department Building and U.S. Flag

“New measures target companies that would provide services or funding for vessels working on Nord Stream 2” “… [2019] U.S. Sanctions … focused on pipe-laying vessels for Nord Stream 2 and halted the $10.5 billion [natural gas] pipeline[,] … designed to transmit Russian gas to Germany, 100 miles short … beneath the Baltic Sea. … [A] State Department [web announcement] […]

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RUSSIALINK: “What is Nord Stream 2 and Why Might Navalny’s Poisoning Stop Its Completion?” – Moscow Times

Gas Flame file photo

The confirmation that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with Novichok has heightened calls for Germany to review its support for Nord Stream 2 […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Belarus’ Soviet-era economy still propped up by Moscow” – Deutsche Welle/ Nik Martin

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“Belarus has one of the lowest poverty rates in Europe, but economic growth is anemic due to archaic state-run industries and the ending of Russian energy subsidies. Its biggest political crisis is even more of a threat.” “… Belarus’ dependence on energy-rich Russia is ever more evident …. Moscow has already offered to help bolster security [amidst the current crisis] […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia should rethink its role in new energy economy” – The National (UAE)/ Robin Mills

Gas Flame file photo

“Global gas market remains oversupplied and renewables only makes up a small part of the country’s energy mix.” “Russia’s energy sector has so far come through the pandemic better than some might have expected. … Opec+ … has shored up oil revenue and the rouble. But [Russia’s] longer-term outlook is cloudy, both in petroleum and its unstrategic approach to new […]

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Is This The Next Major Market For Russian LNG?

Gas Flame file photo

(oilprice.com – Viktor Katona – Aug. 17, 2020) Russia’s ambitious LNG plans have so far based on two producing assets – the Gazprom-operated Sakhalin LNG and the NOVATEK-operated Yamal LNG. The addition of Yamal LNG into its portfolio has helped to boost its clout (growing from 4% of global LNG trade to 8% currently) yet the actual numbers of assets […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The U.S. Is Close to Killing Russia’s Nord Stream 2 Pipeline; But it’s a race between slow construction and slower sanctions” – Foreign Policy/ Amy Mackinnon

Gas Flame file photo

“Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is close to the finish line – but might be closer to finished as a viable project, after one of the companies involved in laying the pipe on the Baltic seafloor said … it would withdraw …. For years, the United States has tried to kill off Russia’s latest effort to strengthen its […]

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Pompeo Says U.S. Will ‘Do Everything’ To Stop Nord Stream 2 Project

Gas Flame file photo

… The United States opposes the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would run under the Baltic Sea and double Russia’s direct natural gas exports to Germany while bypassing Ukraine […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “There Is No Arctic Axis; Russia and China’s partnership in the north is primarily driven by business, not politics.” – Foreign Policy/ Elizabeth Buchanan

Arctic Map

“… [C]ommercial realpolitik is at the heart of [Russia and China’s Arctic] engagement. … [even as it] navigates existing fault lines, such as Beijing’s failure to acknowledge Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Moscow’s nonalignment in the … India-China conflict. … [R]egional cooperation is due to … shared interest[s] in maintaining domestic stability. Long-term economic development ventures and the viability of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Folly; Pompeo may be in an uproar over Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, but it is hardly the geopolitical masterstroke he imagines.” – Foreign Policy/ Chris Miller

Gas Flame file photo

“As the United States [adds] … pressure … against Nord Stream 2, friction with Germany, which would receive much of the pipeline’s gas, will intensify. …. Many countries in Central and Eastern Europe see the pipeline as a glaring example of German hypocrisy … Berlin lectures them about carbon neutrality and human rights while guzzling fossil fuels from one of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Denmark Gives Russia’s Nord Stream 2 Pipeline a Path to Completion” – Wall Street Journal/ Brett Forrest

Gas Flame file photo

“U.S. officials fear the pipeline will give Moscow greater political leverage across Europe.” “Denmark granted unexpectedly swift approval for resuming construction of the Russian-backed Nord Stream 2 pipeline in Danish waters, potentially clearing one of … [its] last hurdles …. The pipeline, once finished and certified, will deliver Russian natural gas to Germany …. U.S. lawmakers and officials fear … […]

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Russians Increasingly Angry that They Live in Poverty in a Country So Rich in Natural Resources

Oil Well file photo

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 28, 2020) The pandemic and associated economic crisis have exacerbated widespread anger among Russians that they live in poverty despite the enormous natural wealth of their country and its sale earlier abroad for more than six trillion US dollars. Had even a small part of that money gone to the people, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why the World Worries About Russia’s Natural Gas Pipeline” – Bloomberg/ Anna Shiryaevskaya, Dina Khrennikova

Gas Flame file photo

“A … natural gas pipeline being built under the Baltic Sea from Russia … to the German coast is shaking up geopolitics. Nord Stream 2 … worries … bypassed countries in Eastern Europe … fear[ing the loss of] transit fees … [while also] adding to friction with the U.S., which argues the link would give the Kremlin new leverage over […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Senators to Announce Sanctions Bill on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline” – Reuters

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

“U.S. senators [reportedly] will announce a bill this week expanding sanctions on … [the] Gazprom-led Nord Stream 2 project … [that] Washington says will make Europe too reliant on Russian gas. The Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Clarification Act[, spearheaded by Republican Senator … Ted Cruz[ and Democratic Senator] Jeanne Shaheen … follows legislation signed by … Trump last year …. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Tanker crosses Russian Arctic route without icebreaker assistance; Commercial shipping on the Northern Sea Route starts earlier than ever before.” – Barents Observer/ Atle Staalesen

Arctic Map

By late May, a carrier had set out on the icy route without icebreaker escort. “… [S]ea ice along the Russian Arctic coast is quickly vanishing as temperatures … have been reaching record highs. With the retreating ice comes tanker traffic. … [T]he ‘Christophe de Margerie’ … on May [19th] kickstarted this year’s shipping season across the eastern part of […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Repair, abandon, burn: Russia explores options for historic oil cut” – Reuters/ Olesya Astakhova, Katya Golubkova

Oil Well file photo

“In just a week, Russia has to find ways to cut a fifth of its oil output … and is looking at all options, including putting wells on repair and maintenance to abandoning them entirely and even burning oil, four oil industry sources said. Russia, along with other members of the global oil alliance between the [OPEC] and non-OPEC members, […]

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Qatar And Russia Fight For LNG Supremacy As Prices Fall To Historic Lows

Gas Flame file photo

(Oilprice.com – Viktor Katona – April 19, 2020) [Text with charts oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Qatar-And-Russia-Fight-For-LNG-Supremacy-As-Prices-Fall-To-Historic-Lows.html] The 2020 drastic oil price drop, induced by the ever-frightening coronavirus and the Saudi-Russian spat, has ravaged business interests all across the world. US oil producers are facing a new reality – instead of a seemingly watertight growth trajectory, 2020 will most probably witness a decline in annual […]

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Russia Sees Oil & Gas Income Fall By Almost $40 Billion

Gas Flame file photo

(Oilprice.com – Tsvetana Paraskova – March 18, 2020) Russia’s revenues from oil and gas will be US$39.5 billion (3 trillion rubles) lower than planned, due to the tumbling oil prices, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday, adding that Russia’s budget will be in deficit this year. The coronavirus pandemic and the lower economic activity, coupled with oil prices […]

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U.S. Senate Hearing Exposes Partisan Differences Over New Russia Sanctions

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Todd Prince – WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/u-s-senate-hearing-exposes-partisan-differences-over-new-russia-sanctions/30306449.html) A hearing in the Senate to discuss U.S. foreign policy towards Russia exposed partisan disagreements over whether to impose new sanctions on a rival power accused of “malign” actions, including interference in foreign elections. […]

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Clock Ticking In Congress As Russia Presses Ahead With Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Todd Prince – Nov. 18, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/clock-ticking-in-congress-as-russia-presses-ahead-with-nord-stream-2-gas-pipeline/30278828.html) As the impeachment inquiry hogs the spotlight in Washington, another drama in which Ukraine has a role is playing out more quietly — and causing concern in Kyiv, which is watching warily as Russia brings […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Pipelines From Russia Cross Political Lines; Critics say the Nord Stream 2 project would make Germany too dependent on Russian natural gas and economically punish Ukraine” – New York Times/ Steven Erlanger

Gas Flame file photo

“… Radoslaw Sikorski … former Polish defense minister, compared it to the infamous 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact that allied the Nazis with Stalin’s Soviet Union. … [A] pair of natural gas pipelines known as Nord Stream 2, … would double the capacity of an existing pair of pipelines, Nord Stream …. The pipelines run from Russia directly under the Baltic Sea […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s $150 Billion Bet on Arctic Warming; France’s Macron slams the northern shipping route as an ecological disaster in the making, but Asian and European companies are lining up for a share of its (potential) riches.” – Transitions Online/ Ky Krauthamer

Arctic Map

“… [Russian has high hopes for] the [Arctic’s] Northern Sea Route [NSR] … owing to the long-term thinning of the ice pack. … [Use of the route] could shorten the journey from East Asia to Europe by up to two weeks. Norway … is skeptical[,] … has concerns about the environmental dangers of increased shipping in the fragile northern environment, […]

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