Gazprom pipelines and export capacity

Газопроводы Газпрома и экспортные мощности

Gas pipelines of West Siberia

Газопроводы Западной Сибири

Export flows of Gazprom

Экспортные потоки

Spot, Gazprom, Brent

Цены на нефть и газ

End-use price of gas

Russia and USA

Daily gas production

Суточная добыча

Brief history of Soviet and Russian gas pipeline policy

Democratic Russia brings the Cold War fears of Western Europe into reality.

  • West European states were always afraid that increased gas imports from the USSR would make them dangerously open to Soviet political blackmail.

    • To reduce the risk, West European states introduced a 30% limit to the share of Soviet supplies in the total gas balance.

  • These fears never came true. Even in the worst periods of Cold War, the USSR did not use the leverage of gas pipelines in its political interests.

    • When Poland was leaving the Warsaw Pact, the subsidized price of gas and the gas flow stayed intact.

    • When Lithuania tried to step out of the Soviet Union, the price of gas and the flow also stayed intact.

  • There was a pipeline route conflict of a smaller scale when the first line from Urengoy to Germany was built in the early 1980s.

    • West Germany did not want the pipeline to run through East Germany.

    • To avoid East Germany controlling the tap, the pipeline had to take a much longer route via Ukraine and Czechoslovakia.

    • Without this concern, Belorussia and Poland would have been the major transit countries for Russian gas exports to Western Europe.

    • Interestingly, KGB agent Vladimir Putin was assigned to Stasi station Dresden in 1985, shortly after the Urengoy-Uzhgorod-Germany pipeline was commissioned.

  • From the years of Cold War through the political and economic turmoil of the 1990s, the USSR Gas Ministry, now Gazprom, was a very reliable supplier of gas to Europe.

  • Now democratic Russia is using Gazprom and gas pipelines to influence the coming election in Ukraine.

    • This move will increase the operating costs of Gazprom.

    • This move will also potentially destabilize the situation in Ukraine, which in turn can destabilize the gas flow to Europe.

    • A comparison of price offers - $220/mcm for Ukraine and $110-120 for Estonia, Latvia and Georgia - shows the political nature of Ukrainian transit problem.

  • From now on Europe knows that any country is at risk to be punished.

    • Comparing the USSR of early 1980s, Russia of the 1990s and Russia today, it is unclear whether the Gas Pipeline Force is a substitute of weak Air Force and Strategic Nuclear Command, or not.

Last modified: 12/07/14                    East European Gas Analysis 2006-2014                                           Email:
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