RCEM: Views on Energy News

Thanks to ESCP Europe's Research Centre for Energy Management's  wide network in the academic and business communities, our views on energy news give you comprehensive insight into energy issues. 

Please join us...  

 

The end of October was marked by two surprising moves by the European Commission toward the Russian gas giant, Gazprom.

After years of confrontation Brussels decided to permit Gazprom to use almost 90% of the OPAL gas pipeline, located in Eastern Germany. Almost simultaneously there were information leaks about a deal between the two players on the competition case. Apparently, both sides found a way to settle the row in a satisfactory way.

more »

Recent intense bellicose rhetoric and sabre-rattling between India and Pakistan has raised the stakes in the completion of the much-heralded Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline project. An unnamed official of the Indian government dismissed suspicions that the US$9-billion project could be either postponed or shelved indefinitely due to flaring animosity.

The current round of open and covert hostilities was provoked by a terrorist attack on an army camp at Uri on September 18 and another one at 46 Rashtriya Rifles camp in Baramulla on October 2. The attack in Uri located in India-administered Kashmir was carried out by a radical grouping called Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) that is allegedly linked to Pakistani intelligence services and reportedly responsible for a similar attack on a military base in the town of Pathankot in the Indian state of Punjab in January this year.

more »

What are the most likely repercussions for South East Europe’s energy security after the somewhat ambiguous reconciliation between Ankara and Moscow has re-activated the Turkish Stream pipeline project? Will it challenge the EU energy directives? Will it drive another wedge into the alliance of nations loyal to the concept of an ‘energy union’ and undermine solidarity? Does it really matter or it is not worth consideration? Is it a challenge or an opportunity?

For the moment, the implementation of the project stepping into the shoes of the defunct South Stream is far from being ascertained. Yet, pre-emptive review is appropriate. Should the Black Sea offshore infrastructure materialize, even in its current scaled-down design, it might impact the breakdown of energy imports of the south East corner of Europe having negatively affected the prospects of Azeri pipeline gas deliveries as well as Qatari and US-shipped LNG.

more »

All along most of the 2016 U.S. election trail the issues of energy policy have been conspicuously omitted by the frontrunners, instigating certain uneasiness among the industry actors, investors, trading intermediaries, stockbrokers, insurance agents and shippers. At last, the silence has been broken, partially.

Energy topped the agenda of a public rally and discourse in Bismark, North Dakota, bringing some relief to the interested parties noted for their divergent views on tapping the offshore oil deposits, widening the application of the fracking technologies, and above all, earmarking shale gas either for exports or for the domestic market.

more »

The aspirations of Bulgaria to become a major regional energy hub have acquired some solid ground. By the end of April, nine companies have submitted non-binding expressions of interest (EoI) to book capacity in the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnector (ICGB), which is in tune with the European Union’s energy policies. The list of companies features UK Noble Energy, Italy’s Edison, Azerbaijan’s Socar, Greece’s Depa and Gastrade, Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz, etc. The timeline stipulates submission of binding offers by mid-2016.

more »

Western nations, supported by the UN, are keen to restore a kind of statehood in Libya, which disintegrated after the killing of the dictator, Col. Muammar Gaddafi who died from bullet wounds in 2011. So far, attempts to bring back law, order and some form of stable governance are basically unsuccessful.

more »

The contentious deal on the migrant flow struck between the EU leadership (despite deep divisions) and Turkey seems to be rooted in the Roman principle “do ut des” (“I give that you might give”). On the surface, it looks like a sound compromise in the absence of any other unequivocal and convincing alternatives.

However, the deal has already drawn plenty of critical “slings and arrows". Nations of South East Europe, adversely affected by the in-flow of unexpected guests in the first place, remain skeptical.

more »

Recent efforts to put a cap on oil production in an attempt to balance the market, has not affected the pricing trend. Energy ministers from Saudi Arabia and Russia, the two major oil producers, accompanied by colleagues from Qatar and Venezuela failed to reach an agreement to cut production, compromising only on introducing a limit, fixing the output at mid- January level. With this diminishment of the original intentions, the agreement had no immediate impact on prices: curves stayed almost unchanged. The market, psychologically eager for a price adjustment, was disappointed by the modesty of the bargain.

All eyes were on Iran, which enjoyed being sanctions-free and was looking to increase his oil production and sales, seeking cash-flow, investments, and modernization. Iran did not promise to limit its production to the agreed level, but said to support the move.

more »

In mid-January, Greece paved the way for an accelerated economic and trade engagement of the basically de-sanctioned Iran by  purchasing the first batch of barrels of Iranian oil.

The reinstatement of Iran as a bona fide partner was later impressively manifested by the European tour to Italy and France by its President Hassan Rouhani, who netted quite remarkable benefits thus providing an unequivocal answer to the question used as a title for his study by expert Euler Hermes “Iran: Back in the game?” Indeed, this is a comeback for the 80-million nation, heir of the Persian Empire, and the would-be new regional leader.

more »

The front-page maker, deputy crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, the favorite son of Saudi King Salman, made waves at the beginning of the year by suggesting that Aramco, the state-owned energy monopoly, was nearing its first ever IPO. Most of the comments, unsurprisingly, circled as vultures over the assumptions of what it might be worth.

Since ExxonMobil, boasting of the possession of 25bn barrels of oil, is estimated to be worth around $320bn, Aramco with its immense hydrocarbon reserves of 261bn barrels could weight some $3400bn.

An expert with Bloomberg called the most likely capitalization of Aramco something ”out of this world”. While another shrewd market watcher claimed the final fix of the price tag for the Saudi’s giant would make Apple look like a ”small family owned business.”

more »

One year after the enthronization of King Salman, Saudi Arabia has enhanced its role as a center stage player not only on the global oil market but also throughout the Middle East. The modulations of Saudi’s regional foreign policy are monitored and scrutinized with more zeal and apprehension than the behavior of other main players, including the US, Russia, Iran, Israel, and even the increasingly unpredictable Turkey.

That is due to a number of overlapping factors, not fully positive for Riyadh. Saudi Arabia kick started a chain of crucial events in Libya, Yemen, Syria, etc. which did not evolve in the desired direction.

more »

How much relief and consolation can Greece extract from the first-ever “State of the Energy Union” report, produced on Nov. 18 by the European Commission? With all due respect for its commendable motivation to enhance solidarity and drive toward a harmonious cohesion of national interests, it does not provide a clear-cut vision from where exactly would, for instance, South East Europe and in particular Greece receive its LNG and pipeline gas. The European Commission amended the Regulation № 347/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the Projects of Common Interest (PCIs), originally adopted in October 2013 (the review and update are scheduled every two years).

The list of PCIs grants special privilege to certain energy infrastructure projects worthy of political and financial support of the EU institutions.

more »

The five year stalemate around the giant gas field named Leviathan, located offshore Israel, might be finally resolved after a chain of events alarmed politicians and energy strategists in the only patch of land with not a drop of oil. Personally Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stepped into the ring, displaying readiness to take the full responsibility for precipitating the stalled project against all odds, which are many. But first came the lightening news of the Italian energy major Eni discovering the Zohr gas deposit offshore Egypt with an estimated resource bas of some 850 bcm (the largest find since 1967). It turned into a game changer, diminishing the prospects of Israel to reach out to potential customers in Egypt and, for fear of Zohr’s export potential, to other energy hungry clients in the vicinity.

The gas bonanza, which befell Egypt, led to a close shave vote in the Knesset that approved a controversial framework deal on the Leviathan field development by a consortium of Houston-based oil company Noble Energy and Israeli company Delek Group.

more »
Blog Navigation
Archive