It would seem that when, within the framework of his visit to Belgrade,
Vladimir Putin promised, if necessary, to provide Russian fuel to all
European export destinations, including Ukrainian gas pipelines, in Kiev
they should have considered this as at least a signal to start
Reasons for this are available. The Russian Gazprom, only in the recently completed 2018, set a third consecutive record in terms of annual exports of its products to Europe and Turkey. More than 200 billion cubic meters of blue fuel went there over the year, and the trends are fairly obvious: the domestic gas giant has a chance to further increase its share of the European market.
First, European prey itself is apparently falling. The Norwegian fields, with the exception of the really rich, but very complex from the point of view of the logistics of the Troll, have already passed the peak production, and it naturally decreases there. The Norwegian Oil Directorate on January 10 was even forced to slightly reduce its forecast for gas exports. There are very serious problems with the Dutch field Groningen which is base for the Western European markets. Due to the predatory mining, the project operators represented by Shell and ExxonMobil in the region have dramatically increased seismic activity. As a result, two serious earthquakes – first in 2012, then in 2018. And the order of the government of the Netherlands to reduce production, first to 12 billion cubic meters by 2022, and then its complete cessation. Just recall that record production at Groningen in 2013 amounted to 53.8 billion cubic meters.
Warns of a reduction in exports to southwestern Europe and Algeria.
And all this amid growing demand.
It would seem quite logical if the Ukrainian gas producers, having carried out the necessary analytical and predictive work, as well as soberly assessing new opportunities, began to look for their place in the newly opening markets. But the opposite is happening: the transit country is increasingly complicating relations with the only possible supplier country for it, which, of course, cannot but give a completely predictable result.
Nevertheless, the Ukrainian side, with perseverance worthy of a better use, is trying not to agree with the seller, but to actually force him to trade. And only on their own, unacceptable conditions for the supplier.
Sometimes it even seems that Ukraine is not negotiating, but is going to dictate the terms of surrender. Last Friday, Naftogaz of Ukraine said: he hopes that Romania, which currently holds the Council of Europe’s presidency, will submit to the European Parliament amendments to the EU Gas Directive, which can stop the Nord Stream 2 and the continuation of the Turkish stream to European countries.
Seriously, the transit problems of Ukraine are by no means Russian-European flows, but the loss of their own sovereignty. After that, in fact, what happened happened.
By the way. The Ukrainian GTS, according to the plan of the curators, was supposed to die initially – and the struggle here is solely about who replaces the drop-down volumes. The Russians and the Europeans believed and believed that their joint new gas flows should make it, and the Americans, who are really in control of everything that is now more or less alive in the degrading territory, are their own LNG. And if, and this is unlikely to be able to prevent something now, the “flows” will still be completed – this will only accelerate the destruction of the Ukrainian pipe.
At the same time, it seems, the situation with the ‘European gas corridors’ is already becoming so heated that they are beginning to be understood in Ukraine itself. At least, as stated by the head of the Ukrainian state-owned company Andrei Kobolev at a briefing last Friday, he headed Naftogaz does not exclude that Gazprom will completely stop the transit of fuel through Ukraine from January 1, 2020, when the current contract expires.