"The secret of success is to know something nobody else knows"

Aristotle Onassis

Meeting: February 23, 2017: "The price competitiveness of Russian gas supply corridors to Europe: the Ukrainian Route Vs the Nord Streams"

This interactive discussion of the Brussels Energy Club featured:

 

"The price competitiveness of Russian gas supply corridors to Europe: the Ukrainian Route Vs the Nord Streams"

 

And took place on Thursday 23 February 2017, 3.30-7pm @ TUSIAD Avenue des Gaulois, 13, Brussels 1040

 

With special guest speaker:

Dr. Konstantin SimonovDr Konstantin Simonov 

Director and Founder of the Russian National Energy Security Foundation, Moscow  

 

 

Background:

In many a meeting of the Brussels Energy Club, we have discussed and debated as to what might be a "fair price for gas", While views on this subject will continue to differ, many of us would agree with the notion of letting the "market decide" is a reasonable compromise direction. However, in the gas business, the idea of bringing buyer and seller together does not always constitute what Adam Smith may have construed to be the "perfect market". To the contrary, in the wider-European gas markets, ministers often tend to take a more prominent role than managers.

The perception of overarching policy objectives casting their shadow over market forces tends to be high. This applies in particular to some of the big, Russia-driven infrastructure projects, such as Gazprom"s major gas supply pipelines to Europe. Very few of these projects tend to receive the "red carpet" treatment in Brussels, however. Indeed, many an energy punter in Brussels questions the commercial viability of such projects while our friends across the Atlantic attack them as outright political tentacles of the Kremlin.

All of that said, there is one fundamental question to be asked about the Nord Stream pipeline projects, particularly the expansion project Nord Stream II: is this a more cost efficient way of bringing Russian gas to the EU than via the long established Ukrainian corridor? While this is the type of question that might raise some eyebrows, it remains a discussion that needs to be had — ideally in a sober and rational manner.

 And it is for this very reason that we invited Konstantin Simonov, author of the recent paper: Nord Steam II Vs Ukraine: Let the Costs Decide, to Brussels to lead the discussion. At this BREC meeting on February 23 we 'debated it out' in order to grasp which route is the real winner when it comes to the price of gas deliveries to Europe: Ukraine's long established energy corridor or Russia's Nord Streams. 

 

Program February 23, 2017: 15.30 — 19.00:

  • Arrival of members and guests leading into welcome cocktail   
  • Setting out the debate by Dr Marat Terterov, Executive Director, Brussels Energy Club,
  • Presentation by Dr Konstantin Simonov, Executive Director, Russian National Energy Security Foundation, starting at 16.00
  • Roundtable discussion with meeting participants (NB: the Chatham House Rule will apply).
  • Networking reception with buffet will follow the main discussions

 

Speaker information

Konstantin Simonov is a leading Russian "new generation" political scientist and public expert on energy. He holds a PhD in political science from Moscow State University (MSU) and an MA from Manchester University. Currently holding the title of Associate Professor at MSU, he has been engaged in academic research in the fields of political and economic studies for over 15 years. Simonov has founded several research initiatives in the sphere of international relations, the latest being the Russian National Energy Security Foundation, established in 2006. He is presently the Director General of the Foundation. His work focuses on Russian domestic politics, above-ground risk for the Russian energy sector, as well as elite politics inside Russia. Simonov has authored countless works published in the Russian and international media, including his regular editorials which appear in the leading Russian business-daily, Vedemosti. Simonov is a prolific participant in international oil and gas conference circuit meetings, whilst his presence as a frank and hard hitting energy commentator is felt both inside Russia and well beyond the country's borders.

 

Further information

Participation in the interactive discussion at TUSIAD venue free of charge for members and guests of the Brussels Energy Club. For more information please contact Ben McPherson on research@brusselsenergyclub.org

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