by Jerome a Paris
Tue Apr 25th, 2006 at 04:24:20 AM EST
The Financial Times goes for stupid - and false - scaremongering on its front page. It is shameful.
Transneft warns of cut in Europe’s gas supplies
Russia’s oil pipeline monopoly said on Monday that deliveries to Europe would be cut and prices for Russian crude would rise once the country built a planned pipeline to Asia, in another indication of mounting global competition for energy resources.
pipeline monopoly makes a comment about oil
pipelines. How does that become a threat to Europe's gas
supplies, a business in which it is NOT involved?
That's blatant disregard of the facts, ignorance, or wilful scaremongering. Following in the footsteps of the press campaign against Gazprom, which from all available information, originates with the Blair government, desperately looking for an external scapegoat for its failing energy policy and the accompanying gas shortages in the UK, this is highly suspicious.
But this is based on manifest error, and the FT only hurts its credibility by printing such trip - and on its front page no less.
The comments from Semyon Vainshtok, chief executive of Transneft, came days after Gazprom, Russia’s gas giant, warned it might shift its focus to fast-growing markets such as China if its ambitions to expand in Europe were blocked.
Mr Vainshtok said in an interview with Russia’s Nezavisimaya Gazeta that building a pipeline to China would reduce the discount of about $5-a-barrel that Russia’s Urals blend crude sells at to West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude.
“We have oversupplied Europe with oil. And every economics manual says when there is excess supply the price falls,” he said. “But we can’t reduce supplies – all our exports are directed to Europe. As soon as we turn towards China, South Korea, Australia, Japan, that will take away part of our oil from our European colleagues.”
Mr Vainshtok and other oil executives have made similar statements before and the discount for Urals blend is a bugbear of Russia’s oil industry.
But his comments take on new resonance after Gazprom warned that blocking its plans in Europe would “not lead to good results”, and noted it was “actively developing” markets such as China and North America.