Skip to main content

Russia Doubles Natural Gas Price for Georgia

In Russia, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. From the Daily Mail:
Fears that Russia is using energy supplies as a political weapon increased last night after Moscow forced Georgia to accept a doubling of gas prices.

The deal came within hours of a threat by Gazprom, Russia's statecontrolled energy giant, to cut off supplies to the former Soviet republic from January 1.

Georgia had called the price increase 'unacceptable' and 'politically motivated'.

Relations between the Kremlin and Georgia's pro-West leadership were already at their worst for a decade after a spy row in September.

The Georgia 'agreement' is another example of what alarmed EU officials see as the Kremlin's heavy-handed tactics in dealing with energy clients.

It came the day after Gazprom took control of a massive oil and gas project from Royal Dutch Shell, which had suffered a long campaign of bureaucratic harassment.
Don't forget, as Geoffrey Styles said earlier this week, Russia's long-term goal is to be able to exercise just this sort of market power over the U.S. Of course, if the U.S. builds more nuclear power plants and displaces natural gas-fired electrical production the same way it displaced oil-fired electric production in the 1970s, the nation won't be in the same bind that much of Europe will be in the near future.

Technorati tags: , , , , , ,

Comments

Rod Adams said…
As an unrepentant Cold Warrior, I have little trust in Russia's acceptance of the idea that the US is the world's sole remaining superpower.

Russia has a long history as a player in the world's power elite. Its leaders have used its natural resources and people power for at least two centuries to maintain their own lifestyles. They are excellent chess players and are as good at raw power plays as they are at subtle, long term moves.

I have no doubt at all that Russian leaders fully understand the importance of energy and the fact that nuclear power plants allow the owners a measure of independence from fuel supplier pressure that is not available for owners of fossil fuel burning generators.

I fully believe that some of the money that supports anti-nuclear pressure groups around the world comes from Russian oil and gas interests - aka the Russian government.
>>Of course, if the U.S. builds more nuclear power plants and displaces natural gas-fired electrical production the same way it displaced oil-fired electric production in the 1970s, the nation won't be in the same bind that much of Europe will be in the near future.

Nuclear power can all of a sudden displace load-following generators--especially with increased wind capacity requiring more gas backup?
KenG said…
Many of the recent, larger gas units are combined cycle plants that were built for baseload use. New nuclear units will have more capability to load follow than older units but the more logical approach would be to load follow with coal units.

As to the impact of wind, we'll have to cross that bridge when we get there, but wind is a long way from being a significant part of the mix.
Farkas said…
For the Russians to "exercise this sort of market power over the U.S." someone will have to build a pipeline (or LNG terminal) that connects Russian gas fields with the American gas infrastructure. The gas market is relatively large in North America and the Russians would have to be more than a marginal player to have the kind of influence they have over their European customers. New American NPPs will offset demand for new American gas-fired baseload generators; however, the U.S. having the largest economy in the world growing at 3%/year, it seems that all generators will be important in the task of meeting demand.

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…