As noted by RBC, the Russian president criticized at the summit discriminatory restrictions imposed by gas consumers on suppliers. As evidence of restrictive measures, Vladimir Putin pointed to the EU's “Third Energy Package”: “The introduction of the relevant gas directive seriously limits the activities of traditional gas suppliers to the EU market. Suppliers who have invested their money in the development of the European gas industry for decades. ”
Suppliers must show solidarity in order to resist undue pressure and jointly defend their interests. “We want our interests to be justly taken into account,” comrade Putin noted.
What were the objectives of the gas forum? According to Putin, the key tasks include: a) developing a joint position on gas pricing issues; b) the creation of conditions to reduce excessive price volatility and increase the transparency of the entire industry; c) development of cooperation in the collection and analysis of data on the industry by the GECF member countries.
V. Putin said the summit participants:
“Now the demand in the world for natural gas is growing at a faster pace than oil and total energy consumption. According to the forecasts of the International Energy Agency, before 2018, the demand for blue fuel in the world will increase by more than 16% and reach 4 trillion. cubic meters. This is a great opportunity for gas producers, and a serious responsibility for all of us, especially now - in a difficult economic environment, because it is in our countries that 2 / 3 (65%) of proven global reserves is concentrated. We provide almost half (45%) of global gas exports. ”
The priority task of the forum participants is to ensure the stability of gas supply to the world market in the long term.
Vladimir Putin, further notes RBC, rejected the suggestion that the GECF should become a cartel like an OPEC.
“We have no goal to create a cartel and enter into cartel agreements,” he said, and then recalled that the GECF was created as an expert platform for exchanging information and developing common principles and approaches. According to the president, the difference between GECF and OPEC is that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries determines production quotas and affects world oil prices, and in the case of gas, this is not yet possible.
“The principal difference lies in the fact that OPEC determines the oil production quotas of the participating countries and, thus, OPEC influences the price formation at international sites. And such an energy carrier as gas does not have global energy gas platforms, therefore we, even if we would like, could not influence the exchange gas trade. There are no such exchanges ", - V. Putin is quoted as saying RIA News".
But the desire of importers to change the conditions of pipeline gas supply, comrade Putin, called a serious challenge to the GECF, notes RBC:
“I see this as a serious challenge for all of us. First of all, we are talking about attempts to dictate terms of supply of pipeline gas that are economically unacceptable for producers. About the desire to change the principles of gas supply on the basis of long-term contracts, untie contract prices from the cost of oil and oil products as a market price indicator. Reduce the level of mandatory gas volumes. ”
According to the president of Russia, the conductors of such a policy often do not understand that abandoning the basic principles of long-term contracts strikes gas producers, turning into serious costs. Ultimately, this undermines the energy security of the buyer countries.
Long-term gas supply contracts and the take-or-pay principle, in Putin’s opinion, ensure the payback of the capital-intensive gas industry with long investment cycles, ensuring the priority development of the energy base of the global economy.
As a result of the forum, its participants did not agree on restricting gas supplies for oligopolistic purposes, similar to those pursued by OPEC.
“The participants of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum did not agree to limit gas supplies in order to achieve price increases. All of them decided to continue to adhere to the principle of linking prices to oil. It worked well in the past, and there is no need to abandon it in the future. Several companies have successfully challenged the prices of Gazprom, as they did not reflect the reality in the spot market. Restricting supplies to raise prices would be a violation of long-term contracts, although there is no reason to immediately sell spot lots - they can be held. Surprisingly participating in the forum of Venezuela, Iran and Bolivia - none of them is a major exporter. Iran imports a little from Turkmenistan and exports to Turkey. Venezuela, as far as we know, does not export gas at all. Bolivia supplies small lots to Argentina. Perhaps their participation in the forum is more of a political gesture. They are most likely united by their attitude towards the United States, rather than gas exports, ”he said. RBC findings of William Powell, Platts Expert.
Igor Pankratenko, deputy general director of the Center for the Study of Modern Iran, chief editor of the magazine "Modern Iran", on the portal "Fund of Strategic Culture" notes that part of the media is not paying too much attention to the GECF. The fact is that the attitude to the Forum was once frankly expressed by the American political elites. In April, 2007, in a letter from the US House of Representatives to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the eventual transformation of the Forum into a “gas OPEC” was seen as an attempt to create a “global extortion and racketeering organization”.
Thus, it is clear what part of the media reluctantly covers the activities of the forum.
The analyst notes that in recent years the gas market has become an arena of Western struggle against Russia. Moreover, the forum site is also used for this - through Qatar. This is a kind of geopolitical “outsourcing” that developed during the Obama period. The United States deftly shifts the responsibility of its allies to solving some issues that are advantageous for them, starting with Syria and ending with the Kyrgyz “Manas”.
The expert believes that the gas cartel did not arise precisely because of the "skillful game of contradictions." I. Pankratenko points out that if we analyze the speech of Putin and other participants of the summit, it becomes obvious: three key ideas remained unrealized. But these ideas were expressed in October 2008 at a meeting in Tehran (Russia, Iran and Qatar concluded a tripartite agreement on cooperation in the gas sector there). The parties spoke of the need for: quarterly consultations to discuss the development of the gas market; creating a Higher Technical Committee to work out ways to implement specific projects covering the entire production chain, from geological exploration and production to transportation and marketing; the creation of an international club of experts and journalists "Energy Pole", a tool for promoting the interests of the GECF and the "big three" (Russia, Qatar and Iran) in the international information field.
For five years, the GECF, the expert believes, has not realized the potential inherent in it. In essence, the forum is only a discussion platform aimed at “sharing experience, views and information on the development of the gas industry”.
Meanwhile, there is a second side to the issue. The platform of the gas forum is not only a warehouse of unrealized projects, but also an important indicator of the “gas war”. There is nothing new in the “energy war” against Russia, the analyst notes. In 1970, the United States made every effort to disrupt the Urengoy - Pomary - Uzhgorod - Europe project. In 1980, the States, together with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies, played to lower oil prices on the world market. Well, now Qatar and shale gas are used to strike.
We cannot agree with Qatar, the American satellite, therefore the analyst believes that Russia should create “special relations” with those countries that share Russia's proposals because of the advantages of these proposals for their economies: Venezuela, Iran, Iraq. Iran’s proposals on joint projects (for example, on the South Pars field) are real, the author notes. Of course, Washington is interested in disrupting possible Russian-Iranian agreements.
“... Actually, once he succeeded. In October 1997, Gazprom, the French Total, and the Malaysian Petronas, already signed an agreement with Tehran to develop this field. Washington disrupted its implementation unpretentiously and effectively by blocking the provision of a loan to Gazprom for initial investment in a project from the Export-Import Bank of the United States. ”
Without cooperation with Iran, Russia has no chance of stopping Qatar’s gas expansion, the analyst believes. And an “eye on the West” inherent in Russian diplomacy in the Iranian issue could lead the country to economic losses.
From Qatar and Iran, the question goes to Syria. With the support of the West, Qatar seeks to create a “transit corridor”, which is supposed to bring the “pipe” to the Mediterranean Sea to Europe through Syrian territory. What prevents? Asad. It is not surprising that the “corridor” is now being “cut through” by military methods, and investments are being made by jihadists, the article notes. Therefore, the foreign policy efforts of Russia and Iran in this context are filled with concrete economic sense. It is necessary to prevent or limit the gas expansion of Qatar, aimed at squeezing Russia out of traditional gas markets.
On the other hand, Tatyana Mitrova, Head of the Department for the Development of the Oil and Gas Complex of Russia and the World at the Energy Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, approached the gas issue, whose opinion on the Moscow Forum is given by Anna Koroleva and Ekaterina Shokhina"Expert").
According to Mitrova, the issue of energy exports, including gas, goes beyond both technical and political strategies. An unfavorable foreign economic situation, toughening global competition, the spread of alternative energy will lead to a decrease in exports of the fuel and energy complex and a reduction in its share in budget revenues. The fuel and energy complex can no longer be a “cash cow” for Russia, says Tatyana Mitrova.
In her opinion, it is possible to increase the competitiveness of Russian energy resources by reducing the cost of investment projects in the industry, as well as by improving the quality of their management. The desire to solve all the issues at the expense of one industry reduces its effectiveness: the state "kills" its own "cash cow." A truly effective method of reducing the burden on the fuel and energy complex, according to Mitrova, is to increase the energy efficiency of the economy as a whole. Today, the energy intensity of Russian GDP is three times higher than the world average, and 30% energy consumption can be saved.
As for the shale question mentioned above, Vladimir Putin spoke about it at the forum. This writes Yuri Levykin (Utro.ru).
Putin’s answer to the question about the “American miracle,” that is to say shale gas, was unequivocal. The president said that this question "is not relevant for us yet." Putin hinted that the prospects for the development of a “miracle” are very uncertain.
“Indeed, gas production from shale is actively developing in the USA. But I draw your attention to the fact that the year before last, the growth of shale gas production in the United States was somewhere at the level of 84%, and last year only 9% - that also says something, ”Putin said.
Another presidential argument is not to rush Russia into slate. history - There was a high cost of shale gas production (five times higher than the cost of regular gas production).
Finally, the head of state recalled that Russia is the world's leader in gas reserves, and explained that Russia “has enough opportunities for the development of shale gas and for its production in the usual way.”
Well, what about the United States with their notorious access to world gas markets?
“If they come out,” Putin said, “most likely with a very small volume that will not affect the global market.” Therefore, it does not bother us, and if it does, it is only for environmental reasons, because shale gas is a barbaric way of extracting mineral resources. ”
Thus, shale shale, and the question of gas exports - one of the key elements of geopolitics. Unconventional energy is a matter for the future, but for now nobody is going to give up gas and oil. And in the same way, no one is going to abandon the gas issue as a tool for conducting foreign policy.
Observed and commented on Oleg Chuvakin
- especially for topwar.ru
- especially for topwar.ru