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Monday, 19 October 19:32 (GMT -05:00)



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China Doesn’t Need Russian Gas and Pipelines


Don’t you remember how a couple of years ago Gazprom cut natural gas supplies to Ukraine a number of times. By the way, Ukraine alone used to buy 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas back then. Now Ukraine buys no natural gas form Russia at all. Apparently, Moscow keeps on looking for other outlets. There has been a lot of buzz about China as a new big outlet for Russian natural gas and crude oil. It turns out that two new pipelines should have transferred to China some 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas every year. Yet, this was the maximum amount, and it couldn’t clearly make up for the export of natural gas to Ukraine.

 

 

 

 
Here is another surprise. Most likely, China is going to refuse the extra import of Russian natural gas. If that’s the case, those pipelines will become idle and useless.
 
Gazprom’s Wishful Thinking
 
According to mass media, the gas talks between Russia and China have come to a deadlock. In particular, China decided to take a timeout in order to better estimate the future consumption of natural gas in the country. Indeed, the Chinese economy consumes a whole lot of natural gas. However, there are many alternatives to Russian natural gas, so china isn’t short of offers. This means that China isn’t clearly going to buy excessive amount of gas and wants to buy it as cheap as possible.
 
And apparently, China is not another Ukraine to let Russia dictate the rules in the bilateral trade relations. That’s why some plans are crashing. At this point, Russia has already lost the entire Ukrainian market and most European markets as well. That is why Russian propaganda has been focused on advocating the idea that China can become a huge outlet for Russia’s export of crude oil and natural gas, easily making up for Ukrainian and EU outlets.
 
The first pipeline is designed to transfer 30 billion cubic feet of natural gas to China, and the second one is intended for 8 billion cubic feet of natural gas. However, now even the fate of the entire deal is questioned. Now that China has started questioning the necessity of extra supplies of Russian natural gas, Russia has now figured out that they are not the only one who can go back on their promises.
 
Russia has invested tons of money in the pipelines. However, chances are some of them are going to end up being a waste of money. The Chinese have their own plans and they will never let anyone forget who is the one paying. Today China consumes 206 billion cubic feet of natural gas a year. By 2020, the consumption is expected to grow all the way up to 260 cubic feet. However, it would be not too smart for Gazprom to think that Russia is going to be the only one covering the increasing demand in China. However, Gazprom dare think so and decided to implement a big-scale project ­– $400 billion. This could have been a really good investment but for China’s true plans making it a really risky game. The thing is, China produces a certain amount of gas to cover a certain part of the local needs. Yet, the local production seems to be booming.
 

 

On top of that, China decided to catch at the chance offered by the USA – liquefied natural gas and shale gas. Also they are buying cheap gas in Turkmenistan. China is investing in the natural gas industry. While Russian projects are not ready yet, if the Chinese decide to cut down on their investments and go back on some of their gas deals, the Russian projects are probably going to end up being a scapegoat. That’s what Gazprom is in a hurry trying to build those pipelines as fast as possible.

 

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