Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Russia - Huge Gas Deal with China

Yesterday, May 19, the website of Russia's state TV (RT) came with the following headline:

Gazprom to Sign Monumental Gas Deal with China

That deal should be signed these days when Russia's president Putin is going to visit China in order to meet his counterpart Xi JinPing. The following map is showing the infrastructure of Russia's oil and gas delivery to China and gives an idea of its extent.

However, an expert evaluation from China, dealing with the same subject, implies there is much more behind it for the Chinese side:


Headline: Why does China probably still continue with natural gas knocked out from Russia ?


The outside world generally estimates, Russian president Putin's visit to China this week facilitates a long-drawn-out agreement on natural gas between China and Russia. According to the viewpoints of analysts that are being summed up for Wallstreet Daily, China and Russia are out of nothing getting close to reach an agreement. Such feeling free, both countries still have very much space for differences.


[Such] former differences need to be mentioned. Ten years ago, China's oil group [i.e. CNPC] and Russia's national company for natural gas GAZPROM began negotiations, hopeful to reach an agreement lasting 30 years and comprising an annual supply of 38 billion cubic metre of natural gas. The question of prices, however, could not be directly approached.


At the beginning of this year, China has raised its annual goal of consumption, the estimated annual consumption [now being] 420 billion cubic metre until 2020 [compared to] a scope of 170 billion cubic metre last year. China's estimated demand sharply increased, the negotiations for a Russian supply of natural gas to China should normally lead to more profit for the development of the Russian side. - Actually this is not so.


China's demand for natural gas has increased six times since 2000, as can be seen on the picture below:

The following part of the article is dealing with actual prices for natural gas and liquid gas [LNG] from different countries [seen as an intrinsic function of quality and availability] in comparison to regional market prices. It can be seen that this is a rather complicated market where an increase in local exportation doesn't necessarily mean a comparable increase in revenues for the providing country.

[Source: wallstreetcn 华尔街日报 on May 19, 2014]

Xi JinPing meeting with Putin in Shanghai on May 20, 2014.


On May 21, during the visit of Russia's president to China, China News 中新网 reported the completion of a " partnership relation for the overall cooperation in the field of energy resources 全面能源合作伙伴关系" between both countries by using the expression " the ice is broken 破冰". This, however, might imply that it took almost to the last moment of a bilateral summit to reach an agreement.



"The Devil Within"

This visitor's call from Northern Ireland could serve as a reminder of the bloody war between the outlawed Irish Republican Army IRA, pro-British militias and British authorities in the frame of a conflict bearing some pseudo-religious dimension as folllowers of both sides were either Roman-Catholics or Protestants belonging to the British Anglican Church that had separated from Rome already centuries ago.

The main conflict, however, was primarily a political one about the constitutional status of Northern Ireland and the relationship between its two main communities. Unionists and loyalists, who mostly come from the Protestant community, generally want Northern Ireland to remain within the United Kingdom. Irish nationalists and republicans, who mostly come from the Catholic community, generally want it to leave the United Kingdom and join a united Ireland.

Gerry Adams, representative of "Sinn Féin", the legal branch of the IRA and a legitimate political party, had always been suspected of having been involved in IRA cruelties during his early years as a follower of that separatist organization. However, nothing could be proven. Now in May 2014, a renewed charge related to the murder of a widow and mother of ten children in 1972 is expected to end like many earlier charges without legal consequences.

[Source: Huffington Post, 1st May, 2014]

I still remember TV reports from the 1970ies about daily killings in Belfast and Londonderry and IRA proceedings abroad when their representatives raised money from U.S. citizens of Irish extraction to buy weapons for their combat at home. If "terrorism" had been invented at that time, it would have been the IRA to claim the copyright for it.

A current joke from these years can be seen as a proof of partial misunderstanding of the conflict abroad. It is hinting at the devastating military conflict between Roman-Catholic rulers and their Protestant counterparts during the "War of the Thirty Years" (1618-48) which had turned all of Central Europe into a battlefield:
Some airliner is on its way to Northern Ireland. Finally the captain addresses his passengers with the following words: "We are now approaching Belfast airport. Please, fasten your seatbelts and turn your watches 300 years back."

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