Russian oil roulette

g4520Like a big bang yesterday a news spread about still unheard discovery of oil and gas in the Russian territories around the Kara sea. Large quantities of crude oil were found in the basin of the Kara sea in the Arctic, which could make this region to become the largest shell site of crude oil, even bigger than the Gulf of Mexico.  This statement was revealed ​​by Igor Sechin, chief man of the company Rosneft. However, since this only more interesting is that the general partner of Rosneft in this business is American company Exxon. All this happens in a period of creeping “cold war” on the territory of Ukraine and sanctions imposed from USA towards Russia. Although these American sanctions in July were designed to withhold dollars for “Rosneft” and block access to modern technology, they were not designed to stop the joint projects of American and Russian companies. With new sanctions on 12th September, however it is stated that American companies have deadline until 10/10/2014. to end its operations in Arctic.  In the document, titled “Directive 4” from the pages of Department of  Treasury of the United States it is clearly and explicitly written what is the subject of these sanctions, while in the document entitled “Sectoral Sanctons Identification” we see a list of companies that are affected by them.

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Like all other events, this story has its stronghold in geopolitical trends and things which happening behind the scenes, and therefore I will try to look over its very beginnings and the start of strategic partnership between Exon and Rosneft since the August 2011. Specifically, these two companies on August 31 st, 2011, signed an agreement on strategic cooperation, including research of the Arctic basin.  This agreement was signed in the presence of the Prime Minister of Russia at that time Vladimir Putin, president of Rosneft Eduard Khudainatov, deputy prime minister of Russia at that time Igor Sechin and President of Exxon company Niel Duffin.  This contract which later is expanded, involves investment of $ 3.2 billion that would be spent on research of 3 blocks in the Kara Sea. The ratio of the joint venture company is 66.7% owned by Rosneft and 33.3% owned by Exxon. Geographical details of the contract can be viewed HERE.  According to Bloomberg “Univerzitetskaja” geological structure is the size of Moscow city and big enough to contain at least 9 billion barrels of oil, or the wealth that is worth about $ 900 billion at today’s prices. Russians already mobilized an army that is sent to the destination in order to protect the sites. They only question now is are they going to be able to exploit and drill this oil without Exxon, and also is Exxon going to respect sanctions, remains to be seen.

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One reason is actually indicative of all these analogies and the point that I want to depict in this text. At the time of signing this agreement even before signatures there were required some certain negotiations and guarantees before the exact date of signing. If we put all this in the time frame we come to the conclusion that negotiations on this project in the Kara Sea were lasted from at least the beginning of 2011, if not sooner. That year in the world and geopolitical relations was active only one country, and that country was Libya. The same Libya that today is ruled by anarchy, tribal conflicts and chaos, while members of parliament held its sessions at rented Greek ferry in the port of Torbuk. In all previous thoughts about everything what is happening on the global chessboard, I marked only two milestones important for Russia but with a different outcome. The first such milestone is of course Libya, and the second is Syria. When Libya is in focus for many of us will never actually be clear, why Russia has not vetoed a shameful Resolution 1973 of the UN Security Council, which created a legitimate option for military action. If Russia vetoed at that time this resolution, I believe that today in Libya, people would live much better, and Russians would avoid moving of “military zone” towards Ukraine and tightening the belt around Russia. One of the two decisive vote for this military intervention in Libya was given by Bosnia and Herzegovina, and this was ninth vote, and tenth vote was from Portugal. But before voting the delegation of Portugal firmly insisted that they declare themselves after Bosnia and Herzegovina delegation, because after 9 votes it is not important too much how Portugal will vote, unless any of the permanent members put veto, which has not happened. I don´t know why Bosnia and Herzegovina voted for this resolution, but I guess it´s because we are protectorate, and not a sovereign state, no matter how someone would be annoyed by this observation, but voting for this resolution is an obvious proof.   Once again Bosnia and Herzegovina demonstrated that we are artificial banana creation and not country. Except this at that time we had many of our companies started their jobs and operations in Libya, even from this side we voted against ourselves. From the other permanent members, Russia and China abstained and not vetoed, which in diplomatic terms means that the aggression against Libya is just about to start. How voted permanent and non-permanent members of the UN Security Council you can see in the picture below.

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What surprised me personally, and even some more serious geopolitical analysts was certainly the stance of Russia, which in a similar situation some time later made ​​it clear that it will not happen the same thing (mistake) with Syria. As a reason for this Russian decision we can take the geographical proximity of Syria to their boundaries, and the fact that in Tartus, the second largest Syrian port on the Mediterranean sea, is a Russian base, for which from Moscow clarify that it is used only for the overhaul and repair of ships. So, of course we can conclude that these two reasons were enough for Russia to take a tougher stance and to ban potential air strikes on Syria, which was obviously not the case with Libya.  An additional argument and one that I wanted to point in the text, and which goes in favor of the setback voting about Libya is signing of this very lucrative oil contract between Exxon and Rosneft. During the same year of  2011. in the month of May there was a meeting of “Arctic Council” in Nuuk the capital of Greenland. This meeting was primarily driven by the fierce debate between Russia and the United States, about who have right to claim its territories in Arctic. On that meeting some things never get defined and many of the borders in the Arctic remained questionable. Guided by this I believe that the Arctic after latest Russian discoveries, could come back into focus of wrangling and power struggle, even maybe in one kind of shout diplomatic conflict that has never been closed. What emerged from that meeting in Nuuk is that Russia and Norway, which is a NATO member, signed an agreement on areas in the Barents Sea, which solved their mutual long-silent conflict over these territories. Except this in the Arctic region still remain a huge number of unsolved questions, which will in the future, and especially with the research of new crude oils increasingly rise geopolitical focus and tensions.

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The reason for the signing of this agreement between Rosneft and Exxon could be also of technological nature. Because why would the Russians signed a contract with an American company unless there is not something in mutual interests. In the report from 2007. of the Norwegian green group Belona which declares to protect the natural environment in one part they showed their concerns for hydrocarbon technology that Russia possesses because it was “old and inefficient”. Regarding to this it is easily possible that the contract with Exxon was signed because they possess necessary hydrocarbon technology, which is needed for the exploration and exploitation of the oil and gas sources.  In the latest brochure Exon distinguished that they have experience more than 90 years for working in the areas of the Arctic. There should be added that this is certainly not the first project that Exon works with Russia, and prior to this there is a project “Sakhalin 1“, whose main contractor was Exon, where they broke down many records when it comes to drilling and quantity of oil. Rosneft as younger company certainly has less experience in wells such as these in the Arctic, which have higher technological requirements than Rosneft wells in Siberia from which they currently draws the bulk of their profit.

So, things are pretty clear, while aggression was taking place in Libya because of its regime where guilt has not been proven, on the world stage behind the curtain there were conducted these negotiations about capital cash investments between the most powerful Russian state-owned company and most successful American company. I’m pretty sure that Russia has not vetoed a resolution on Libya, inter alia, because of this agreement between Rosneft and Exxon. Somehow I get the impression that the Russians “swallowed” somehow Libyan resolution regarding to this contract. The presence of the Prime Minister at that time, and now President of Russia, is seen as a legitimate state interest of the Russian Federation which is respected, but Americans as Danaans who bear gifts and do not wait, today they brought a present to Russia named by “Crisis in Ukraine” in front of their own door. I am convinced that Ukraine and Russia, should be defended even in 1999 in Yugoslavia, and not to mention how thy should been defended in Libya in 2011. Russians probably knew very well what they risk, although they was hardly able to predict this really unnecessary war in Ukraine and exhaustion in front of their doorstep.

Today we have what we have. This crisis in Ukraine has brought many innocent lives on both sides, one country is divided, and the ghosts of fascism awakened irremediable and whatever the conflict is over, I believe that in this part of the world the situation will always be unstable. Knowing that Russian capitalism is identical to American, but our Serbian traditional ties with them as Orthodoxy, inverted flag, and that the sun rises in the “East” and on the other side depleted uranium from the “West” will always be an argument that sets them apart. That’s exactly why I want Russia consider us on the same way as we thought of them, because in addition to money and capital around which revolves the world, there is something else, something much deeper, which remains after us, and what we inherited, and capitalism force us to forget… Except my personal motives there are also some rational, which are best described by Mr. Willy Wimmer, a former deputy of the Bundestag and admitted friend of our Serbian people. In one of his texts at the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis he posted three questions which I will paraphrase below and with that I will finish this text.

1. Can there be peace in the world if the only hegemonic force is USA?

2.  Is there possible respect of international law and world power balance if we do not have Russia?

3. When the EU will stop to be like a soap bubble in the hands of the USA?

 

Ruski naftni rulet

g4520Kao veliki prasak juče se proširila vijest o nezapamćenom otkriću nafte i gasa u ruskim teritorijama oko Karskog mora. Velike količine sirove nafte su pronađene u djelu Karskog mora u Arktiku, čime bi ova regija mogla da postane najveći proizvođač sirove nafte, čak veći i od Meksičkog zaliva. Ovo saopštenje je dao Igor Sečin, glavni i odgovorni čovjek kompanije Rosnjeft. Ipak, od ovoga je interesantnije samo to da je glavni partner Rosnjefta u ovom poslu istraživanja nafte i gasa u Karskom moru američka kompanija Ekson. Sve ovo se dešava u periodu pritajenog “hladnog rata” na teritoriji Ukrajine i sankcija koje su SAD uvele Rusiji. Iako su američke sankcije iz jula bile osmišljene da uskrate dolare “Rosnjeftu” i blokiraju pristup modernoj tehnologiji, one nisu bile osmišljene da zaustave zajedničke projekte američkih i ruskih kompanija. Sa novim sankcijama od 12. septembra ipak je predviđeno da američke kompanije imaju rok do 10.10.2014. da prestanu sa radom na Arktiku. U dokumentu pod nazivom “Direktiva 4” sa stranica ministarstva finansija SAD-a jasno i decidno se vidi na šta se odnose ove sankcije, dok se u dokumentu pod nazivom “Sectoral Sanctons Identification” vidi i spisak kompanija koje su pogođene istima.

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Kao i sva ostala dešavanja, tako i ova priča ima svoje uporište u geopolitičkim tokovima i onom što se dešava iza scene, te ću se stoga osvrnuti na njene same početke i strateško partnerstvo između Eksona i Rosnefta još iz avgusta 2011. Naime, ove dve kompanije su 31.8.2011. potpisale ugovor o strateškoj saradnji uključujući istraživanja Arktičkog basena. Ovaj ugovor je potpisan u prisustvu tadašnjeg premijera Rusije Vladimira Putina, tadašnjeg predsjednika Rosnjefta Eduarda Kudainatova, tadašnjeg zamjenika premijera Rusije Igora Sečina, te predsjednika Eksona Nila Dufina. Ovaj ugovor uključuje investiranje od ukupno 3,2 milijarde dolara koje bi bile potrošene na istraživanja 3 bloka u Karskom moru. Omjer zajedničkog preduzeća je 66,7% u vlasništvu Rosnjefta i 33,3% u vlasništvu Eksona. Geografske detalje ugovora možete pogledati OVDJE. Prema procjenama Blumberga “Univerzitetskaja”, geološka struktura koja se kopa je veličine Moskve i dovoljno velika da sadrži bar devet milijardi barela nafte, odnosno bogatstvo koje vredi oko 900 milijardi dolara prema današnjim cjenama. Rusi već mobilišu vojsku koju šalju na odredište radi zaštite ovog nalazišta, ali da li će moći sami bez Eksona i kada, da vrše eksploataciju i bušenja ostaje nam da vidimo, kao što nam ostaje da vidimo i da li će se Ekson pridržavati sankcija.

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Iz jednog razloga je zapravo indikativna sva ova analogija i poenta koju želim da prikažem ovim tekstom. U vrijeme kada se potpisivao ovaj sporazum pa i prije samog potpisa morali su da postoje određeni pregovori i garancije da bi do dana potpisivanja uopšte došlo. Ako sve to stavimo u vremenski okvir dolazimo do zaključka da su se pregovori oko ovog projekta u Karskom moru vodili najmanje od samog početka 2011. godine, ako ne i prije.

Te godine u svijetu i geopolitičkim relacijama bila je aktivna samo jedna država, a to je Libija. Ista ona Libija koje danas nema, u kojoj vladaju anarhija, plemenski sukobi i haos, a članovi parlamenta drže svoje sjednice na iznajmljenom grčkom trajektu u luci Torbuk. U svim dosadašnjim razmišljanjima oko svega što se dešava na svjetskoj šahovskoj tabli, označio bi dvije prekretnice za Rusiju sa različitim ishodom. Prva takva prekretnica jeste Libija, a druga je Sirija. Kad je Libija u pitanju tu mnogima zapravo nikad neće biti jasno zbog čega Rusija nije stavila veto na sramnu rezoluciju SB UN 1973. kojom se stvorila legitimna mogućnost za vojnu akciju. Da je Rusija tad stavila veto na ovu rezoluciju o Libiji vjerujem da bi danas u Libiji narod živio mnogo bolje, te da još ne bi došlo do pomjeranja “vojnih poligona” prema Ukrajini i stezanja obruča oko Rusije. Jedan od dva odlučujuća glasa za ovu vojnu intervenciju na Libiju dala je i Bosna i Hercegovina koja se izjašnjavala kao deveta, dok je deseti glasao Portugal, prije čega je delegacija Portugala čvrsto inzistirala da se o rezoluciji izjašnjava poslije BiH, jer sa 9 glasova ZA svejedno je kako će Portugal glasati, osim ukoliko neka od stalnih članica ne uloži veto, što se nije desilo. Ne znam zašto je to učinila BiH, ali pretpostavljam zato što smo protektorat, a ne suverena država, ma koliko god nekom smetale takve ocjene, glasanje ZA ovu rezoluciju je očigledan dokaz. Ne samo da smo još jednom pokazali kako je BiH vještačka banana tvorevina, već smo i mnogim našim kompanijama koje su u to vrijeme imale otvorene poslove u Libiji iste zatvorili. Od stalnih članica Rusija i Kina su bile suzdržane te nisu uložile veto, što je diplomatskim rječnikom značilo da agresija na Libiju može da počne. Kako su glasale stalne i nestalne članice SB UN možete pogledati na slici ispod.

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Ono što je iznenadilo mene lično, a i mnoge ozbiljnije geopolitičke analitičare je svakako bio stav Rusije, koja je u sličnoj situaciji nešto kasnije dala do znanja da se isto neće ponoviti u Siriji. Kao razlog ove odluke rukovodstva Rusije možemo uzeti geografsku blizinu Sirije sopstvenim granicama, te podatak da se u Tartusu drugoj po veličini sirisjkoj luci na Mediteranu nalazi ruska baza, za koju iz Moskve kažu da služi samo za remont i popravku brodova. Dakle, naravno da možemo zaključiti da su ova dva razloga bila dovoljna da Rusija zaoštri svoj stav oko zabrane vazdušnih napada na Siriju, a što nije bio slučaj sa Libijom. Dodatni argument i onaj koji poentiram u ovom tekstu, a koji ide u prilog suzdržanog glasanja oko Libije je potpisivanje ovog jako unosnog naftnog ugovora između Eksona i Rosnjefta. Iste te 2011. godine u maju mjesecu se održao sastanak “Arktičkog savjeta” u Nuku glavnom gradu Grenlanda. Na ovom sastanku su vođene oštre rasprave prvenstveno između Rusije i SAD-a, oko toga kome pripada koji dio Arktika. Tu se stvari nikad nisu definisale do kraja i mnoge granice na Arktiku i do danas su ostale upitne. Vođen ovim vjerujem da bi Arktik nakon ovog ruskog otkrića ponovo mogao doći u fokus natezanja i odmjeravanja snaga, pa i jedne vrste diplomatskog sukoba koji nikad nije bio zatvoren. Ono što je proizašlo iz tog sastanka u Nuku je da su Rusija i Norveška koja je članica NATO-a potpisale sporazum o područjima u Barencovom moru, kojim je rješen njihov međusobni dugogodišnji tihi sukob oko ovih teritorija, no i dalje je u Arktiku ogroman broj nerješenih pitanja, koja će u budućnosti sa potragom za novim energentima sve više izbijati u fokus.

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Razlog potpisivanja ovog ugovora između Rosnjefta i Eksona bi  mogao takođe da bude i tehnološke prirode. Jer zašto bi Rusi potpisivali ugovor sa jednom američkom kompanijom osim ako izričito nečim nisu primorani ili ako nemaju uzajamne interese. U izvještaju norveške grupe Belona za zaštitu prirodne sredine iz 2007. godine u jednom djelu se navodi zabrinutost za hidrokarbonsku tehnologiju koju Rusija posjeduje jer je ista stara i nedovoljno efikasna. Dakle, vrlo lako je moguće da se ugovor sa Eksonom potpisan zbog hidrokarbonske tehnologije koju Ekson posjeduje, a koja je potrebna za istraživanje i eksploataciju ovih izvora nafte i gasa. U najnovijoj brošuri Eksona ističe se njihovo iskustvo koje imaju već 90 godina radeći u oblastima Arktika. Treba dodati svakako da ovo nije prvi projekat koji Ekson radi oko Rusije, već da prije ovoga postoji projekat Sahalin 1 čiji je glavni izvođač radova bio Ekson, a gdje su oboreni mnogi rekordi kad su u pitanju bušenje i količina. Rosnjeft kao kompanija svakako ima manje iskustva u bušotinama kakve su ove na Arktiku, koje imaju veće tehnološke zahtjeve nego bušotine Rosnjefta u Sibiru iz kojih se trenutno izvlači glavnina profita.

Dakle, stvari su poprilično jasne i dok se u Libiji odvijala po ko zna koja redom agresija na suverenu državu samo zbog njenog režima kojem krivica nije dokazana, na svjetskoj sceni iza zavjese su se odvijali pregovori oko kapitalnih novčanih investicija između najjače ruske kompanije u državnom vlasništvu i najjače američke kompanije. Poprilično sam siguran da Rusija nije stavila veto na rezoluciju o Libiji između ostalog i zbog ugovora između Rosnjefta i Eksona. Nekako imam dojam da su Rusi tada gorko “progutali” Libiju za rad ovog ugovora.  Prisustvom tadašnjeg premijera, a danas predsjednika Rusije ovo je predstavljeno kao legitimni državni interes Ruske Federacije koji se poštuje, ali amerikanci kao Danajci koji darove nose i  ne čekaju, donijeli su danas Rusiji na dar  krizu u Ukrajini pred njenim sopstvenim vratima. Uvjeren sam da se Ukrajina, pa i Rusija branila još onomad 1999. u SR Jugoslaviji, a da ne govorim koliko se trebala braniti u Libiji 2011. Rusi su tad vjerovatno vrlo dobro znali šta rizikuju i na koju kartu igraju, iako teško da su mogli predvidjeti ovaj zaista nepotreban rat u Ukrajini i iscrpljivanje pred svojim pragom.

Danas imamo to što imamo. Ova kriza u Ukrajini je odnijela mnogo nevinih života na obe strane, jedna država je podjeljena, a duhovi fašizma probuđeni bespovratno i kako god da se sukob završi, vjerujem da će na tom djelu svijeta uvijek biti trusno. Znajući da je i ruski kapitalizam identičan američkom, ali naše tradicionalne veze, pravoslavlje, obrnuta zastava, i to da sunce izlazi na “istoku”, a osiromašeni uranijum sa “zapada” će uvijek biti argument koji ih razlikuje. Baš zbog toga htio bi da Rusija nas doživljava isto onako kako i mi doživljavamo njih, jer pored novca i kapitala oko kog se vrti svijet, ima tu još nešto, nešto mnogo dublje, što ostaje i poslije nas, što smo i sami naslijedili, a kapitalizam nas tjera da zaboravimo… Osim ličnih motiva postoje tu i oni racionalni koje je najbolje opisao gospodin Vili Vimer, bivši poslanik Bundestaga i osvjedočeni prijatelj našeg naroda koji je u jednom svom tekstu u počecima ukrajinske krize postavio tri pitanja koja ću ispod po drugi put parafrazirati i sa kojima ću završiti ovaj tekst.

1. Može li biti mira u svijetu ukoliko je jedina hegemonistička sila SAD ?

2. Može li biti poštovanja međunarodnog prava i balansa u svijetu ukoliko nemamo Rusije ?

3. Do kad će EU da bude kao mjehurić od sapunice na rukama SAD-a ?