December 20, 2007

Global Gas Battle Opens New Front in Algeria

Source: Kommersant

A new front, the Algerian one, has opened in the global struggle for energy supply diversification. That became absolutely clear after The Wall Street Journal reported with reference to Sonatrach president Mohamed Meziane that the cooperation pact signed by Sonatrach and Gazprom in August 2006 has expired. A little earlier, Algeria emitted, accidentally or not, leakages that it is dissatisfied with the quality of military equipment supplied from Russia. Most surprisingly, the criticism was coming not from the immediate customers in the Algerian armed forces, who seemed to be satisfied, but from President Bouteflika’s civilian associates.

These events are obviously interlinked. Especially if taking into account the high stakes in the strategic partnership between Algeria and Russia. Due to their natural resources, these two countries would have been able to control up to 40 percent of natural gas supplies to the EU, had they made joint efforts. So, European consumers decided to stake on Algeria and Libya in an attempt at neutralizing Gazprom’s growing pressure. The struggle for energy supply diversification, initiated by the EU so eagerly, makes Gazprom’s presence in those countries unacceptable for the gas consumers. The U.S. feels similar anxiety: it hopes to keep bringing its own, and not Russian, gas from Algeria.

So, the anti-Russia consensus among Algeria’s chief Western patrons, the EU and the U.S., has become inevitable. Things got even worse for Russia when the outer pressure on Algeria was complicated by the clan struggle between different influence groups inside the country. Here again, energy resources are to blame. The end of war and growing oil and gas export revenues led to rapid redistribution of political weight from the ‘army elite’ to the ‘energy lobby’. Bouteflika, staying neutral for several years, eventually sided with the energy officials, which brought him a positive approval by Western partners, the U.S. first of all.

This repartition of influence could not help affecting the cooperation with Russia, especially in the military equipment sphere. The army and power agencies were gradually edged out from the economy, then from the domestic policy-making, and from the foreign policy at last. Meanwhile, Russia’s politics in Algeria has been built on confidential relations with the most influential power officials, who are now moved to the background. That is why Russia should not expect good news from the Algerian front now.

Still, Gazprom-Sonatrach relations are not completely ruined. Although Russia and Algeria are far from mutual understanding yet, and the ‘gas cartel’ was termed as utopia, Sonatrach and Gazprom have become working well for each other. Despite everything, both monopolies are slowly but steadily moving towards a common aim: towards increasing the role and the share of exporter countries in the international gas market.

Andrei Maslov, director of the RosAfroExpertiza Center

2 comments:

Seo Link Master said...

Your very nice.... I like your blog

increase miles per gallon, fuel saver, increase gas mileage

Search engine optimizaiton

Website design, web design

web design nyc

Encounters Nepal said...

Welcome to Encounters Nepal – A Premier Himalayan Trekking Agency in Kathmandu
We feel immense pleasure welcoming you all to the official page of Encounters Nepal (P) Ltd., a premier travel operator based in Kathmandu. Having had decades long experience in Tourism sector and being a government registered trekking company, Encounters Nepal takes pride for being recognized by eight of the reputed national and international organizations. We're currently affiliated with: Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), Sustainable Tourism Network Nepal (STNN), Kathmandu Environmental Education Project (KEEP), Porter Progress Nepal (PPN), International Eco-Tourism Society (IETS), and Federation of National Tourism Nepal (FNTN). Moreover, our company is featured in and recommended by much-acclaimed Trip Advisor as well.
Based in Kathmandu, we have been successfully operating a number of reliable travel options for various trips to Nepal Himalayas, Bhutan, and Tibet. Since the inception, we have been largely providing our clients with opportunities for Sightseeing Tours, Cultural and Pilgrimage Tours, Trekking and Mountaineering, and all other sort of outdoor adventure trips inside and out of Nepal. Decade-long experience in Tourism industry has taught us a lot to excel up to be one of the most trusted travel operators of Nepal. The primary reasons behind this trust and success are the way we serve our clients and the way we've been organizing every sort of trips. The safety, security, and satisfaction of our clients have always been of paramount importance to us, and we're never gonna compromise on this. We keep receiving huge appreciation from our valued clients from around the world, which we think, is our guiding light to make best out of your future trips.
If you are planning your next holiday in Nepal, let us know, we will help you plan and organize your life-defining trip to Nepal. We are much-appreciated for our excellent trips like Trekking in Nepal, Peak Climbing in Nepal, and Mountaineering in Nepal. To name few of the premier trips, we'll never miss out mentioning Everest Base Camp Trekking (and every possible treks in Everest Region), Annapurna Base Camp Trekking (and all other trips in Annapurna Region), Langtang Valley Trekking, Upper Mustang Trekking, Manaslu Circuit Trekking, Annapurna Circuit Trekking, Jomsom Muktinath Trekking, Ghorepani Poon Hill Trekking, Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trekking, Upper Dolpo Trekking, Tsum Valley Trekking, Island Peak Climbing, and Mera Peak Climbing among many others. Well, how can we not mention Tiger's Nest Monastery in Bhutan Tours, Mt. Kailash and Mansarovar Lake in Tibet Trips?
-----------------------------
Contact Address
Encounters Nepal.com (P.) Ltd.
info@encountersnepal.com
Tel No.: 977-01-4411142
Cell: +977-9851090105
GPO Box: 21952,Thamel Marg
Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal
www.encountersnepal.com