The interview is self-explanatory. I think it is of utmost necessity for Iraq to capture the huge amounts of associate natural gas, a byproduct of oil extraction, which it now flares off, and instead use this gas to displace the huge amounts of Iranian gas it imports. Not only is Iran an obviously dangerous, autocratic regime, which threatens Iraqi sovereignty, it itself has gas shortages every winter.
Iraq currently has a very rational plan it has repeatedly contracted with Baker-Hughes oil-and-gas service company to carry out. If it ever actually carries out this plan (it was announced in 2018, again in 2020 and then December 2022), it should, in my view, first use this gas domestically to displace Iranian imports. Once it gets beyond this serious energy security issue, it will clearly be able to build a large-scale natural gas export business.
We analyzed what Putin aims to achieve, and why President Erdogan of Turkey has so rapidly accepted this proposal. This is obviously, I said, a scheme by Putin to try to save his natural gas business to Europe.
My thanks to Jasmina Kos (Al Jazeera, Balkans) for moderating our panel, and to my friend and colleague Prof. Alan Riley, who joined us via video link from Brussels.
Also my thanks to the 12th Annual 2BS Forum, especially Azra Karastanovi, executive director of the Atlantic Council of Montenegro for the invitation. The Forum was an informative and especially sober event (i.e., more on how the state-crisis of Montenegro’s politically split ruling coalition played out even during the conference sessions in another post, soon.)
As for our panel, we discussed in some detail the reasons for Putin’s energy war against Europe, the likely reasons Russia would sabotage the Nord Stream pipelines, the status of the European struggle to replace Russian gas with other sources – and how bad might the crisis be during this and the next few winters, the question of the role of renewables, the role of conservation of gas and electricity use, and the potential for new-build nuclear power in Europe. Comments, corrections and critiques are most welcomed.
1. I’m invited to speak at the “12th 2BS Forum, one of the leading politico-security conferences in Southeast Europe, organized by the Atlantic Council of Montenegro.” So I’ll be in Budva from 6-9 October. Ukrainian President Zelensky will deliver a keynote video speech from Kyiv. My Panel is 8 August 2022, 14.45 – 15.15:
The Climate-Energy Security Nexus, with speakers:
Thomas W. O’DONNELL, Energy & Geopolitical Expert
Alan RILEY, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Professor, City Law School, Global Energy Center, Atlantic Council ONLINE SPEAKER TBC
Moderator: Jasmina KOS, Presenter and Reporter, Al Jazeera Balkans
2. I’m also invited to speak at
The 9th Annual Gulf & Arabian Peninsula Studies Forum, for which I will be in Doha, Qatar from 21-24 October. The conference title is: “Implications of the Ukraine crisis and regional and international competition for the future of security and energy in the Gulf region.”
The My topic will be the transformation of the German (and EU) relationship with the GCC states in energy and security matters since the Russian aggression against Ukraine and the parallel Kremlin energy war against Europe.
I plan to post on the content of these conferences and my contributions, and to try to post more of my media interviews – when they may be of use.
I told Al Jazeera that Finland is well prepared, having worked since 2017 with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – the Baltic states – and with Poland to connect them all together with new pipelines, also to access LNG, storage and soon, new supplies from Norway.
Finland has also rented a regasification ship, from a US firm, to receive 5 billion cubic meters per year of LNG, whch will be plenty to supply both itself and Estonia in the wake of Putin cutting off Gazprom supplies of natural gas. Finland refuses, as did Poland too, to pay Moscow in rubles and so are being punished by Putin.