A pipeline the US champions to deliver gas to Europe from a non-Russian source makes no economic sense for Europeans. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
The headlines are ablaze this month with news from all over about new pipeline projects coming into Europe. Never one to miss an opportunity to do the U.S. State Department’s bidding in how it presents pipeline politics, Oilprice.com published a howler of a piece about the Southern Gas Corridor.
Titled, “Is This the World’s Most Critical Pipeline?” the piece is pure marketing fluff designed to make you think that Azerbaijani gas will change the face of European gas politics.
The beginning is the most telling, “Europe wants to become less dependent on Russian gas and use more clean energy…” This is a lie.
Europe doesn’t want this as a continent, the leaders of the European Union who are aligned with the United States who view Russia as the enemy want to become less dependent on Russian gas.
Most of Europe wants Russia to supply them with natural gas because it is 1) cheap and 2) plentiful. For geopolitical reasons the U.S. doesn’t want an ascendant Russia. The EU technocracy agrees because a strong Russia owning more than 40% of European gas sales is a Russia that can’t be destabilized through currency and proxy wars.
Southern Gas Boondoggle
The Southern Gas Corridor is a nearly 4000km (2500 mile) gas pipeline project to bring Caspian Sea natural gas into southern Europe. It is slated, when completed with all the side projects tying into it, between 60 and 120 billion cubic meters of gas annually (bcma) starting with an unknown amount from Azerbaijan in 2019.
That number comes from an announcement in the Financial Times circa 2008. A better number for it is closer to just 16 bcma.
It’s estimated cost at the time of negotiation was over $41 billion. Today, it’s $45 billion with corruption and graft likely to take that number higher. This is the very definition of a solution in search of a problem. It is nothing more than a $45 billion bribe to both the U.S.-favorable regime in Azerbaijan and BP who is sitting on the major Shah Deniz gas deposit with out a market to sell it to.
The U.S has been using EU countries hostile to Russia, namely the Baltics and Poland, to delay or scuttle new Russian gas projects into Europe; projects that countries like Italy, Greece and Bulgaria are screaming for.
To continue reading: Pipeline Wars: Realpolitik meets Geography