Pubblicato in: Cina, Problemia Energetici

Petrolio. Brent sopra gli 80$. Benzina sopra 1.6 euro/litro. Siamo agli inizi.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-05-17.

2018-05-17__Petrolio__003

«preoccupati per l’estate che sta arrivando, che si profila all’insegna del caro-pieno»

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2018-05-17__Petrolio__001

«A pesare sul prezzo al distributore è, come sempre avviene, l’andamento del petrolio, che da inizio del 2018 è aumentato del 17%: un anno fa il greggio americano (Wti) galleggiava intorno ai 50 dollari, mentre quello europeo (Brent) era più o meno a 52 dollari.»

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2018-05-17__Petrolio__002

«Queste sono le medie dei prezzi praticati comunicati dai gestori all’Osservatorio prezzi del ministero dello Sviluppo economico ed elaborati dalla Staffetta, rilevati alle 8 di ieri mattina su circa 14mila impianti: benzina self service a 1,617 euro/litro (+2 millesimi, pompe bianche 1,593), diesel a 1,489 euro/litro (+2, pompe bianche 1,468). Benzina servito a 1,729 euro/litro (+1, pompe bianche 1,634), diesel a 1,605 euro/litro (+2, pompe bianche 1,509). Gpl a 0,635 euro/litro (invariato, pompe bianche 0,622), metano a 0,961 euro/kg (invariato, pompe bianche 0,952).»

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I motivi sono molteplici.

Negli ultimi sei mesi il dollaro si è rafforzato rispetto all’euro, e le quotazioni del petrolio sono denominate in dolalri americani.

Si va dai tagli alla produzione decisi dall’Opec alle tensioni geopolitiche e militari nel Medio Oriente.

Ma una delle cause principali è stato l’aumento di oltre il 20% a/a delle richieste petrolifere cinesi. La Cina ha un fabbisogno energetico sempre maggiore ed in futuro potrebbe essere l’elemento che determina alla fine il prezzo dei prodotti petroliferi.


Adnk. 2018-05-17. Vola il prezzo del petrolio

Proseguono i rialzi dei prezzi dei carburanti alla pompa, mentre le quotazioni petrolifere internazionali si avvicinano ai massimi dal 2014. Stando alla consueta rilevazione di ‘Staffetta Quotidiana’, questa mattina Eni ed Esso hanno aumentato di un centesimo al litro i prezzi consigliati di benzina e diesel. Rialzo anche per Tamoil sul solo diesel (+1 cent).

Queste sono le medie dei prezzi praticati comunicati dai gestori all’Osservatorio prezzi del ministero dello Sviluppo economico ed elaborati dalla Staffetta, rilevati alle 8 di ieri mattina su circa 14mila impianti: benzina self service a 1,617 euro/litro (+2 millesimi, pompe bianche 1,593), diesel a 1,489 euro/litro (+2, pompe bianche 1,468). Benzina servito a 1,729 euro/litro (+1, pompe bianche 1,634), diesel a 1,605 euro/litro (+2, pompe bianche 1,509). Gpl a 0,635 euro/litro (invariato, pompe bianche 0,622), metano a 0,961 euro/kg (invariato, pompe bianche 0,952).


Sole 24 Ore. 2018-05-17. Petrolio, il Brent a 80 dollari spinge la benzina sopra 1,6 euro, massimi dal 2015

Il petrolio corre – stamane il Brent ha toccato quota 80 dollari per la prima volta dal 2014 – e spinge la benzina al di sopra di quota 1,6 euro al litro, ai massimi dall’estate 2015. E preoccupati per l’estate che sta arrivando, che si profila all’insegna del caro-pieno, sono naturalmente i consumatori, tanto che il Codacons che chiede l’intervento dei Nas per indagare sui rincari dei listini. Stando alle tabelle che il ministero dello Sviluppo economico aggiorna settimanalmente, e che propongono una media dei listini sul territorio (considerando servito e self, ma anche le differenze tra regioni e per le piccole isole) il prezzo medio praticato sulla rete italiana, aggiornato al 14 maggio, è tornato sopra quota 1,6 euro, portandosi a 1,606, ai massimi dal luglio 2015.

Per quanto riguarda il diesel siamo invece a quota 1,483 euro al litro nel prezzo medio, ai massimi, in questo caso, dal giugno 2015. Questo vuol dire che per un pieno di benzina di un’auto di media cilindrata ci vogliono oltre 80 euro, mentre per il gasolio sono necessari almeno 74 euro. Un anno fa ci volevano rispettivamente 76 e 68 euro, vale a dire il 5% e l’8% in meno. Quotidiano energia, che spacchetta i vari dati su cui viene calcolata la media, indica che oggi in modalità self la benzina costa in media 1,615 euro, mentre in modalità servito la media è pari a 1,739 euro al litro.

A pesare sul prezzo al distributore è, come sempre avviene, l’andamento del petrolio, che da inizio del 2018 è aumentato del 17%: un anno fa il greggio americano (Wti) galleggiava intorno ai 50 dollari, mentre quello europeo (Brent) era più o meno a 52 dollari. Da allora il mercato si è decisamente risvegliato, grazie all’estensione dei tagli decisi dall’Opec e alle tensioni geopolitiche internazionali in Medio Oriente. Oggi le quotazioni sono in lieve flessione, ma comunque il Wti è ben sopra i 71 dollari e il Brent supera i 78 dollari.

 

Annunci
Pubblicato in: Cina, Problemia Energetici

Dimenticate Russia, Arabia, Iran, Opec. È la Cina che fa i prezzi del petrolio.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-05-18.

Pechino-Città-Proibita-da-Piazza-Tiananmen

Quanto accaduto questo febbraio era stato ampiamente annunciato e previsto da anni ma, come accade di abitudine, solo gli addetti ai lavori avevano preso sul serio quanto i dati suggerivano. Ed anche adesso che il fatto è successo, ben pochi ne sono a conoscenza o, se lo sanno, ne traggono le dovute conseguenze.

Se è vero che l’informazione corretta è il presupposto per arricchirsi, sarebbe altrettanto vero il dover constatare quante poche persone sappiano recepirla ed utilizzarla.

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China’s Becomes World’s Next Top Oil Importer

«For most of 2017, China’s crude oil imports exceeded those of the U.S. on a monthly basis. Now Chinese crude oil import volumes also surpassed the American imports in annual figures. China was the top oil importing country in the world last year as it brings more refining capacity online and fills strategic inventories, while domestic oil production continues to decline.

Chinese crude oil imports will continue to grow over the next few years as the use of oil products grow along with the economic and refinery capacity expansion, analysts say. The country’s import dependence is also expected to grow as imports rise and production at home declines.

Last year, China surpassed the U.S. in annual gross crude oil imports, EIA data showed on Monday. China imported on average 8.4 million bpd in 2017, compared with 7.9 million bpd of imports for the United States. In total petroleum and other liquid fuels imports, China had become the top global net importer back in 2013. ….

Crude oil production alone fell by an annual 4 percent to 191.51 million tons — or about 3.85 million bpd in 2017 — to the lowest in nine years, due to maturing fields and few viable new discoveries at home»

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China surpassed the United States as the world’s largest crude oil importer in 2017

«China surpassed the United States in annual gross crude oil imports in 2017, importing 8.4 million barrels per day (b/d) compared with 7.9 million b/d for the United States. China had become the world’s largest net importer (imports minus exports) of total petroleum and other liquid fuels in 2013. New refinery capacity and strategic inventory stockpiling combined with declining domestic oil production were the major factors contributing to the recent increase in China’s crude oil imports.

In 2017, 56% of China’s crude oil imports came from countries within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a decline from the peak of 67% in 2012. More so than other countries, Russia and Brazil increased their market shares of Chinese imports between those years from 9% to 14% and from 2% to 5%, respectively.

Russia surpassed Saudi Arabia as China’s largest source of foreign crude oil in 2016, exporting 1.2 million b/d to China in 2017 compared with Saudi Arabia’s 1.0 million b/d. OPEC countries and some non-OPEC countries, including Russia, agreed to reduce crude oil production through the end of 2018, which may have allowed other countries to increase their market shares in China in 2017.»

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China’s Crude Oil Imports Rose 20% in January

«China released its trade data for January. In dollar terms, China’s exports rose 11.1% YoY (year-over-year), while its imports rose 36.9%. The data, especially on imports, showed an improvement from December. China’s exports rose 10.9% YoY, while imports rose 4.9% YoY in December. China’s January trade data were better than expected for exports and imports. ….

In January, China’s crude imports rose 20% YoY to 40.6 million tons—up from 33.7 million tons in December 2017. On a daily basis, China imported 9.57 MMbpd (million barrels per day)—compared to 7.94 MMbpd in December. China’s imports rose 20% from the previous month.»

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Lo sprovvido disse allo stolto:

«Cosa mi importa di tutto ciò? Sto ascoltando i mottetti di Guillaume Bouzignac nel mio super hi-fi, mi diletto a leggere i sonetti di Meo de’ Tolomei, sul comodino ho i frammenti delle storie di Nicostrato di Trapezunte, ed in garage ho una Tesla Model 3. Che mi cale di Liu He: e chi mai sarà costui?»

Altri levi menti vanno bofonchiando all’orecchio di compari baccelloni:

«La Cina è antidemocratica, autocratica, tirannica, liberticida. Tratta i lavoratori peggio degli schiavi di Macarunte.»

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«La sventurata rispose», direbbe il buon Manzoni.

International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook (October – 2017) fa queste previsioni.

«Le proiezioni al 2022 danno la Cina ad un pil ppa di 34,465 (20.54%) miliardi di Usd, gli Stati Uniti di 23,505 (14.01%), e l’India di 15,262 9.10%) Usd. Seguono Giappone con 6,163 (3.67%),  Germania (4.932%), Regno Unito 3,456 (2.06%), Francia 3,427 (2.04%), Italia 2,677 (1.60%). India 15,262 (9.10%), Russia 4.771 (2.84%), Brasile 3,915 (2.33%).

I paesi del G7 produrranno 46,293 (27.59%) mld Usd del pil mondiale, mentre i paesi del Brics renderanno conto di 59,331 mld Usd (35.36%).»

Ora che la Cina si è conquistata una salda situazione produttiva, economica e finanziaria, inizia a rivolgere la attenzione al mercato interno.

Se la gente non guadagna a sufficienza non può esistere un mercato interno, diceva saggiamente Deng Xiaoping.

Di qui il varo di un grandioso progetto rivolto proprio al mercato interno.

Cina ed emersione dalla povertà rurale.

Cina. Popolazione a basso reddito dal 36.9% all’11% entro il 2030.

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Ma mettere in moto un mercato formato da un miliardo e trecento milioni di persone significa dover disporre di adeguati supporti energetici.

Cina. Centrali elettriche nucleari. 37 reattori attivi, 60 in costruzione, 179 programmati.

A fine dicembre 2017 la Cina importava 9.57 milioni di barili di petrolio.

La flotta di autoveicoli nell’Unione Europea ammontava nel 2014 a circa 253 milioni di automezzi e 38 milioni di veicoli commerciali ed industriali.

Una Cina pienamente motorizzata dovrebbe assestarsi sui 750 milioni di autovetture: al momento sono 154 milioni. Solo per autotrazione civile la Cina dovrebbe quintuplicare in pochi anni le importazioni petrolifere.

Sarà una richiesta immane, che non potrà non far levitare i prezzi dei combustibili fossili.

In quel momento potranno permettersi il petrolio, e quindi la benzina, solo le società che producono ricchezza.

Nota.

Se questo articolo verte la Cina, non ci si dimentichi quanto velocemente stia sviluppandosi l’India: tra qualche lustro al miliardo e trecentocinquanta milioni di cinesi si aggiungerà anche il miliardo di indiani. Le richieste energetiche saliranno bruscamente.


Bloomberg. 2018-05-10. Forget Iran. The Real Oil Action Is in China

Surging products exports and declining domestic fields are driving an imports boom.

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Forget Iran, shale and Opec. The real action in the oil market is happening on the other side of the globe.

China overtook the U.S. as the world’s largest oil importer last year, and for 2018, it’s hoping to beat that achievement. April imports of 39.46 million metric tons reported late Tuesday came off the back of a string of blockbuster months. Until the start of this year, China had never imported much more than 37 million tons in any single month. So far in 2018, only February, shortened by the Lunar New Year holiday, failed to exceed that amount.

It wasn’t meant to be like this.

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the International Energy Agency expect China’s demand growth to start slowing toward an annual pace of 300,000 additional barrels a day over the next few years as the nation switches from its headlong pace of industrialization and the rise of electric vehicles crimps gasoline demand.

Opec revised its numbers upward for 2017, and the same may happen this year. The 5.1-million-ton increase in China’s April crude imports compared to a year earlier on its own represents growth of about 1.2 million barrels a day.

A few things might help account for this. China’s domestic oilfields are struggling to keep up with demand as wells get tapped out and the government pushes the big three state-owned firms to instead produce more gas. As a result, the country is leaning more heavily on imports — so even a slower pace of domestic demand growth can have an outsized impact on global markets.

Another factor is that much of this crude isn’t ultimately being consumed in China. Exports of refined products have been surging as authorities relax quotas on the trade, with Morgan Stanley analyst Andy Meng estimating that the volume of products permitted under export quotas granted in 2018 already exceeds the total for the whole of last year. In that sense, this isn’t so much a story of China’s booming domestic demand as the perennial habit of its manufacturing sector to go over-capacity.

Filling Up

The 26 million tons of net product exports over the past 12 months would be enough to turn a country that was until a few years ago one of the larger importers of refined petroleum into a major exporter on a par with South Korea, Kuwait and India.

Even China’s teapot refineries — non-state-owned plants mainly in Shandong province, which are traditionally operating less than half the time — have been seeing operating rates nudging close to levels where they should be able to make a profit.

Shorter Tea Break

The sanguine response of oil prices to news of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 accord on Iran’s nuclear program has been explained by the fact that the decision was widely expected, and that crude tends to find a way round such restrictions. The strength of Chinese demand — in particular, whether the current strong figures play out over the course of the year or represent a short-term stock build — could prove a decisive factor on that front.

The yuan-denominated crude contract recently launched in Shanghai may be one of the easiest ways for Iran to get past U.S. sanctions, which are typically enforced when banks attempt to clear dollar-denominated trades in New York. Beijing has been shifting its oil purchases away from the Persian Gulf and toward Russia, the U.S., Brazil, Angola and Malaysia in recent years, but a sudden lack of Western buyers would be the perfect opportunity for Chinese refiners to get back into the market for Tehran’s crude.

Yawning Gulf

Looking at supply is crucial for understanding crude, but it’s not everything. Right now, the strength of China’s demand may be the most underappreciated story in the market.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Problemia Energetici, Unione Europea

Portogallo. La cinese Three Gorges offre per l’Edp 10.8 miliardi Usd.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-05-14.

2018-04-20__Silk_Road__001

È più di un decennio che la Cina esegue acquisti mirati nel settore energetico europeo.

Adesso nel mirino c’è la Energias de Portugal (EDP), per la quali i cinesi sono disposti a dare 10.8 miliaridi di dollari americani.

«The company serves almost 10 million power market clients and 1.6 million natural gas customers and runs over 330,000 kilometers (205,000 miles) of power transmission lines»

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«Another Chinese state company, CNIC, holds a nearly 5 percent stake in EDP, while other leading shareholders include U.S. financial services company Capital Group, with 12 percent, and U.S. private equity firm Blackrock»

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«The proposed offer may test the European Union’s readiness to give control of major infrastructure firms in member states to China»

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«It could also run into problems with U.S. authorities since EDP Renovaveis (EDP Renewables) is a major player in its wind energy market»

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«EDP’s market capitalization was nearly 11.4 billion euros as of Friday. It has a net debt of 13.8 billion euros»

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Riassumiamo.

Con deprimente regolarità la Cina sta comprando i settori strategici europei. L’Unione Europea sta discutendo da circa otto anni l’opportunità di porre limitazioni alle acquisizioni straniere di settori strategici, ma il blocco ideologico non consente di superare lo scoglio delle 179 Commissioni che dovrebbero simultaneamente dare parere favorevole. Resterebbe l’arma del Trilogo, ma anche questa via si presenterebbe impervia.

Si noti anche come nel caso dell’Edp, i cinesi sarebbero persino disposti ad accollarsi anche debiti per 13.8 miliardi di euro pur di possedere questa risorsa energetica europea. Questo solo particolare dovrebbe segnalare l’importanza strategica di questa azienda.

Il problema non sussisterebbe se i rapporti con la Cina fossero paritetici: società cinesi che comprano ditte europee e ditte europee che comprano aziende cinesi. Nei fatti le imprese europee ne sono impossibilitate, stante il fatto che ufficialmente l’Unione Europea non consente alle imprese con sede legale nell’Unione di acquisire attività in nazioni che non condividano ed adottino la scala valoriale portata avanti dalla attuale dirigenza.

Sembrerebbe essere un racconto di Kafka, ma è invece una realtà.


Reuters. 2018-05-12. China Three Gorges launches $10.8 billion bid for Portuguese power firm EDP

LISBON (Reuters) – China’s state-owned utility China Three Gorges on Friday launched a bid to take control of Portugal’s biggest company EDP, offering a premium of just below 5 percent on the power firm’s closing stock price.

The total value of the proposed deal is 9.07 billion euros ($10.83 billion), excluding a 23 percent stake already owned by CTG [CYTGP.UL], the Chinese firm and largest EDP (EDP.LS) shareholder said in a statement issued late on Friday in Lisbon.

Reports that EDP may be an acquisition target of European foreign companies have been circulating for over a year, during which CTG continued to raise its stake, culminating in the 3.26 euros ($3.89) a share offer.

CTG said in its preliminary offer announcement that it seeks to reach at least a 50 percent voting stake plus one share in the company. It also offered 7.33 euros a share for EDP’s wind power unit, EDP Renovaveis (EDPR.LS), below its closing price of 7.84 euros.

EDP had no immediate comment. The online edition of the Expresso newspaper said earlier that EDP was likely to consider the offer hostile.

If the deal succeeds, it would be the latest in a series of acquisitions by Chinese companies in Portugal. They have been actively buying assets, from infrastructure to insurance and banking, since Portugal’s 2010-13 debt crisis.

EDP is an integrated generator, supplier and distributor of electricity, the largest company by assets in Portugal with businesses in Brazil (ENBR3.SA), Spain, and the United States.

CTG said it was “fully committed to preserving EDP’s Portuguese identity and autonomy as well as its current Portuguese public listing”.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa told reporters earlier that the Portuguese government had no objections to the bid.

“The government has nothing against it, no reservations,” Costa said, adding though that the government does not have to be consulted. “The Chinese have been good investors, be it in REN, EDP or in other sectors … The important thing is that shareholders can ponder on the project. Let the market work.”

The proposed offer may test the European Union’s readiness to give control of major infrastructure firms in member states to China, however. It could also run into problems with U.S. authorities since EDP Renovaveis (EDP Renewables) is a major player in its wind energy market.

Another Chinese state company, CNIC, holds a nearly 5 percent stake in EDP, while other leading shareholders include U.S. financial services company Capital Group, with 12 percent, and U.S. private equity firm Blackrock.

EDP’s market capitalization was nearly 11.4 billion euros as of Friday. It has a net debt of 13.8 billion euros.

The company serves almost 10 million power market clients and 1.6 million natural gas customers and runs over 330,000 kilometers (205,000 miles) of power transmission lines.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Problemia Energetici, Unione Europea

Germania. Siemens 7,000 licenziamenti ed impianti chiusi. Solo l’inizio.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-05-11.

Siemens 003

La notizia era nell’aria, e da molto tempo.

2017-11-19. Siemens plans ‘painful’ revamp of power business

«The German engineering giant has revealed the scale of difficulties faced by its power and gas unit, where profits fell 40 percent in Q4. Up to 6,000 job losses have been announced at its wind turbine business.

German conglomerate Siemens saw a 10 percent drop in industrial profit in its fiscal fourth quarter due to its power and wind turbine businesses struggling with price pressure and overcapacity, the company admitted on Thursday.

Industrial profit, which excludes earnings from its financial and corporate activities, fell to €2.2 billion euros ($2.6 billion) in the quarter to September, against expectations of about €2.49 billion.

Profit from Siemens Power and Gas, dropped 40 percent to €303 million, forcing the firm’s CEO Jo Kaeser to admit to a “painful” restructuring of the unit.»

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Siemens lawsuit over gas turbines in Crimea goes to court

Siemens to cut 6,900 jobs amid union resistance

«Labor unions have reacted angrily to layoff plans unveiled by the management of the German conglomerate, which aims to cut costs in its energy business to adjust to the disruption sweeping through the industry.

Following closed-door talks with workers on Thursday, the Munich-based industrial group announced that it was planning to cut 6,900 jobs globally as part of a larger restructuring of its power division. About half of the announced job cuts would be in Germany, where the company said it planned to shut down facilities in the cities of Görlitz and Leipzig. A third production site in the town of Erfurt could be sold off, it added.»

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20178-04-26. Can Russia build turbines as well as Germany’s Siemens?

«Russian businesses have been tasked with developing and building gas turbines in order to make up for lost imports. German engineers assess whether that is a realistic goal.

Big turbines are an important political issue in Russia these days. Last year, the secret delivery of Siemens-made gas turbines to Crimea by the Russian state-owned company Rostec caused an international scandal. The move was a violation of sanctions applied to Russia for its 2014 annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula – for international sanctions also include the energy technology sector. ….

The global market for large-scale turbines is currently in the hands of four major producers: The American company General Electric (GE), Germany’s Siemens, the Japanese company, Mitsubishi Hitachi and Italy’s Ansaldo Energia, which took over part of the French company Alstom’s turbine production.

Every attempt to enter the market over the last twenty years has failed. Only Mitsubishi has been able to make the transition from producing medium-sized turbines to the production of large-scale turbines. And it was only able to do so with great effort and a lot of financial help from the Japanese government».

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«Demand has gone down to about 100 units per year. Annual production capacity is around 400 turbines per year»

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General Electric, Siemens, Mitsubishi Hitachi ed Ansaldo Energia hanno impianti in essere per produrre quattrocento turbine a gas di alta potenza ogni anno, ma la domanda mondiale non supera le cento unità. Ma russi e cinesi stanno rendendosi autonomi, sia per gli impianti domestici, sia per quelli che esportano.

Si determina di conseguenza la necessità di ridurre gli impianti e di cercare di rimanere sul mercato almeno per non perdere il know-how.

In questo agone dove la concorrenza si batte a fil di spada, e quasi sempre con mezzi anche innominabili, la decisione politica di non consentire la vendita delle turbine a determinati stati che le comprerebbero volentieri porta inevitabilmente a situazioni vicine al fallimento.

Cina. Centrali elettriche nucleari. 37 reattori attivi, 60 in costruzione, 179 programmati.

Nigeria. Nuove centrali nucleari.

«La produzione di carbone cinese copre il 40% della produzione mondiale»

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La scelta del combustibile con cui alimentare una nuova centrale elettrica è scelta non facile, perché implica il poter fare previsione su di un arco di tempo almeno decennale, quanto meno per i due lustri che servono alla progettazione prima ed alla costruzione dopo. Di conserva, si deve valutare l’esigenza energetica futura, sia per non sottostimare sia per non sovrastimare la produzione necessaria. A ciò si aggiungano i problemi legati al trasporto dell’energia prodotta.

Energia. Il problema degli elettrodotti a lunga distanza. Le dissipazioni.

Tranne che in zone densamente popolate ed industrializzate, i mega impianti sono più onerosi di tanti piccole centrali elettriche, proprio per ridurre l’energia dissipata e ridurre la vulnerabilità del sistema.

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Da questo punto di vista il settore produttivo energetico dal gas è in crisi da iperproduzione, almeno nel mondo occidentale.

Ma il problema non è solo di concorrenza a livello mondiale o di crisi di settore. Il problema è politico.

La Germania, e l’Unione Europea di conserva, proibisce alle sue aziende di commerciare ed esportare verso paesi che non si riconoscono in ciò che la dirigenza europea considera essere i propri valori.

E questa Unione Europea sbatté il grugno contro la Silk Road. Frattura scomposta.

Belt and Road. La Cina rigetta il rapporto C4ADS. Gli Usa fuori dagli appalti: sono liberal.

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Ci si pensi bene. Molto bene.

L’occidente sta escludendosi dai mercati mondiali per motivi ideologici.

Solo con il rigetto ideologico del progetto Silk and Road le sue ditte si sono precluse dall’accedere ad un progetto di oltre mille miliardi.

Illudersi che il resto del mondo pianga rammaricato sarebbe più questione da psichiatra che da economisti.

Ma sarebbe invero grande allucinazione pensare di poter mantenere i posti di lavoro dipendenti da una produzione resa impossibile per ideologie politiche.

Sia ben chiaro: le politiche economiche nazionali si decidono nel momento di mettere le schede nelle urne.


Deutsche Welle. 2018-05-07. Siemens closes power and gas sites to curb cost

German engineering giant Siemens has said it would need to shut down its power and gas sites worldwide for a whole week soon as it aims to bring down rising costs amid an “unprecedented market downswing.”

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German industry heavyweight Siemens announced Monday it would close its power and gas sites around the globe for a week.

The drastic move came as global demand for the company’s huge gas turbines kept plummeting in the face of stronger competition from renewable energy, prompting Siemens to embark on a cost-cutting drive after announcing nearly 7,000 job cuts last year.

“Against the background of an ongoing unprecedented downswing in the market for power generation equipment, the power and gas division (PG) is planning temporary shutdowns,” the firm said in a statement.

It added that the stoppages would affect “all PG locations worldwide within the current quarter” and last for seven days.

Changing energy landscape

Siemens explained the move was part of wider efforts to slash costs at the beleaguered division employing 47,000 people globally and accounting for 18 percent of the company’s overall revenues.

Further measures included the reduction of travel expenses as well as the reduction of costs for sponsoring or participation in trade shows and capital investments.

Back in January, Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser said he was convinced that there would continue to be a global market for gas turbines, but admitted it would be smaller, with the focus shifting away from Europe.

German trade unions have been angry about the company’s planned job cuts given the firm’s robust overall financial health. But executives have insisted the layoffs are necessary to respond to the changing energy landscape.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Problemia Energetici, Putin, Russia

Germania. Iniziato il cantiere per il Nord Stream 2.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-05-10.

Nord Stream 2 003

Mentre gli italiani seguono appassionati il minuetto politico che sta andando in scena da oltre due mesi e si stanno rassegnando a subire maxi aumenti dell’Iva – lo vuole l’Europa – la Germania si sta facendo i fatti propri con disinvolta nonchalance.

Il parere del Consiglio Europeo? Sarebbe una inutile perdita di tempo.

Una votazione del parlamento Europeo? Ma i parlamentari stanno già discutendo dei sexual harassment a Bruxelles.

Il parere favorevole delle Commissioni EU? Frau Merkel è più che sicura che se si fosse chiesto il loro parere, come da legge, le Commissioni avrebbero sicuramente dato risposta affermativa.

Un ingenuo potrebbe anche dire che vi sarebbero state severissime sanzioni ai mercimoni energetici con la Russia, nazione che proprio non rispetta il ruolo delle leggi europee e che non rispetta i diritti umani. Pensate che arriva al punto da non volere le ngo sul suo territorio.

Ma se anche Mr Putin si mangiasse quattro bambini al giorno, che mai sarebbe ciò di fronte ai superiori interessi germanici?

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Orbene: la Germania ha iniziato alla chetichella il lavoro per il Nord Stream 2.

«Germany has started to pour concrete on a Russian gas pipeline that risks dividing the EU and harming its energy security»

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«The construction began in Lubmin, on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast, on Thursday (3 May), with the laying of foundations for a terminal that will receive 55bn cubic metres (bcm) a year of Russian gas via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline when it goes online in 2020»

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«We’re confident that we’ll receive all relevant permits»

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In poche parole.

La Germania inizia i lavori alla chetichella in collaborazione che i biechi russi, ossia quelli con i quali nessun altro dell’Unione Europea può collaborare. Ora capite perché Mr Gerhard Schröder è stato equiparato alla seconda carica politica russa?

Germania. Un ambiguo doppio gioco.

«We’re confident that we’ll receive all relevant permits …. This is not just an economic project, but [its] … political factors must also be taken into account»


EU Observer. 2018-05-09. Germany starts to build Nord Stream 2

Germany has started to pour concrete on a Russian gas pipeline that risks dividing the EU and harming its energy security.

The construction began in Lubmin, on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast, on Thursday (3 May), with the laying of foundations for a terminal that will receive 55bn cubic metres (bcm) a year of Russian gas via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline when it goes online in 2020.

“We’re moving within the framework of the [German] planning approval decision,” a spokesman for Gazprom, the Russian firm behind the project, told German press agency DPA.

“We’re confident that we’ll receive all relevant permits,” the spokesman said.

The Baltic pipeline is to run from Russia via the maritime zones of Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. Finland recently granted a permit, with the other two pending.

Its opponents, including Poland, the Baltic states, and Nordic EU countries, have said Nord Stream 2 would help Russia to cut gas supplies to Western allies, including Ukraine, for strategic reasons.

The European Commission has said it could help Gazprom to gouge even higher prices in eastern Europe.

The US has also said it would make a mockery of Western sanctions on Russia, imposed over its invasion of Ukraine four years ago.

Next steps for the Russian project include the laying and welding of 200,000 pipe segments, each one weighing 24 tonnes, along 1,200 km of the Baltic Sea bed.

The pipes are already waiting in storage yards in Germany, Finland, and Sweden in a €9bn enterprise that includes five major EU energy firms and 200 other companies in 17 European countries, creating, Gazprom says, 1,000 jobs.

‘Political project’

News of the Lubmin construction work comes despite German chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent nod to Nord Stream 2 critics.

“This is not just an economic project, but [its] … political factors must also be taken into account,” she said at a meeting with Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko in Berlin last month.

The construction is also moving ahead amid EU commission appeals to hold talks with Russia on how to apply European energy law to the pipeline.

Merkel’s comments had given hope to Nord Stream 2 opponents that she might pause for thought on a scheme that has the potential to tear a rift between Germany and its EU allies.

The enterprise also risks a transatlantic rift after the US threatened to impose fines on the five EU energy firms – Engie, OMV, Shell, Uniper, and Wintershall – which are co-financing the pipeline.

Russia lobbyists

The Lubmin news was welcomed in some quarters, with Eduard Stavytsky, Ukraine’s former energy minister, saying the EU needed Nord Stream 2 due to the depletion of its North Sea gas fields.

“Europe consumes about 425 bcm of gas per year. Russia set a record last year and delivered about 150 bcm,” he said on Thursday, according to Kremlin media agency Sputnik.

Stavytsky used to work for the former, notoriously corrupt, Ukrainian regime, and fled to Israel after 42kg of gold and $5m in cash were found in his house in Ukraine’s 2014 revolution.

Nord Stream 2 also has friends in higher places, such as former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who went to work for Gazprom after he left office.

The CEOs of three of the EU firms backing the project – Austria’s OMV and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall – joined them in lobbying for the pipeline this week.

“Debates should be guided by facts, not fearmongering, which seems to be the preferred tool of the project’s opponents,” Rainer Seele, Klaus Schaefer, and Mario Mehren said in a joint op-ed in US journal The National Interest on Wednesday.

Simple hoax?

“The notion that Russia could use gas as a weapon – even if it wanted to – is simply a hoax,” they said.

They pledged that Nord Stream 2 would not be used to cut off Ukraine, after Merkel told Poroshenko in Berlin that the pipeline could not go ahead if that were to happen.

But they hinted that Ukraine, which transited over half of Russia’s gas exports to the EU last year, might suffer disruptions all the same.

“Germany and the EU are committed to ensuring Ukraine’s place as a European gas partner. But placing all the proverbial eggs in the basket of Ukrainian transit is beyond foolhardy,” the CEOs said.

Pubblicato in: Economia e Produzione Industriale, Problemia Energetici

Papua New Guinea. Torna in funzione l’impianto Lng dopo il terremoto.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-04-15.

Papua New Guinea 001

«Papua New Guinea (PNG), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is an Oceanian country that occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and its offshore islands in Melanesia, a region of the southwestern Pacific Ocean north of Australia. Its capital, located along its southeastern coast, is Port Moresby. The western half of New Guinea forms the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua.

At the national level, after being ruled by three external powers since 1884, Papua New Guinea established its sovereignty in 1975. This followed nearly 60 years of Australian administration, which started during World War I. It became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1975 with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations in its own right.

Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. It is also one of the most rural, as only 18 percent of its people live in urban centres. There are 852 known languages in the country, of which 12 now have no known living speakers. Most of the population of more than 7 million people live in customary communities, which are as diverse as the languages» [Fonte]

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La Nuova Guinea è un paese di poco più di otto milioni di abitanti con un pil ppa procapite di 3,635 Usd. Dire che è un paese misero sarebbe fargli un complimento.

«Papua New Guinea is richly endowed with natural resources, including mineral and renewable resources, such as forests, marine (including a large portion of the world’s major tuna stocks), and in some parts agriculture. The rugged terrain — including high mountain ranges and valleys, swamps and islands — and high cost of developing infrastructure, combined with other factors (including serious law and order problems in some centres and the system of customary land title) makes it difficult for outside developers. Local developers are handicapped by years of deficient investment in education, health, ICT and access to finance. Agriculture, for subsistence and cash crops, provides a livelihood for 85% of the population and continues to provide some 30% of GDP. Mineral deposits, including gold, oil, and copper, account for 72% of export earnings.»

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Questo paese necessiterebbe di un concreto intervento internazionale per dotarlo almeno delle infrastrutture di base: acquedotti, rete nera, centrali elettriche e relativa rete di distribuzione, rete viaria e ferroviaria.

Se senza queste infrastrutture sembrerebbe quasi impossibile che l’economia della Nuova Guinea possa crescere, altrettanto sarebbe lecito dire per l’istruzione.  Se l’analfabetismo è contenuto, in relazione al tipo di paese, si registra un severa mancanza di figure professionali a tutti i livelli.

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Adesso finalmente una buona notizia.

«ExxonMobil Corp expects to restart production from its Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas (LNG) project at the start of May after it was shut following an earthquake in February»

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«The $19 billion LNG facility, opened in 2014 in a remote location in one of Asia’s poorest and most politically troubled countries, has been closed since the powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake»

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«The project is considered one of the world’s best-performing LNG operations, despite the challenge of drilling for gas and building a plant and pipeline in the remote Papua New Guinea jungle.»

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«The LNG export terminal may not be able to produce at full capacity at first and will likely ramp up gradually»

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«ExxonMobil has said there has not been any indication that the 700 km (435 mile) pipeline that delivers gas to its coastal LNG plant had been damaged by the quake, which flattened villages, killed dozens of people and spoilt water sources»

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Il 26 febbraio 2018 la Papua Nuova Guinea subì un terremoto di magnitudo 7.5: un evento destruente.

Papua New Guinea earthquake: Tens of thousands need urgent aid

«147,000 people were in severe need of food, water and sanitation.»

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Diamo volentieri atto alla ExxonMobil che in poco più di un mese è riuscita a far riprendere la produzione.

È stato non solo un impiego finanziario non indifferente, ma tecnico e, soprattutto, umano.

La miseria e la povertà si combattono generando posti di lavoro.


Reuters. 2018-04-11. Exxon expects Papua New Guinea LNG project to restart in May

ExxonMobil Corp expects to restart production from its Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas (LNG) project at the start of May after it was shut following an earthquake in February, ExxonMobil LNG Vice President Emma Cochrane said on Wednesday.

The $19 billion LNG facility, opened in 2014 in a remote location in one of Asia’s poorest and most politically troubled countries, has been closed since the powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake.

The project is considered one of the world’s best-performing LNG operations, despite the challenge of drilling for gas and building a plant and pipeline in the remote Papua New Guinea jungle. Australia’s Oil Search and Santos are Exxon’s main partners in the project.

The LNG export terminal may not be able to produce at full capacity at first and will likely ramp up gradually, Cochrane said on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum.

“We are hopeful that we will be able to start in the beginning of May. We are actually ahead of schedule,” Cochrane told Reuters.

ExxonMobil has said there has not been any indication that the 700 km (435 mile) pipeline that delivers gas to its coastal LNG plant had been damaged by the quake, which flattened villages, killed dozens of people and spoilt water sources.

Cochrane also said the company has recertified the reserves in its P’nyang field in Papua New Guinea, and the reserves are higher than it previously thought.

“That gives us the potential to expand the facilities in the P’nyang field for the PNG LNG foundation project,” she said.

Exxon is likely to take a final investment decision this year on expanding its Golden Pass LNG terminal in Texas – a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips , Cochrane said.

The company intends to expand its facility in Qatar, but “they have still not made a decision on partnering,” Cochrane said.

“We very much hope that Exxon Mobil will be a part of that story. But Qatar Petroleum is still considered their partnership choices.”

Pubblicato in: Problemia Energetici, Sistemi Economici

Ungheria. La centrale atomica di Paks oggetto di diatribe.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-02-26.

Ungheria 001

«The Paks Nuclear Power Plant (Hungarian: Paksi atomerőmű), located 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from Paks, central Hungary, is the first and only operating nuclear power station in Hungary. Altogether, its four reactors produce more than 50 percent of the electrical power generated in the country and meet more than 40 percent of the country electric consumption.

VVER is the Soviet designation for a pressurized water reactor. The number following VVER, in this case 440, represents the power output of the original design. The VVER-440 Model V213 was a product of the first uniform safety requirements drawn up by the Soviet designers. This model includes added emergency core cooling and auxiliary feedwater systems as well as upgraded accident localization systems.

Each reactor contains 42 tons of lightly enriched uranium dioxide fuel. Fuel takes on average three years to be used (or “burned”) in the reactors; after this the fuel rods are stored for five years in an adjacent cooling pond before being removed from the site for permanent disposal.

The power plant is nearly 100% owned by state-owned power wholesaler Magyar Villamos Művek. A few shares are held by local municipalities, while a voting preference or “golden” share is held by the Hungarian government.

One brand-new Reactor pressure vessel was bought from Poland after the Żarnowiec Nuclear Power Plant project was abandoned in 1990.» [Fonte]

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«On 30 March 2009 the National Assembly of Hungary gave its principal consent by votes 330 for, 6 against and 10 abstentions to the preparation works of the possible new units. On 26 February 2010 the owner state company MVM Group decided the expansion with about 2000 billion Hungarian Forints price.

On 18 June 2012 the Hungarian government ranked Paks expansion as a “high priority project of the national economy”, in this context established a committee (Nuclear Power Governmental Committee) for prepare the factual steps. The Nuclear Power Governmental Committee is headed by Viktor Orbán (Prime Minister) and has two members; Mihály Varga (Minister of National Economy) and Zsuzsanna Németh (National Developmental Minister). As of 2016, Hungary is said to import 30% of its electricity.

According to the agreement signed by Zsuzsanna Németh (National Developmental Minister of Hungary) and Sergey Kiriyenko (Rosatom chairman) on 14 January 2014 Paks Nuclear Power Plant will be expanded by the Russian state company Rosatom. Eighty percent of the project’s cost will be financed with a 10 billion Euro credit line from Russia. Subject to European Commission approval, construction of two VVER-1200 reactors is planned to start in 2018. On 6 March 2017, the European Commission announced its approval, a month after the Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia will finance in credit 100 percent of the expansion.[János Süli, former CEO of the nuclear power station, was appointed Minister without Portfolio in the Third Orbán Government in May 2017, responsible for the planning, construction and commissioning of the two new blocks at Paks Nuclear Power Plant» [Fonte]

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EU approves Hungary’s Russian-financed nuclear station [Financial Times, 2017-03-06]

«Brussels had been probing whether Hungarian state aid for the project would harm competition, but finally gave the green light more than three years after prime minister Viktor Orban and Russian president Vladimir Putin personally agreed the deal.

The agreement was unveiled in January 2014 — just months before the EU and the US moved to sanction Moscow over its annexation of Crimea and military intervention in Ukraine.

It deepened concerns in west European capitals that the Kremlin was tightening its grip over the region’s energy supply even while Brussels was urging EU member states to reduce reliance on Russian energy.»

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Cerchiamo di ricapitolare.

È noto lo scarso feeling per il nucleare dell’Unione Europea, che infatti ha avocato a sé la potestà di concedere l’autorizzazione a costruire, o manutenere, od ampliare centrali atomiche nell’ambito comunitario.

L’Ungheria dipende dal punto di vista energetico per circa il 50% dall’energia fornita dall’impianto nucleare di Paks. Con il tempo il suo fabbisogno energetico è aumentato.

Nel 2014 aveva fatto richiesta all’Unione Europea di approvare l’ampliamento della centrale.

L’Unione Europea aveva concesso l’autorizzazione dopo tre anni di procedure burocratiche, nel marzo 2017, ma forse anche per problemi squisitamente politici: il Presidente Orban non è proprio benvisto in seno all’Unione.

Adesso l’Austria, nella persona del Ministro Elisabeth Koestinger, ha fatto ricorso legale contro tale decisione presso la Corte di Giustizia europea.

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Prendiamo atto che la tesi austriaca si basa su di uno statement che a molti potrebbe sembrare essere opinabile:

«Nuclear energy must have no place in Europe. We will not budge one centimetre from this position!»

Si dovrebbe però far notare un fatto.

L’Austria è una grande produttrice di energia idroelettrica.

Di notte però importa dai paesi vicini dotati di centrali atomiche grandi quantità di energia, che impiega per pompare acqua nei bacini, e poterla così utilizzare di nuovo.

Non solo. La mattina vende alla limitrofa Germania l’energia prodotta dalle centrali idroelettriche, definendola “energia pulita”. Compra ad uno l’energia “sporchissima” e la rivende a tre come energia “candida“.

Questa semplice considerazione potrebbe spiegare molti mal di pancia.


Euractiv. 2018-02-23. Austria sues over EU approval of Hungary nuclear plant

Staunchly anti-nuclear Austria lodged a legal complaint with the European Court of Justice yesterday (22 February) against the EU’s approval of the expansion of a nuclear plant in neighbouring Hungary.

The approval, granted by the European Commission in March, would allow the expansion of the Paks nuclear plant outside the Hungarian capital Budapest with a €10 billion Russian loan.

The plant is Hungary’s only nuclear facility and supplies around 40% of its electricity needs.

“For our nature, our environment and our unique landscape, we must take up this David and Goliath struggle,” sustainability minister Elisabeth Koestinger said in a statement, confirming the launching of the complaint at the Court of Justice of the European Union.

“Nuclear energy must have no place in Europe. We will not budge one centimetre from this position!” she added.

In its decision the European Commission judged that the project met EU rules on state aid, but Austria disputes this.

Austrian environmental campaigners praised the new centre-right government for pursuing a legal action that had been planned by the Social Democrat voted out of power late last year.

The Paks plant was built with Soviet-era technology in the 1980s during Hungary’s communist period.

The construction of two new reactors at the site is part of a 2014 deal struck between Hungary’s right-wing Prime Minister Victor Orbán and ally Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The work, to be carried out by Moscow’s state-owned nuclear agency Rosatom, is set to more than double the plant’s capacity.

Hungary’s opposition has criticised the awarding of the contract to Rosatom without holding an open tender.

In 2015, the Hungarian parliament voted to keep the details of the deal secret for 30 years, something Orbán’s Fidesz party said was necessary for “national security reasons” but which critics said could conceal corruption.

Since the late 1970s, Austria has been fiercely anti-nuclear, starting with an unprecedented vote by its population that prevented the country’s only plant from providing a watt of power.

Austria filed a complaint against EU-approved state aid for the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in Britain in 2015, arguing that atomic energy was unsustainable and high-risk.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Problemia Energetici, Russia

Artico. 50% delle riserve minerarie.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-01-25.

 2018-01-15__Artico__001

I tesori minerari racchiusi nell’Artico sono ben protetti dai ghiacci, ma quanto mai appetibili: assomma quasi la metà delle scorte di idrocarburi mondiali.

Se è vero che i costi estrattivi attuali sono alti, visto in un’ottica strategica l’investimento è attrattivo.

Se è vero che al momento almeno la Russia non dispone dei capitali necessari, è altrettanto vero che la Cina è più che disposta a finanziare questi investimenti, sotto la condizione di tagliarne i dividendi ed essere considerata l’acquirente di elezione. Si cerca, in poche parole, di ripetere lo schema seguito per Yamal.

Il capitale occidentale è inutile quanto non richiesto.

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Le conseguenze potrebbero rovesciare la situazione energetica mondiale attuale. Il blocco sino – russo diventerebbe energeticamente indipendente e senza avere vie di rifornimento esposte ad eventuali operazioni ostili.

Questo sarebbe uno scenario del tutto nuovo, sulla cui portata meditare profondamente ed a lungo.

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«The Arctic Circle may hold more than a fifth of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas, most of it offshore»

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«However, with oil around $60 a barrel, not all will be worth pursuing»

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«Gold mines, roads and a full spectrum of energy projects dot the horizon—with Russia leading the way and other Arctic countries scrambling to catch up»

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«There’s much to do, and not enough capital to go around»

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«That means countries with deep pockets, deep ambition and no Arctic coastline—namely China—can get a seat at the table, too»

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«So far, Russia’s oil-and-gas money has underwritten a lot of the work, giving President Vladimir Putin a leg up as changing conditions grant access to new riches»

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«Russia has an overwhelming lead over its neighbors with nearly 250 potential projects»

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«President Vladimir Putin has presided over financially and technically ambitious energy exploration goals. He officially opened a $27 billion liquefied natural gas plant, called Yamal LNG, the first week of December on northwestern Siberia’s Yamal Peninsula»

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«Russia’s Arctic list is heavily populated with hydrocarbon projects, from new or expanded gas fields to refineries and the ports, pipelines and rail needed to move the product»

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«There’s even a floating Russian nuclear power generator for Bilibino, an eastern town that is shuttering aging reactors—the world’s most northern»

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«Miners have long desired to extract Arctic gold, silver, graphite, nickel, copper, titanium, iron, lead, coal, diamond, uranium and the rare earth metals critical to high-tech devices»

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«The sea lanes above Russia cut as much as 40 percent off the distance between east-west routes through the Suez Canal. Russia already maintains at least 16 ports along the 3,000-mile route»

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«As recently as mid-November, Putin endorsed allowing only Russian-flagged vessels to carry and store hydrocarbons along the Northern Sea Route»

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«Other countries aren’t ready to cede all of the Arctic’s potential riches to Russia and its Arctic neighbors»

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Si può disporre delle cose perché le si hanno oppure perché le si compartecipa con rapporti bilaterali paritetici:  ecco perché si può iniziare a parlare di

«China as a Polar Great Power».

 


Bloomberg. 2017-12-29. The Economic Arctic.

As the Arctic Circle’s ice melts away, people of the High North feel their top-of-the-world economy heating up. Gold mines, roads and a full spectrum of energy projects dot the horizon—with Russia leading the way and other Arctic countries scrambling to catch up. There’s much to do, and not enough capital to go around. That means countries with deep pockets, deep ambition and no Arctic coastline—namely China—can get a seat at the table, too.

Investing at the top of the world isn’t easy. The remoteness of the region, and a lack of basic infrastructure means the Arctic is simply not wired into the rest of the global trade system. Arctic financial data are scarce. But the global asset manager Guggenheim Partners has shed some light on what’s likely to come next in the Arctic. They’ve spent the last seven years studying the region and the last three amassing a database of 900 planned, in-process, finished, cancelled and desired Arctic infrastructure projects.

Some of the projects reflect grand ambitions to upgrade national, industrial and social systems. Others are smaller scale and meant to connect remote places into larger patterns of trade. Taken together, they would require as much as $1 trillion in investments.

So far, Russia’s oil-and-gas money has underwritten a lot of the work, giving President Vladimir Putin a leg up as changing conditions grant access to new riches. Russia has an overwhelming lead over its neighbors with nearly 250 potential projects. Finland, the U.S. and Canada follow in the number of wish-list items. Underscoring many of these initiatives is careful maneuvering by China—whether through Arctic trade deals or strategic financing.

Who can build their projects first, and who funds them, will go a long way in determining which countries are best positioned to exert economic dominance in the region over the coming decades.

Mining, road-building, renewable energy and service businesses make up the greatest number of individual projects in the infrastructure inventory by sector, at least in part because most of those are smaller-scale items that all communities need.

Oil and gas production projects require the biggest overall potential investment—as much as $200 billion—or more than the next three categories combined (mining, renewable energy and railroads). The Arctic Circle may hold more than a fifth of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas, most of it offshore. However, with oil around $60 a barrel, not all will be worth pursuing.

There’s at least one big reason why Russia is poised to remain a dominant player in the region: the country is rich in natural resources, a disproportionate amount of which lie in the Arctic. That’s why the north already makes up about 20 percent of the Russian gross domestic product, and Russia contributes about two-thirds to the overall Arctic economy. President Vladimir Putin has presided over financially and technically ambitious energy exploration goals. He officially opened a $27 billion liquefied natural gas plant, called Yamal LNG, the first week of December on northwestern Siberia’s Yamal Peninsula.

Russia’s Arctic list is heavily populated with hydrocarbon projects, from new or expanded gas fields to refineries and the ports, pipelines and rail needed to move the product.

Drilling opportunities are expanding in the U.S. The Trump administration is preparing to open Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge along with the Chukchi and Beaufort seas to drilling. The administration in November issued the Italian company Eni SpA in November an exploratory-drilling permit, the first since Royal Dutch Shell pulled out of its $7 billion Chukchi Sea venture in 2015.

Developing Arctic hydrocarbons is not universally considered a safe or moral decision, given the treacherous working conditions and the overdetermined dangers of further carbon dioxide pollution. Norway is out ahead of its northern neighbors in thinking through this complexity. Amidst public concern about climate change, its $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund—built by oil profits—may divest from fossil fuels. However, its state oil company has been moving ahead on new exploration despite obstacles.

The Arctic also offers hydropower, wind, geothermal, tidal and solar energy. There’s even a floating Russian nuclear power generator for Bilibino, an eastern town that is shuttering aging reactors—the world’s most northern. Miners have long desired to extract Arctic gold, silver, graphite, nickel, copper, titanium, iron, lead, coal, diamond, uranium and the rare earth metals critical to high-tech devices. And there are Arctic power grids, railroads, highways, subsea telecom fiber, satellites and aviation corridors to pin down so that everyone and everything can get anywhere anytime.

The energy and minerals that feed industry are paralleled by a volume of fish that can potentially feed people for decades, or, if caught sustainably, forever. Some species are already following warmer waters northward. It’s a complex picture, though: Changing temperature, salinity, sea-ice behavior and ocean acidification all have an effect on fish populations, and scientists have yet to draw firm conclusions about what future Arctic fisheries may look like. Accordingly, nine countries and the European Union decided in November to leave international waters at the top of the world in its under-fished state for at least 16 years. The pause is intended to allow scientists to better understand the regions fisheries and how they may change as sea ice vanishes.

Building the Arctic Infrastructure Inventory has led Scott Minerd, Guggenheim Partners’ global chief investment officer, to a counterintuitive conclusion: The firm is looking past its Arctic inventory, as much as it’s looking at it.

“It’s a slow-go but it’s definitely accelerating,” Minerd said of northern investment. Updating the inventory is keeping his thought “ahead of the curve relative to most investment firms,” he said. “Most investment firms don’t even have the Arctic on their radar. Eventually they will.”

Instead of energy, bellwethers for Arctic development may include Finland’s Hotel Santa Claus, Norway’s Kolos data center, which is aiming to be the world’s largest, Sweden’s NorthVolt battery plant and Finland’s North European BioTech Oy, which will make advanced ethanol and other products from forestry-industry waste, like recycled wood, sawdust.

Most tantalizing, however, for Minerd and many others, is the oft-promised, and yet never quite present, opening of ice-free shipping lanes.

A New Ocean at the Top of the World

Marine transportation may take most direct advantage of the unique geophysical calamity of melting Arctic sea ice. Just not quite yet.

The expanse of ice in September 2017 was 25 percent lower than the 1981-2010 end-of-summer average, putting the 10 lowest sea-ice area measurements all in the last 11 years. “There are many strong signals that continue to indicate that the Arctic environmental system has reached a ‘new normal,’” scientists concluded in their annual Arctic Report Card in December.

The ice is diminishing but may not disappear entirely in summers for another 25 years, which makes affordable and safe Arctic shipping a slow boil.

It’s also among the most difficult economic challenges. Even without ice, it’s colder up there than people might prefer, costlier to insure vessels and the region lacks adequate maritime services. Sparse satellite coverage makes navigation and tracking more difficult. There were just 19 trips between Europe and Asia through the Northern Sea Route in 2016, according to the Centre for High North Logistics, lower than average since Russia opened it to other nations in 2009.

The promise is real, which is why the world’s largest nation is upgrading its ports and its overwhelming fleet of icebreakers.

The sea lanes above Russia cut as much as 40 percent off the distance between east-west routes through the Suez Canal. Russia already maintains at least 16 ports along the 3,000-mile route.

A commercially viable trade route is an attractive proposition for a country that’s hungry for income and power status. As recently as mid-November, Putin endorsed allowing only Russian-flagged vessels to carry and store hydrocarbons along the Northern Sea Route, signaling a strong interest in developing his own northern shipping companies and generating revenue to upgrade infrastructure along the coast.

The Northwest Passage, which weaves from the Davis Strait between Canada and Greenland to the Bering Strait, will likely remain essentially unpassable for regular commercial shipping for even longer. Its ice is more dangerous and the route itself, while about 30 percent shorter than existing routes, is underdeveloped even compared with the facilities north of Russia.

British researchers in 2016 used climate models to gain insight about how disappearing ice may enable Arctic shipping to evolve.

The same British authors in July published analysis showing advances in predicting months beforehand how passable Arctic routes will be in the summer, which will be an increasingly useful skill.

Other countries aren’t ready to cede all of the Arctic’s potential riches to Russia and its Arctic neighbors. For China, which may be playing the shrewdest and longest-term hand in the Arctic, avoiding Russian tolls and territory may be less a pie-in-the-sky dream than an eventuality, as a third shipping channel—the Transpolar Sea Route—opens traffic straight over the North Pole, the fastest and shortest route.

It’s a real option, but in a future that only Chinese leaders appear to be contemplating.

The World, Turned on Its Side

China’s Arctic vision stretches out past 2049, the centennial of its revolution. The nation is playing an incredibly slow, cautious and high-stakes strategy to build itself up as a leading Arctic (and Antarctic) power, according to Anne-Marie Brady, a global fellow at the Wilson Center’s Polar Initiative, executive editor of The Polar Journal and author of a 2017 book, China as a Polar Great Power.

China’s ambitions in these regions have not received due attention, in part, Brady says, because so few Western journalists speak and read Chinese. The country has deployed what she calls “two-track messaging,” sending alternative signals to domestic and international audiences. President Xi Jingping in November 2014, for example, spoke in Hobart, Australia, where for the first time he stated that his country will be “joining the ranks of the Polar great powers,” which Western media largely missed.

In June, the government broadened its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative for trade to include the Arctic.

China cannot physically claim Arctic territory, but it can buy stakes and influence wherever it seems wise.

“China’s thinking on the polar regions and global oceans demonstrates a level of ambition and forward planning that few, if any, modern industrial states can achieve,” Brady writes.

China has undertaken a soft-power campaign, first focused on scientific collaboration, with financial interests not too far behind. The nation struck a free-trade pact with Iceland in 2013, and it has held free-trade discussions with Norway since 2008. Finland has jointly called for greater cooperation with China, in the context of European Union trade policy. Canada and China in December extended exploratory free-trade talks after being unable to launch a formal round.

Chinese agencies are already common financiers of Arctic projects, including several Russian initiatives. They have placed early bets on resources in Greenland, which have yet to pan out. And when President Donald Trump visited China in November, the oil giant Sinopec, China Investment Corp., and Bank of China Ltd. pledged to help finance Alaska LNG, a $43 billion gas-export project.

Along with finance, Chinese executives and tourists are beating a path to Scandinavia. Passengers can now fly direct to Stockholm from Beijing and Hong Kong. From Helsinki, travelers can get back and forth between at least four additional eastern Chinese cities, too.

The returns on an Arctic strategy are not only financial.

Before Russia’s Yamal LNG opened in December, officials made a big show of dispatching the first shipment to China, whose $12 billion financing made the facility possible after the U.S. imposed sanctions in 2014. As fate would have it, a logistical complication forced them to reroute the shipment, and it was redirected to the U.K.

The symbolism of the first shipment’s intended destination raises thought-provoking questions about how relationships among Arctic and other nations may evolve. How much power does financing Arctic business give China? Russia is grateful to Chinese investors who helped make Yamal LNG possible. But that also gives its southeastern neighbor leverage that’s difficult to quantify. And throwing too much money at Russia may sour China’s Western trade partners who are less amenable to the Putin regime.

If the Alaskan LNG infrastructure will eventually be built with Chinese help, would Americans be similarly beholden to Chinese soft power? To what extent might the Russian Arctic, the Greenland Arctic or the American Arctic actually become the Chinese Arctic when it comes to writing checks? What are the national security implications of China cultivating financial and maritime influence on shores and in seas that belong to other nations?

Free trade earns participants soft power. Militarization is hard power. As the U.S. and other nations have reversed long-standing free-trade ideas, that may put more onus on hard power, Minerd said.

The melting of the Arctic itself is so disorienting, and China’s ambition is so palpable that it requires a different worldview—literally. A map developed by a Chinese geophysicist, and used for more than a decade by scientists and military, Brady writes, shows both the scope of the nation’s ambitions and just how concentrated this seemingly far-flung part of the world really is. The map was first made public in 2014.

The Arctic makes up only six percent of the Earth’s surface, and yet neighbors feel like they live on the other side of the world from each other. China’s vertical map projects a view of the world few westerners have considered. But it’s a world that has China squarely at its center and is marked conspicuously by a lack of ice at the North Pole.

With China rising, just how much power Russia retains over Arctic affairs is a future much harder to project than even how fast the temperature is rising.

Pubblicato in: Medio Oriente, Problemia Energetici

Mediterraneo e giacimenti gas. Pericolo di una guerra.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-02-22.

2018-02-20__Mediterraneo__001

Il Mare Mediterraneo orientale ha almeno quattro grandi giacimenti di gas: Zohr, Aphrodite, Leviathan e Tamar.

A disgrazia dell’umanità, questi giacimenti sono alquanto vicini e sono quasi equidistanti da Cipro, Israele ed Egitto.

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Il diritto internazionale ha approntato svariate definizioni del problema.

Col termine acque territoriali o mare territoriale si considera in diritto internazionale quella porzione di mare adiacente alla costa degli Stati; su questa parte di mare lo Stato esercita la propria sovranità territoriale in modo del tutto analogo al territorio corrispondente alla terraferma. Si distinuono le acque territoriali fino a 12 miglia nautiche dalle coste e le acque di zona continua, tra le 12 e le 24 miglia marine dalle coste.

Acque Territoriali 493px-Zonmar-it.svg

Nel 1958 si tenne la Convenzione di Ginevra sul mare territoriale e la zona contigua, la quale si estende per 200 miglia nautiche dalle coste: zona economica esclusiva.

Nel 1982 prese luogo la Convenzione di Montego Bay.

La zona economica esclusiva, talvolta citata con l’acronimo ZEE, è un’area del mare, adiacente le acque territoriali, in cui uno Stato costiero ha diritti sovrani per la gestione delle risorse naturali, giurisdizione in materia di installazione e uso di strutture artificiali o fisse, ricerca scientifica, protezione e conservazione dell’ambiente marino.

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I giacimenti in oggetto distano in termini medi 100 km da Cipro, altrettanti dal Libano, poco meno di 200 km da Israele e 330 km dall’Egitto.

Ciascuno di questi quattro stati vorrebbe avere l’esclusiva per lo sfruttamento di questi giacimenti e mal sopporta l’idea di dover spartire queste risorse con altri.

Ma il problema si complica ulteriormente quando si pensa che il gas estratto deve essere portato agli utilizzatori tramite un qualche gasdotto.

Una possibile soluzione sarebbe il trasporto di gas liquefatto, Lng: servono però stazioni di liquefazione e di deliquefazione, nonché un qualche gasdotto che dai giacimenti marini porti ad una qualche terra.

La soluzione più ragionevole potrebbe essere un gasdotto che convogli l’estratto al continente europeo, maggiore utente in senso assoluto. Una variante potrebbe essere il collegamento da Cipro alla Turkia, per essere di lì immesso nella rete continentale. Una seconda variante politicamente più gradita a molti sarebbe un gasdotto marino che toccasse Creta, quindi la Grecia per confluire alla fine in Italia.

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Come facilmente si comprende, il problema non è tecnico bensì politico. Tutti gli stati presi in considerazione hanno severe remore reciproche gli uni verso gli altri. Ma oltre alle comuni diffidenze, sotto la cenere permane una brace di odi ricambiati e feroci.

Poi, come se già questo non fosse ancora sufficiente, questo comparto geopolitico è teatro di aspro confronto tra Stati Uniti e Russia.

È un gran bel problema, per la cui risoluzioni si entono voci al momento ancora sussurrate di una guerra che sia risolutrice.


La Stampa. 2018-02-19. Giacimenti di gas, il Mediterraneo orientale è a un bivio: pace economica o nuovi conflitti.

Le guerre sotto gli occhi di tutti e le crisi meno note a livello globale. Come sono iniziate? Chi è coinvolto? Quali gli scenari futuri? Rispondiamo a queste domande nell’approfondimento realizzato con l’European Council on Foreign Relations e la Compagnia di San Paolo.

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Affidarsi «alle mediazioni internazionali» anziché alle politiche di potenza nazionali perché le scoperte di giacimenti di gas nel Mediterraneo orientale portino a una «pace economica» e non a una nuova guerra. Per Tareq Baconi, analista dell’ECFR per il Middle East and North Africa programme, la regione è a un bivio. Se imbocca la strada giusta gli Stati avranno più risorse per lo sviluppo interno, saranno «costretti» a riavvicinarsi e a collaborare, almeno a livello tecnologico, e l’Europa potrà trovare nuove fonti di approvvigionamento che la renderanno meno dipendente dal metano russo. Altrimenti potrebbe essere un disastro. Un primo segnale negativo è arrivato dal blocco da parte della marina militare turca della nave dell’Eni Saipem 12000 che si apprestava a cominciare le prospezioni per il giacimento Calypso di Cipro. 

Come possono essere risolte queste tensioni, la competizione fra Stati, alcuni formalmente ancora in guerra, per le nuove risorse?  

«La strada maestra sono le mediazioni internazionali. Le prove di forza non portano da nessuna parte. Affidarsi a istituzioni sopra le parti significa arrivare ad accordi, trattati, regolamenti internazionali che alla fine garantiscono tutti. Non bisogna esagerare la ricaduta di uno sviluppo in questo senso ma di sicuro l’Ue ha l’opportunità di agire su più fronti: spingere per maggiori riforme in Egitto, mediare nella disputa sui confini marittimi fra Libano e Israele, far ripartire i colloqui fra Turchia e Cipro, dare l’opportunità ai palestinesi di avere accesso a proprie risorse naturali». 

Le tensioni fra Turchia e Cipro sono però di nuovo ai massimi. C’entra anche la competizione fra diversi progetti di gasdotti, verso la costa turca o verso quella greca?  

«Queste tensioni vanno viste in un contesto più ampio. Il progetto di un gasdotto che parta dai giacimenti israeliani, in particolare il Leviathan, e arrivi in Turchia incontra fortissimi ostacoli. C’è la disputa fra Turchia e Cipro e c’è quella sul confine marittimo fra Israele e Libano. Nel 2010, quando sono cominciate le scoperte nel Mediterraneo orientale, le aspettative per l’esportazione di gas erano altissime, forse sopravvalutate. Il Leviathan, scoperto cinque anni fa, non è ancora entrato in produzione. Lo Zohr, in Egitto, andrà invece ad alimentare il mercato interno. Aphrodite, poco distante nelle acque cipriote, ha subìto per ora la stessa sorte di Leviathan. Soltanto nuove scoperte vicino alla costa di Cipro, come il giacimento Calypso da parte dell’Eni, potranno far cambiare le cose. Ma insisto, la nostra raccomandazione è per una mediazione internazionale, a livello Ue o dell’Onu. Un primo esempio potrebbe essere proprio per la disputa sulle acque territoriali fra Israele e Libano». 

Che impatto prevede per il mercato globale, l’Europa ne potrà trarre vantaggio?  

«In prospettiva globale, le riserve nel Mediterraneo orientale sono modeste. È possibile che tutte le scoperte in questa area finiscano per alimentare i mercati interni, in forte crescita, come è successo in Israele e succederà in Egitto. Anche la Giordania e i Territori palestinesi sono possibili sbocchi. Per quanto riguarda la sicurezza energetica, l’Europa si trova in questo momento in una posizione migliore di quel che sembra. Ha molte opzioni disponibili per diversificare le sue fonti. Può puntare sulle energie rinnovabili all’interno e ridurre la dipendenza da combustibili fossili, ha davanti a sé un mercato del gas metano liquido (Lng) in rapida espansione». 

Ma il trasporto del gas liquido non costa di più rispetto a quello con i tradizionali gasdotti?  

«Dipende dalla provenienza. Il gas liquido (Lng) proveniente dal Qatar ha un prezzo minore di quello che proviene dall’America, che si sta affacciando ora sul mercato. Prevediamo che il Qatar avrà un ruolo molto importante con il suo Lng nel futuro». 

Resta la forte dipendenza dell’Ue dalle importazioni da zone ad alta conflittualità, la Russia, il Golfo.  

«In realtà né la Guerra Fredda né il recente conflitto in Ucraina hanno interferito nelle importazioni dalla Russia. Anche lo scontro all’interno dei Paesi del Golfo, con l’isolamento del Qatar, non ha avuto conseguenze sul traffico delle navi gasiere». 

Pubblicato in: Economia e Produzione Industriale, Problemia Energetici

Petrolio. Usa superano Arabia Saudita: 10 contro 9.95 mbg.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-02-06.

Cane e Coniglio

Sulla scorta degli ultimi dati disponibili, la Russia si conferma primo produttore di petrolio al mondo con 11.33 mgb, mentre gli Stati Uniti sorpassano con 10 mbg la produzione dell’Arabia Saudita di 9.95 mbg.

Questi dati danno molto cui pensare.

La principale considerazione verte cosa significhi e valga l’Opec.

Russia, Stati Uniti ed Arabia producono larga quota del totale mondiale: da soli sono in grado di condizionare il mercato. Contro un simile cartello, le esigenze di paesi con produzione anche molto buona, quali per esempio Iran, Emirati Arabi Uniti, Messico e Kuwait avrebbero davvero poco peso.

«Negli Usa il livello di produzione dipende esclusivamente dalle leggi del mercato, della tecnologia e – qualche volta – della natura»

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«L’Arabia Saudita da sempre evita di estrarre alla massima capacità, per conservare una sorta di “cuscinetto” (la cosiddetta spare capacity) da impiegare in caso di emergenze, per contrastare sbalzi indesiderati del prezzo del petrolio.»

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«Riad, se volesse, sarebbe in grado di arrivare a 12,5 m»

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A parere di molti esperti del settore, America, Arabia Saudita e Russia sembrerebbero essere molto più coordinate nella produzione di quanto potrebbe sembrare dai report della stampa.


Sole 24 Ore. 2018-02-01. Gli Usa dello shale producono più petrolio dell’Arabia Saudita

Era un sorpasso annunciato, ma gli Stati Uniti dello shale oil sono riusciti a superare la produzione petrolifera dell’Arabia Saudita prima del previsto: il traguardo dei 10 milioni di barili al giorno è stato tagliato lo scorso novembre, Washington pensava che sarebbe accaduto a febbraio 2018.

Record anticipato dunque per gli Usa, che non estraevano tanto greggio dal lontano 1970: l’output ha raggiunto per la precisione 10,038 mbg secondo l’Energy Information Administration (Eia), che fa capo al dipartimento dell’Energia.

Nello stesso mese Riad si è fermata a 9,95 mbg, stima l’Agenzia internazionale dell’energia (Aie). La Russia ha invece prodotto 11,33 mbg, confermandosi al primo posto nel mondo. Entrambi i Paesi stanno comunque tagliando volontaria la produzione, secondo gli impegni assunti nell’ambito dell’Opec Plus.

Inoltre l’Arabia Saudita da sempre evita di estrarre alla massima capacità, per conservare una sorta di “cuscinetto” (la cosiddetta spare capacity) da impiegare in caso di emergenze, per contrastare sbalzi indesiderati del prezzo del petrolio. Riad, se volesse, sarebbe in grado di arrivare a 12,5 mbg.

Negli Usa il livello di produzione dipende esclusivamente dalle leggi del mercato, della tecnologia e – qualche volta – della natura. La forte accelerazione dell’output a novembre (+384mila bg rispetto a ottobre) dipende in buona parte anche dal ritorno in attività dei pozzi offshore del Golfo del Messico, che erano stati fermati a causa dell’uragano Nate.

I giacimenti in quell’area – di petrolio convenzionale – sono tutt’altro che estranei alla formidabile crescita della produzione Usa. Proprio ieri peraltro Royal Dutch Shell, insieme a Chevron, ha annunciato una scoperta nel Golfo del Messico che afferma essere «una delle più grandi nell’ultimo decennio», tra quelle effettuate dalla compagnia stessa.

Lo shale oil resta comunque il motore principale del ritorno degli Usa al rango di super-potenza petrolifera. Dal 2014 grazie al fracking Washington ha aumentato l’output di greggio di ben 2,4 mbg. Col rally del petrolio la produzione è tornata a correre e l’Aie prevede una crescita «esplosiva» nei prossimi mesi, che porterà a superare anche la Russia.