Comments on: The G7 and the limits of Russia’s ‘political isolation’ Fri, 05 Dec 2014 14:27:05 +0000 hourly 1 By: Wantunbiasednew Tue, 01 Apr 2014 10:07:27 +0000 @AlkalineState: Russia imported about 44 bcm in 2012 AND exported 220 bcm, the NET EXPORTS are 176 bcm (production 592 bcm, consumption 416 bcm). United States is NET IMPORTER of 53 bcm in 2013 (production 685 bcm and consumption 737 bcm).
44% of 2013 US gas output is shale gas. Shale gas wells output diminishes very fast (in months).
For instance for Marcellus Play (the largest shale play in US, 41% of all US shale gas production in 2013) monthly decrease of production form legacy wells is over 2%. For other formations it is similar.
That means output from all existing US shale gas wells HALVES in 2.5 years. So even if frantic drilling continues in US, the shale dream will be over in 10, maximum 15 years. Of course technology is not mature. They still use more pressure and more abrasive chemicals, but it certainly have its limits.

By: AlkalineState Mon, 31 Mar 2014 16:36:53 +0000 @Wantunbiasednew: Your numbers conveniently left out U.S. reserves of natural gas (most of our ‘imports’ are just futures swaps with Canada). Our reserves are in the ground and 35% of the natural gas wells in America are currently shut in by the operators, awaiting higher prices In addition, your numbers fail to include the fact that Russia ‘imports’ nearly as much natural gas as we do: 44 bcm.

By: Wantunbiasednew Sat, 29 Mar 2014 16:20:11 +0000 1. There were no real sanctions on Russia by UE and US and there will be none more that matter anything. The worst sanction was Obama canceling Putin from his friends at Facebook.
2. G7 is dead for about 10 years and has much less clout than G20 for more than 5. Lets look at composition: Canada and Japan are US boys, no independent economic or military policy, waste of time for Putin to meet them. Germany, Italy, France and UK are each year more dependent on Russian natural gas and oil, Putin has leverage over them, and it is larger when he meets with them bilaterally.
3. UN resolution on Crimea was a show of growing clout of China and Russia in Eurasia. Only a few US allies/vasal states from continental Eurasia dared to back it: South Korea, Bhutan, Thailand, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.
4. It is not technically possible in current geopolitical situation for Europe to diversify out of Russian natural gas. UE knows it. Russia at present controls all land routes to Europe. South Stream will be developed fast (Crimea was needed for this purpose), Syrian route is secured by Russia since 2013. Natural gas will flow by pipelines to Europe only from Russia. The only other source is expensive LNG from Middle East.
5. China will become major importer of natural gas from Russia in 10 years.
6. US is one of major net importers of natural gas in the world: 53 bcm imported in 2013, significant rise from 2012 level of import. Any information that US will support any country by its exported natural gas is delusion.

By: brotherkenny4 Fri, 28 Mar 2014 19:09:44 +0000 Oh, we here in the west are sssooo free. They hate us for our freedoms and values and our oh so free markets and capitalism. Our protections of human rights and our freedom. We are oh so free here in the freeland of the west oooooh.

By: FifthColumFirst Fri, 28 Mar 2014 19:01:49 +0000 I remember when it was called G-8. How I long for the good old days!

By: robb1 Fri, 28 Mar 2014 18:39:34 +0000 Well written!

And BTW, will the IMF $ mostly be used to pay past due bills for Russian gas anyways?

By: boreal Fri, 28 Mar 2014 18:02:56 +0000 Even the much touted fracking method one day in the future sucks dry all the newly discovered US gas fields. During the process polluting ground water, making it unpalatable. So much so, that in some cases you can light it (water flowing from the tap) with an open flame. As the globe’s non-renewable natural resources are used up, eventually exhausted, Russia’s natural riches become increasingly more attractive for future multi billionaires to help themselves, discover it and get filthy rich. Spreading that elusive democracy and the promise of freedom in Ukraine, takes them one step closer to that pot of gold.

By: AlkalineState Fri, 28 Mar 2014 16:15:35 +0000 Why all the bitching by the news outlets? Ukraine is a win-win for all:

1) Russia gets Crimea.

2) Crimeans get to be Russian.

3) Ukrainian tire-burners in Kiev successfully got rid of their Russian-backed president (which is what their demand was).

4) NATO adds Ukraine to its membership.

By: COindependent Fri, 28 Mar 2014 14:00:37 +0000 @jrp The U.S. can’t win on the Ukraine. If we had responded to Russia militarily or by supplying weapons to stop the Russians in Crimea, guys like you, would have condemned us. So, instead we send $14B in IMF money, of which the U.S. is the largest contributor, and you condemn the U.S.

We could use those same billions to rebuild our infrastructure in this country, but again guys like you, would condemn us for not being a “world citizen”, blame Bush, or talk about how the U.S. should intervene.

Russia is in decline, and Ukraine is economic and political basket case. Face it–there is nothing there worth expending U.S. dollars. It’s a western Europe problem–let the German and French figure it out. And, we should also reduce our military presence in Western Europe as well–no need to subsidize wealthy countries who refuse to fund their own defense. I can only hear the howls now….about how the U.S. has abandoned them. Oh, the inhumanity. There is sufficient wealth in western Europe to fund whatever they see fit.

After 60 years (since the end of WW2) your sugar daddy can see your age spots–you are no longer the prize you used to be. Sorry, you’re on your own.

By: WestFlorida Fri, 28 Mar 2014 13:37:58 +0000 This editorial (not news) is too pessimistic. The west has no defense treaty with the Ukraine, so the response thus far has been appropriate. Russia is not a superpower, and is highly dependent upon US technology [the US has transferred the most technology to the Russian Federation and invested the most]. The transition to less dependence upon Russian natural gas started after Russia’s abusive incursion into Georgia, and is now accelerating. Realignments between super-powers take time. The next move for Russia will be to seize the southern coast line of Ukraine, and this will lead to tighter sanctions. The US loses nothing by sanctions, but Russia loses disproportionately more. Eventually a new equilibrium will be reached, but further investment in Russia will decline, hurting its economy even more. Russia is happy to pay this cost for some extra real estate, even though it already is the largest country in the world and does not need more real estate. The Ukrainians do not like the crony system in which government leaders and insiders siphon off billions and leave the populace to pay off the debt, and this will not change. Russia has claimed a temporary “victory” of sorts, but has now lost all of the goodwill it had after the Olympics; it now is seen as a piranha state, not to be trusted. It does not care, but will learn to care as its economy continues to suffer, and doors once open now are closed to them. Would YOU invest in Russia now?