Tag Archives: gas

Russia proposes construction of joint oil fleet with India

photo of ship

This is just another example of Russia and India joining ever closer together with their economic and military ties. As I’ve said numerious times in my videos, the power structure has shifted from West to the East. India and Russia have even recently discussed ditching the dollar as a trade mechanism between them. I just put up this post about Modi and Putin making a joint statment the other day declaring that they have a “privileged strategic partnership” despite Western pressure.

Now to bypass Western sanctions, India and Russia are considering a joint oil tanker fleet to avoid insurance issues and other hassles with shipping. Here is more from Ahmed Adel, Cairo-based geopolitics and political economy researcher

Moscow has proposed to cooperate with New Delhi in building or leasing large oil tankers to circumvent Western sanctions and ensure crude oil transportation capacity. Specifically, this is in order to ship more crude oil to the largest buyers of Russian oil and not to lose profits.

The price cap on Russian oil imposed by the G7, the European Union and Australia has only had a limited effect on non-participatory countries. Since the imposition of the price cap on December 5, Chinese traders are still working as usual and private refiners have bought Russian ESPO oil.

According to the International Energy Agency, India’s import of Russian oil has increased from 30,000 barrels per day in February, to 1.08 million barrels per day, surpassing even China which imports 830,000 barrels per day.

In total, fuel traffic to Asia has tripled to 2.5 million barrels. The surge, according to S&P Global Commodities, has seen China and India now account for 68% of Russian crude oil exports shipped by sea, a reflection of the difficulties Russia faces in the West, such as receiving insurance and transportation services.

It is recalled that earlier in December, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar stressed: “We do not ask our companies to buy Russian oil. We ask our companies to buy oil (based on) what is the best option that they can get.”

None-the-less, there are now complications in transporting Russian oil, resulting in increased freight rates. In addition, as mentioned, Western companies refuse to provide insurance for Russian oil tankers.

“It is necessary to change the routes of about half of the two million barrels per day. A shortage of ships is inevitable,” credit rating agency S&P Global Ratings pointed out.

It is for this reason that India and Russia are seeking to cooperate in shipbuilding – Russia needs oil customers and India is energy hungry, and just as importantly, both countries have an established relationship built on decades of fulfilling mutual interests. As Russian crude oil is mainly exported on foreign tankers, which can no longer be insured by Western companies, building a Russian-Indian shipping fleet is of mutual benefit.

The knock-on effect is clear: New Delhi will continue to buy as much Russian oil as it wants, even at a price set above the G7’s price cap as it can always refine the oil itself and resell it to Europe for profit. Also, complete independence from Western insurance, financial and transportation services is something that would be of mutual Russian and Indian interest as they both consolidate their respective spheres of influence in the Age of Multipolarity.

It is also for this reason that both countries are aiming for de-dollarization, with Russia expected to be one the first countries to use the Indian rupee trade settlement mechanism. Russia is not the only country interested in India’s rupee trade settlement mechanism, with Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Cuba, Luxembourg, and Sudan also expressing interest.

It is recalled that during Jaishankar’s visit to Moscow last month, he said that India will boost economic ties with Russia.

“For us, Russia has been a steady and time-tested partner and, as I said, any objective evaluation of our relationship over many decades would confirm that it has served both our countries very, very well,” he said.

India’s commitment to building relations with Russia is reflected in the fact that it has refused to impose sanctions despite Western pressure and has abstained from United Nations resolutions condemning Moscow over its military operation in Ukraine.

At the same time, as tensions between India and China mount, New Delhi cannot afford to risk upheaval in its military which is heavily dependent on Russian-made tanks, fighter jets and missiles.

Relations between New Delhi and Beijing have been less than ideal since a clash in June 2020 left several Indian and Chinese soldiers dead. With these tensions now renewed, India is especially not looking to sever its relations with Russia despite Western pressure, but in fact deepen them, including in the military industrial sector.

India has also increased its purchases of oil, coal and fertilisers from Moscow as part of their deepening of ties, and are boosting cooperation in the military and financial sectors. Although the West is insistently pressuring India to step back in its relations with Russia, the idea to create an Indo-Russian fleet to circumvent Western sanctions point to the very fact that nothing will undo this decades-old relationship.

Source: InfoBrics

Washington Post effectively admits NATO sabotaged Nord Stream pipelines

Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst

The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines were subjected to a series of sabotage attacks on 26 September 2022. The perpetrators used explosives to render parts of the strategically important natural gas pipelines inoperable. The first explosion was recorded at 02:03 local time (CEST) and hit the Nord Stream 2. A pressure drop was detected and natural gas began leaking southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm. Seventeen hours later, the same occurred to Nord Stream 1, resulting in three separate leaks northeast of Bornholm. The attacks happened just a day after Poland and Norway opened the Nord Stream’s competitor, the Baltic Pipe, running through Denmark, bringing in gas from the North Sea. The sabotage was carried out in international waters, but within the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of Denmark and Sweden.

As per usual, the mainstream propaganda machine of the political West immediately started blaming Russia for sabotaging its own natural gas pipelines. The “cartoonishly evil” Kremlin was once again accused of allegedly “weaponizing” its vast energy reserves against the European Union. For months, claiming anyone else was behind the attacks would get one branded a “conspiracy theorist”, a designation perfectly fit to have dissenting opinions “canceled”. However, in a wholly unexpected turn of events, Washington Post published a surprising admission on December 21, stating there was “no conclusive evidence” that Russia carried out the attacks. The report was issued following a months-long investigation which proved that the explosions were indeed the result of a deliberate act of sabotage.

Washington Post also noted the frenzied accusations that Moscow was behind the attacks, which began just hours after the sabotage and the ensuing massive gas leaks into the Baltic Sea. “After explosions in late September severely damaged undersea pipelines built to carry natural gas from Russia to Europe, world leaders quickly blamed Moscow for a brazen and dangerous act of sabotage. With winter approaching, it appeared the Kremlin intended to strangle the flow of energy to millions across the continent, an act of ‘blackmail,’ some leaders said, designed to threaten countries into withdrawing their financial and military support for Ukraine,” the authors stated, adding the following: “But now, after months of investigation, numerous officials privately say that Russia may not be to blame after all for the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines.”

The US daily issued the rare admission after interviewing 23 diplomatic and intelligence officials in nine countries, all of whom have been involved in the international investigation into the sabotage attacks which have jeopardized the EU energy supplies this winter. “There is no evidence at this point that Russia was behind the sabotage,” one European official is quoted as saying. The report further indicates that “some went so far as to say they didn’t think Russia was responsible. Others who still consider Russia a prime suspect said positively attributing the attack — to any country — may be impossible.”

Although the final admission that Russia didn’t sabotage the pipelines clearly exonerates Moscow, it opens up a number of questions, as it is obvious someone else certainly did it. There are several other prime suspects, usually in independent and alternative media. The consensus in most such sources is that the United States is the main culprit behind the attacks, quite possibly aided by its regional vassals. However, such points of view could be heard in the mainstream media as well, albeit much more seldom and prone to being completely dismissed. In early October, Jeffrey Sachs, a UN expert and one of the most prominent economists in the world shocked a Bloomberg panel after stating the US was most likely behind the attacks.

“I would bet [the attack] was a US action, perhaps US and Poland,” Sachs said at the time only to be immediately interrupted by the host and asked to provide evidence, to which he responded: “Well, first, there is direct radar evidence that US military helicopters that are normally based in Gdansk were circling over this area. We also had the threat from [President Biden] earlier this year that ‘one way or another we are going to end Nord Stream.’ We also had a remarkable statement from Secretary of State [Antony] Blinken last Friday in a press conference where he said ‘this is also a tremendous opportunity.’ That’s a strange way to talk if you’re worried about piracy on international infrastructure of vital significance.”

In light of the new revelations by the Washington Post and given the fact that the US profited immensely as a result of the EU-Russia economic decoupling, particularly the EU’s weaning off Russian natural gas, the points made by the well-known Columbia University professor sound more relevant than ever. The destruction of the pipelines came approximately a month after some in the EU suggested using the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to increase Russian energy imports and also “coincided perfectly” with the manifold surge in US LNG shipments to the EU, which surpassed Russian natural gas deliveries for the very first time. This has become so obvious that even the usually compliant Brussels bureaucrats complain that the US is engaged in war profiteering.

Source: InfoBrics

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Norwegian PM for restoration contacts with Russia: “Nothing good in isolation”

Gee look who wants to be friends with Russia again, even as they help arm and train Ukrainian troops for combat against Russia. These people are truly insane.

Guest post by Ahmed Adel, Cairo-based geopolitics and political economy researcher.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said that Western countries should not isolate Russia and should instead establish direct communication with Moscow to resolve the exceptionally difficult situation in Ukraine. However, Norway, a NATO member, is also one of the leading countries to oppose Russia through sanctions and support for the Ukrainian military.

“There is nothing good in isolating Russia. It is alarming that today we have so few contacts and direct communication with Russia,” Store told the Norwegian parliament on October 25.

This is an especially surprising statement since Norway has donated 4,000 M72 anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, as well as an air defence system, 22 self-propelled artillery vehicles, long-range rocket artillery and armoured vehicles. Norway will also donate the Black Hornet micro-drone system and Hellfire missiles, and will also train Ukrainian soldiers in Britain.

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Although Norway is following Washington and Brussels in supporting Ukraine and acting hostile to Moscow, perhaps there is a realization setting in Oslo that the war will not end with the Ukrainian military capturing Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporozhye from Russia. By coming to such a conclusion, the only realistic option left is to call for direct communications with Russia, something the West cut in the false belief that sustained isolation and economic pressure would make Moscow capitulate and end its military operation in Ukraine.

This was of course a naïve belief since the Kremlin has for years attempted to resolve the situation in Donbass through negotiations and discussions, something that Kiev, with the West’s support and backing, never supported. Moscow was forced to take matters into their own hands to protect the Russian-speaking minority from Kiev’s fascistic policies. Although Moscow has taken the military approach, it is still open to honest and open dialogue, but of course with different demands since the situation on the ground has significantly changed.

According to the Norwegian prime minister, the lack of dialogue with Moscow undermines the possibility of reaching a peaceful settlement in Ukraine. He also added that the current political situation was the most difficult since World War II, and it is for this reason as well that communication channels must reopen.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly warned the West that Russia could not be isolated, and this is reflected in the fact that several major countries, including China, India and Brazil, have vocally opposed the idea of imposing unilateral sanctions on Moscow and called for the continuation of dialogue in the interest of peaceful world development.

Sanctions against Russia have led to disruptions in logistical and financial operations and to a spike in energy prices worldwide, pushing many European governments to resort to contingency measures. At the same time, Brussels has been looking for alternatives to Russian natural gas as it has pledged to end its dependence on energy supplies from Russia, thus making Norway all the more important to the EU.

The Scandinavian country is now the EU’s leading natural gas supplier, overtaking Russia. It is not forgotten that the Nord Stream pipelines leaks corresponded with the opening of a new pipeline from Norway to Poland. Although Norway is being heralded as a saviour for energy-struggling Europe, it has been criticised for essentially war profiteering.

“There is no question that the fallout from the war is making Norway richer. The state is a major player in the oil and gas industry. All told, Oslo expects to bring in about $109 billion from the petroleum sector this year — $82 billion more than in 2021. Much of that will go to the country’s sovereign wealth fund, a national nest egg worth more than $1 trillion,” The Washington Post reported.

Andreas Bjelland Eriksen, state secretary at the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, denied that Norway is profiting off the war, stressing that high energy prices “hurt Norway too.” He noted that gas exports to Europe are up 8 percent year over year. “Europe sees that, and it sees that we are a good partner,” Eriksen added.

In this way, Norway has essentially become a big winner from the war in Ukraine as it has now become the main supplier of natural gas to Europe despite charging astronomical prices. However, this is not reflected on ordinary citizen life as Norway is not immune from the effects of the self-sabotaging anti-Russia sanctions.

Complementing the higher electricity bills arriving every month, Norwegians are also experiencing higher prices for almost everything else. State statistics bureau SSB (Statistics Norway) recently reported an 11.3 percent rise in transport costs, a 12.1 percent rise in food and non-alcoholic drinks, an 8.7 percent rise in hotel and restaurant bills and a 7.6 percent rise in prices for household items and maintenance. Norway’s biggest bank, DNB, also reported that its customers are now spending much less money on expensive items.

It is for this reason that Norway, despite making record profits in the energy sector, wants dialogue with Moscow to reopen so that there can be an alleviation in the cost-of-living crisis and other sectors of the economy. None-the-less, Oslo itself makes little contribution to peace efforts as it maintains anti-Russia sanctions and continues to train, fund, and supply the Ukrainian military.

Source: InfoBrics

70,000 Protestors in the Czech Republic Demand the Resignation of the Government and Cheap Russian Gas

Protest in Prague against the policy of the Czech government, photo: Twitter

Tens of thousands of people protested in Prague against the pro-Western Czech government, the Associated Press reported.

According to the police, the number of protesters in the central Wenceslas Square in Prague numbered around 70,000.

The protesters demanded the resignation of the current coalition government led by conservative Prime Minister Petr Fiala, criticizing him on a number of issues, including his Western-oriented policies.

They condemned the government for its support of sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine and accused it of being unable to deal with rising energy prices. Demonstrators also criticized NATO, the European Union. The Czech Republic is a member of both organizations.

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Russia is Preparing a Massive Strike for Georgia as it Seeks to “Strangle the EU” of Oil from Azerbaijan

Now this is a very interesting move by Russia even as it moves trainloads of tanks towards NATO and the West. This is also solidifying Russia’s relationship with Iran and BRICS. Here is more from Warnews247, translated from Greek via Google for your convenience.

By Vassilis Kapoulas

Shocking information is circulating in the Russian media about an impending energy crushing blow to the West. Russian media are preparing the ground for Russia to close the last energy valve of Europe, namely all pipelines passing from Azerbaijan to the EU.

The Russian strike will focus on controlling all of Georgia and the pipelines that pass through its territory.

The Russians seem determined along with Iran to completely close the Caspian to the EU and at the same time control Central Asia and its energy corridors on behalf of Eurasia.

This information comes as the energy war between the West and Russia culminates with the recent demand for a ceiling on the price of Russian oil and its products.

At this moment literally all the hopes of the West and specifically the EU have fallen on Azerbaijan and the pipelines that pass through this country.

Russia’s grip on Central Asia and the Caspian

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, for the 6th Caspian Summit not only brought the evolving Russia-Iran strategic partnership to a deeper level, but the five littoral states of the Caspian Sea agreed that they would not warships or NATO bases are allowed in the area.

This essentially shapes the Caspian as a virtual Russian lake, and in a secondary sense, as an Iranian one – without compromising the interests of the “three” countries, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. 

As the Caspian Sea is connected to the Black Sea by canals off the Volga built by the former USSR, Moscow can always count on a reserve fleet of small boats – always equipped with powerful missiles – that can be transported to the Black Sea at short notice. it it’s necessary.

Stronger trade and economic ties with Iran now go hand in hand with the three “countries” engagement with Russia. The gas-rich republic of Turkmenistan sends most of its exports to China.

Under an arguably more pragmatic new leader, President Serdar Berdimuhamedow, Ashgabat may eventually choose to join the SCO and/or the EAEU.

But all signs point to Tehran stepping on the pedal to strengthen ties with Moscow. It just gained full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – the first and only West Asian nation to do so – and is now seeking to join the BRICS. The compass for the course of Iran’s foreign policy has been set.

The role of Georgia and South Ossetia

It is no coincidence that the new president of the Republic of South Ossetia, Alan Gagloev, suspended on May 30 the recent decree of his predecessor Anatoly Bibilov, which announced a referendum on unification with Russia on July 17.

Any union of South Ossetia with Russia would not favor all of Moscow’s geopolitical plans.

Officially, the reason for the cancellation was the need for consultations with the Russian side while it was emphasized “the inadmissibility of taking unilateral decisions on issues that affect the interests of Russia” .

“Today we see that our strategic partner, the Russian Federation, is dealing with geopolitical issues, carrying out a special operation in Ukraine. We must understand our strategic partner” said South Ossetian sources.

The same opinion was expressed by the Ambassador to the Russian Federation Marat Kulakhmetov:

“The decision on the referendum was made without taking into account the opinion of the Russian side.”

Russian sources say that Georgia’s behavior does not leave much room for a peaceful resolution of the disputes. Moscow seems determined to control the entire flow of Caspian oil and natural gas.

The fact is that the union of South Ossetia with Russia will mark the final Russian control of about two kilometers of the Baku-Akstafa-Tbilisi-Gori-Samtretia-Supsa (Azerbaijan-Georgia) 840-kilometer oil pipeline.

However, Russia does not gain control over the rest of the pipelines that pass through Georgia in the direction of Turkey and the EU. For this reason, it needs a “detonator” that will blow up the region and cause Russian military intervention.

This reason will be given by South Ossetia in the future.

Therefore, it is not surprising that on April 7 of this year, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced that the alliance will extend military-technical support to Georgia. On April 27, the US State Department announced plans to send an additional $35 million worth of arms shipments to Georgia in the near future.

Meanwhile, the Azerbaijan-Georgia pipeline is operating without interruption in all sections including the section passing through the territory of South Ossetia.

Thus, at the end of November 2021, the thousandth tanker loaded with 650,000 barrels of oil from the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli offshore oil and gas block left the Supsa terminal in the Black Sea

This supply was intended for Italy. The operator, BP, is busy pumping through this pipeline. Ayten Hajiyeva, BP’s Vice President for Georgia, said that

“Baku-Supsa is an important international oil route. And a good example of our safe operations in Georgia and the region”.

The same opinion was expressed by Eldar Gaziev, Director of Export Pipelines BP Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey Eldar Gaziev:

“We are proud of the high performance of the Baku-Supsa pipeline during its more than 20 years of operation.”

More than 700 million barrels of oil have been transported through the Baku-Supsa pipeline since its opening in 1999 until the beginning of 2022. According to BP (May 2022), at least 100 thousand barrels of oil are still pumped through this pipeline.

So the factor of oil pipelines is the driving force of developments in the region. 

Russia in move in Georgia closes almost three plus two EU pipelines causing chaos and energy blackout…

Source Warnews247