Russia Takes Action To Clean Up Soviet Era Nuclear Waste

Confronting one of the most hazardous environmental legacies of the Soviet era, Russian authorities are taking steps to clean up a decades-old problem posed by nuclear waste in Arctic areas. On October 31, officials sent a second shipment of spent fuel rods from Andreeva Bay near the Norwegian border to the Mayak reprocessing plant in Ozersk, the closed city in Chelyabinsk Oblast that served as the cradle of the Soviet nuclear weapons program. The first delivery of nuclear waste occurred in June. The cleanup has been partially funded by European…

Tajikistan, Uzbekistan Strengthen Energy Relations

A source at a state-run natural gas company in Tajikistan has told media that they are finalizing negotiations to resume the import of gas from Uzbekistan after a five-year hiatus. Asia-Plus news website on November 7 cited the official at Tajiktransgaz as saying a preliminary agreement for gas deliveries was reached during recent talks in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent. No price has been set yet and there is no available information about the volumes to be imported, but the Tajiktransgaz source claimed the cost would be considerably lower than that…

Putin’s Masterstroke Of Energy Diplomacy

Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin announced that his company signed a roadmap to invest the mind-numbingly large sum of $30 billion in the Iranian energy sector following his and President Putin’s visit to the Islamic Republic to hold three-way talks with Azerbaijan. This masterstroke of energy diplomacy wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for Trump scaring Western investors away from Iran and pushing the country closer towards Russia as a result, which totally reversed the intended dynamic of the Obama Administration that…

Saudi Crackdown Was A “Classic Head Fake” For Oil Prices

Overnight, following the recent Saudi turmoil, prices in the crude complex jumped to the highest levels in over two years, amid speculation that Saudi Arabia is more likely to back output curbs following this weekend’s crackdown by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “It creates some hope that the current policy by the Saudis will be continued after March,” said ABN Amro senior energy economist Hans van Cleef. “We’re still in the longer-term upswing, the uptrend is still intact”, and indeed Dec. WTI rose +31c to $55.95/bbl after…

Saudi Crackdown Was A “Classic Head Fake” For Oil Prices

Overnight, following the recent Saudi turmoil, prices in the crude complex jumped to the highest levels in over two years, amid speculation that Saudi Arabia is more likely to back output curbs following this weekend’s crackdown by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “It creates some hope that the current policy by the Saudis will be continued after March,” said ABN Amro senior energy economist Hans van Cleef. “We’re still in the longer-term upswing, the uptrend is still intact”, and indeed Dec. WTI rose +31c to $55.95/bbl after…

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Can Ukraine Combat Its Natural Gas Crisis?

Ukraine has entered a new heating season with almost 17 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas stored in its underground reservoirs, according to Ukrtransgaz, the gas transportation and storage subsidiary of the state-owned oil and gas company Naftogaz Ukrainy (Utg.ua, accessed October 30). This is more than Ukraine stored up in anticipation of winter both last year as well as two years ago. As such, winter 2017–2018 will be the third heating season in a row that Ukraine will have enough stored gas to make it through the cold months since…

Why Are The British Paying So Much For Energy?

Early this year, British politicians upset by the UK’s high electricity prices, commissioned a study, the Cost of Electricity Review. There is an irony here. High electricity prices are in large measure the direct result of government energy policy. But instead of empaneling a politically “safe” and well-vetted committee of regulators and senior civil servants, they handed the task to one of the UK’s preeminent energy economists, Dieter Helm. In reporting back he minced no words. His report’s analyses and recommendations have implications…

Are Coal-Fired Power Plants Set For A Boost?

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has come up with a controversial plan to slow the closure of coal-fired power plants, under the guise of stabilizing the power grid. The background of the yet-to-be-passed policy dates back to April, when Perry instructed his second-in-command to develop a 60-day review that looks at how regulatory burdens, subsidies, and tax policies “are responsible for forcing the premature retirement of baseload power plants.” He also wanted to know whether wholesale energy markets adequately compensate…

Turkey’s Opaque Private Energy Sector

Patronage and Power Players in Turkey’s Energy Sector In parallel with the rise to power of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP), we are witnessing the rise of a system of patronage in Turkey. To secure and extend their influence throughout state and society, including in key sectors of the economy, such as the energy sector, the government of President Erdogan appears to be providing preferential treatment to party loyalists. All Trust in a Son-in-Law The most visible actors in Turkey’s energy…

Tesla Cuts Model 3 Orders From Core Supplier By 40 Percent

Just days after the Shanghai government was stunned to read in the WSJ that it had granted Tesla permission to open a new gigafactory in its free-trade zone (turns out the two are only in the negotiations stage), according to Taiwanese media reports one of Tesla’s largest suppliers in the country has been instructed to pare back production on parts for the Tesla Model 3 – the latest sign that the cash-burning Silicon Valley carmaker is going to miss its goal of producing 5,000 cars a week by December. Hota Industrial Manufacturing Co,…