MindBullets 20 Years

No one wants our gas!

It’s the end of the (pipe)line for Gazprom

It’s amazing how fast things can change, and power can shift, in this exponentially accelerating world. Just eight short years ago, Russia’s Gazprom had Europe over a barrel, dictating prices and using their ability to restrict supply to support their president’s political posturing.

Russia was accused of deliberately withholding gas supplies to Europe in 2022, despite record-high natural gas production. Though Gazprom denied this, analysts suspected that tensions over Ukraine were the underlying factor, while the pipeline route via Ukraine to Europe was a strategic resource that could be controlled by Kiev.

The EU was caught in a quandary; how to go green, but not run out of energy, and not be at the mercy of potential enemies. While France opted for more nuclear power, Germany was in the process of closing their nuclear plants, permanently.

Besides importing gas from other countries like Qatar (not green), longer term solutions were required. And then there was a breakthrough in hydrogen production. Korean scientists developed a cheap, robust material for high-speed electrolysis – releasing hydrogen from water. What’s more, using solar and wind power to do the job made it totally green.

Following Russia’s pseudo invasion of Ukraine using cyber attacks and support for Donetsk rebels, Gazprom was forced to turn to its other big customer, China, who was ramping up gas consumption while shedding coal plants. For a while, everything looked rosy for Gazprom; demand and prices were high, and production never better.

Then China announced that it was cutting imports of natural gas. Coal gasification and methane hydrates from the deep sea would be their new security reserves. Almost in sync, EU states ratified the decision to label nuclear and hydrogen ‘green’, but natural gas as ‘dirty’.

Now Gazprom has to face the ugly truth. It has an abundance of gas, but nobody wants it!

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

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