• 1 hour Nigeria Approves Petroleum Industry Bill After 17 Long Years
  • 3 hours Venezuelan Output Drops To 28-Year Low In 2017
  • 5 hours OPEC Revises Up Non-OPEC Production Estimates For 2018
  • 8 hours Iraq Ready To Sign Deal With BP For Kirkuk Fields
  • 9 hours Kinder Morgan Delays Trans Mountain Launch Again
  • 10 hours Shell Inks Another Solar Deal
  • 1 day API Reports Seventh Large Crude Draw In Seven Weeks
  • 1 day Maduro’s Advisors Recommend Selling Petro At Steep 60% Discount
  • 1 day EIA: Shale Oil Output To Rise By 1.8 Million Bpd Through Q1 2019
  • 1 day IEA: Don’t Expect Much Oil From Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Before 2030
  • 1 day Minister Says Norway Must Prepare For Arctic Oil Race With Russia
  • 1 day Eight Years Late—UK Hinkley Point C To Be In Service By 2025
  • 1 day Sunk Iranian Oil Tanker Leave Behind Two Slicks
  • 1 day Saudi Arabia Shuns UBS, BofA As Aramco IPO Coordinators
  • 2 days WCS-WTI Spread Narrows As Exports-By-Rail Pick Up
  • 2 days Norway Grants Record 75 New Offshore Exploration Leases
  • 2 days China’s Growing Appetite For Renewables
  • 2 days Chevron To Resume Drilling In Kurdistan
  • 2 days India Boosts Oil, Gas Resource Estimate Ahead Of Bidding Round
  • 2 days India’s Reliance Boosts Export Refinery Capacity By 30%
  • 2 days Nigeria Among Worst Performers In Electricity Supply
  • 3 days ELN Attacks Another Colombian Pipeline As Ceasefire Ceases
  • 3 days Shell Buys 43.8% Stake In Silicon Ranch Solar
  • 3 days Saudis To Award Nuclear Power Contracts In December
  • 3 days Shell Approves Its First North Sea Oil Project In Six Years
  • 3 days China Unlikely To Maintain Record Oil Product Exports
  • 3 days Australia Solar Power Additions Hit Record In 2017
  • 3 days Morocco Prepares $4.6B Gas Project Tender
  • 3 days Iranian Oil Tanker Sinks After Second Explosion
  • 6 days Russia To Discuss Possible Exit From OPEC Deal
  • 6 days Iranian Oil Tanker Drifts Into Japanese Waters As Fires Rage On
  • 6 days Kenya Cuts Share Of Oil Revenues To Local Communities
  • 6 days IEA: $65-70 Oil Could Cause Surge In U.S. Shale Production
  • 6 days Russia’s Lukoil May Sell 20% In Oil Trader Litasco
  • 6 days Falling Chinese Oil Imports Weigh On Prices
  • 6 days Shell Considers Buying Dutch Green Energy Supplier
  • 7 days Wind And Solar Prices Continue To Fall
  • 7 days Residents Flee After Nigeria Gas Company Pipeline Explodes
  • 7 days Venezuela To Pre-Mine Petro For Release In 6-Weeks
  • 7 days Trump Says U.S. “Could Conceivably” Rejoin Paris Climate Accord
Alt Text

China Gas Imports Hit All-Time High

Natural gas imports into China…

Alt Text

Romania Poised To Ramp Up Gas Output

Often overlooked, Romania has huge…

Alt Text

China's Gas Production Hits Three-Year High

In December 2017 China pumped…

Daniel J. Graeber

Daniel J. Graeber

Daniel Graeber is a writer and political analyst based in Michigan. His work on matters related to the geopolitical aspects of the global energy sector,…

More Info

Turf War with Ukraine Means Gazprom May Send More Gas Though Belarus

Turf War with Ukraine Means Gazprom May Send More Gas Though Belarus

Russian gas monopoly Gazprom announced it could increase the amount of natural gas it would send to its European consumers through the transit system in Belarus this year. Ukraine currently hosts the bulk of Russia's natural gas bound for Europe, though Kiev is locked in a tug-of-war between Brussels and the Kremlin. Gazprom's move, therefore, says less about the monopolistic tendencies of the Russian natural gas company than it does about the status of Moscow's relationship with neighboring Ukraine and the broader European Union. 

Gazprom said it could increase the amount of gas it sends to Europe through Belarus by 13 percent compared with 2011 levels. Ukraine currently hosts about 80 percent of the Russian natural gas bound for Europe, though Kiev had threatened to cut the amount of natural gas it buys this year. The Ukrainian government complains that, at around $400 per 1,000 cubic meters, its paying far too much for natural gas. Minsk, for its part, only pays around $160 per 1,000 cubic meters, but it got that deal by selling its gas company Beltransgaz to the Russian energy company for around $2.5 billion last year.

During the on-again off-again talks over its natural gas deal with Kiev, Gazprom had offered to buy Ukraine's energy company Naftogaz presumably in exchange for a better price for gas. Opposition leaders in Ukraine, however, expressed concern that the pro-Kremlin government was getting too cozy with its former Soviet patrons and kicked that offer aside. Not the case in Minsk, however, where President Alexander Lukashenko earned the moniker "Europe's last dictator" for his tolerance for dissent. (An activist last year was arrested in Belarus for protesting the government by breathing heavily.)

Lukashenko last year threw hundreds of his political opponents in jail following December 2010 elections. European foreign ministers responded with economic sanctions targeting an economy so bad that Lukashenko once threatened to close the borders in the event of an economic calamity. When Kiev threw opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko in jail on corruption charges, however, Europe, despite some complaining, eventually invited the country's president to Brussels to talk about free trade agreements. 

In 2011, the Kremlin said its war with Georgia in 2008 prevented NATO from encroaching on its turf. Before that statement late last year, Minsk took delivery of two Russian-made missile shield systems amid escalating tensions over European missile defense. The Kremlin eventually took its toys and went home, however, and said it would probably boycott the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago over the mess.

Europe following Kiev's latest gas crisis with Gazprom in 2009 started looking for new natural gas suppliers and transit routes. Gazprom, in a statement, said its discussions with Belarus concerned an increase in gas transmission to Europe "in the medium term." If Europe is somehow winning the political turf war over Kiev and Russia is putting the pedal to the metal with plans for pipelines around.

By. Daniel J. Graeber of Oilprice.com




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News