US threatens to sanction European firms involved in Russian gas project

US threatens to sanction European firms involved in Russian gas project:

The US State Department has issued a warning over probable penalties against corporations engaged in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, claiming that the Russian project undermines energy security in Europe.

“As many people know, we oppose the Nord Stream 2 project, the US government does,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said during a news briefing. “We believe that the Nord Stream 2 project would undermine Europe’s overall energy security and stability. It would provide Russia [with] another tool to pressure European countries, especially countries such as Ukraine.”

The pipeline project was started in 2015 as a joint venture between Russia’s Gazprom and its European partners, including France’s Engie, Austria’s OMV, German Uniper and Wintershall, as well as British-Dutch multinational Royal Dutch Shell. The pipeline, running from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea, is set to double the existing pipeline’s capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year.

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Russia’s Grip on European Natural Gas Markets Tightens

Russia’s Grip on European Natural Gas Markets Tightens:

US LNG has been billed as a game changer, threatening to end Russia’s control of the European market.

By Nick Cunningham of Oilprice.com:

Despite years of effort from the EU, Russia’s grip over natural gas supplies in Europe is tightening, not waning.

Gazprom shipped 190 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Europe in 2017—a record high, according to Bloomberg. In 2018, that figure is expected to dip slightly to 180 billion cubic meters, which will still be the second most on record.

Read moreRussia’s Grip on European Natural Gas Markets Tightens

Gazprom to begin Turkish Stream construction in next few days

Gazprom to begin Turkish Stream construction in next few days:

Russian energy giant Gazprom will begin construction on the Black Sea portion of the Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline in a few days, according to CEO Aleksey Miller, who spoke to reporters on Thursday.

We have finished all preparatory and mobilization works [on the Turkish Stream project]. I report to you that we are ready to start the construction of the sea stretch of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline in a few days,” Miller said after a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Gazprom cutting gas supplies to Turkey

Russian-President-Vladimir-Putin

Gazprom cutting gas supplies to Turkey:

The already strained relations between Moscow and Ankara have taken a turn for the worse. Gazprom has cut gas supplies by nearly a quarter after failing to reach an agreement with Turkish importers on discounts for Russian natural gas.

Delivery is down 23 percent, compared to the same period last year, Interfax reports, quoting data from Bulgarian gas operator Bulgartransgaz that processes about 50 percent of Russian gas going to Turkey.

According to the news agency sources, the reduction is linked to a price dispute between Gazprom and Turkey’s private gas importers.

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Russia, Greece Ink Pipeline Deal As Gazprom Boosts Ukraine Bypass

Greece completes stage one of the dreaded “Russian pivot” as energy ministers from Athens and Moscow ink an MOU on Gazprom’s Turkish Stream pipeline. Meanwhile, Gazprom signs a deal with Shell and others to double the capacity of the Nord line, a move which will, over time, decrease the energy giant’s dependence on Ukraine for transport.

Russia, Greece Ink Pipeline Deal As Gazprom Boosts Ukraine Bypass (ZeroHedge, June 18, 2015):

Two weeks ago, in “Greece Breaks America’s Heart, Will Sign MOU With Russia For Gas Pipeline,” we highlighted comments from Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis which indicated that Athens was prepared to sign an MOU with Russia on the Turkish Stream pipeline.

As a reminder, The Turkish Stream will allow Gazprom to bypass Bulgaria by piping gas through Turkey, then through Greece, Serbia, and Hungary straight to the Austrian central hub.

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Washington urged Greece to spurn the Russians and support an alternative pipeline plan designed to let the EU tap into Caspian gas via a series of connecting pipelines running from Azerbaijan to Italy. The Greeks, seeing no need to view the two pipeline projects as competitors, indicated that they would be open to supporting both. “Greece is no one’s property,” Lafazanis said, adding that Athens would “move based on its national interests.” 

Read moreRussia, Greece Ink Pipeline Deal As Gazprom Boosts Ukraine Bypass

Russia’s Gazprom and China’s CNPC to exclude dollar from gas settlements

Russia’s Gazprom and China’s CNPC to exclude dollar from gas settlements (RT, June 16, 2015):

Russia and China expect to use the ruble and yuan in payments for gas supplied using the western Altay pipeline. When it and the eastern Power of Siberia pipeline is open Beijing will become the biggest consumer of Russian gas.

“As a sales contract is not signed, then, of course, the currency of payment has not yet been determined. However, the Chinese side and the Russian side are discussing [currency-Ed.] today and are in intricate negotiations on the possibility of paying in yuan and rubles,”Gazprom Export CEO Elena Burmistrova said Tuesday.

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The PetroYuan Is Born: Gazprom Now Settling All Crude Sales To China In Renminbi

Yuan

–  The PetroYuan Is Born: Gazprom Now Settling All Crude Sales To China In Renminbi (ZeroHedge, June 9, 2015):

As Russia adjusts to Western sanctions stemming from the conflict in Ukraine, Gazprom is now settling all crude sales to China in renminbi. At the intersection of the petrodollar’s death and yuan hegemony is: the PetroYuan…

EU charges Gazprom with ‘abusing’ market position in Central & Eastern Europe

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EU charges Gazprom with ‘abusing’ market position in Central & Eastern Europe (RT, April 22, 2015):

Russia’s biggest gas utility, Gazprom, was hit with an antitrust case by European Union regulators for “abusing” its dominant position and overcharging customers for gas supplies. The investigation against the Gazprom has been ongoing for 2 years.

“We find that it (Gazprom) may have built artificial barriers preventing gas from flowing from certain Central Eastern European countries to others, hindering cross-border competition,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. Vestager said there is no political element to the case.

Read moreEU charges Gazprom with ‘abusing’ market position in Central & Eastern Europe

Greece May Sign Russia Gas Deal As Soon As Today

Russian President Putin and Greek Prime Minister Tsipras attend a signing ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow

Greece May Sign Russia Gas Deal As Soon As Today (ZeroHedge, April 21, 2015):

It appears that Herr Schaeuble will be left in the cold disappointed as following comments from the Greek energy minister that a deal is coming “soon,”  it is being reported that:

*RUSSIA MAY SIGN GAS LINK ACCORD W/ GREECE TODAY: ROSSIYA 24
*GREECE MAY GET LOANS USING RUSSIA GAS TRANSIT GUARANTEE: MILLER

According to Gazprom’s CEO comments on Greek TV, following his meeting with Greek PM Tsipras, Russia will guarantee 47BCM/YR of gas via Greece with the link to be built by a Russian-European group at a cost of around €2 billion.

As Gazprom CEO Arrives In Athens, EU (Coincidentally) Files Anti-Trust Charges Against Russian Giant

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As Gazprom CEO Arrives In Athens, EU (Coincidentally) Files Anti-Trust Charges Against Russian Giant (ZeroHedge, April 20, 2015):

As the head of Russian gas giant Gazprom, Alexei Miller, arrives in Athens tomorrow (for talks with Greek PM Tsipras about “current energy issues of interest,” which we suspect will include finalizing the “Turkish Stream” pipeline heralded by many as Greece’s potential get-out-of-Troika-jail-card), he will face an increasingly anxious European Union. Fresh from its suit against Google, the WSJ reports, the EU’s competition regulator plans to file formal antitrust charges against Russia’s state-owned gas company OAO Gazprom on Wednesday. This re-opens a suit from 2012 saying that it suspected the company of abusing its dominant position in those countries’ natural-gas supply. It appears Europe is getting nervous…