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Confidence in Russian deliveries of energy
Heading Out, The Oil Drum
While polling and results are being debated elsewhere, let me instead turn back to Russia, and try the possibly less accurate entrail-reading on what the signs portend for their production of oil and gas in the near term.
…I post much of this information more to illustrate the way the current situation is developing, rather than to draw any clear conclusions at this time. I suspect that we will be able to see the situation a little more clearly, with the longer term implications, as the winter draws its influence into the picture.
(8 Nov 2006)
Winter Energy Crunch Looming
Simon Shuster and Miriam Elder, Moscow News
Built on Lenin’s order in 1920, the Shatura station survives — like the rest of the electricity sector — on aging turbines that suffer from a severe lack of investment. And, like most of the country’s power stations, Shatura runs on gas — a precious commodity that state-run Gazprom is increasingly supplying abroad even as customers at home again face the threat of shortfalls this winter.
“One can compare the state of our generators last winter to a car driving for two months at full speed,” Kitashev said. High demand and low gas supplies prompted the Shatura station, which provides 10 percent of Moscow’s power, to reach for alternative sources of fuel to create electricity.
“We switched to peat, coal — whatever we had, we burned, just to keep the station running,” said Elmira Bobryakova, a spokeswoman for OGK-4, a subsidiary of Unified Energy Systems, or UES.
Last winter, shortages struck three regions, including Moscow, and 1,945 Moscow enterprises were warned that they might be cut off. Electricity limits were eventually imposed on 604 of them.
This winter, 16 regions, including Moscow, are likely to face shortages, and 2,632 Moscow enterprises have been warned about cuts once the temperature drops to minus 15 degrees Celsius, said Sergei Kozlovsky, a spokesman for Mosenergo, Moscow’s electricity provider.
With the world’s largest gas reserves by far, Russia should be the last country to suffer from what may become regular shortages at home. Yet vast inefficiencies at Gazprom and UES — as well as government reluctance to implement much-needed reforms — mean the country is once again facing the chilling prospect of power cuts this winter. Demand for electricity has jumped by nearly 5 percent this year already.
(9 Nov 2006)