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Gazprom’s Addiction to Politics

Here’s a scorcher from Kostis Geropoulos at New Europe:

Against the backdrop of the EU-Russia summit held symbolically in the remote Russian far-eastern city of Khabarovsk on May 21- 22, European officials have accused Russian gas giant Gazprom of spending far too much time playing politics over gas and not enough time developing new resources. Russia, Gazprom, Vladimir Putin — I suppose it’s the same thing – have spent far too much time playing pipeline politics and have not put enough effort into starting some of the investment programmes that would be required to both substitute for the expected decline in existing production and add the production that would be required to fill new planned pipelines such as Nord Stream and South Stream, Chris Weafer, chief strategist at Ural- Sib bank, told New Europe, telephonically from Moscow. (…)

“In terms of a ticking clock, Russia is under pressure to start making progress in terms of investment in some of the newer fields, all of which have plenty of gas in them,”Weafer said. “That’s the central issue between the European Union and Russia. It’s not so much about the pipelines, it’s much more about the pace of the investment to generate new production to compensate for the decline plus provide the new gas Europe will need,” he said.