Energy Policy

Russia-Switzerland treaty to crack down on tax evaders

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  On 21 September, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said his country is planning a financial information exchange treaty with Switzerland to help track down tax evaders.  The agreement, to be signed in coming days, will...

Nabucco vs. South Stream: Race to the finish

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Advancements in two competing gas pipeline projects, Nabucco and South Stream, have recently been announced. Due to the timing of the announcements, some questions arose concerning both projects which needed an immediate response:  Which...

OMV to shed refinery and focus on gas

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On 21 September, Austrian energy group OMV announced that it would reduce its refinery and marketing business and focus on gas in the future. At a corporate event in Istanbul, the company said it...

Russia and two Koreas renew pipeline talks

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Seoul announced on 20 September that it would consider all possible risks as it prepares for more talks on a huge project to pipe Russian natural gas to South Korea via North Korea. "We...

Russia paints ‘No Trespassing’ sign in the Arctic

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As global warming intensifies the race to lay claim to the Arctic and its massive oil and gas reserves, Russia vowed to increase its military presence in the region, telling NATO to stay out. "Our...

Nabucco or South Stream: Who’s faster? [VIDEO]

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Advancements in two competing gas pipeline projects, Nabucco and South Stream, have recently been announced.  Due to the timing of the announcements, some questions arose concerning both projects which needed an immediate response:  Which will...

Commissioner Piebalgs appointed to UN High Level Group

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Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, was appointed as a member of the UN High Level Group on Sustainable Energy for All on 20 September - Piebalgs will join business and government leaders, as well as...

EU to pass legislation on wholesale energy-trading abuse

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 The EU passed legislation on 14 September which aims to prevent energy-trading abuse - the bill, which is called the Regulation on Energy Market Integrity and Transparency(REMIT), was widely approved in the European Parliament,...

EU to begin negotiations on Trans-Caspian Pipeline

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 The EU has adopted a mandate to negotiate a treaty with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to build a Trans-Caspian Pipeline System. This would be the first EU-proposed treaty in support of an infrastructure project and...

Öttinger calls for EU countries to speak with one voice

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On 7 September, Energy Commissioner Günther Öttinger unveiled a proposal, calling for transparency in the interest of EU member states and European energy users. The Commission adopted the communiqué 'The EU Energy Policy: Engaging...

Cyprus drilling stirs up tensions

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   Exploratory drilling in Cyprus’ southeast waters combined with Turkey’s objections and Ankara’s feud with Israel could see tensions rise to new heights. The Cypriot government awarded Noble Energy the rights to drill in Block...

EU to dodge gas crisis

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  An increasingly heated gas-price dispute that has ended a thaw in relations between Kiev and Moscow will not lead to a repeat of the previous gas crisis that affected the transit of natural gas...

NE ASKS: Is democracy a criterion for EU energy trade?

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New Europe asks Energy Commissioner Oettinger:  Will democracy be one of the major criteria for Europe's energy trade in the future? Günther Oettinger, responding to Anna Vvedenskaia on 7 September in Brussels said: "If our...

‘Speak with one voice’

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On 7 September, Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger called for "a coherent approach in energy relations with third countries" so that member states can "act together and speak with one voice". According to this communication, which was...

Securing energy interests abroad

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Energy is a key aspect of European life - the EU imports 80% of its oil and more than 60% of the gas it consumes, and many will remember 2008-2009, when Russia cut the...

Trans-Korean Pipeline Project is diplomacy not a business tool

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Russia’s president Dmitry Medvedev held, on 24 August, talks with the Kim Jong Il, the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Kim Jong II. The six-nation nuclear talks and energy were the...

Poland shale gas production to boost EU energy market

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Shale gas production in Poland will, in a decade, transform the European Union energy market by boosting energy security and lowering gas prices, a report from the Krakow-based Kosciuszko Institute released on 1 September...

Nord Stream gas to flow from Russia to EU in October

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Engineers working on the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline have completed the so-called Golden Weld, the first line stretching across the Baltic Sea from Vyborg, Russia, to Greifswald, Germany, and gas is expected to...