Pubblicato in: Cina, Geopolitica Asiatica, Materie Prime, Russia

Power of Siberia. Accordo energetico e gasdotto sino-russo.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-12-08.

2019-12-04__Russia Cina 001

«È stata inaugurata Power of Siberia, la nuova infrastruttura che porterà il gas russo in Cina. Ma quello energetico non è l’unico ambito in cui i due Paesi, allineati in ottica anti-Usa, stanno collaborando.

Power of Siberia. La forza della Siberia. Già dal nome si è voluta sottolineare l’importanza della nuova infrastruttura energetica da circa 3 mila chilometri destinata a collegare Cina e Russia.

Power of Siberia nasce in corrispondenza degli enormi giacimenti siberiani di Kovyktinskoye e Chayandinskoye e arriva a Blagoveshchensk, la città russa che segna il confine con la Repubblica Popolare.

All’inaugurazione di Power of Siberia hanno ovviamente partecipato i big dei rispettivi Paesi: Vladimir Putin da un lato e Xi Jinping dall’altro.

Power of Siberia: Putin e Xi sottolineano portata storica

Putin ha rimarcato il carattere “storico” dell’evento. Con Power of Siberia, il “partenariato strategico russo-cinese nel settore energetico sale a un livello completamente nuovo e ci avvicina all’obiettivo di un interscambio commerciale di 200 miliardi di dollari entro il 2024″, ha dichiarato Il numero uno del Cremlino.

“Si tratta di un evento veramente storico, non solo per il mercato energetico mondiale, ma soprattutto per te e me, per la Russia e la Cina”, ha detto Putin nel corso di una videoconferenza trasmessa dalla televisione russa.

«Lo sviluppo delle relazioni cino-russe è e sarà una priorità della politica estera di ciascuno dei nostri paesi», gli ha fatto eco Xi Jinping.

Power of Siberia rappresenta “un progetto storico, un esempio di profonda integrazione e cooperazione reciprocamente vantaggiosa tra i nostri paesi”.

Il completamento dell’opera, dal confine il gas russo viaggerà in direzione Shanghai, è programmato dal 2022 al 2023. Power of Siberia rappresenta l’infrastruttura fondamentale per convogliare il megacontratto di fornitura da oltre 400 miliardi di dollari firmato a maggio 2014 da Gazprom con il gruppo cinese Cnpc.

Power of Siberia: Cina e Russia sfidano gli Usa

Il connubio tra quello che è considerato uno dei Paesi più ricchi di risorse naturali e quello che più di ogni altro ha necessità di materie prime è logico e naturale. Per la Russia l’esportazione di idrocarburi ad agosto-settembre 2019 ha rappresentato due terzi del totale dell’export mentre, secondo le rilevazioni dell’Agenzia internazionale dell’Energia, tra il 2018 e il 2024 Pechino da sola contribuirà al 40% della crescita nel consumo di gas.

Ovviamente l’impatto di Power of Siberia va al di là della partnership strategica fra i due paesi e va inquadrato all’interno di una sfida alla leadership americana, sia in ambito commerciale che politico.

“Si tratta di una partnership win-win”, riportano gli analisti di Morning Brew. “La Cina ha la domanda (l’anno prossimo dovrebbe diventare il maggior importatore di gas) e la Russia ha i beni (primo Paese per riserve). Ed entrambi vogliono far innervosire gli Stati Uniti”.

Power of Siberia rappresenta un nuovo step nella collaborazione sempre più stretta a livello diplomatico e commerciale tra i due Paesi. “Per gli Stati Uniti, questo gasdotto è come vedere Joker e Bane (uno dei peggiori nemici di Batman, ndr) su un tandem. Tramite l’apertura del gasdotto, Cina e Russia stanno spostando ancora di più l’epicentro del mondo ad oriente”, riporta Morning Brew.

Non contenti, i due Paesi starebbero già negoziando per la costruzione di un nuovo gasdotto, che collegherà l’Artico con il mercato cinese passando attraverso la Mongolia (si tratta degli stessi giacimenti da cui già si riforniscono i Paesi europei).

Russia e Cina: gli altri ambiti di collaborazione

La partnership Russia-Cina non si limita alle materie prime. Forti legami sono riscontrabili anche:

– nel settore delle telecomunicazioni: Huawei sta sviluppando le reti 5G in Russia grazie ad un accordo con MTS, il primo provider di infrastrutture mobili del Paese;

– nel settore dell’estrazione delle commodity: la Russia necessita della tecnologia del dragone per poter incrementare le fonti approvvigionamento e in quest’ambito va ricondotta la fornitura di tecnologie cinesi nell’ambito dello sviluppo dell’Artico, per i progetti di Yamal LNG e Arctic LNG-2.

– in ambito valutario: lo yuan cinese a marzo rappresentava il 14,2% delle riserve valutarie russe (+5% rispetto a 12 mesi prima);

– nel commercio: nel 2018 l’interscambio tra i due Paesi ha toccato un nuovo record a 100 miliardi di dollari e, come detto, l’obiettivo di Putin è di raddoppiare gli scambi entro il 2024.» [Money]

* * * * * * *

Il connubio tra quello che è considerato uno dei Paesi più ricchi di risorse naturali e quello che più di ogni altro ha necessità di materie prime è logico e naturale. Per la Russia l’esportazione di idrocarburi ad agosto-settembre 2019 ha rappresentato due terzi del totale dell’export mentre, secondo le rilevazioni dell’Agenzia internazionale dell’Energia, tra il 2018 e il 2024 Pechino da sola contribuirà al 40% della crescita nel consumo di gas.

«Russia has dramatically increased deliveries of oil to China in the past decade, challenging Saudi Arabia as China’s top oil supplier in certain months.

To achieve that, Russia launched a major oil pipeline to China, which today ships 600,000 barrels per day (bpd), and opened a new port at Kozmino on the Pacific. Russia also ships 200,000 bpd to China via a pipeline crossing Kazakhstan.

Russian coal sales to the east in 2018 exceeded 100 million tonnes, accounting for more than half of Russia’s total coal exports.»

L’ultima frase di Reuters suona beffarda per l’Occidente.

La Russia continua imperterrita ad esportare duecento milioni di tonnellate di carbone ogni anno, delle quali più di cento in Cina.

Tutto il mondo continua imperterrito ad usare il carbone sia per generare corrente elettrica sia negli impianti siderurgici, alla faccia dei liberal socialisti europei, che vorrebbero abolire questo combustibile e che presumono così facendo di ‘salvare’ il mondo.

*


Reuters. 2019-12-03. Putin and Xi oversee launch of landmark Russian gas pipeline to China

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Monday oversaw the launch of a landmark pipeline that will transport natural gas from Siberia to northeast China, an economic and political boost to ties between Moscow and Beijing.

The start of gas flows via the Power of Siberia pipeline reflects Moscow’s attempts to pivot to the East to try to mitigate pain from Western financial sanctions imposed over its 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea.

The move cements China’s spot as Russia’s top export market and gives Russia a potentially enormous new market outside Europe. It also comes as Moscow is hoping to launch two other major energy projects — the Nord Steam 2 undersea Baltic gas pipeline to Germany and the TurkStream pipeline to Turkey and southern Europe.

The 3,000-km-long (1,865 mile) Power of Siberia pipeline will transport gas from the Chayandinskoye and Kovytka fields in eastern Siberia, a project expected to last for three decades and to generate $400 billion for Russian state coffers.

“This is a genuinely historical event not only for the global energy market but above all for us, for Russia and China,” said Putin, who watched the launch via video link from the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.

“This step takes Russo-Chinese strategic cooperation in energy to a qualitative new level and brings us closer to (fulfilling) the task, set together with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, of taking bilateral trade to $200 billion by 2024.”

The new pipeline emerges in Heilongjiang, which borders Russia, and goes onto Jilin and Liaoning, China’s top grain hub.

Xi told Putin via a video link on Monday that the newly launched gas pipeline is “a landmark project of bilateral energy cooperation” and an “example of deep integration and mutually beneficial cooperation”.

Flows via the pipeline are expected to gradually rise to 38 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year in 2025, possibly making China Russia’s second-largest gas customer after Germany, which bought 58.50 bcm of gas from Russia last year.

Moscow began supplying natural gas to western and central Europe in the 1950s and Europe has long been Russia’s major consumer of gas, supplied by Kremlin-controlled energy giant Gazprom (GAZP.MM), with total annual supplies of around 200 bcm.

The price China is paying for Russian gas in the new pipeline remains a closely kept secret with various industry sources saying it is tied to the price of an oil products basket.

Neither Putin, nor Xi commented on Monday on the gas price Beijing is set to pay under the contract.

INCREASED COMPETITION

Russian pipeline gas will compete against other pipeline gas supplies to China, including from Turkmenistan, as well as against shipments of sea-borne liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“China’s gas demand growth is expected to slow down from previous years yet remains strong, with an estimated 10% year-on-year growth for the first nine months of 2019,” Jean-Baptiste Dubreuil, from the International Energy Agency’s natural gas market analysis team, told Reuters.

“Our medium term forecast ‘Gas 2019’ assumes average 8% growth until 2024 (compared with a world average of 1.6% pa).”

Russia has been in talks with China about raising gas sales via other routes too, such as from the Russian Far East and via Mongolia or Kazakhstan, but has not yet clinched any deals.

Russia has dramatically increased deliveries of oil to China in the past decade, challenging Saudi Arabia as China’s top oil supplier in certain months.

To achieve that, Russia launched a major oil pipeline to China, which today ships 600,000 barrels per day (bpd), and opened a new port at Kozmino on the Pacific. Russia also ships 200,000 bpd to China via a pipeline crossing Kazakhstan.

Russian coal sales to the east in 2018 exceeded 100 million tonnes, accounting for more than half of Russia’s total coal exports.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Materie Prime

Russia. Potrebbe sospendere le forniture di gas come nel 2009.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-12-04.

2019-11-30__Putin 001

Non è una legge fisica che la Russia continui a vendere il proprio gas naturale all’Europa. Sicuramente ci guadagna, e molto, nella vendita, ma nel contempo ha in mano un’arma di ritorsione di non piccola portata.

E la sentenza di alcuni giudici svedesi potrebbe anche innescare una nuova crisi.

*

«Russia must pay Ukraine $2.6bn [€2.4bn] in a long-running gas dispute, a Swedish court has said, in a ruling that could lead to a repeat of the 2009 winter gas crisis in the EU»

«The Svea County Court of Appeal in Sweden issued its verdict on Wednesday (27 November), after Russian gas supplier Gazprom had challenged an earlier pro-Ukraine ruling in 2017 by an arbitration tribunal in the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce»

«The two verdicts were part of a series of ongoing legal disputes worth tens of billions of euros»

«Most of them arose from a controversial, 10-year gas contract signed in January 2009 by Ukraine’s then prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, in Moscow which forced Ukraine to pay for set volumes of gas from Russia no matter how much gas it took in reality»

«But the Tymoshenko gas contract expires on 31 December this year and Russia has threatened to halt gas supplies to Ukraine unless it drops its legal battles»

«There is undoubtedly a need to fully resolve all court disputes before signing a new contract»

«”The risk of termination of transit exists” and the prior Swedish verdicts were “nonsense” that were “making the situation worse,” Russian president Vladimir Putin also said»

«Ukraine currently transits about 87 billion cubic metres (bcm) of Russian gas to EU countries out of Russia’s total 200bcm European exports»

«The last time Russia and Ukraine seriously fell out on gas, in winter 2008/2009, it wreaked havoc, including some blackouts in EU states, such as Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, which are heavily dependent on Russian gas coming via Ukraine»

* * * * * * *

Il problema si ripropone nella sua drammatica generalità.

In tutto l’occidente la magistratura interviene pesantemente in materie che dovrebbero essere di esclusiva competenza politica. Di fatto, una sentenza di oscuri giudici, nominati non eletti, può causare sconquassi politici ed economici di vasta portata.

Diventa lecito domandarsi quanto risponda ai criteri di democrazia un simile modo di reggimento dei popoli.

*


EU Observer. 2019-11-30. EU fears new Russia gas crisis, amid court disputes

Russia must pay Ukraine $2.6bn [€2.4bn] in a long-running gas dispute, a Swedish court has said, in a ruling that could lead to a repeat of the 2009 winter gas crisis in the EU.

The Svea County Court of Appeal in Sweden issued its verdict on Wednesday (27 November), after Russian gas supplier Gazprom had challenged an earlier pro-Ukraine ruling in 2017 by an arbitration tribunal in the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.

The two verdicts were part of a series of ongoing legal disputes worth tens of billions of euros.

Most of them arose from a controversial, 10-year gas contract signed in January 2009 by Ukraine’s then prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, in Moscow which forced Ukraine to pay for set volumes of gas from Russia no matter how much gas it took in reality.

“Full victory! Ukraine is winning again!”, Yuri Vitrenko, a senior executive at Ukraine’s gas transit firm, Naftogaz, said on Facebook on Wednesday.

But the Tymoshenko gas contract expires on 31 December this year and Russia has threatened to halt gas supplies to Ukraine unless it drops its legal battles.

“There is undoubtedly a need to fully resolve all court disputes before signing a new contract,” Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said last week, calling for them to be “settled out of court”.

“The risk of termination of transit exists” and the prior Swedish verdicts were “nonsense” that were “making the situation worse,” Russian president Vladimir Putin also said.

Ukraine currently transits about 87 billion cubic metres (bcm) of Russian gas to EU countries out of Russia’s total 200bcm European exports.

The last time Russia and Ukraine seriously fell out on gas, in winter 2008/2009, it wreaked havoc, including some blackouts in EU states, such as Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, which are heavily dependent on Russian gas coming via Ukraine.

“I’ve been involved in mediation processes since I was young, including in African matters. It’s the first time I saw agreements that were systematically not respected,” the then European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said at the time.

“This very peculiar episode is over. Let’s hope it’s over,” Barroso added.

The gas has kept flowing in recent years despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014, just as it did during the Cold War, making billions of euros for the Russian and Ukrainian treasuries.

Eastern EU states have also built “interconnector” pipes, liquid gas terminals, and extra storage facilities to help prevent a repeat of the 2008/2009 situation.

“Europe is getting ready for a crisis. We do not know what will happen on 1 January, but we will be prepared,” Maciej Wozniak, the deputy head of Polish gas distributor PGNiG, said in Warsaw last week.

He showed press a map of storage levels in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine, the Reuters news agency reported.

“We call it a map of fear, as we have not seen such storage levels for years,” Wozniak added.

The commission has also tried to mediate between Kiev and Moscow, the same way Barroso did back in 2008.

But the last so-called ‘trilateral’ meeting, on 1 November, left commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič feeling “disappointed”.

“Time is flying and given the date, there is – and there must be – a clear sense of urgency,” he said.

A new EU winter gas crunch aside, the Russia-Ukraine transit talks come amid wider strategic concerns on European energy supplies.

Russia is currently building two new pipelines to the EU via the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea that could make Ukraine’s transit network obsolete in 2020.

That, in turn, could destabilise the Ukrainian economy by costing it some $3bn a year in lost transit fees and make EU states such as Poland more vulnerable to Russian energy blackmail.

It could also pave the way for wider Russian military aggression in Ukraine, the Ukrainian military says, because Russia would have nothing to lose if fighting destroyed the Ukrainian transit pipes.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Materie Prime

Arcelor Mittal abbandona l’Italia e Taranto, alla faccia di Mr Di Maio.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-11-07.

Pagliaccio 001

L’Ilva e quello sbrodellaro di Mr Di Maio. Sentite cosa aveva detto. [Video]

«L’allora vicepremier parlava in un video su Facebook nell’anniversario del V Day e faceva il punto sulla crisi dell’acciaieria | Corriere TV

Luigi di Maio, allora vicepremier e ministro dello sviluppo economico e del lavoro, a settembre 2018 parlava in un video su Facebook e raccontava i risultati ottenuti dal Movimento 5 stelle e dal governo gialloverde. «Abbiamo risolto la crisi dell’Ilva» annunciava «E lo abbiamo fatto in tre mesi, quando quelli di prima in sei anni non erano stati capaci».

*

L’intervista rilasciata da Mr Di Maio assume le connotazioni di un delirio schizofrenico, totalmente avulso dal reale.

Arcelor Mittal sembrerebbe del tutto intenzionata a cessare la produzione in Italia.

È semplicemente impossibile produrre qualcosa in Italia a prezzi concorrenziali.

Il problema è strutturale, aggravato dalla situazione mondiale

«’La multinazionale ha ribadito a Conte la volontà di recedere il contratto, il problema non è solo lo scudo penale’. Sciopero di 24 ore per l’otto novembre»

«Sull’ex Ilva “è scattato l’allarme rosso. Per il governo il rilancio è una priorità e le richieste di ArcelorMittal sono inaccettabili»

«Vogliono il disimpegno o un taglio di 5mila lavoratori»

* * * * * * *

È da tempo che l’acciaieria di Taranto era fastidiosissima concorrenza al all’industria siderurgica francese e tedesca.

Adesso i santi patroni del Governo Zingaretti rosso-giallo presentano il conto da pagare.

Ottimo viatico per le prossime elezioni regionali in Puglia.

*

Mittal conferma l’addio, no a scudo offerto da Conte. Sindacati indicono uno sciopero

Sindacati: ‘La multinazionale ha ribadito a Conte la volontà di recedere il contratto, il problema non è solo lo scudo penale’. Sciopero di 24 ore per l’otto novembre

*

Sull’ex Ilva “è scattato l’allarme rosso. Per il governo il rilancio è una priorità e le richieste di ArcelorMittal sono inaccettabili”. In una conferenza stampa notturna, convocata dopo dodici ore di riunioni e vertici dai toni anche drammatici, il premier Giuseppe Conte riassume quella che è una vera e propria guerra tra il governo e la multinazionale dell’acciaio. Ma sull’immunità restano intatte le tensioni nella maggioranza e nel Movimento Cinque stelle. “Lo scudo penale è stato offerto ed è stato rifiutato. Il problema è industriale”, sottolinea il premier riferendo che dall’azienda è arrivata una richiesta di “cinquemila esuberi” e chiamando “tutto il Paese e le forze di opposizione alla compattezza”.

Saranno 48 ore sul filo della suspense. Perché la trattativa con ArcelorMittal non è ancora definitivamente chiusa. “Al momento la via concreta è il richiamo alla loro responsabilità”, spiega Conte che ha chiesto a Lakshmi Mittal e a suo figlio di aggiornarsi tra massimo due giorni per una nuova proposta. E’ una delle poche volte, da quando è a Palazzo Chigi, che Conte pone il suo accento sulla serietà del problema. E sono parole che danno il tono della fumata nerissima registrata dopo l’incontro con i vertici di A.Mittal. “Vogliono il disimpegno o un taglio di 5mila lavoratori” ma “nessuna responsabilità sulla decisione dell’azienda può essere attribuita al governo”, spiega Conte sentenziando un concetto che sa di protesta di un intero sistema: “l’Italia è un Paese serio, non ci facciamo prendere in giro”. Già perché, per il governo, semplicemente A.Mittal non rispetta un contratto aggiudicatasi dopo una gara pubblica. Tanto che fonti di governo descrivono lo scontro con l’azienda in questi termini: “praticamente siamo già in causa”. E, nell’esecutivo, emerge anche un’altra considerazione: quanto conviene che l’azienda resti? Per questo, parallelamente, si stanno cercando “strade alternative”.

Un piano B, insomma, che non includerebbe la partecipazione di Cdp ma che potrebbe concretizzarsi con una nuova cordata. E’ un’ipotesi che emerge a tarda notte e che non riguarderebbe necessariamente Jindal o AcciaItalia. Allo stesso tempo nel M5S filtra già una certa irritazione per la scelta di ArcelorMittal – che ha azzerato la concorrenza – e nei confronti di chi ha gestito il dossier, l’ex ministro Carlo Calenda. Sospetti che il titolare del Mise Stefano Patuanelli così sintetizza: “è evidente che ArcelorMittal voleva solo un’acquisizione”. Il governo, insomma, passa al contrattacco ma le armi rischiano di essere spuntate. “Il nostro strumento al momento è la pressione nel nostro sistema Paese”, sottolinea Conte convocando, per domani pomeriggio i sindacati, il presidente della Regione Puglia Michele Emiliano e il sindaco di Taranto Rinaldo Melucci.

“Chiameremo tutto il Paese a raccolta”, insiste Conte ribadendo il suo messaggio alla politica: è il momento della compattezza. Una compattezza che, sul decreto offerto a ArcelorMittal sullo scudo penale rischiava di mancare vista la ferma contrarietà di una parte del M5S. Tanto che, dopo tre ore e mezza di Consiglio dei ministri quel decreto non salta fuori. Ma per Conte, ora il problema non è questo. La norma sullo scudo penale, raccontano fonti di governo, è stata di fatto messa sul tavolo nell’incontro con A.Mittal, così altre rassicurazioni, come il pieno sostegno a un piano che renda l’ex Ilva un “hub della transizione energetica”. Tutto inutile. L’azienda vuole l’addio o un taglio draconiano della forza lavoro, che costringerebbe il governo ad intervenire sulla cassa integrazione. Con un’appendice: il governo non accetterà mai i 5mila esuberi richiesti.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Materie Prime, Problemia Energetici, Senza categoria

Cina. Incrementa le importazioni di carbone del 10%. Clima in non cale.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-10-30.

gatto_001__

«China, the world’s top coal buyer, is on track to boost imports of the fuel by more than 10% this year»

«Last year’s total was 281.23 million tonnes»

«the Chinese government may allow a relatively modest uplift in annual imports to around 300 million tonnes»

«China’s coal imports have already surged 9.5% in the first nine months of 2019 to 250.57 million tonnes, …. and at least 18.84 million tonnes of seaborne coal are due to arrive this month»

«With China typically bringing in about 7 million tonnes more a month on trucks and trains from Mongolia and Russia, total volumes are likely to reach 276 million tonnes well before the end of the year»

«The rise in imports comes even after Beijing has pledged to curb coal use to tackle persistent severe pollution in the world’s top energy market»

«Port prices for Chinese thermal coal with energy content of 5,500 kilocalories per kilogramme (Kcal) were around 575 yuan ($81.25) a tonne on Monday, while Australian coal of the same quality was sold at $53 a tonne FOB»

* * * * * * *

I cinesi sono persone pratiche e con i piedi ben posti sulla terra.

È del tutto naturale che usino il ‘clima’ quando ne vien loro un vantaggio economico, ma lo tengono nella debita considerazione quando si parlasse del rapporto benefici/costi.

Il carbone rilascia 5,500 kilocalorie per kilogrammo, ed il tutto per 53 Usd la tonnellata: è il combustibile meno oneroso. Poi, se è indispensabile per molte lavorazioni industriali in primis la produzione dell’acciaio, consente di generare energia elettrica a basso costo.

Sufficit. Il resto è aria fritta che lasciano volentieri all’occidente in recessione.

*


Reuters. 2019-10-24. China’s 2019 coal imports set to rise more than 10%: analysts

China, the world’s top coal buyer, is on track to boost imports of the fuel by more than 10% this year, traders and analysts said on Tuesday, countering earlier expectations that shipments would be capped by Beijing at the same level as 2018.

China’s coal imports have already surged 9.5% in the first nine months of 2019 to 250.57 million tonnes, customs data shows, and at least 18.84 million tonnes of seaborne coal are due to arrive this month, according to vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Refinitiv.

With China typically bringing in about 7 million tonnes more a month on trucks and trains from Mongolia and Russia, total volumes are likely to reach 276 million tonnes well before the end of the year.

Last year’s total was 281.23 million tonnes.

“Signs are emerging of a modest recovery in coal import volumes into China, which has led to recent market speculation that the Chinese government may allow a relatively modest uplift in annual imports to around 300 million tonnes,” said Whitehaven Coal Ltd, Australia’s largest independent coal producer, in a note on Tuesday.

Energy consultancy IHS Markit expects that China may bring in around 320 million tonnes of coal this year.

Some Singapore-based coal traders forecast Chinese coal imports could reach at least 305 million tonnes.

The rise in imports comes even after Beijing has pledged to curb coal use to tackle persistent severe pollution in the world’s top energy market.

Last year it took drastic measures to cap its shipments, halting all clearance of coal cargoes at major ports in December, which sent imports plunging to just 10 million tonnes that month, down from an average monthly level of 22 million tonnes.

“Government priority at this moment is to boost the economy … Relaxing coal imports curb would help maintain a moderate coal price and therefore cut electricity prices in order to reduce energy costs for Chinese enterprises,” said Liu Xiaomin, analyst at IHS Markit in Beijing.

Analysts and traders warned that the customs authorities could still take such action however, and said they are closely watching for any change in import policy.

“The market is full of uncertainties at this moment. We have to wait until at least the end of October to see if a new policy will come out,” said a Beijing-based coal trader with a leading German power company.

IHS Markit’s Liu also warned the import policy may be adjusted anytime based on coal prices and the economic situation in China.

Still, buyers have not slowed their purchases, thanks to a large spread between domestic and imported coal prices and increasing demand for the fuel ahead of northern China’s heating season that kicks off next month, said three other traders with major power utilities and trading houses.

Port prices for Chinese thermal coal with energy content of 5,500 kilocalories per kilogramme (Kcal) were around 575 yuan ($81.25) a tonne on Monday, while Australian coal of the same quality was sold at $53 a tonne FOB.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Materie Prime, Senza categoria

Cina. Ha importato 369 mln ton di greggio nei primi nove mesi. +10% yoy.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-10-26.

Pechino-Cina

«China imported 369 million tonnes of crude oil in the first nine months of 2019, up nearly 10% from the same period last year»

«China has lifted its crude oil import quotas to allow mostly private refiners to bring in a further 12.9 million tonnes this year»

«The third batch of quotas was allocated to 19 companies, including private refiner Zhejiang Petroleum & Chemical Co (ZPC), which was awarded 3.5 million tonnes»

«Prior to this, China had issued a crude import quota of 153.1 million tonnes, according to Huatai Futures Co, bringing total allowed imports so far this year to 166 million tonnes»

«The new increase in import quotas is mainly for the newly launched mega-refineries»

«This year in the first half margin was poor, especially for gasoline»

«Although margins recovered in the second half, it is still worse than previous years as the market is competitive and refined oil products are in oversupply»

* * * * * * *

Mentre gran parte dei paesi occidentali barcollano sotto la recessione economica, la Cina prosegue imperterrita a crescere di circa il 6% all’anno ed aumentano quindi di conseguenza le sue esigenze energetiche.

Di questi giorni la notizia che essa ha importato nei primi nove mesi dell’anno 369 milioni di tonnellate di greggio, ossia il 10% in più rispetto l’anno precedente.

Ma la notizia più interessante consiste nel fatto che le quote aggiuntive delle importazioni siano destinate a nuove raffinerie.

Questo è segno evidente di quanto il Governo cinese ritenga essere definitivo l’incremento dei consumi petroliferi.

*


Reuters. 2019-10-23. China issues more crude oil import quotas for 2019

China has lifted its crude oil import quotas to allow mostly private refiners to bring in a further 12.9 million tonnes this year, a document seen by Reuters showed on Tuesday, feeding a new generation of huge refineries.

The third batch of quotas was allocated to 19 companies, including private refiner Zhejiang Petroleum & Chemical Co (ZPC), which was awarded 3.5 million tonnes, the document showed.

Prior to this, China had issued a crude import quota of 153.1 million tonnes, according to Huatai Futures Co, bringing total allowed imports so far this year to 166 million tonnes, a Reuters calculation showed.

“Import quotas have increased overall this year as new refineries are being launched,” said Xiang Pan, head of oil research at Huatai Futures Co.

“The new increase in import quotas is mainly for the newly launched mega-refineries.”

Privately-owned Hengli Petrochemical Ltd (600346.SS) ramped up its 400,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) oil refinery to full rate in late May, while ZPC aims to bring online a second 200,000 bpd crude distillation unit (CDU) in the coming months.

China imported 369 million tonnes of crude oil in the first nine months of 2019, up nearly 10% from the same period last year, customs data showed, boosted by the startup of new refineries as well as strong fuel demand in the country.

ernment-backed Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Group was also granted another 900,000 tonnes in the latest batch of quotas.

That brought its total allocation this year to 3.6 million tonnes.

China’s Ministry of Commerce did not respond to a request for comment.

“Some crude import quotas will be left unused, the same as previous years. Some teapots will not be able to finish their quotas, either because they have credit problems or because they prefer domestic trades,” Huatai’s Pan said.

“This year in the first half margin was poor, especially for gasoline. Although margins recovered in the second half, it is still worse than previous years as the market is competitive and refined oil products are in oversupply.”

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Materie Prime

20 Società producono il 35% delle emissioni mondiali di CO2.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-10-17.

2019-10-10_Industrie inquinanti 001

«20 fossil fuel companies can be directly linked to more than a third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the modern era»

«Between 1965 and 2017, those 20 companies contributed to 35 percent of all energy-related carbon dioxide and methane worldwide, totalling 480 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent »

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Se usualmente si considera il petrolio solo come materia prima energetica, sarebbe però importante non dimenticarsi di considerare anche tutto il settore petrolchimico, dal quale dipende larga quota dell’economia degli stati industrializzati. Si pensi soltanto alle fibre ottiche ed alle guarnizioni dei cavi elettrici, per non parlare delle moderne tubature che convogliano il gas.

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20 Firms Produced A Third Of Global CO2 Emissions

An investigation by Richard Heede at the Climate Accountability Institute and covered by The Guardian has found that 20 fossil fuel companies can be directly linked to more than a third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the modern era. Between 1965 and 2017, those 20 companies contributed to 35 percent of all energy-related carbon dioxide and methane worldwide, totalling 480 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

The following infographic provides an overview of those companies which range from investor owned firms to state-owned companies. Saudi Aramco is at the top with 59.26 billion tonnes, followed by Chevron and Gazprom with over 43 billion tonnes each. 12 of the top 20 companies are state-owned and they accounted for 20 percent of all emissions since 1965.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Materie Prime

L’Olanda sposta il suo oro in un sito militare.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-10-16.

2019-10-16__Olanda

Anche l’Olanda chiede il rimpatrio delle proprie riserve auree!

«Dopo la Germania, che ha chiesto il rimpatrio del proprio oro, dopo l’Austria che ha chiesto un “audit” delle riserve auree detenute all’estero, dopo la Svizzera che votera’ per il rimpatrio del suo oro,  e dopo Venezuela, Australia, Finlandia, Polonia ed  Ecuador…

ora e’ la volta dell’Olanda!

La Banca Centrale Olandese (DeNederlaschneBank – DNB) ha chiesto che le proprie riserve auree facciano ritorno in patria.

Fino a non poco tempo fa solo l’11% dell’oro della DNB era conservato in Olanda.

Durante e dopo la Guerra Fredda, le autorita’ olandesi avevano ritenuto politicamente e strategicamente opportuno non custodire le riserve nella propria nazione.

La riserva aurea olandese era immagazzinata negli USA (51%), in Canada (20%) e in Gran Bretagna (18%) e il restante 11%, come gia’ scritto, in Olanda.

Di recente la DNB ha provveduto a rimpatriare ben 122,50 tonnellate di oro, per un valore di 4 miliardi di Euro, stoccate presso i magazzini della FED di New York.»

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La banca olandese non sembra ritenere questo risultato solido e definitivo. Spiega che il 38 per cento delle sue riserve sono presso la Federal Reserve di Manhattan, un altro 31% fra Londra e Ottawa, ma che il 31 per cento che ha in patria, 15 mila lingotti, lo sta per trasferire da Amsterdam a una installazione militare in costruzione, “Camp New Amsterdam nel comune di Zeist”.

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DNB Cashcentrum

De Nederlandsche Bank gaat haar bankbiljettenbedrijf en goudkluis verplaatsen naar het defensieterrein Camp New Amsterdam in de gemeente Zeist. Hier wordt het DNB Cashcentrum gebouwd.

De goudkluis en het bankbiljettenbedrijf maken nu onderdeel uit van het DNB-gebouw in het centrum van Amsterdam.
DNB heeft besloten tot verhuizing om meerdere redenen:

– De aanwezigheid van het bankbiljettenbedrijf en de goudkluis vergt zeer hoge beveiligingsmaatregelen, die de toegankelijkheid voor medewerkers en bezoekers steeds meer in de weg staan.

– Regelmatig waardetransport in het centrum van Amsterdam is complex.

DNB Cashcentrum in Zeist

Er wordt een nieuw DNB Cashcentrum gebouwd dat begin 2022 klaar moet zijn voor gebruik. Dit Cashcentrum komt op het terrein van Camp New Amsterdam in Zeist, waar onder andere eenheden van de Koninklijke Marechaussee (KMar) gevestigd zijn. De KMar vervult een belangrijke rol bij de beveiliging van de waardetransporten van DNB.

Functies DNB Cashcentrum

Het nieuwe DNB Cashcentrum krijgt meerdere functies:

– De sortering en distributie van de eurobankbiljetten. Vanuit Camp New Amsterdam vinden straks de waardetransporten plaats om de professionele geldverwerkers te voorzien van bankbiljetten en munten

– Het Nationaal Analysecentrum voor de registratie en analyse van vervalsingen.

– Een Europees Testcentrum voor onderzoek naar het duurzaam gebruik van bankbiljetten.

– De opslag van goud, bankbiljetten en munten.

Veelgestelde vragen

De komst van het DNB Cashcentrum in Zeist roept voor betrokkenen en omwonenden vragen op. Hieronder staat een actueel overzicht van de meest gestelde vragen.

Pubblicato in: Economia e Produzione Industriale, Materie Prime, Senza categoria

Sud Africa. Estrazione oro -5.4% yoy.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-10-13.

2019-10-12__Sud Africa. Estrazione Oro. 001

L’estrazione di oro in Sud Africa è in diminuzione da due anni a questa parte.

Se sicuramente vi siano molte ed acute problematiche di tensioni sociali, altrettanto sicuramente le miniere sembrerebbero avviarsi all’inizio dell’esaurimento.

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«A South African gold mine that goes two miles beneath the Earth’s surface holds far more than just precious metals»

«Moab Khotsong, a South African gold mine that extends nearly two miles beneath the surface.»

«The country was the world’s top gold producer for decades. »

«Now the gold is running out, just as these ultra-deep mines have attracted a new breed of miner on a very different quest»

«We dropped two miles in a couple of minutes and emerged in an underground city. To get to the gold, miners must walk miles through a vast maze of dimly lit tunnels.»

«The gold in these ultra-deep mines is found in narrow veins, laced through the rock. Some are no wider than a pencil.»

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Queste argomentazioni potrebbero aiutare a comprendere meglio la corsa all’oro perseguita da molti stati.

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What lies at the bottom of one of the deepest holes ever dug by man?

A South African gold mine that goes two miles beneath the Earth’s surface holds far more than just precious metals.

Over the years at “60 Minutes,” we have been in more than a few tunnels. We explored Mexican drug lord El Chapo’s subterranean escape routes, burrowed through a Roman villa buried by Mount Vesuvius and traveled the depths of the New York City subway.   But nothing prepared us for a place called Moab Khotsong, a South African gold mine that extends nearly two miles beneath the surface. As we first reported last November, In their pursuit of gold, South Africans have dug the deepest holes on earth. The country was the world’s top gold producer for decades. Now the gold is running out, just as these ultra-deep mines have attracted a new breed of miner on a very different quest. We went along for the adventure.

In the early morning light, tall mine shafts loom over the Vaal River basin two hours southwest of Johannesburg. This once was a booming gold field, now most mines lie abandoned but Moab Khotsong is bustling. Long before the sun rises, thousands of miners start lining up for the triple-deck elevator called “the cage.” It’s jammed but more always push on, and early one morning, so did we.

We’re packed in as tight as sardines, the electric bells signal we’re ready, and the cage drops. Slowly at first, then picks up speed fast. We plunge 450 stories straight down. It’s the longest elevator ride on Earth.

The cage rattles and whistles as we descend, the air gets more humid the deeper we go. Our lifeline to the surface is a machine called the manwinder, massive coils of steel rope two inches thick that attach to the cage and unspool faster and faster. We dropped two miles in a couple of minutes and emerged in an underground city.

To get to the gold, miners must walk miles through a vast maze of dimly lit tunnels. Sometimes you’re lucky and can catch a ride, but mostly you just walk. For Leroy Lee, it’s in the blood. His father worked in the mines. Now it’s his turn. His family depends on his job.

The gold in these ultra-deep mines is found in narrow veins, laced through the rock. Some are no wider than a pencil. It’s cramped at the rock face and we crouch alongside the miners as they work hunched over in the dark. The noise from the drills is deafening. Massive air conditioners cool the tunnels but it can still reach 120 degrees down here.

At the end of the shift, we had to rush not to miss the elevator back up. It doesn’t wait for anyone.

And here’s where all that breaking rock pays off: the smelter. The ore is smashed and pulverized in a grinder before being fed into a furnace. Monga Kasongo, who runs the operation, told us we were the first TV crew to film the weekly ritual they call “the pour.” We all had to wear these special pajamas with no pockets so we couldn’t steal anything. The heat was intense as the furnace reached almost 2,000 degrees. The gold turned to liquid and poured down into the moulds.

Monga Kasongo: When I saw it the first time, I was like “wow.” That’s something that keeps me going. When you hear people who have never seen gold or touched it, I feel like I’m more privileged.

These bars will be refined again to 99.99 percent purity before they’re sold for coins and jewelry. The mine used to process about 60 tons of gold a year. Now it’s just a quarter of that. Still, the day we watched the pour, there was a pretty good haul.

Bill Whitaker: Wow, this is quite heavy…

Monga Kasongo: Yes, it is.

Bill Whitaker: How much is this?

Monga Kasongo: 11 million rand.

Bill Whitaker: In U.S. dollars, we’re talking seven and a half to eight million U.S. dollars for what you poured today?

Monga Kasongo: Yes, definitely.

Bill Whitaker: That sounds like a good day?

Monga Kasongo: It’s a good business.

It’s one thing to come here for the gold but now this harsh environment has attracted others: scientists hunting for what they call extreme life.

Tullis Onstott: We’ve found water that’s a billion years’ old

Bill Whitaker: A billion years old?

Tullis Onstott: A billion years’ old

Bill Whitaker: In these caves?

Tullis Onstott: Right.

An international team, led by Princeton geoscientist Tullis Onstott and Belgian biologist Gaetan Borgonie, are pioneers in the search for life buried in the rock where no one thought it could survive. Borgonie says his colleagues thought he was crazy when he took a sabbatical to try to prove there was life deep underground.

Gaetan Borgonie: Oh, come on they said. You’re going to go to South Africa for a year, you’re gonna go look for something that does not exist there.

They’ve lost count of the number of trips to the bottom of the mines searching for life hidden in the ancient water, seeping through the rock.

Gaetan Borgonie: This is a completely different world down there. There are different rules.

Bill Whitaker: How so?

Gaetan Borgonie: The temperature is different; the pressure is different. I mean, it’s a tough world down there for life.

The next day we went along with them to the deepest level of the mine. For them it was just another day at the office, for us it was an eye-opener.

With just the light from our headlamps, we waded through a tunnel that had been flooded with cold water to cool it down. Then we grabbed a chairlift cut through a channel of rock, except this one went down.

Picture five of New York’s World Trade Centers stacked on top of each other. That’s how deep in the Earth we are.

When the chairlift stopped suddenly we had to hike down the last 50 yards to the bottom. Then, at the end of an abandoned tunnel our scientists found something amazing.

Tullis Onstott: I’ve been looking for 20 years for a salty water deposit like this. Never found it until now.

White patches on the wall turned out to be salt.

Bill Whitaker: Is that edible?

Bennie: I don’t know, he’s tried it.

Bill Whitaker: This is ancient salt?

Tullis Onstott: That’s the question. Has to be– has to be ancient salt.

Bill Whitaker: Very salty. Salty salt.

And the source? This dripping salt water.

Bill Whitaker: What does that tell you?

Tullis Onstott: It tells me this water is extremely old. Cause in these rock formations they were formed three billion years ago. There weren’t salt deposits back then.

They believe this water could be all that’s left of an ancient ocean and where there’s water, there can be life.

Tullis Onstott: We could be looking at something which has never seen the life that has evolved on the surface of the planet.

Bill Whitaker: All from this cave two miles down in South Africa?

Tullis Onstott: All from gold mines in South Africa. Exactly.

In 2011 they found what no one thought possible: these tiny worms living in a pocket of water 5,000 years old. What you’re seeing is magnified. These worms are no bigger than a human hair. It was a species never-before-seen. It survives without sunlight, deep in the hot underworld, so they called it Mephisto or, “the devil.”

Gaetan Borgonie: That’s where my worms live. They eat bacteria.

Bill Whitaker: The first worm you found was in something like that?

Gaetan Borgonie: Yeah

Using an endoscope camera, they were the first to film this deep inside the earth’s crust. This is the devil worm’s home. Before this, no one thought animal life could exist this deep.

Bill Whitaker: You’ve made a big discovery.

Gaetan Borgonie: For me it is big, because for me personally, I had to fight quite a lot of people to be able to do this. On a personal level, that was the biggest victory for me. In the total grand scheme of things, it’s just a worm.

Bill Whitaker: It’s just a worm …

Gaetan Borgonie: It’s just a worm.

They were surprised to find other living creatures too, so many they called them a zoo. A crustacean, about one sixty-fourth of an inch. An arthropod, a flatworm, and single-cell bacteria. It set off a storm of speculation about where else extreme life might exist, perhaps even on Mars. NASA helped fund their research.

Gaetan Borgonie: If there is life here in the deep, then you should definitely dig on Mars because if life was ever there you will find some life form, I believe very strongly, still on Mars.

Bill Whitaker: So the Martians we meet in the future could be these single-cell organisms you’re–

Gaetan Borgonie: I think that would be the–

Bill Whitaker: –you’re talking about.

Gaetan Borgonie: –that is– yes, indeed. I think that would be the most likely. But be prepared to be surprised, I would say.

South Africa’s gold mines are now so deep they might as well be on another planet.

Bernard Swanepoel: I’m not sure that we really want to send human beings much deeper.

Bernard Swanepoel started his career underground and ended it as the CEO of Harmony Gold, which now owns Moab Khotsong.

Bernard Swanepoel: If you are in a successful mining team, it must be like a successful sports team. I mean mining is one of those activities where at the end of every shift you know whether you won or lost.

Gold was the lifeblood of South Africa. The way it’s dug out has changed little since apartheid when underpaid black miners often worked in mortal danger. At its worst, more than 800 workers a year died in mining accidents. No coincidence the struggle that led to apartheid’s defeat started underground.

Bill Whitaker: Gold and gold mining seem to be in the DNA of South Africa.

Bernard Swanepoel: South African gold mining especially has always been at the center of all political and other activities in our country. I mean our bad apartheid history is intertwined with gold mining. I mean a lot of the– a lot of the legislation to dispossess black people of land was in order to create cheap labor for South African gold mines.

Bill Whitaker: You grew up in a small mining town, during the era of apartheid. What are your strongest memories?

Bernard Swanepoel: Well, ultimately I’m a privileged person that, because I was white and I was male, those were the two requirements at the time to become a mining engineer.

Bill Whitaker: So are you the new face of South African mining?

Monga Kasongo: I will say yes. We are the new generation in the mining.  

Just a dozen years after apartheid ended, engineer Monga Kasongo started managing the smelter. He told us he chose to move here from the Congo to work in the mines.

Bill Whitaker: Has that wound in South Africa been healed?

Monga Kasongo: Not 100 percent healed. But there is some healing happening, there is some healing, yes because you have a different– different people working in the mines and the mindset has been changing.

Now safety is paramount. You’ll find women underground and blacks are senior managers. Once some of the lowest-paid laborers are now among the highest. But this generation of gold miners know they may be the last. Of the 11 gold mines that once flourished around here, only three still operate. The mines are now so deep, it’s becoming too expensive to get the gold out. The story of the ultra-deep mines is nearing its final chapter. To dig the riches from such astounding depths took grit and brute force. Now South Africa’s resolve must be deployed to solving the next challenge: what to do when the gold runs out.

Pubblicato in: Materie Prime, Problemia Energetici, Russia

Russia, Penisola Gydan. Arctic LNG-2: un progetto da 21 miliardi Usd.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-09-13.

Gydan & Yamal 001

Siamo chiari. Qualche politico italiano avrà ben dovuto andare in Russia a trattare la questione.

Che poi lo si voglia bastonare perché Saipen ha tolto una gran bella fetta di lucro alla Total, società francese, è cosa capibilissima: i francesi sono suscettibili, così come gli altri partner dell’Unione Europea. E nemmeno i giapponesi sono rimasti troppo soddisfatti: anche la Mitsubishi è fuori dall’Lng-2.

Gydan & Yamal 002

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Financial Times. Saipem secures Arctic LNG 2 project contract

Italian oil and gas services group seals joint venture in the west of Siberia.

Saipem reached a deal on Friday to participate in a joint engineering venture for a liquefied natural gas project in the west of Siberia. The contract awarded by Russian gas producer Novatek and a subsidiary assigns the Italian oil and gas services company a €2.2bn share in a joint venture with France’s Technip and Russia’s NIPIgaspererabotka to construct three LNG trains — facilities to liquefy and purify the gas — as part of the Arctic LNG 2 project. Each train will have the capacity to process approximately 6.6m tonnes of natural gas per year. The deal is the latest in a string of agreements secured by the company for construction services on gas projects, winning in June a record $6bn contract for an Anadarko LNG project in Mozambique. After some difficult years for services companies since the oil price plummeted in 2014, Saipem reported positive results for the first half of this year with a net profit of €14m, compared with losses of €323m in the same period a year earlier. The company has put a strategic focus on growth driven by gas, positioning itself for the energy transition to low carbon sources, with the latest deal meaning non-oil business accounts for nearly 70 per cent of its €22.5bn backlog. Stefano Cao, Saipem’s chief executive, said that the project “reaffirms Saipem’s strategic choice to consolidate its leadership across the entire natural gas value chain”. Saipem has emerged stronger from its restructuring by focusing on contracting on projects that make the company money and technical solutions — for example, helping the Zohr offshore field in Egypt go from discovery to first gas in the short timeframe of just over two years. The agreement with Novatek, building on the deal reached in December 2018 for Saipem to construct gravity based structures for the LNG plant, will be paid on a lump sum and reimbursement basis and the first train is expected to come online by 2023. Some analysts say that there are concerns, however, that the project could be hit with sanctions, as the US continues to ramp up punitive measures against Russia. The Yamal LNG project, Russia’s first foray into developing its Arctic resources for shipping overseas, was targeted with US sanctions in 2014. A day earlier Japanese trading house Mitsubishi announced it would not invest in the Arctic LNG 2 project.

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Energy Global News. Novatek strengthens presence in the Gydan Peninsula.

PAO Novatek announced that Arctic LNG 1, a wholly owned subsidiary, won the auction for geological survey, exploration and production license for the subsoil area including the Soletsko-Khanaveyskoye field located on the Gydan peninsula in Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region. The license area has estimated hydrocarbon resources of 2,183 billion cubic meters of gas and 212 million tons of liquids, or 16 billion barrels of oil equivalent according to the Russian resource classification system. The license term is 27 years and the auction resulted in one-time payment for the subsoil use in the amount of RR 2,586 million.

The new license area borders Novatek’s Trekhbugorniy and Gydanskiy license areas on the Gydan peninsula, and allows to create the resource base for the next LNG project similar to Arctic LNG 2, with liquefaction trains to be located at the Utrenniy terminal.

The Gydan Peninsula is a geographical feature of the Siberian coast in the Kara Sea. It takes its name from the river Gyda that flows on the peninsula. It is roughly 400 km long and 360 km wide. This wide peninsula lies between the estuaries of the Ob and Yenisei Rivers. The southwestern corner of the peninsula is limited by the Taz Estuary. The climate in the whole area of the peninsula is arctic and harsh.

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Reuters. 2019-09-05. Russia ups LNG race with green light on $21 billion Arctic LNG-2 project

The $21 billion Arctic liquefied natural gas (LNG)-2 project led by Russian private gas producer Novatek won a green light on Thursday, the latest in a raft of new projects aimed at meeting a likely doubling of LNG demand over the next 15 years.

Arctic LNG-2 is expected to launch in 2023 and will aim to export 80 percent of its LNG to Asia, Novatek Chief Executive Leonid Mikhelson, Russia’s richest businessman according to Forbes magazine, said after the project’s partners signed a final investment decision (FID) at an economic forum.

At nearly 20 million tonnes per annum (mmpta) of LNG it would be largest single project to reach FID, according to Wood Mackenzie, and take total LNG volumes sanctioned this year to about 63 mtpa, beating the previous record of 45 mmtpa in 2005.

Arctic LNG 2 will be the third LNG project for Novatek, which hopes to match Qatar in production of the super-chilled fuel.

“Novatek is clearly driving home their ambitions to be a global LNG power house,” said Chong Zhi Xin, associate director of gas, power and energy at IHS Markit.

“It adds another 12 million tonnes to their portfolio on an equity basis. They are emerging as one of the largest LNG suppliers in the market.”

The project’s equity partners include French energy producer Total, China’s National Petroleum Corp [CNPET.UL], CNOOC and the Japan Arctic LNG consortium, made up of Mitsui & Co and state-owned JOGMEC, formally known as Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp.

“This is an important project for Russia and follows our strategy to create capacities for LNG production,” Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said, adding that investments in the project had been set at $21 billion.

Japanese Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said the project is one of the largest in the history of Japanese-Russian relations.

“It will unite Japan and Russia even more, as well as Europe and Asia. The Japanese government will provide all necessary assistance for the realization of this project,” he said.

The Arctic LNG 2 project will include construction of three LNG trains with a capacity of 6.6 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG each and at least 1.6 mtpa of gas condensate, according to Novatek’s website.

Located on the Gydan peninsula in Russia, the project is expected to export its first LNG by 2023 with the second and third train to start up by 2024 and 2026, Total said in a statement.

It will help Russia reach its goal of producing 120 to 130 million tonnes of LNG a year in the coming years and raise its share in the global LNG market to up to 20 percent.

It follows FIDs announced from Canada, the United States and Mozambique over the past year and plans to target Asian demand driven by major economies shifting towards greener fuel to combat pollution.

The project will benefit from extremely low cost gas, helping it compete against LNG from the United States and Canada, said Wood Mackenzie analyst Nicholas Browne.

LNG from the project will also be delivered to international markets by a fleet of ice-class LNG carriers that will be able to use the shorter Northern Sea Route and the trans-shipment terminal in Kamchatka for cargoes destined for Asia and the trans-shipment terminal close to Murmansk for cargoes destined for Europe, Total said.

“Arctic LNG 2 adds to our growing portfolio of competitive LNG developments based on giant low cost resources primarily intended for the fast growing Asian markets,” Total’s chief executive Patrick Pouyanné said in the statement.

The increase in supply from Russia and more intense competition may push down LNG prices and help move Asia towards a more gas-based economy, said IHS Markit’s Chong.