SOUTH STREAM: NO FINISH
Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlovic said Tuesday that "the freezing" of the South Stream pipeline project was a problem for Serbia.
She then added that she "still did not think it meant a real end to South Stream."
"Serbia has neither done anything bad or wrong nor caused such a decision to be made by Russian officials - to stop the construction of South Stream. On the contrary, we did everything we had been asked to do to have it built, as to us, it is a matter of energy security," Mihajlovic said at an extraordinary meeting held at the Serbian government.
Mijhalovic announced meeting with experts in the Serbian government on Friday to decide about next moves concerning the South Stream project.
The deputy prime minister pointed out that Serbia was too small a country to make any moves that could influence anything in relation to the grand international infrastructure project and it would wait for further negotiations between Russia and the EU and behave in accordance with their agreements.
Commenting on the European Commission's decision to continue South Stream talks with the countries participating in the project on December 9, Mihajlovic said that European companies were greatly interested in the project, observing that some German companies had invested a lot of money in manufacturing pipes for the pipeline.
Mihajlovic expects the December 9 meeting to yield an agreement on the issue.
"We need to wait for seven to 10 days and see if a deal will be made, but Serbia has to have several alternatives for security of gas supply," she said.
Speaking about alternative gas supplies, Mihajlovic pointed to the Nis-Dimitrovgrad interconnection, which should make it possible to connect via Bulgaria to the future gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey and the gas terminal in the Greek port of Alexandroupoli.
Asked whether Russia's decision to stop the South Stream project would entail any political consequences, Mihajlovic said that Serbia would certainly not introduce any sanctions against Russia and that Serbia was not in position to seek any compensation in money Russia for not fulfilling part of the Energy Agreement with the country.
"The Energy Agreement was written it such a way that this is not possible," said Mihajlovic.
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REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 72 cents at $61.49 per barrel at 1020 GMT, having fallen by 1.5 percent on Tuesday, its largest one-day drop in a month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55.12 per barrel, down 58 cents.
BLOOMBERG - Prices dropped during the session as the International Energy Agency said the recent recovery in oil prices, coupled with milder-than-normal winter weather, is slowing demand growth. The worsening outlook for consumption dampened some of the enthusiasm that OPEC and its allies will extend supply curbs.
Global energy needs rise more slowly than in the past but still expand by 30% between today and 2040. This is the equivalent of adding another China and India to today’s global demand.
Product exports have grown significantly over the past several years and are expected to continue to grow as Russian refineries add capacity to produce more high-quality products.