EU leaders reckon that Nord Stream-2 contradicts efforts to reduce Europe's energy dependency and undermines Poland and Ukraine’s role as gas transit countries. The pipeline extension is meant to transport another 55 Bcm of Russian gas to Germany, but there is little need for additional volumes as long as CCGT profit margins stay negative.
Moscow has shelved Turkish Stream, a 63 Bcm gas pipeline through the Black Sea, as tensions with Ankara escalate following the downing of a Russian fighter jet. Aleksandr Novak, the Russian energy minister said talks are suspended and construction start on the pipeline, scheduled for July 2016, has been called off. Progress on the Akkuyu nuclear power station, built by Rosatom, may also be hit by Russia’s retaliatory sanctions.
Britain’s balancing body of gas and electricity networks, National Grid, could be broken up as DECC plans to transfer its role as system operator to an independent entity. National Grid, meanwhile, would focus on pinpointing much-needed grid investments to accommodate new nuclear and more wind power capacity.
Shale gas from the US has been brand marked as ‘a new rival’ by the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) as it undermines the alliance’s strategy on pricing and production volumes. Leaders of Russia and Iran, whose countries hold 44% of global gas reserves, have forged closer ties at the side-lines of latest Gas OPEC meeting in Tehran.
The UK treasury confirmed that following Chancellor George Osborne’s autumn statement, the £1bn ring-fenced capital budget for the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Competition is “no longer available.” Cuts on CCS development come in a stark contrast to new research commitments on small nuclear reactors.