Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin The conflict between Russia and Ukraine could spill into international energy markets. If Russia sent its troops into the heart of Ukraine, it could spell the end of Nord Stream 2 — an $11 billion natural gas pipeline. Germany, which is withholding approval of the line, warns of a “high price” if it invades Ukraine. This begs the question of who has the most power: the Russians feeding an energy-starved Europe or the western allies, which can “blacklist” President Putin and Russia. Because Russia got away with taking Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, it may reason that any aggression would be met with a feeble response — mainly because Nord Stream 2 would provide 15% of Europe’s natural gas. But a takeover would come with significant costs. The Europeans may depend on Russian natural gas, but they have other options. And the United States wants to be a more prominent supplier of liquefied natural gas or LNG, albeit at a higher … [Read more...] about A Russian Invasion Of Ukraine Would Have Profound Implications For International Energy Markets
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Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin During a media visit to China last fall, one participant pulled me aside to explain that the Chinese have never really liked Russia and Japan — though they are fond of Americans. In the intervening months, that Chinese executive has probably had a change of heart: Presidents Xi and Putin say that they are best friends while President Trump has only deepened geopolitical tensions with Beijing. As U.S.-Sino relations digress, the benefits are accruing to Russia and hurting American businesses. China is now looking to Russia to quench its insatiable thirst for oil and gas while it considers relinquishing ties to U.S. oil and gas producers. Will this dynamic stand? Before Trump, the U.S. had a constructive relationship with China based on engagement and international order, says Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of IHS Markit INFO , in a discussion hosted by the Atlantic Council. “We’ve gone from that kind of view of … [Read more...] about As China And Russia Grow Closer, America’s Energy Sector Loses
Colombo, Sri Lanka (CNN) Sri Lanka's Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, resigned on Monday, following weeks of protests against his government. The country has been rocked by civil unrest since March, with demonstrations at times turning violent as anger builds over the government's apparent mishandling of Sri Lanka's worst economic crisis since declaring independence from Britain in 1948. A nationwide curfew was imposed after clashes broke out between supporters of the ruling party and anti-government demonstrators in the capital city, Colombo, the police said Monday. The restrictions were announced shortly before Rajapaksa announced his resignation. Anti-government protesters attacked buses carrying local officials who traveled to Colombo on Monday morning to attend a meeting with the Prime Minister, according to the national police. Mahinda Rajapaksa pictured at his swearing in ceremony as prime minister in August 2020. At … [Read more...] about Sri Lanka’s prime minister resigns amid protests over economic crisis
Barring a miracle of biblical proportions, the Biden administration’s disastrous record on – well, there are actually too many issues to name – will result in the Democratic Party losing its slim majorities in both chambers of Congress. By default, Republicans are almost certain to be in charge of the legislative branch of government in 2023 and will have to demonstrate to the American public that they are up to the task of remedying the countless crises wrought by the Biden administration. One of those crises is the self-inflicted mess at the border. Even White House spin doctors haven’t found a way to blame Putin for that one. President Biden and his hand-picked Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, did it all by themselves with Democrats on Capitol Hill marching along. As the minority party, Republicans have been able to rail against the administration’s blatant subversion of our immigration laws and the grievous harm that is being inflicted on the country, but … [Read more...] about MEHLMAN: If The GOP Takes Congress In November, They Will Have A Mandate To End The Border Crisis
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin When President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz appeared at the White House yesterday, they made clear that Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline will be left to die on the political battlefield — if Russia invades Ukraine. But what will that cost Russia, and where would Europe get its natural gas? Moscow relies on hydrocarbons for 60% of its national budget, while oil and gas make up nearly one-third of its gross national product. It already provides about 39% of Europe’s gas. Russia built Nord Stream 2 to bypass Ukraine — an $11 billion undertaking that stretches 745 miles before it filters into Germany’s Baltic coast. It can’t start delivering gas unless Germany’s regulators permit it. Is Europe more dependent on Russia’s gas, or is Russia more reliant on Europe’s money? “If Russia invades, that means tanks or troops crossing the border of Ukraine again, then there will be – there will be no longer a Nord Stream … [Read more...] about If Nord Stream 2 Dies, What Will It Cost Russia? Where Will Europe Get Its Natural Gas?
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Naturally, the war in Ukraine and its impact on Russian oil flows is the dominant factor in today’s oil market, but few wars last forever. It is possible that Putin will declare victory and leave in the near future, but equally possible that the conflict will revert to pre-invasion status, that is, continuing but low-level fighting in eastern Ukraine. Aside from these unknowns (or at least, known only to Putin), there are a number of salient facts that need to be considered but are often overlooked. The most important thing, and a lesson that never seems to penetrate the public mind: wars and crises tend to be transient and temporary, and many — if not most — factors will soon revert to pre-crisis behavior. First, sanctions will ease: Russian oil and gas have not been put under sanctions by any major consuming nations; the biggest impact has come from companies that have voluntarily ceased purchases primarily of oil. … [Read more...] about The Oil Market After The War
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Donald Trump’s battle against China has taken on a new dimension. The target is ByteDance, which is the parent of the social app TikTok and the one used mostly by teenagers who post short video clips. It’s the latest iteration of the trade dispute between the two countries and one that got started in early 2018 with tariffs on Chinese solar panel makers. But the fight has escalated to the point where the countries’ 40-year friendship has deteriorated. Just this week, the World Trade Organization said that U.S. tariffs imposed on China have violated global trading rules. Specifically, the three-member panel said that the duties assessed were unfair and disproportionate. The Trump administration will no doubt appeal the decision — a move that would likely become moot if Joe Biden is elected U.S. president. Trade wars don’t work. For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Businesses will often pass those … [Read more...] about How The TicTok Controversy Could Inflame The Chinese Trade War And U.S. LNG Markets
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Nord Stream 2 should be juxtaposed next to the Berlin Wall — two dying breeds of oppression and a sign that a new day is coming. If the dilapidated Wall represents the fall of communism, Nord Stream 2’s demise embodies autocracy’s death and the rise of renewable energy. Despite the European Union’s dependence on Russian oil and gas, it has said it would speed up its transition to going green — and separate itself from the Russian economy. The continent aims to increase its share of renewable energy to 32% by 2030 while also ending its reliance on Russian fossil fuels. Indeed, its underlying premise is that Russia’s kingpin, Vladimir Putin, is an international menace not just to peace-loving countries but also to environmental security. “ Let's dash into renewable energy at lightning speed ,” said Frans Timmermans, who heads the EU Green Deal. “Renewables are a cheap, clean, and potentially endless source of energy, and … [Read more...] about Russia’s Invasion Kills Nord Stream 2 And Gives Rise To Renewables
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin The electricity system in the U.K. was its greenest ever on Easter Monday 2021: 76%. The very next day it fell to 45%. Obviously, it varies widely with how much sun is shining and how strongly winds are blowing. The energy mix on Easter Monday was 39% wind, 21% solar, and 16% nuclear. Gas power plants provided 10% and coal plants provided zilch. Wood-burning biomass was 4%. But the race to renewables had already been won by a large state with low population in Australia. In October 2020, South Australia’s electricity was carbon-free – for one hour – powered by large-scale wind and solar but also by rooftop solar collectors (one in four houses have rooftop solar in Australia). What large daily variations in green electricity tell us is that backup supplies are needed for renewables. In the U.K., backup is mainly gas-fired power plants. In the U.S., reliability of renewables is a concern and it’s important to … [Read more...] about Green Electricity Can Be Unstable. Big-Battery Backups Are The Solution.
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin The Texas Public Utility Commission, fully reconstituted with new appointees by Governor Greg Abbott since last February, is still working on creating a model for revamping its regulations that govern the state’s electricity market, but no final rule has yet been proposed. The PUC’s new chairman, Peter Lake, recently told the Dallas Morning News that he plans to introduce a “strawman” soon that will serve as a starting point for negotiations over revised rules. That’s great, but comes far too late to protect consumers through this coming winter. Whether new regulations will ultimately impose any real requirements for winterization of existing facilities and demand or incentivize the building of much-needed new thermal generating capacity on the state’s grid is something no one is able to currently guarantee. This is the reality Texans face today as the coming winter approaches. It is a reality that reflects the state … [Read more...] about Texas Faces Another Winter With An Underpowered Electric Grid