Baltic Sea Breaches In Nordstream 1 and 2 Pipelines

Breaches were reported this morning to be spouting natural gas in the Baltic Sea. The pipelines are not currently in use, so this is the gas that was stationary in them. Pipelines are designed so that sections can be shut off, and presumably this has been done.

Seismic observations indicate the breaches were caused by explosions, according to Björn Lund, director of the Swedish National Seismic Network. He is quoted as saying that the explosions were equivalent to at least 100 kg of TNT, which is a lot and probably damaged the pipelines badly. TNT is the standard used for this sort of thing, but the explosives used were more likely C4, which is more powerful per unit weight. Its equivalent would be 72 kg. Underwater mines have also been mentioned.

Read More

Why Ukraine?

As the corruption of the Trump administration is exposed, I keep two questions in mind: Why Ukraine? and Why energy? The simple answer is that they are where the money is. The more extended answers will be more interesting.

Natural gas seems to be the current focus in energy, but Michael Flynn had a bizarre plan to partner with the Russians to sell nuclear reactors in the Middle East and continues today in Rick Perry’s dealings with Saudi Arabia.

Information on Ukraine seems to be coming together now, although we almost certainly don’t have the final word. And energy plays a part. Read More

Links – January 5, 2016

China wants to build a new rail route to Europe. That would help to open commerce for the Central Asian nations along the way. Those nations were part of the Soviet Union, and Russia sees them as its sphere of influence. But it is not in a position to promote something like that new rail route. Plus Russia would like to ally more closely with China, but their respective economies would easily subordinate Russia in that relationship. Interesting times ahead. Read More