Gail (3 Feb 2012)
"I had just posted about a Major Energy Calamity"


Deja vu as Russia gas cuts hit eight more EU countries

February 3, 2012

BRUSSELS - Eight EU countries have joined Italy in noting a sharp drop in Russian gas supplies, in events recalling the massive 2009 crunch.

Gazprom deliveries to Austria and Slovakia reportedly fell by 30 percent on Thursday (2 February). Shipments to Poland fell 7 percent and Czech distributor RWE Transgaz said deliveries are "several" percent lower than normal.

The European Commission on Friday added that Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary and Romania have also been affected.

The cuts began in Italy on Tuesday. Earlier this week it reported a 10 percent drop, but the figure hit 20 percent on Thursday.

Member states created special reserves after the 2009 gas crunch - which cost EU firms hundreds of millions of euros and which saw blackouts in some former Communist EU countries in the middle of a harsh winter.

But there are signs the 2012 crunch could also get nasty.

Polish distributor PGNiG had already begun lowering supplies to three big industrial clients - including the country's main petrol refinery PKN Orlen - before the Russian problem. It cited high demand due to the cold snap, prompting the government to tap emergency stocks.

Slovak distributor SPP told people not to worry because if need be it can get help from Austria and the Czech Republic - themselves victims of cuts.

The parallels between 2012 and 2009 are in-play once again.  Moscow and Kiev - also as in 2009 - are currently engaged in a highly political gas price dispute.

Polish distributor PGNiG said the drop came on the Russia-Belarus-Poland pipeline, not on the Russia-Ukraine-Poland network.

And two sources inside Gazprom told press the company is struggling with internal problems.

Russia's Gazprom shackled by corruption: U.S. cables  Jan 6, 2011

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his protege, former Gazprom board chairman Dmitry Medvedev who is now Russia's president, have tried to use Gazprom, the world's biggest gas company, to claw back some of the international clout which Moscow lost after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. 

But leaked diplomatic cables from U.S. Ambassador to Moscow John Beyrle paint Russia's biggest company as a confused and corrupt behemoth still behaving like its predecessor, the Soviet Ministry of Gas.

"Gazprom is what one would expect of a state-owned monopoly sitting atop huge wealth -- inefficient, politically driven, and corrupt," Beyrle wrote in a 2009 cable.  

Gazprom has faced demand destruction in Europe since 2009 as the global economic crisis forced European customers to slash consumption. Europe also often switched to liquefied gas from the Middle East, whose producers turned out to be much more flexible in their pricing policies than Gazprom. 

 

I just posted- that a major calamity in Russia's energy region would pit Moscow against the EU, and Europe would Prophetically zero-in on Cyprus and Israel's Natural Gas supplies.

I was coming out of early morning sleep February 2 2012, and one word was in my thoughts- Transocean.  I didn't hear anything outloud.  I had no idea what Transocean was.

When I logged-on, I brought up the word.

Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) is one of the world's largest offshore drilling contractors. The company rents floating mobile drill rigs, along with the equipment and personnel for operations, to oil and gas companies. Its has deep-water drillships, which house dual activity derricks and can drill in ultra-deep ocean depths of 10,000 ft (3,000 m).[2] Recently, Transocean has been implicated in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill resulting from the explosion of one of its oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.

Transocean employs more than 18,000 people worldwide and has a fleet of 135 offshore drilling units and two ultra-deepwater units under construction, as of December 2011[3]. The company is based in Vernier, Switzerland, near Geneva, and has offices in 20 countries.

 

I am not definite, but here's where my thoughts lie-

2012- Year of the Water Dragon

A major calamity with Russian Energy

Transocean deep-water drillships

The Artic Area

Aleutian Islands Cleveland Volcano

 

No easy solutions for cleaning up Arctic oil spills, environmental group says

Any response to a possible offshore oil spill in the Arctic would be severely hampered, even more so than previously thought, the World Wildlife Fund says.

That's because Arctic ice, lack of daylight, winds and temperatures make it extremely difficult to contain, burn off or disperse spilled oil, the conservation group writes in a filing. "If a major spill were to occur in Arctic waters, cleanup crews would have to spend, on average, three to five days of each week simply standing by, watching helplessly as the blowout or spill continued to foul fragile Arctic ecosystems."   

 

Not to mention there would be no cleanup -

Air traffic alert after Alaska volcano spews ash cloud

February 3, 2012.

“Eruptive activity” of Cleveland Volcano was detected in satellite data, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory

90% of air freight from Asia to Europe and North America flies over Alaska air space, and hundreds of flights — including more than 20,000 passengers — also fly through Anchorage’s air space daily. 

 

Mid-Point - March 21st 2013

God Bless
gail