Thursday 31 October 2013

Russian gas-to-power competition mounts

Russian gas producers are competing to sign long-term supply contracts with big buyers in the power sector - and the latest deal between E.ON Russia and Novatek confirms the trend. Some deals are being done below the regulated price of gas. The power sector is the largest source of gas demand in Russia - it consumes much more gas than Russia exports to Europe - but it's shrinking. I surveyed the background in an article in Gas Matters here.

Sunday 26 May 2013

The Russian Revolution in Retreat published - in Russian

I am very pleased to say that a Russian translation of my book The Russian Revolution in Retreat has just been published in Moscow by Novyi Khronograf. Details (in Russian) are here, and information about the original book and my research on the social history of 1920s Moscow (in English) here.

Wednesday 27 February 2013

Ukraine LNG terminal "difficult, and maybe prohibitively expensive"

At the Ukraine Energy Forum this week, I argued that the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification terminal on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast is “difficult, and maybe prohibitively expensive”. More effective methods of reducing Ukraine’s dependence on imported Russian gas include reverse-flow deliveries from central Europe, such as those recently made (in very small volumes so far) from Poland, and – above all – cutting gas consumption by energy saving and fuel switching, I argued.

I also commented on recent reports that Ukraine is talking to Turkmenistan about renewing direct gas purchases. Even if transport arrangements could be made, I suggested,  Turkmenistan will have no reason to sell gas to Ukraine at lower prices than Ukraine pays for Russian gas. Those nice people at Ukrainska Pravda reported my talk here (Ukrainian only).

Monday 21 January 2013

Consumers as players in the Russian gas sector

The economic crisis of the last four years has significantly impacted the three main markets for Russian gas – the domestic market, the CIS importers (Ukraine and others) and the European market. In an Oxford Energy Comment, downloadable here, I outline the increasingly powerful role being played by consumers, from European and Russian energy companies to Ukrainian households.

A hard road to travel

The Oil Road by James Marriott and Mika Minio-Paluello takes "a perceptive, unusual view of the sweat, blood and tears" involved in the opening-up of an oil corridor from Azerbaijan to Europe, I have written in a review in International Affairs, downloadable here. There is information from the authors here.