Putin in Line with Gazprom in Turning his Gaze to EuropeVladimir Putin`s External and power policy has united with commercial interests “ Gazprom “ from - for what the project of working out of the huge Shtokmanovsky deposit which are lying down at the bottom of Barents sea, has undergone “ double “ a turn on 180 °.
the First turn is connected with use shtokmanovskogo gas. Until recently it was supposed that its extensive stocks will provide “ to Gazprom “ an exit on the North American market of gas. Those hot days American - the Russian cooperation in war with terror after events on September, 11th, 2001 was born “ American - the Russian power dialogue “ in which frameworks the processing prospect shtokmanovskogo gas in szhizhennyj natural gas and its deliveries to other party of Atlantic was considered.
we will rewind a film. 2006. We find out obvious cooling in American - the Russian relations (aggravated in last days from - for events in Georgia). On this background does not cause surprise the yesterday`s statement of head “ Gazprom “ Alexey Miller that shtokmanovsky gas will be delivered now on projected Severo - to the European gas pipeline (or “ Northern stream “) Directly from Russia to Germany. Thus dependence of Russia on the traditional transit states - Ukraine and Belarus which the Kremlin names " will be lowered; parasitic “.
the Geopolitical underlying reason of this question would be obvious even in the event that president Putin personally would not lift it during a meeting with Jacque Chirac and Angela Merkel on September, 23rd in Paris. At the same time change of problems of the Shtokmanovsky deposit corresponds to priorities most “ Gazprom “. “ Northern stream “ - strategic necessity for “ Gazprom “ that it could support the traditionally big share in the fast-growing European market of gas. The company, should be, also hopes that the prospect of large additional volumes of export of gaz to Germany will help to compensate a damage put to reputation “ Gazprom “ As reliable supplier and also to prevent realisations of initiatives of Bruxelles on liberalisation of the gas market, providing refusal of long-term contracts on the terms of full payment at refusal of the deliveries historically making a basis of business “ Gazprom “.
“ Northern stream “ offers “ to Gazprom “ additional guarantees against such risks. By an exchange of actives with E. ON and BASF - partners “ Gazprom “ in it the joint venture which chairman is the friend of mister Putin Gerhard Schroder, - “ Gazprom “ has caught a long-awaited strong point in the market of final distribution of gas in the European union. But the strategic substantiation of this pipeline and, of course, its economic viability depend on, whether can “ Gazprom “ to make gas that it to fill suffices. In it is that and the problem consists. The main weakness “ Gazprom “ - low growth of extraction. At all conversations on development of the huge new markets of the North America and China “ Gazprom “ hardly copes with maintenance of the existing fast-growing markets - internal and European. Southern - Russian deposit which as it was planned before, should provide “ Northern stream “ gas, on the size approximately five times less Shtokmanovsky.
Here and it has turned out that the new geopolitical turn of Russia from the USA to Europe has coincided with the main task “ Gazprom “ on strengthening of the key European business.
the second turn - the decision “ Gazprom “ about which also it has been declared yesterday, to refuse the former plan of working out of a deposit through joint venture with the American and European power companies. This year the Russian officials began to spend communication between chances of the American companies and removal of the American veto on the introduction of Russia into the World Trade Organization. However the decision “ Gazprom “ right now to leave from the European companies became a bolt from the blue.
however and behind this step of the top politician. Recent friction between the Russian government and a consortium under the direction of company Shell, participating in the project “ Sakhalin - 2 “ have been caused, from the point of view of the Kremlin, that Russia has been deceived by the foreign partners.
here on this background the yesterday`s statement of mister Miller that the foreign companies will participate in working out of the Shtokmanovsky deposit only as contractors under condition of rigid restriction of expenses also has been made. If at “ Gazprom “ Under present market conditions also there will be no financial problems problems of a technological order are not solved yet. Therefore in favourable position on reception podrjadov, mentioned the Norwegian companies possessing unique and newest technologies on gas production on deep-water deposits in severe Arctic conditions appear mister Miller.
Christopher Grenvill - the editor-in-chief of the new analytical service Trusted Sources specialising on research of emerging markets.