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Europe - Nov 14

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EU unveils plan to weaken Russian grip on gas supply

Ian Traynor, The Guardian
Europe yesterday stepped up attempts to reduce its exposure to potential Russian blackmail over energy supplies, unveiling an ambitious strategy aimed at weakening Russian giant Gazprom's domination of Europe's gas imports.

On the eve of the Russia-EU summit today in France, the energy package released by the European commission highlighted Europe's dependence on Russian exports and sought to devise strategies to wean Europe off the addiction.

Of six energy projects pinpointed for development, commission officials said the two "absolute" priorities were to connect the three post-Soviet Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia to European power grids and to forge ahead with the so-called "southern gas corridor", which is supposed to transport gas from the Caspian basin to Europe while, for political reasons, bypassing the world's two biggest gas producers, Russia and Iran. Both projects are aimed at loosening Russia's grip.

By next year Brussels also aims to have set up a consortium of European companies to buy gas from the Caspian basin, to be shipped to Europe in a new pipeline from Azerbaijan, via Turkey and the Balkans, to Austria from 2013. Gazprom currently controls all the pipelines sending gas to Europe from the east...
(14 November 2008)



EU Considers Energy Options as Winter Looms

Deutsche Welle
As Moscow threatened to scrap plans for a gas pipeline connecting Russia to Germany, the EU unveiled proposals to increase energy security and cut back its dependance on Russian energy supplies.

The European Commission looked Thursday, Nov. 13, at ways to strengthen crisis mechanisms and boost oil and gas stocks to respond to any disruption in supply.

The 27 EU countries import natural gas from Algeria and Norway but rely on Russia for around 30 percent of their needs, with the Baltic states even more dependent on their giant neighbor...
(13 November 2008)



Fossil fuels central to EU's long-term energy security vision

EurActiv
The European Commission's Second Strategic Energy Review warns that net imports of fossil fuels will remain constant until 2020 despite EU efforts to move towards a 'low carbon' economy. Gas supply security takes centre stage in the review.

"Net imports of fossil fuels are expected to stay at roughly today's levels in 2020 even when EU's climate and energy policies are fully implemented," the Commission says in a new 'action plan' on energy security and solidarity, released yesterday (13 November) in Brussels.

The action plan, which is the 'chapeau' document for a massive package of over 45 related communications, contains a myriad of measures, data and recommendations distilled into a five-point plan that charts the policy priorities for the next Commission, due to take office in September 2009...
(14 November 2008)

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