Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The OPEC of Natural Gas

More bad news for American and its allies from the WSJ Energy Blog:

OPEC, meet Opegasur.

That’s the name of a new natural-gas cartel established this morning in an agreement between Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Argentina’s President Nestor Kirchner.

Opegasur, which stands for Organizacion de Paises Productores, Exportadores de Gas del Sur, will also include Brazil and Bolivia. It will be built around a $20 billion gas pipeline that will eventually connect the four countries.

There has been talk that the natural-gas cartel might never get off the ground. But it may not be long before an even bigger — and scarier, to U.S. interests anyway — cartel takes shape, Michael J. Economides, editor-in-chief of Energy Tribune, warned recently on Foreign Policy’s Web site.

“With domestic gas production in decline, the United States and many of its allies will grow more dependent on imports to generate electricity and heat homes,” he wrote. “Gas suppliers will band together in response to the growing global demand, just as oil producers did decades ago. Few people talk about the looming U.S. dependency on imported natural gas, but it could be painful.
Actually, here at NEI Nuclear Notes, we've been sounding the alarm bells since January 2006, when we noted that Russia's fight with Ukraine over natural gas supplies could very well presage a time when that nation held the entire continent of Europe hostage over dwindling supplies of natural gas. It's exactly that fear that has led U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair to advocate the replacement of Britain's aging fleet of Magnox nuclear reactors.

So, in effect, those who oppose expanded use of nuclear energy are more or less compromising the energy security of the entire free world. In Europe, retarding the expansion of nuclear energy means that more natural gas-fired electric generating capacity will be built, with the most logical sources of liquified natural gas being Russia and Iran. Here in North America, it will be nations like Venezuela who use the natural gas weapon against the U.S. and its allies.

1 comment:

Ed said...

Don't forget that President Putin recently paved the way for the formation of Atomprom - The new nuclear monopoly within the Russian Federation.

My understanding is that Russia wishes to significantly develop domestic nuclear capability in order to maximize revenues from oil and gas sales to other nations.

http://www.portalino.it/nuke/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=20731