NORD STREAM NIGHTMARES U.S.
OGJ - A debate about the proposed Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline at the Atlantic Council on Mar. 12 quickly became heated as some participants argued that it would serve a broader Russian political purpose while others said it simply would increase available supplies for European customers. Speakers generally seemed to agree that the US should encourage an effective solution but keep its distance otherwise.
They also suggested that a solution will need to consider what role Ukraine would play as a transit country since its relationship with Russian gas giant Gazprom has continued to deteriorate. "Nord Stream 2 would give Gazprom the technical option to ignore Ukraine. It transmitted 93 bcf through the pipe there—a volume too big for it to ignore," said Vadym Glamazdin, special envoy on government relations at Naftagaz, Ukraine's state gas company.
Sandra Oudkirk, deputy assistant secretary for energy diplomacy at the US Department of State's Bureau of Energy Resources, said Nord Stream 2 matters to the US because it would cement a transportation system in place that could perpetuate dependence on Russian gas for some key US allies. "It would not increase the amount of gas coming into Europe, only replace volumes that now are being transported through Ukraine," she said. "Buying into a massive, expensive undersea project like this only fosters dependence on Gazprom."
Douglas Hengel, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, noted, "I don't think it's unusual for us to talk about energy security and geopolitics. This particularly matters to Central and Eastern European countries. On projects like this, it's hard to separate the commercial and geopolitical aspects. This is part of a Russian plan to weaken Europe's Energy Union, which Germany depends on."
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WNN - "We met today to confirm the continuing commitment of the European Commission and the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran towards the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and in particular its Annex III which addresses civil nuclear cooperation," Cañete and Ali Akhbar Salehi, president of the AEOI, said in a joint statement on 19 May. "We believe that the continuing implementation of the JCPOA, which was unanimously endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, is crucial for the development and progress of the region as well as the global peace and security."
BLOOMBERG - Natural gas will probably emerge as the main fossil fuel “winner” as it balances renewables in power generation and is used as a substitute for oil in petrochemicals. Long-term gas demand is set to increase by 15 percent, or by 750 billion cubic meters, compared to business as usual,
WNN - The United States, Canada, and Japan are launching the Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy (NICE) Future Initiative. This global effort will make sure nuclear has a seat at the table during discussions about innovation and advanced clean energy systems of the future.
AOG - The agreement between ADNOC and ISPRL, which was initiated in January 2017 during a visit to India by a high-ranking UAE delegation, led by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, covers the storage of 5.86 million barrels of ADNOC crude oil in underground facilities, at the Karnataka facility. The first shipment, of approximately two million barrels of crude oil, will be followed by further shipments after India’s annual monsoon season.