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Gas Expert Says U.S., Russia Need To Focus On Cutting Emissions

An Austrian natural gas expert has warned Washington and Kremlin they have to set their priorities straight and focus their efforts on reducing the world’s carbon emissions rather than growing their market share on the European gas market.

Bloomberg quotes Nebojsa Nakicenovic as saying “We need to be at zero emissions by mid century,” warning there was no time to waste on less important, according to him, issues such as who sells how much natural gas to European consumers.

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Nakicenovic was half a century ago a member of a joint U.S-Russian research institute on energy set up to seek ways to avoid an energy crisis. At the time, Nakicenovic and his colleagues at the institute in a way facilitated the natural gas boom in both countries by revising the world’s natural gas resources and in the process fixing the wrong estimates made by the CIA at the time.

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But now, according to the scientist, the time to lean on gas for energy security is over and what the world needs to do is move away from this and all other fossil fuels.

Nakicenovic is not the only one warning that the time to act is now. Some even believe we have gone beyond the point of no return in climate change and whatever we do now will be too little too late. Yet, in geopolitics natural gas markets and particularly the European gas market remains an important playing field.

Russia’s Gazprom has a 40-percent market share in Europe and Trump’s administration wants to challenge that with U.S. LNG exports, which are set to grow substantially over the next few years as more production capacity comes on stream.

“Infrastructure is important insomuch as it provides the resilience to the system,” Nakicenovic said during a speech  at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “More fragmentation through my country first policies,” he added, may have an adverse effect on this resilience.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on February 18 2019 said:
    My comments were intended for the article titled:" Russia's Gazprom to Start China Gas Pipeline by December 1". Sorry for the mistake.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
  • Mamdouh Salameh on February 18 2019 said:
    The growing energy cooperation between the world’s largest importer of crude oil and gas and the world’s largest producer of oil and largest exporter of natural gas looks like a marriage made in heaven particularly when the two countries have land border between them.

    The expected completion of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline and the start of Russian gas transmission to China before the end of this year will ensure Russia’s dominance in the huge Chinese gas market well into the future in addition to being the biggest supplier of crude oil to China.

    And with the eventual completion of Nord Stream 2 and the Turk Stream by the end of this year, Russia’s dominance in the European Union’s (EU) fast-growing gas market will be unchallengeable.

    Still, the completion of the Power of Siberia will send a huge signal to the EU that Russia is not vulnerable to economic or geopolitical pressure on gas prices of or supplies as it could easily switch its gas supplies from the EU to China.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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