Russia’s Pipeline Troops and Gas Guerillas

The Telegraph reports today on the UK Energy White Paper, which although it doesn’t mention Russia or Gazprom by name, they are “the elephants in the room.”

Russia Gazprom

This has put Gazprom in a powerful position. So influential has Gazprom become that critics talk of Russia’s “pipeline troops” or “gas guerillas”. Moscow is no longer a military superpower. But this resource-rich country is fast becoming an energy superpower. advertisement Mark Spelman, head of global strategy at the consultancy Accenture, says: “I don’t think that we recognise the pace at which things are going to move over the next four to five years. “In the middle of the next decade we will suddenly wake up and say to ourselves: wow, look at how many assets Gazprom owns,” he said. … In Russia, energy prices are subsidised, reducing revenues for Gazprom. Poor infrastructure and storage facilities mean it’s simpler and cheaper to push gas beyond Russia’s borders. This gives Britain leverage when dealing with Gazprom’s growing power. But, says Spelman, it would work better if Britain operated in unison with its EU partners. “Countries are doing bilateral deals. They should work together. What is needed is a rapid dialogue between Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy on how they can deal with Gazprom’s dominance,” he said.