RUSSIAN GAS FOR EUROPE
What can you do with those stubborn guys in Europe? They are so dense and unwilling to accept the arguments of Moscow: competition is bad and monopoly is good.
Over and over again, they keep insisting on their Third Energy Package, which the Russian leaders refer to as 'a very harmful document', and want Gazprom to unbundle its gas supplying, transporting and marketing businesses; share pipeline space with other gas producers; obey independent regulators and transmission operators; and drop manipulations with prices.
It's a déjà vu. Do you remember Dmitry Medvedev's 'Conceptual Approach' letter he sent to the European Commission in April 2009? He brushed away the Energy Charter rules and suggested a new set of rules to guarantee global energy security. The star idea was to secure 'non-discriminatory access to markets', meaning of course the openness of markets outside Russia (the lawmakers in Moscow had just a year earlier introduced draconian restrictions on operations of foreign oil and gas companies.)
The proposals were ignored. Three months later the European Parliament and the Council of Europe adopted the notorious Third Energy Package.
Last week Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev made a new appeal along the same lines. He declared that, in terms of international law, the intergovernmental agreements between Russia and the EU countries that participate in the construction of the South Stream pipeline system supersede the EU's Third Energy Package. Deputy energy minister Anatoly Yanovsky confirmed that the official letter had been forwarded to the European Commission.
The letter is a reaction to the Commission's determination to revise Russia's agreements on South Stream with separate EU members and to undermine the 'divide and conquer' strategy of Gazprom on the European markets. And again, the Russia appeal will probably remain ignored.
EU rules are rules. The Commission must follow, and follows, Decision No 994/2012/EU of 25 October 2012 establishing an information exchange mechanism with regard to intergovernmental agreements between Member States and third countries in the field of energy. This piece of legislation requires obligatory notification of existing intergovernmental agreements to the Commission, which will make these agreements available to all other Member States. The Decision also confirms the possibility for the Commission to participate upon request of a Member State in negotiations as observer. It also provides the possibility for the Commission to perform upon request from a Member State ex-ante compatibility checks of negotiated agreements with the EU legislation.
The EU members involved in the South Stream project have announced their compliance with the Third Energy Package. It will be interesting to watch how they address the issue of amending the agreements with Moscow.
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LUKOIL - The plan is based on the conservative $50 per barrel oil price scenario. Sustainable hydrocarbon production growth is planned in the Upstream business segment along with the growth in the share of high-margin projects in the overall production. In the Downstream business segment, the focus is on the improvement of operating efficiency and selective investment projects targeted at the enhancement of product slate.
BP - BP will acquire on completion a 43% equity share in Lightsource for a total consideration of $200 million, paid over three years. The great majority of this investment will fund Lightsource’s worldwide growth pipeline. The company will be renamed Lightsource BP and BP will have two seats on the board of directors.
REUTERS - Brent crude was up 69 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $64.03 a barrel by 0743 GMT. It had settled down $1.35, or 2.1 percent, on Tuesday on a wave of profit-taking after news of a key North Sea pipeline shutdown helped send the global benchmark above $65 for the first time since mid-2015. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 45 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $57.59 a barrel.
ROSATOM - On December 10, 2017, the construction start ceremony took place at the Akkuyu NPP site under a limited construction licence issued by the Turkish Atomic Energy Agency (TAEK). Director General of the ROSATOM Alexey Likhachev, and First Deputy Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Turkish Republic, Fatih Donmez, took part in the ceremony.