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EU Energy Policy Would Respond to Gas Cartel

Europe is being cryptic yet vaguely threatening in response to Russia’s announcement to take steps toward the formation of a gas cartel with Qatar and Iran to control 60% of the world’s natural gas:

EU spokesman Ferran Tarradellas Espuny said the European Union preferred to see gas traded on a free and transparent market. He said the EU executive was not opposed to energy suppliers cooperating more closely on research but was opposed to price-fixing cartels in principle. “If such a cartel was created, the Commission may review its energy policy,” he said, refusing to give details of what that would mean in real terms.

It’s not hard to imagine what Tarradellas Espuny is talking about – it would mean a resurrection of the recently defeated Gazprom clause of the unbundling proposal that would block Gazprom from owning mid- and downstream assets in Europe. One has to wonder whether or not we would even have to be dealing with the threat of a gas cartel if E.ON and Eni hadn’t been so aggressive and successful in its lobbying for Russian energy interests to the detriment of European consumers.