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

Aristotle Onassis

Meeting: December 5, 2019: The Great Gas Game — what has and hasn't changed since 1968

This interactive discussion of the Brussels Energy Club addressed the topic of: 

"The Great Gas Game — what has and hasn't changed since 1968" 


And took place on Thursday, 5 December 2019, 4-7.00pm @ TÜSİAD,  Avenue des Gaulois, 13, Brussels 1040


With special guest discussion openers:

Konstantin Simonov

Konstantin Simonov

Founder and Director General of the National Energy Security Fund   

First VP and Professor at the Financial University


Alexey Grivach

Alexey Grivach

Deputy Director General of the National Energy Security Fund    





As 2019 draws to a close, another contract on the gas transit through Ukraine will expire at the end of this year. The "great gas crisis" of January 2009 triggered different developments in the gas sector within the EU, Russia and Ukraine respectively. Today's European gas market is not the market that was ten years ago and we have witnessed some exciting, occasionally turbulent times that we consider unique. That said, the history of relations between EU and Russia in gas sector is much longer than ten years ago and in in fact goes back to 1968 when the first gas was supplied from the Soviet Union to Europe.  The Russian gas experts, Konstantin Simonov and Alexey Grivach have just published a book The Great Gas Game which provides a thrilling account overviewing of the history of these relations.

Simonov and Grivach ask many poignant questions in this new work on the EU-Russia gas sector: How did the Urengoy — Uzhgorod gas pipeline running through Ukraine come into existence? What was the very first route through which Soviet gas was intended to reach Europe? Which OMV director had the nick name Mr. Compression Station? How many pages did the first contract on gas supplies to Europe contain? How did the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia impact the first gas supplies to Europe? When was the system of long term gas contracts based on oil-indexed prices initially established? The authors travelled widely in Europe and Russia to dig through archives and talk to the pioneers of these projects and find answers to these and many other questions. Konstantin Simonov and Alexey Grivach shared with us the most vital findings of their work on the five-decade long history of EU-Russia gas relations during this BREC meeting on 5 December.


Program, 5 December 2019: 16:00 — 19:30 hours

  • Doors open from 16:00 leading into arrival of invited guests
  • Setting out the debate by the Brussels Energy Club at 16:30
  • Presentations by Konstantin Simonov and Alexey Grivach: Everything you ever wanted to know about the history of the EU-Russia relations in gas sector and more.
  • Roundtable discussion with members and guests of the Brussels Energy Club (NB: the Chatham House Rule will apply).
  • Event ends with our traditional networking reception


Speaker information

Dr Konstantin Simonov graduated from the Political Science Department at the School of Philosophy and from the School of Economics at the Lomonosov Moscow State University. He holds an MSc from the Manchester University and a PhD from his alma mater. Dr Simonov has been involved in political and economic studies for 25 years at different research centres. Between 2000 and 2014 he was an associate professor at the School of Philosophy at the Lomonosov University. In 2012 Simonov became a Head of the Department of the Applied Political Science at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation. Since 2014 he has been the First VP of the University in charge of its external relations. In 2006 he founded the National Energy Security Fund in Moscow. Dr Simonov is the author of the several books in Russian dedicated to oil and gas sector, including "The Russian Oil: the latest reshuffle" (2005), 'The Energy Super Power' (2006), 'The Global Energy War' (2007), 'Oil and Gas as a Variable in the World Geopolitics' (2011).  

Alexey Grivach is a graduate of the Department of Political Science, School of Philosophy, Lomonosov Moscow State University. Grivach has been involved in business journalism since 2000: first, in the Strana.ru online project and later in the Vremya Novostey (News Time) daily newspaper, specializing in gas sector and problems of energy policy. In 2011 and 2012, Grivach was deputy head of the Business and Finance Department of the Moskovskie Novosti (Moscow News) daily newspaper. On multiple occasions, he has been named the best journalist covering the gas industry. Since 2012, Grivach has been Deputy Director General for New Consulting Projects in the Gas Sector of the National Energy Security Fund.


Further information

For more information, please contact Ben McPherson on


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