Thursday, January 19, 2006

Can Russia Deliver?

Now the spell of very cold whether is injecting a new dimension in the discussion on the energy security of Europe.

Suddenly customers in Central Europe is seeing their gas deliveries from Russia reduced by 20 percent as the network is under heavy strain by increased demand.

And for some countries it might be even worse. Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia could be much worse affected, and they have hardly any gas storage facilities to handle the situation.

Sarajevo can be a very cold place during the winter. It's heating is dependent on the pipelines coming from Russia.

The situation now underlines the enormous need for Russia to invest in new production if it should have any possibility of actually meeting all the commitments it is now entering into.

It's one thing to build pipelines - it's another thing to fill them with gas from very remote and difficult locations.

And with a Kremlin policy that seems more interested in playing politics and creating personal wealth for key individuals, the room for bringing in needed massive foreign investment will remain limited.

All the more reason to think hard and long about the future energy security of Europe.

Russian Gas Cut to Europe Again