The next loud promises to “end” the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which are heard from the White House with depressing constancy, apparently, in Russia no longer hurt anyone to the quick. First, how much can you threaten?! Secondly, it has long been clear to everyone that attempts to deal with the most important source of energy for all of Europe are part of a much larger game in Washington, a detail of a much more complex and multi-way plan. In fact, this is a new war that the United States seeks to unleash on world energy markets. Naturally, pursuing their own, deeply selfish goals.
All the “violent activity” deployed at the same time to “save Ukraine from the Russian invasion” is, of course, nothing more than a decoration, a smokescreen to hide true intentions and motives. And also a simple way to get formal reasons for launching certain sanctions mechanisms, which, in fact, should give a start to the start of "military operations", on which the United States is counting on a good "weld". At the same time, as always, the war started by the Americans (even economic) should inflict maximum damage on Russia and Europe, and deliver only sheer benefits and profits to overseas wise men. Most likely, this is exactly what it will be - but only for the Europeans, if they do not have enough common sense to prevent the plans of overseas "partners".
Gaza was given the order: "To the West!"
Joe Biden announced his intention to “definitely put an end” to the Nord Stream 2 project during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who arrived in the United States to bow. The latter, in turn, fervently assured members of the US Congress that the gas pipeline "will not be put into operation" unless Russia "invades Ukraine." Complete idyll in one word. Somewhat later, Jen Psaki made a very significant clarification, explaining that the White House "does not agree with those congressmen who would like to impose sanctions against the gas pipeline immediately." So to speak, in a preventive manner. They prefer to "hold" this option for the time being as "extremely effective leverage on the Kremlin." From all this, we can conclude that the refusal to impose appropriate sanctions is in no way a manifestation of Washington's goodwill. Rather, it is simply a matter of time.
The reason for this is simple - the United States is doing its best to portray “deep concern” about the numerous and extremely serious problems that its “transatlantic allies” have every chance of getting in the event of a new round of aggravation of relations with Moscow and the introduction of any additional restrictions against it. And it is not at all necessary that in the energy sector - after all, the malicious Russians can shut off the valve themselves, knowing full well what exactly this will turn out for Europe. That is why the Americans for more than a month now have been ringing with might and main about their ongoing "intensive and productive negotiations" regarding alternative supplies of energy carriers to the Old World and, above all, "blue fuel". Moreover, not only gas exporters, but also its main consumers, are trying to “persuade to cooperation” on a voluntary-compulsory basis, so that they “moderate their appetites” in favor of potential “sufferers” from the EU.
Qatar, Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, Australia - the list of countries, at the expense of whose resources the US undertakes to "give gas" to Europe, is not so small. At the same time, it is quite amusing to watch how representatives of the state, which fiercely defends liberal market principles in the economy and is considered their world stronghold, undertake to resolve issues with the help of tricks that are utterly reminiscent of the “command-administrative methods” they anathematize. But this, as they say, is the third thing. The main problem is that the economy is just that area of human existence, which with all ruthlessness demonstrates the validity of the principle: "to want is not to be able." Let's start with Europe itself. Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre quite unequivocally stated that his country will not be able to provide more than 30% of Germany's "blue fuel" needs - at least cut it. There are no resources, no power for pumping. Netherlands? They generally curtail their own gas production - until half the country has gone to hell. And they are unlikely to abandon the chosen course. Yes, and they do not have surpluses to increase exports, as far as is known. What remains?
Actually, this is what the “wise men” from the United States conceived: to expand the flow of energy supplies (primarily LNG), which today go mostly to the East, to Asia, to the “in distress” West. Well, what is it worth to you, good gentlemen?! Washington is asking... Nevertheless, so far, according to available data, all attempts by the Americans (undertaken, as you understand, at fairly high levels) have not been successful. And the point here is not only that in the Asia-Pacific region, exchange prices for gas are much more attractive than European ones. Rebuilding a well-oiled supply chain is extremely difficult and, in some ways, dangerous. There are many reasons, both technical and legal.
"NATO gas pipeline" and a flotilla of tankers
Let us dwell on the supplier, on which, due to long-standing and very strong allied relations, Washington pinned its main hopes - Qatar. Yes, last year's volume of LNG exports there (about 78 million tons) is quite impressive. However, only about 17 million tons went to the Old World, the rest of the "blue fuel" went just to Asia. The country has no additional opportunities to increase production (gas is not a rabbit, you can’t get it out of a hat in the blink of an eye), and the vast majority of volumes planned for extraction have already been contracted by regular buyers. According to the Energy Minister of Qatar, Saad bin Sherid al-Kaabi, it is impossible to redirect all these flows from East to West to Europe without extremely painful infringement of the interests of those to whom the energy carriers were intended. Here you have penalties, and lawsuits, and colossal damage to business reputation, and thirty-three more similar “pleasures”. And if you consider that China is the main buyer of Qatari gas today, everything becomes quite sad. The fact that “throwing” the Celestial Empire and quarreling with it is dearer to itself, everyone has long and firmly learned.
And by the way, European consumers, who have long been groaning under the "unbearable burden" of exchange prices for energy carriers, the "alternative" supplies received in this way, perhaps, would be surprised in an extremely unpleasant way. After all, there is no doubt that the resourceful Arabs would have included absolutely everything in their price: the penalties paid, and logistics, and even the resulting severe nervous stress. Again, never-before-seen volumes of LNG have to be delivered to Europe somehow. Or rather, not "some", but with the help of special gas carriers. That's just such a number of such ships, which would be able to fully satisfy the needs of the EU in "blue fuel", does not exist in nature today.
All plans of Washington breaks, even if it is three times wrong, the most elementary arithmetic. According to available estimates, in 2021 the EU purchased almost 136 billion cubic meters of gas from our country. And now let's imagine that they suddenly disappeared ... Yes, Gazprom covers a little more than 40% of the needs of the Old World in "blue fuel", and not all 100%. But their disappearance from the market will mean such an energy collapse, in comparison with which all the current problems will seem the pinnacle of prosperity. LNG as salvation? Well, only if suddenly a flotilla of almost one and a half thousand gas tankers appears from somewhere, which someone, somewhere, will be able to “fill up to the eyeballs”. For comparison, the United States was recently able to send 34 gas carriers to Europe as "emergency aid". So this is fiction, and unscientific. More alternatives? And how are they offered!
The other day, the Spanish newspaper la Vanguardia came up with a “wonderful” idea about the “reanimation” of the Midcat pipeline project, calling it “NATO gas pipeline” in its publication, which should have emphasized the exceptional significance of this undertaking as “a weapon in the fight against Moscow’s energy dominance.” And what? From Algeria to Catalonia, and from there to France. After all, it will work great! For Spain, definitely. That's just the estimated capacity of Midcat in 7 billion "blue fuel" will not solve even a small part of the energy problems of the EU. Yes, in addition, it still needs to be built - and for a lot of money. Madrid has been toying with this idea for more than a year now. That's just something investors still can not see. About the same quality and hopes for the "salvation" of Europe with the help of Azerbaijani gas or supplies from the bowels of the Israeli Leviathan field. Under them, in both cases, it is necessary to build appropriate pipelines, and this is a costly and slow business. And they will not provide the entire volume of energy carriers required by the Old World.
The non-alternativeness of Russian gas for this region is obvious to every more or less sane person who knows the basics of mathematics. The reduction of its supplies, among other things, will put a bold and final end to every single plan of the "green transition", which are so worn today in Brussels, Berlin, Paris. They are not like nuclear power plants - they will have to operate coal-fired thermal power plants, if anything. And yet, Washington has no intention of giving up in its attempts to bring chaos and confusion to the world gas market. The reason is simple - according to the estimates of the US Department of Energy (EIA), with the launch of the sixth line of the Sabine Pass LNG LNG plant and the Calcasieu Pass LNG LNG plant in 2022, the country will be able to become the largest producer of liquefied gas on the planet. At a minimum, in terms of the capacity of the respective enterprises.
All this will mean a new round of fierce competition in the global energy market, which the Americans now want to unbalance as much as possible, so that later they can completely “clean up” it for themselves. That is why their main blow is directed against our "Gazprom", which is the main competitor, and now (after the conclusion of certain deals with China) - not only on the European market. The fight will be hot, and the main battles of the impending "gas war" are probably yet to come.