TURKISH STREAM IMPLEMENTATION
There are signs that the Turkish Stream pipeline project is coming back to life as tensions between Russia and Turkey appear to decrease.
The pipeline project was suspended at the beginning of the month, because of a deteriorating relationship between the two countries, spurred on by the the downing of the Russian SU-24 bomber by Turkish fighter jets on 24 November. On 3 December 2015, Alexander Novak, the Russian Energy Minister announced that the project was suspended.
Yesterday, however, Mr. Novak said that the project could still be implemented if the European Commission develops corresponding infrastructure for natural gas transportation in Central and Eastern Europe, reported RT.com, a Russian sponsored news organisation. Talks on the project haven't been resumed but the minister said Russia was interested in resuming them.
"If our colleagues are interested in the project's implementation we will continue talks," he said.
It isn't the first time since the talks' suspension that Russia has raised the option of resuming the project. On 17 December, during his annual press conference with Russian media, President Vladimir Putin said that the project would happen if the EU guarantees its success.
"We need guarantees in writing from the European Commission that all routes, including the potential one to Europe through Turkey, may not only be realised but will become a priority with the EC's support. If Gazprom's Turkish partners bring us a document of this sort, we can move on. Unfortunately, it hasn't happened for now," Mr. Putin said.
During the press conference, Putin also accused the Bulgarian government of taking a "toothless stance" in regards to the aborted South Stream, which was cancelled last year and cost Gazprom billions of dollars. "It ignores the country's national interests for some unclear reasons," he said.
In another sign of easing tensions, Energy Minister Novak said yesterday that Russia is ready to increase gas supply to Turkey. "Russia has the gas; Russia's gas is cheap enough; we have the appropriate infrastructure, and we are assuredly ready to deliver and expand deliveries," Minister Novak was quoted by Trend as saying, following a TV interview. "Therefore, I believe this cooperation--economic, commercial--should continue, and will be effective for both parties."
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GAZPROM - The parties discussed relevant issues related to bilateral cooperation, including the Baltic LNG project. Emphasis was placed on the priority measures aimed at developing a joint design concept (pre-FEED).
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REUTERS - Brent crude futures had risen $1.02 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $81.28 a barrel by 0637 GMT. The contract dropped 3.4 percent on Thursday following sharp falls in equity markets and indications that supply concerns have been overblown. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 80 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $71.77 a barrel, after a 3 percent fall in the previous session. WTI is on track for a 3.5 percent drop this week.
EIA - Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $79 per barrel (b) in September, up $6/b from August. EIA expects Brent spot prices will average $74/b in 2018 and $75/b in 2019. EIA expects West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices will average about $6/b lower than Brent prices in 2018 and in 2019.