Thread: Why Would Trump and Putin Collude? Keywords: Oil, Gas, Arctic, Climate

July 24, 2018



Heroic piece in Medium by Wendy Siegelman  pulls together the story of Russia’s huge investment in Arctic fossil resources, and how to make sense of the current global crisis in terms of oil, gas, ice, and climate.


Below is a story about sanctions, oil, gas, the Arctic & how speeding up climate change could mean big $ for Russia.

Igor Sechin described ambition of Rosneft/Exxon project as “bigger than sending man to outer space or flying to the moon” !!!

“Experts say that this project, in terms of its ambitions, exceeds sending man into outer space or flying to the moon,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, a key architect of the partnership, told a briefing for analysts in New York.


US sanctions blocking deal per @maddow may have changed “historical trajectory of Russia”.

Blocking the deal did not just “put Exxon at risk,” as the Wall Street Journal reported in 2014. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow explained last month the biggest oil deal in history was “expected to change the historical trajectory of Russia.”

So Putin/Rosneft are finding other $ opportunities, like closing $13 Bil deal for 49% stake in India’s Essar Oil.

The $13 Bil Rosneft Essar deal is Russia’s largest outbound deal ever & biggest investment in India ever.

Rosneft is in now in talks w/CEFC China Energy about buying a stake in Rosneft.

Rosneft is poised to acquire ownership of Venezuelan PDVSA assets if they default.

If Trump sanctions Venezuela it may benefit Putin by pushing PDVSA into Rosneft ownership.


As Rosneft hogs headlines, a little covered story may become a big deal as climate change progresses: Russia’s Arctic Yamal LNG project.

The 2014 US sanctions on Russia significantly hurt financing for the Yamal LNG project.

As gigantic as they are, the logistical and technological challenges are not the only ones. There is also politics: The site was launched in late 2013, a few months before the sanctions against Russia began. That’s a hiccup worth $27 billion.

“When the sanctions happened in July 2014, we had advanced well financially with standard contracts with American banks and American lawyers. But we had to start over again from scratch,” recalls Jacques de Boisséson. The Washington sanctions, decided upon in the wake of the Ukrainian crisis, did not affect the project directly because gas was not included — although the French company’s Russian partner, Novatek, was targeted, as one of its main shareholders, Gennady Timchenko, was close to Vladimir Putin.

Yamal LNG is now 60% owned by Russian gas company Novatek, 20% by China CNPC and 20% by France’s Total.

The Yamal LNG Project is considered one of the largest industrial initiatives in the Russian Arctic. It involves construction of facilities to supply 16.5 million metric tonnes of LNG per year from the resource base of South Tambey in Russia’s Arctic Yamal Peninsula. Novatek is said to own a 60-percent equity stake in the project, with China’s CNPC and France’s Total at 20 percent each.

Why does Arctic Yamal LNG project matter? There’s big $ for Russia if global warming thaws ice, opens shipping routes & drilling options.

A Russian LNG (liquified natural gas) tanker set a new record speed on a route along Russia’s northern border.

A specially built LNG tanker has set a new fastest time for travelling the Northern Sea Route (NSR) through the Arctic, but for now, at least, the record doesn’t seem to be heralding the start of a long-predicted shipping bonanza across the top of the world.

The NSR is one of two routes through the Arctic that open up the possibility of considerably shorter shipping journeys between the Atlantic and Asia as climate change reduces the extent of Arctic sea ice.

Russia considers Northern Route important for transportation, nat’l security & plans to enhance military there.

The Arctic was increasingly being viewed by some observers as a potential emerging security issue. Some of the Arctic coastal states, particularly Russia, had announced an intention or taken actions to enhance their military presences in the high north, the report said.

“This is a big event in the opening up of the Arctic,” Mr. Putin said about the new record shipping trip.

The journey was the culmination of a centuries-old navigational dream and of a decade-long plan by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, whose government has indicated it plans to take political and economic advantage of changes to the Arctic’s climate.

“This is a big event in the opening up of the Arctic,” Mr. Putin said of the tanker’s maiden voyage this year.

Rapid climate change has altered the region, and soon the journey along this Russian route can be made year-round.

But rapid changes to the climate have significantly altered the region’s ice, and Sovcomflot said in a statement that it believed the ship could make the journey “year-round in the difficult ice conditions.”

Poland and other Russian neighbors are trying to reduce their energy dependency on Russia.

Poland just took a symbolic step forward in wresting itself from Russia’s energy dominance.

On Thursday, the first ever liquefied natural gas shipment from the United States arrived in Poland, a landmark of sorts in Europe’s continuing drive to diversify the sources of its energy imports. The gas came from an export terminal in Louisiana that was first out of the gate to exploit the U.S. shale boom to supply the global market.

And tensions are rising w/Russia US Canada Norway Denmark Greenland over territorial rights in the Arctic region.

As experts anticipate further melting across the Arctic, several countries have sought ways to exploit the thawing — laying cables and drilling for oil, natural gas and other resources.

That increase in access has brought with it an increase in political tensions. Canada contends the waters of the Arctic Archipelago are its internal waters, a claim the United States and other nations contest.

Greenland, an autonomous region of Denmark, maintains it has the sole rights to an immense ridge it considers part of its continental shelf that extends for hundreds of miles beneath the Arctic Ocean.

As the world’s climate heats up, competition for energy resources and control of the Arctic will heat up as well.

Rosneft, Exxon, Yamal LNG & other natural resource companies have huge $ at stake and may benefit from climate change warming.

Trump may have delivered a bigger gift to Putin/Russia than many realize by withdrawing the US from the Paris Climate deal.

As Trump/Russia collusion story unfolds, it’s essential to watch who benefits and at what price to us and to future generations to come.


3 Responses to “Thread: Why Would Trump and Putin Collude? Keywords: Oil, Gas, Arctic, Climate”

  1. indy222 Says:

    That’s a lot of links…. but yes, I’ve been commenting on this in my PowerPoint on “Policy”, and too many people rah-rah’ing about this little move or that, don’t get the big picture. Global political advantage is a relative game and Russia definitely is THE winner in global warming. Expect that if we start e.g. flying sulfate aerosol balloon dispersals or re-freezing the Arctic with wind-driven pumps, that they’ll be shot down, torpedoed, or out right war.

    It’s right out of Dr. Strangelove

  2. Kiwiiano Says:

    Jeez, if they are deliberately promoting climate change, it’s Crimes against Humanity on a global scale.

  3. Abel Adamski Says:

    Just for everyones edification, you have I assume heard of the Capitalist/Free Market Bible by Adam Smith, he of the invisible hand of the Market. How many have actually read it, I would suggest <0.1% of those who supposedly espouse it's wisdom

    He did warn about the current situation… From ‘The Wealth of Nations’

    “Merchants and master manufacturers are, in this order, the two classes of people who commonly employ the largest capitals, and who by their wealth draw to themselves the greatest share of the public consideration. As during their whole lives they are engaged in plans and projects, they have frequently more acuteness of understanding than the greater part of country gentlemen. As their thoughts, however, are commonly exercised rather about the interest of their own particular branch of business, than about that of the society, their judgment, even when given with the greatest candour (which it has not been upon every occasion) is much more to be depended upon with regard to the former of those two objects than with regard to the latter. Their superiority over the country gentleman is not so much in their knowledge of the public interest, as in their having a better knowledge of their own interest than he has of his. It is by this superior knowledge of their own interest that they have frequently imposed upon his generosity, and persuaded him to give up both his own interest and that of the public, from a very simple but honest conviction that their interest, and not his, was the interest of the public. The interest of the dealers, however, in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public. To widen the market and to narrow the competition, is always the interest of the dealers. To widen the market may frequently be agreeable enough to the interest of the public; but to narrow the competition must always be against it, and can serve only to enable the dealers, by raising their profits above what they naturally would be, to levy, for their own benefit, an absurd tax upon the rest of their fellow-citizens. The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.”
    He predicts exactly where we are now with mercantile and financial power.

    and of course

    People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.

    ― Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

    He also said capital needed to be local (not flowing around the world) and that there were areas of public concern that should not be run by business, like health care.

    The value of any commodity, therefore, to the person who possesses it, and who means not to use or consume it himself, but to exchange it for other commodities, is equal to the quantity of labour which it enables him to purchase or command. Labour, therefore, is the real measure of the exchangeable value of all commodities. The real price of everything, what everything really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it.

    ― Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

    Wherever there is great property there is great inequality. For one very rich man there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many. The affluence of the rich excites the indignation of the poor, who are often both driven by want, and prompted by envy, to invade his possessions.

    ― Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

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