How to sell oil to Greece: How to do it and why
The EU’s oil-producing nations will have to sell some of their reserves if they want to cut their dependence on Russia, which accounts for more than 90 percent of the European Union’s total oil production.
The issue is a hot topic of debate in the EU, with many politicians and economists in Brussels trying to convince voters that there is no need for a huge cutback on their own.
They say that, without Russia, the EU would be facing massive economic problems.
EU leaders have already signaled they want an ambitious deal to be reached with Russia on energy cooperation in the next few weeks.
But they are in the midst of negotiations with Moscow.
The EU’s energy ministers are holding a meeting on Wednesday to discuss how to reach a deal with Russia.
The EU wants a deal that would guarantee Russia’s continued access to EU markets, including the bloc’s biggest oil producer, Gazprom, which has a stake in two of the biggest EU oil companies, Total and Shell.
A deal will be announced at the meeting and it will be possible to see whether the EU will sign a “deal of the future” in the coming weeks.
But this time around, the issue is being raised more widely and this time, it has been brought up by a number of influential politicians, economists and other figures in Brussels.
“This is a very important issue for us,” the former finance minister Josef Pieper told journalists in Brussels on Tuesday.
“There is no longer any need to cut off our oil supply to Russia.”
“There is also no need to sell our reserves to Russia,” he said, adding that there would be “no more” cuts in oil sales to Russia.
“This is an important issue and it has to be addressed in the framework of a comprehensive and credible agreement.”
EU leaders are holding talks with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin at the same time they are discussing a deal on energy with the Russian leader, who has already signalled his support for an energy deal.
EU energy ministers met in Brussels last month and will discuss a deal to boost energy supplies to the EU.
They have already started talks with Gazprom on how to improve energy security and ensure that Russian oil companies do not receive any more EU subsidies.
According to Pieper, the energy ministers want to sign an agreement by the end of March that would require Russia to give up its share of the EU’s total crude oil production, a key issue in the energy talks.
Pieper said that he expected that a deal would be signed by then, with Russia guaranteeing its share in the future.
Gazprom has said that it wants to increase production of its own oil and gas to the level of about 15 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2020, the target it has set for itself.
Russia’s state oil company, Rosneft, said it would make its first deliveries in 2019 from a project that it is developing in the Arctic.
In September, Gazpeys CEO Igor Sechin said that Russia is looking to cut its dependence on the EU for the first time in nearly two decades.
“We need to build up our dependence on other countries, not on the energy market,” he told reporters in St Petersburg.
Pieper added that Gazprom is “trying to find ways to diversify and boost production from the Arctic” and that he believes that the EU should cut its reliance on Russia.
However, the European Commission, the blocs executive, has been strongly critical of the agreement between the EU and Russia on a deal for the next five years on energy supplies.
Its European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger, said on Tuesday that “any decision to cut gas supplies from the EU to Russia will have a negative impact on the supply of gas to Europe”.
“In particular, we can expect that we would see more disruptions and reduced access to markets to European consumers,” Oettingers statement said.
“The European energy market is fragile and vulnerable to shocks, and we need to protect it in the interests of economic and social progress.”
Russian gas exports are currently worth about €1.8 billion ($2.4 billion) per day.
There have been several recent signs that Russia may be considering selling its share, as its economic situation is deteriorating.
Russian energy minister Alexei Ulyukayev said in September that Russian gas supplies would be cut to 5 million bpd from the current 7.3 million bps.
Ulyukays new energy plan, which is scheduled to be approved by the cabinet on Tuesday, will mean that Gazpeies gas supplies will be cut in half by 2019, to 2.5 million bpm from 5 million.
Russia also announced that it would sell off its gas exploration rights to companies in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Russia has been trying to sell these rights to energy companies in the region since 2010, when Gazprom acquired them from the former Soviet republics