Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pick Points

Russia suggests payments other than money to Ukraine
"We are looking for ways to [avoid a supply cut], including prepayment for transit," Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov told Echo Moskvy radio station. "I hope we will be able to [negotiate a settlement] in the remaining days."

Ukraine previously declined to accept the proposal. Russia currently pays Ukraine $1.70 to transit 1,000 cubic meters for 100 kilometers.

Kupriyanov said another option for Ukraine to pay its debt would be to hand back gas it had stockpiled in underground gas storages to help it survive the winter in the event Gazprom turns off the gas taps.

Ukraine's state firm Naftogaz says it has 17 billion cubic meters in storage, 22 percent of Ukraine's annual consumption

Apparently the price of the gas will also rise above the current $179.50 per 1,000 cubic meters that Ukraine is currently paying.
Gasprom warns European customers
Russian energy giant Gazprom warned European clients yesterday that its gas conflict with Ukraine, conduit for European-bound gas from Russia, could affect deliveries to Europe. 
The warning came in a letter from Gazprom chief Alexei Miller to the company's European clients. 
"Gazprom is doing everything possible to avoid any disruption of gas deliveries to Europe," said Miller in the letter cited by Interfax news agency. 
"However, if events develop along an unfavourable scenario, the problem of Ukrainian transit will be a common problem for Russia and Europe," Miller said.

While there is this threat to gas supplies, supplied by conventional means, Russia is working on alternatives.

Russia prepares for LNG
Gazprom will start loading Russia's first cargo of liquefied natural gas in two months, as it seeks to supply consumers beyond the reach of the pipeline network. LNG is gas that has been cooled to a liquid to allow transportation by tanker.

Loading will begin Feb. 19 at Gazprom's Sakhalin-2 project north of Japan, Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said Dec. 19. The process will take several weeks, he said.

Meanwhile the steps to stabilize oil prices continue.

UAE promises oil supply reductions of 10-15%
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, the main producer in the UAE, said it would cut supplies, which will be delivered in February, from some of its major fields by between 10 and 15 per cent, higher than had been expected.
Demand and supply are still trying to find that common blalance point from which prices can stabilize.

There is apparently some problem with the moose population in Minnesota.

Moose numbers drop rapidly
Officially, the moose is not endangered in the United States. But it is in danger of disappearing from the Midwest, which is the far southern fringe of its range. Roughly 7,700 moose reside in Minnesota, nearly all in the northeast section of the state. That's a drop of almost 50 percent in the last 20 years

The headline however focuses on the North woods and states that the population has dropped from around 4,000 to several hundred over the past 20 years.

The cold weather is giving problems, not just in Canada and the lower 48.

Alaska faces cold spell
The last time Fairbanks had a cold snap in which the low temperature hit 40 below or colder for 10 days in a row was in January 1989, one of the coldest winters on record at the National Weather Service, Fischer said. That cold snap lasted 14 days.
"Some of the worst cold waves on record have gone on for three weeks," Fischer noted. "This could turn into one of those."
And up there when they say cold they mean it.

I am not sure how many power outages the President-elect has seen, but I doubt he was expecting one in Hawaii.

Massive power failure in Oahu
More than two-thirds of Oahu had power restored as of noon today, 18 hours after a blackout left the entire island without electricity, forced the Honolulu airport to cancel flights, closed shopping malls and left motorists crawling through streets with no lights.
Apparently the President-elect was offered back-up generators, but chose instead to go to bed.

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