|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||7.82 - 7.94|
|52 Week Range||4.28 - 8.50|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.17|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||2.35|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.50 (6.40%)|
|1y Target Est||9.80|
Ukraine's military has confirmed that Russia is returning three Ukrainian naval ships it captured last year. The vessels were seized in the Kerch Strait in November 2018. Two gunboats and a tugboat were taken in the narrow strip of water between mainland Russia and Crimea. Russia's Foreign Ministry said earlier Monday (November 18) that Moscow had handed over the three ships. Ukraine has pushed for their return as a goodwill gesture from Russia ahead of a four-way peace summit on eastern Ukraine next month in Paris. Russia and Ukraine will be joined by France and Germany in the talks. The boat return isn't the only deal Russia and Ukraine are talking through. Russian energy giant Gazprom has sent a letter to Ukraine proposing either to extend a current gas deal or sign a new one-year agreement. The current deal expires on December 31st. Gazprom supplies gas to Ukraine, which also acts as a transit country for Russian gas to Europe.
The long-contested Nord Stream 2 has reached its final stages, and Germany is now speaking out against the U.S. over its opposition to the critical pipeline
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- No dictator rules without a nation’s acquiescence, but in Russia in 2019, President Vladimir Putin has found that acceptance increasingly reluctant. His reaction: an increasing reliance on the stick as the carrot harvest fails to come in.Putin discovered in 2018 that the world could be easier for him to manipulate than his own country. As the geopolitical architecture he started creating with the 2014 Crimea annexation took shape, his popularity at home took a dive — thanks to a necessary but highly unpopular pension reform, including a steep increase in the retirement age . Protest activity spiked. By the end of last year, Putin had resolved to tear his eyes away from the world map and look toward the Russian heartland, where the pro-Kremlin United Russia party had suffered some painful electoral defeats.This year, however, Putin’s effort to win back Russia’s affection has been unsuccessful. This affects the prospects of a smooth power transition in 2024, when he is supposed to step down because of the constitutional term limit. In late 2018, Putin and his foreign-policy advisers made it clear that they considered any kind of firm international order gone. In such a world, global leaders protect what they see as national interests on a transactional basis, building no firm alliances and instead making it clear why others might find it to their advantage to cooperate with them in specific areas. This year, Russia’s offering in the geopolitical marketplace coalesced.Russia’s previous bet was on its vast energy resources — in the 2000s, as the oil price spiked, there was even talk of the country becoming an “energy superpower.” In 2019, this old strategy began bearing fruit. Gazprom PJSC, the gas-export monopoly the Kremlin uses to project its energy power (and enrich Putin’s friends through infrastructure contracts), completed two major pipelines: the offshore part of TurkStream, crossing the bottom of the Black Sea to Turkey, and Power of Siberia, bringing Russian natural gas to China. Though the construction of Nord Stream 2 under the Baltic Sea to Germany has been slowed down by European regulatory obstacles, inclement weather and perhaps by belated U.S. sanctions, it will be completed next year. Then Putin’s old scheme for making Russia indispensable to key neighbors (the Balkan nations, China, Germany and Turkey) will be complete, too. The gas project, however, will fall far short of conferring any kind of superpower status on Russia. Discoveries of new gas deposits and the growth of the global liquefied natural gas trade have created healthy competition among suppliers in all key markets.Besides, the European Union, Russia’s key energy export market, is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050 with an ambitious plan to develop renewable energy sources. Sooner or later, China, too, will start phasing out fossil fuels. Russia’s long-term strategy needs to be based on something other than hydrocarbon exports.Putin now appears to have found that something, and a way to package it as an offering: The agile use of military force and what’s come to be known as hybrid capabilities — hacking, propaganda, diplomacy — in support of beleaguered incumbents who are mostly considered undesirable by the West. The Russian-engineered victory of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria is the window display for this offering. But Putin also can nod toward Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s ability to retain power, even though the West has recognized his challenger as the nation’s legitimate leader and the U.S. has hit him with powerful sanctions. Russian support never rose to the level of a military operation, but it has helped sustain the Maduro regime even as Venezuelans fled in droves from the economic hardship it has inflicted on them. Putin’s offer of support to regimes considered rogue under the old, U.S.-led international order harks back to the Romanov czars’ policy of unconditionally supporting monarchies against revolutions. It has made Putin some important friends. One is Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who purchased Russian S-400 anti-aircraft systems, defying U.S. pressure to cancel the deal. Another is Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who retained a cordial relationship with Putin as the Western world boiled up about the his apparent role in the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. This year, Russia developed a cooperative relationship with Turkey in Syria, and its cooperation with Saudi Arabia has been a major factor for the global oil price. Putin has also started openly marketing his offering to African nations: In October, he gathered several dozen African leaders in Sochi to signal that Russia could be called on to help settle disputes in exchange for natural-resource concessions. Russian mercenaries have shown up in the Central African Republic, Libya and Sudan. Unexpectedly, Putin’s transactional worldview has found some intellectual followers in Europe, most notably French President Emmanuel Macron, who openly questioned Europe’s transatlantic relationship and suggested that a cautious rapprochement with Russia was in order. Macron is no Putin ally, but he’s clearly turning into a like-minded thinker concerning the absence of a world order worth defending. And Putin isn’t looking for allies, anyway — just for means to assert Russia’s global role.But the growing acceptance of Putin’s geopolitical thinking hasn’t converted yet into any practical benefits for the Kremlin, such as the softening of European sanctions, a lasting solution to the Ukraine crisis, or substantial economic dividends from the Middle East and Africa. And that feeds into Putin’s domestic problem, which is primarily economic. Russians’ relationship with Putin is, deep down, as transactional as his interactions with foreign leaders. It’s an alliance of convenience: His popularity is still largely based on the quick rise in living standards in the first half of his long rule. As 2018 showed, the so-called Crimea consensus — a jump in his popularity after the annexation — was only a short-lived burst of imperialist enthusiasm. In 2019, Putin attempted to work some of his old economic magic, starting a dozen so-called “national projects” worth $400 billion until 2024. They are meant to improve health care and education and spruce up Russia’s infrastructure.It’s clear, however, that this year, the projects will end up seriously underfunded. Alexey Kudrin, head of Russia’s budgetary watchdog, the Accounting Chamber, met with Putin this week to tell him that only 67% of the planned 2019 funding for the projects had been released by November. On some, have barely used any of the allocated funds have been spent. The money is there, but the bureaucrats administering the programs are too cautious to dispense it. According to Kudrin, this year, up to a trillion rubles ($16 billion) allocated under the Russian federal budget will remain unspent.“No, no, that sounds like a lot,” was Putin’s reaction to Kudrin’s data. But the funding bottleneck is obvious. In a system geared to achieve growth through government investment, while private initiative is distrusted and often suppressed, public funding isn’t flowing because the risks of Russia’s harsh law-enforcement system are too high for people in charge of that funding.In part because of this, and in part because Russia’s problems can’t really be solved with government money, 2019 has been a dismal year for the “national goals” set by Putin for his current presidential term. According to the Accounting Chamber, Russia actually moved away from some of these goals. Other goals, such as steadily increasing real incomes, appear to have been reached with the help of statistical sleight of hand. In the third quarter of 2019, real incomes reported by the government — based on a recently-updated methodology — suddenly jumped 3% year on year, with many economists doubting the underlying data.Putin can no longer hope to keep shaping Russians’ perceptions of their country’s condition, and of their own, through propaganda. In May, Mediascope, a media measurement company whose data are used by advertisers in Russia, reported that the internet, for the first time, had a bigger audience in Russia’s cities than TV. Yes, young people the world over watch less TV and spend more time on the internet. But in Russia, this is particularly important because TV is a state-controlled propaganda machine, and the internet, despite the presence of pro-Kremlin troll farms and increasing censorship and surveillance, is still largely a free forum. No wonder younger Russians have been the driving force of this year’s protests, notably in Moscow over the summer, after the pro-Putin mayor prevented a number of anti-Putin candidates from running in a municipal election, but also in other places such as the Arkhangelsk Region in northern Russia, where locals have been fighting the creation of a gigantic landfill. Protest activity in Russia has dropped off somewhat since its peak after the pension reform was announced, but it hasn’t dipped back to the level of 2017. According to the Center for Social and Legal Rights, 207 of the 581 protests held in the third quarter of 2019 were of a political nature, and 149 were environmental.Putin’s reaction was to crack down. A number of participants in the Moscow protests were sentenced to prison terms or given suspended sentences for offenses such as throwing empty plastic bottles at fully-equipped riot police. Putin explained his support for the harsh punishments during a recent meeting with his Human Rights Council, which he purged of potentially disloyal liberals this year:He tosses a plastic cup at a representative of authority. Nothing happens. Then a plastic bottle — nothing happens. So he’ll toss a glass bottle, then a stone, and then people will start shooting and looting stores. We must not allow this kind of thing.This willingness to punish people before they become truly dangerous is in line with Putin’s other moves this year. He signed the Russian version of a lese majeste law, and numerous people have been fined for insulting the president online. He also approved a law making it possible to designate people as “foreign agents” for sharing articles from media funded by foreign governments or for working for foreign-funded organizations.Putin is trying to make his regime coup-proof by creating a kind of early-warning system regarding citizens who consider protesting for political, economic or environmental reasons— about a quarter of the country’s adult population, according to pollster Levada Center. The tactic says a lot about Putin’s skill, experience and foresight as a repressive leader, but it hardly boosts his popularity. Though Putin’s approval rating technically is near 70%, Russian poll data are distorted by the unwillingness of ordinary people to criticize the authorities to strangers; the current approval rating is nonetheless near historic lows.In “Putin v. the People” — in my view, the most insightful book on Russian politics published this year — Graeme Robertson and Samuel Greene wrote that Putin’s popularity is “the only thing holding the ship together” for the Kremlin regime. That means, they went on:When position and power depend heavily on the citizens — on their reading of their social surroundings, their sense of consensus, and the breadth of their imaginations — this support can disappear almost overnight. Putin’s power will crumble when we least expect it. If Putin understands that, and I suspect he does, his persistent inability to improve his ratings must be an important factor in his thinking ahead to 2024. Should he try to stick around by some trick, or should he try to hand over power to a trusted successor, as he did with Dmitry Medvedev in 2008?The former scenario is complicated by a dearth of options. For example, the Kremlin has put pressure all year on neighboring Belarus to move toward a merger with Russia — a scheme that could install Putin as leader of the new combined entity, without the need to change the Russian constitution. But Putin’s meeting earlier this month with Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko ended without any progress. Lukashenko has successfully staved off a merger deal, which is unpopular in Belarus, despite his authoritarian regime’s economic dependence on Russia.The handover scenario, for its part, looks iffy if Putin risks becoming less popular than the successor. Earlier this year in Kyrgyzstan, the ex-president tried to grab back power from a chosen successor who’d fallen out of line, but was thwarted and imprisoned because he’d miscalculated his support. Keeping the enforcement apparatus well-funded and devising a way to cling to power after his term ends appear to be Putin’s best option if Russia is to continue down the path on which he set it — and if he, his family and friends are to live happily beyond 2024. Putin would no doubt prefer being loved for his successful economic policies, but if this year is any indication, that’s the least likely scenario of all.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Tobin Harshaw at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The long-threatened U.S. sanctions against Nord Stream 2, Russia’s $10.5 billion natural gas pipeline to Germany, will finally take effect next week, but their timing and design can only slow down the project’s now-certain completion. Even so, Ukraine, the primary injured party from the new pipeline, is grateful for small favors from Washington.The sanctions — crafted by Senators Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, and Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat — have been attached to the 2020 National Defense Appropriations Act, which already has been approved by Congress; President Donald Trump has promised to sign it. The State and Treasury Departments will have 60 days to present to Congress a list of vessels involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 and another Russian pipeline, TurkStream, and of people and firms that provided these ships. Those people and entities will have 30 days to wind down their business or they will be barred from entry to the U.S. and could have their assets frozen.The sanctions come too late to hurt TurkStream, which runs under the Black Sea to the western area of Turkey. The underwater part of the pipeline is complete and even filled with Russian natural gas. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the pipeline would be operational in early January.Nord Stream 2, a twin pipeline running under the Baltic Sea that allows Russia to avoid shipping gas overland through Ukraine, is another matter. Gazprom, the monopoly exporter of Russian pipeline gas, originally intended to complete it by the end of the year, and still had a chance to do in late October, when the Danish government gave permission to lay pipe in its waters. But inclement weather has played havoc with the construction, and earlier this week, the project’s operating company promised completion “in the coming months.” In late November, Dmitri Kozak, Russia’s deputy prime minister in charge of energy, said Nord Stream 2 would begin operation “in mid-2020.”Even with the effective 90-day grace period allowed by the U.S. sanctions, the last 168 kilometers of each of the two strings of pipe may not be laid by the time the punitive measures kick in. It’s unlikely that Allseas, the Swiss-based contractor now working on Nord Stream 2, will defy the U.S. restrictions if it’s not done in time. Then, Gazprom will need to use the only pipe-laying vessel it owns, the Academician Chersky, to finish the job — a slow and iffy scenario, even if Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Nord Stream 2 won’t be halted. Congress could have been much harsher with its sanctions, though. It could have hit Nord Stream 2’s financial investors, all major European energy companies: Engie SA, Uniper SE, OMV AG, Wintershall Dea GmbH and Royal Dutch Shell Plc. It could have sanctioned Russian debt. It could have made it impossible to import equipment for the construction of Russian pipelines and do repairs and maintenance on them. All of these measures have been considered at various times, but struck down in order to avoid a major confrontation with the European Union and an upheaval in financial markets.As things stand, the punitive measures have the appearance of a vindictive gesture, a nuisance move that won’t change what comes next. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s grand plan of supplying gas both to Europe bypassing Ukraine and to China through the just-opened Power of Siberia pipeline can no longer be scuppered. The likely Nord Stream 2 delay may even be beneficial for Russia, in a way. Competition from Middle Eastern and U.S. liquefied natural gas and warm weather have driven down the price of Russian pipeline gas in Europe. In the three months through September, the average gas price, $169.8 per 1,000 cubic meters, was 18% lower than in the preceding three months and 32% lower than a year before. The last time Gazprom faced such prices was in 2004. Increasing supplies in such a market situation would send prices tumbling even further.No matter how carefully the U.S. sanctions are crafted to spare European allies, Germany is still irritated. On Thursday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted in response to the U.S. measures that “the European energy policy will be decided in Europe, not in the U.S. We fully reject external interference and extraterritorial sanctions.” Theoretically, the European Union could even retaliate by raising duties on American LNG.But the U.S. sanctions, belated, weak and irritating to the German government as they are, still aren’t completely pointless. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office thanked U.S. Congress for them on Thursday, and while Ukraine routinely thanks Western governments for sanctioning Russia, this time there’s a specific reason for the gratitude. Ukraine and Russia are locked in a dispute over the future of Russian gas supplies through Ukraine’s pipeline system. The current contract runs out at the end of the year, and Ukraine wants a long-term agreement to replace it while Russia doesn’t want to commit itself. The possibility of a protracted delay to Nord Stream 2 strengthens the Ukrainian position because it makes Russia nervous, and time is running out for the EU-brokered negotiations if supplies of Russian gas to Europe are to continue without interruption. To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Tobin Harshaw at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Germany and Russia have hit back at the US Congress over its decision to impose sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, in the latest diplomatic escalation over the $9.5bn project. “European energy ...
WASHINGTON/VIENNA, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Underscoring U.S. lawmakers' continuing unhappiness with Russia, a Senate committee on Wednesday advanced legislation seeking to hamper Russian energy pipelines and boosting NATO but delayed voting on a measure nicknamed the "sanctions bill from hell" that would punish Moscow for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved four energy bills, including the "Energy Security Cooperation with Allied Partners in Europe Act of 2019," which opposes Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline, encourages NATO countries not to buy Russian gas and expedites U.S. natural gas exports.
The US House and Senate armed services committees have agreed on a defence bill that would force the Trump administration to sanction companies that help Gazprom, the Russian state-owned gas company, complete the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. Lawmakers on Monday evening reached agreement on the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes the measure to punish companies involved in Nord Stream 2, from Russia to Germany, and Turk Stream, a Russian pipeline that crosses the Black Sea to Turkey. The decision marks the latest attempt to punish Moscow for meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Ukraine and Russia had "unblocked" the issue of gas transit and the countries' advisers would work on the details of an agreement. Zelenskiy was speaking just after midnight local time on Tuesday morning after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin at a four-way summit of leaders in Paris. Speaking at the same news conference, Putin said gas for Ukraine would be cheaper if both sides worked together.
MOSCOW/KIEV, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Russia and Ukraine do not plan to hold face-to-face talks on Thursday about a new deal on gas supplies and transit, two sources familiar with the plans said. Ukraine's energy ministry had previously said that the two countries were expected to hold talks either in Vienna or Brussels on that day. Russia has ratcheted up the pressure on Ukraine, saying that Kiev's new proposed tariffs for Russian gas transit to Europe were too high and unacceptable.
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump is under pressure from two key senators to thwart completion of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany by sanctioning companies involved in the project.Senators Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, and New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen are pushing to put a provision that would sanction companies involved in the construction of the pipeline in a defense spending bill that is viewed as a must-pass measure before Congress leaves Washington for the year.Cruz expressed frustration with the Trump administration for not acting on its own to impose sanctions that could stop the pipeline, which is a project of Russian energy company Gazprom PJSC.“I have heard no good arguments from the administration against imposing these sanctions,” Cruz said. “It makes no sense whatsoever that we’re failing to act and act swiftly. The window is nearly closed. We have maybe 60 days until this pipeline is completed.”Cruz and Shaheen sponsored legislation, which was approved by the Foreign Relations Committee in July by a vote of 20-2, that would target vessels that lay the pipeline and sanction executives from companies linked to those vessels. It would deny visas to those individuals and block transactions related to their U.S.-based property or interests.The bill would also penalize entities that provide insurance to the project.Defense BillIt was never brought to the floor for a vote, but Senator Jim Risch, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, told Defense News that the sanctions measure had been added to the draft of the National Defense Authorization Act. The sanctions measure may fall victim to haggling between Democrats and Republicans about what should or shouldn’t be included in the defense bill.“There is bipartisan support for the bill and for putting it in there if we can deal with the other issues that are outstanding,” Shaheen said. “There are issues that are important to various people in the caucus and I don’t know what all of them are.”Cruz added that “There has been real partisan tension on passing the underlying bill.”The Nord Stream 2 project has divided the European Union, with nations led by Poland concerned about Russia’s Gazprom tightening its grip on the region if the new pipeline comes online.Cruz argued completion of the pipeline would give Russian President Vladimir Putin more leverage in the region and “generate billions of dollars for Russia that will be used to fund military aggression against America and against Europe.”“The Trump administration has clear statutory authority to stop it today,” Cruz said.Trump was non-committal when asked about sanctioning the pipeline companies as he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Wednesday during this week’s NATO summit in London.”Well, we haven’t really determined that yet,” Trump said. “I do think it’s a problem. But it’s a problem that Germany’s going to have to work out for themselves. Maybe for Germany, it won’t be a problem. I hope it’s not, actually. But we’ll be talking about that.”\--With assistance from Jordan Fabian.To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Flatley in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at email@example.com, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Russia has begun gas supplies to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline, the largest gas project in its history and a symbol of Moscow’s diplomatic pivot towards Beijing at a time of worsening relations with the west. Dubbed “the contract of the century” by Russian gas group Gazprom, the $55bn deal with China’s oil and gas major CNPC will eventually allow for 38bn cubic metres in annual gas supplies to China via the 3,000km pipeline that crosses Siberia to the Chinese border in the south-east.
(Bloomberg) -- The world’s biggest natural gas exporter and one of the globe’s top consumers of the fuel cemented their energy cooperation on Monday with the launch of Russia’s giant Power of Siberia pipeline to northern China.Gas started flowing toward China through the link, which has become a symbol of President Vladimir Putin’s pivot to the fast-growing economies of Asia as relations deteriorate with the West. The pipeline, which runs from Russia’s enormous reserves in eastern Siberia and will eventually be 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) long, will help satisfy China’s vast and expanding energy needs.“The tap is open, gas is being supplied to the gas transportation system” of China, Alexey Miller, chief executive officer of Gazprom PJSC, told Putin via videolink from the compression station near the Chinese border.Gazprom, Russia’s biggest gas producer, signed the $400 billion contract to supply as much as 38 billion cubic meters of gas annually for 30 years with China National Petroleum Corp. in 2014, after more than a decade of talks. It’s Gazprom’s biggest contract ever.“This step is bringing Russian-Chinese strategic cooperation in energy to a whole new level,” Putin said to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping via videolink. Xi called it “a milestone project for the bilateral energy cooperation.”Read: QuickTake on How Russia-China Gas Pipeline Changes Energy CalculusGazprom plans to start with deliveries of 10 million cubic meters a day and aims to reach peak capacity by 2025. Minimum exports to China via the pipeline will be 5 billion cubic meters in 2020, 10 billion in 2021 and 15 billion in 2022, according to the company.Gazprom hasn’t disclosed the price of the gas, but Putin has said it’ll be linked to oil prices, similar to the formula for European consumers. While Russia will have to compete with seaborne supplies of liquefied natural gas from producers such as Qatar and Australia, the expectation is that growth in China’s energy needs will require more pipeline and LNG capacity. That will benefit other Russian firms such as Novatek PJSC, which is developing LNG on the Yamal peninsula in the Kara Sea.Gas consumption in China, Asia’s biggest economy, has surged in recent years as the government pressures homes and factories to use it in place of coal to combat air pollution. Imports reached 43% of total gas supply in 2018, with about two-fifths of that arriving via pipeline from Central Asia and Myanmar, with the rest sourced as LNG.(Updates with Putin, Xi comments.)\--With assistance from Dan Murtaugh.To contact the reporters on this story: Olga Tanas in Moscow at firstname.lastname@example.org;Dina Khrennikova in Moscow at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: James Herron at firstname.lastname@example.org, Rakteem Katakey, Amanda JordanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Emerging market stocks edged up on Monday after declining for two straight sessions, as investors cheered an unexpected rebound in Chinese manufacturing activity, while Russia's Gazprom hit a three-week high as it began gas supplies to China. Gazprom's shares were set for their best day in more than a week, as Russian President Vladimir Putin said supplies to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline would help the two countries reach $200 billion in trade by 2024.
Russian state gas producer Gazprom posted on Friday a third-quarter net profit of 212 billion roubles ($3.32 billion), down 45% from the same period a year ago on lower export volumes and weaker gas prices in its core European market. Gazprom is set to start up its major Power of Siberia gas pipeline to China next week that aims to deliver 38 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year by 2025. Gazprom expects annual exports to Europe to be around 194-204 bcm in the next four to five years, compared with 198 bcm this year.
Germany is already the world’s third largest importer of natural gas and, with the cost of carbon in Europe increasing and key energy projects getting cancelled, it is only going to grow more important
Europe's first new gas interconnector in a decade, linking Finland and Estonia from January, will weaken Gazprom's hold on the Baltic Sea region and spark price competition, the pipeline's owners said. The pipeline, called Balticconnector, will help Finland diversify its gas supplies which are solely Russian, and can also send gas to the Baltics, whose gas comes from Russia and Lithuania's Klaipeda liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal.
Russia’s gas giant Gazprom is rushing to hire an engineering contractor to have an underwater natural gas pipeline, which has broken off the seabed in the Arctic
Russia's Gazprom said on Friday it had raised nearly $3 billion by selling a 3.6% stake, which exchange data showed was bought by a single buyer, whose identity was not disclosed by the world's largest gas producer. Gazprom raised $2.2 billion in July through a similar deal, selling 2.9% of its shares at a 5% discount. Gazprom said the latest deal involved about 3.6% of so-called quasi-treasury shares, built up in several purchases over previous years, being sold at 220.72 roubles each, implying proceeds of 187.7 billion roubles ($2.95 billion).
U.S. oil services company McDermott International said on Thursday that its participation in a huge petrochemical project in Russia, announced this week, was in full compliance with the law and did not breach international sanctions against Moscow. Royal Dutch Shell pulled out of the same Baltic Coast project in April, saying Russian gas giant Gazprom had changed its final concept for the project which initially had been designed to produce only liquefied natural gas.
If you want to know who really controls Public Joint Stock Company Gazprom (MCX:GAZP), then you'll have to look at the...
(Bloomberg) -- It’s the most nettlesome problem in the quest to ditch fossil fuels: how can you get thousand-degree heat used in factory furnaces without pumping billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere?Heat-intensive processes like steelmaking and oil refineries are the starting point for production of everything from cars to life-saving medicines. But fueling their ultra-high temperatures requires burning coal, oil and natural gas. That makes industry responsible for about 20% of the carbon dioxide produced by humans and heating processes, and a bigger emitter than all cars and aircraft combined.Under mounting pressure from protesters and climate-conscious investors, major industrial companies and governments are scrambling for a solution. They’re finding the most likely alternative may be hydrogen.“Hydrogen has a big advantage,” said Markus Krebber, the finance director of RWE AG, Germany’s largest electricity generator. “You can use it in everything that’s difficult to electrify, from long distance trucks, barges, trains, maybe planes one day. It will be needed to decarbonize the power sector 100%.”The gas is the world’s most abundant element and powered rockets and airships in the last century. It flames at 2,000 degrees Celsius (3,632 Fahrenheit) while giving off no more than water vapor as exhaust.The biggest problem with hydrogen is that it’s currently expensive to make — and most often is derived by splitting up molecules of natural gas, producing carbon dioxide in the process.But that’s changing. Some of Europe’s most important names in energy and industry are racing to develop emissions-free ways of producing hydrogen. They’re focused on using electrolysis, where an electric current passes through water, splitting off hydrogen atoms from oxygen. That technology is well known and growing cheaper by the year. When it’s driven by renewable energy, it makes what the industry calls green hydrogen.“It’s not witchcraft,” said Thomas Kolf, a professor at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. He’s the lead engineer on a project to convert green electricity into hydrogen and methane in the east German town of Falkenhagen. “The question is, how do you scale it up?”A handful of blue-chip companies are leading the race to commercialize green hydrogen. They include utilities such as Uniper SE and RWE AG, machinery maker Siemens AG and industrial gas giant Air Liquide SA.Having successfully piloted small-scale plants, they’re partnering with deep-pocketed oil majors such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc to bring production to commercial scale. Governments are starting to think about the potential for green hydrogen and how to nurture its production and distribution.The push to develop green hydrogen technology comes as Europe’s biggest industrial firms grapple with climate activists, politicians and investors demanding to know how they’ll slash emissions. A string of extreme weather events have pushed the environment to the forefront of public consciousness and is driving gains for green parties in elections.“Cutting carbon in half by 2030 and reaching net-zero carbon before 2050 will help avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change on our economy, communities and environment,” said Mindy Lubber, board member at Climate Action 100+, which speaks for investors managing more than $35 trillion of assets. They want companies to act “more quickly” or risk being excluded from funds.With measures such as improving insulation and training staff to curb energy use mostly exhausted, industrial firms are now looking at hydrogen to open up a deeper level of decarbonization. Steelmaker Thyssenkrupp AG in November started testing hydrogen in its Duisburg steel mill.Europe’s energy industry is anticipating quick growth in the market for emission-free sources of the gas if only because consumers and governments are looking more closely at the issue. That’s pushing automakers, appliance manufacturers and others to seek emission-free sources of steel.Even the world’s top natural gas exporter thinks a piece of the market will embrace hydrogen. Gazprom PJSC, the Russian company that supplies much of Europe’s gas, is trialing hydrogen at the Siberian town of Tomsk. Researchers are refining a process that heats the methane found abundantly under the frozen Siberian tundra into solid carbon and hydrogen gas. The carbon could go into chemical production and the gas used as an emissions-free fuel for heavy industry.Gazprom’s embrace of hydrogen as a growing alternative to natural gas comes alongside President Vladimir Putin’s about-turn on climate policy. The president, who once joked that snow-covered Russia could use higher temperatures, this September signed the world’s fourth-largest greenhouse gas emitter to the Paris Agreement on climate change, citing more frequent freak weather events.Gazprom’s engineers are also investigating whether they can insert hydrogen gas into natural gas pipeline networks.“We think it will be a very good solution which will decrease emissions,” said Elena Burmistrova, the chief executive officer at Gazprom’s export arm.In the woodlands skirting Falkenhagen, Uniper has successfully generated hydrogen from electrolysis powered by a wind turbine.The gas could be transported to industrial companies or used to store energy generated by wind turbines, according to Axel Wietfield, head of storage at the utility. The project has caught the eye of oil major BP Plc. Both companies are working on a larger project that would provide 100 megawatts of energy, the size of a small power plant.While the companies are all confident the project will work, question marks remain over whether hydrogen can ever be profitable.“The problems with hydrogen are more economic than technical,” Wietfield said.Those economic hurdles are daunting. Green hydrogen costs between $2.50 to $6.80 a kilogram to make due to the relatively high costs of renewable-powered electrolysis, according to analysis from BloombergNEF. Those costs would need to fall below $2 dollars in order to make renewable hydrogen competitive with coal, and to around 60 cents to beat the cheapest natural gas-based production, according to BNEF.But those production costs are expected to tumble as electrolysis technology becomes more efficient and production is scaled up. Moves by European governments to increase the cost of carbon dioxide emissions could further tilt the economics of the market in favor of hydrogen.European companies increasingly expect such fillips to come soon. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s climate cabinet said in September green hydrogen would play a central role in “rebuilding” Germany’s industrial base as it moves to zero emissions by 2050.There’s other hurdles. Manufacturing huge amounts of green hydrogen may strain electricity grids overwhelmed by the revolution in electric cars. It may be that production is concentrated in southern Europe, where the gas can be made most cheaply with abundant solar power.But for now, hydrogen is offering the most plausible solution to one of the most intricate problems for the transition away from fossil fuels. Concerns about climate change will continue to rise, but so will demand for metals, building materials and chemically-derived medicines, all of which start with a powerful source of heat.“If I have to make a bet for the future, hydrogen is definitely one of those,” said Fatih Birol, executive director at International Energy Agency, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.Further Reading:Germany Plans Incentives to Boost Hydrogen in Energy MixGreen Steel Needs a Huge New Source of ElectricityTo contact the authors of this story: William Wilkes in Frankfurt at email@example.comVanessa Dezem in Frankfurt at firstname.lastname@example.orgAnna Shiryaevskaya in London at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at firstname.lastname@example.org, Andrew ReiersonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.