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Estonia wary of Nord Stream expansion

Estonian Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu sent a letter to Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet on Oct. 23 urging the government to refuse to allow the third and fourth lines of the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline project to run through Estonia’s Exclusive Economic Zone. Reinsalu’s letter comes just a month after the Russo-German project requested permission to perform studies on Estonia’s seabed. Estonia rejected a similar request in 2007 for environmental and safety reasons and on the grounds that hosting a strategic Russian asset could create a security threat for the Baltic country.

Why Doesn't the United States Export More Oil?

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By Christopher Swann

America’s energy boom is spurring a clash between the realms of politics and economics. Meaningful exports of oil have been banned for almost a century. But with output surging and crude fetching a 20 percent discount at home, producers want to ship it overseas. BP, Royal Dutch Shell and four others have applied for limited licenses to do just that. Unblocking trade could benefit everyone.

Kazakhstan Expands Gas Transit Pipeline Capacities and Own Exports to China

By Vladimir Socor

The longest section of the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China transit pipeline passes through Kazakhstan’s territory: it measures 1,115 kilometers in length, of the total 1,830-kilometer Turkmenistan-China distance. Kazakhstan is adding a dedicated export pipeline for its own gas exports to China. In combination, these developments (alongside planned oil exports) confer to Kazakhstan a major role in China’s energy security calculations.

Turkmenistan’s Gas Export Potential: New Implications for Europe

By Vladimir Socor

BP’s latest annual Statistical Review of World Energy has revealed Turkmenistan’s proven gas reserves as even bigger than previously assessed (see accompanying article). From Ashgabat’s perspective, European gas markets must look more lucrative and reliable compared with Turkmenistan’s existing export markets in China, Russia, and Iran (let alone the proposed trans-Afghan export route). The westward direction remains the only missing direction for Turkmenistani gas exports. Turkmenistan has started construction of the East-West pipeline, to run from its eastern gas fields to the Caspian coast, there to connect with a westbound trans-Caspian pipeline. Ashgabat proposes to deliver 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) annually through this line, and another 10 bcm annually from its Caspian offshore fields, for onward transportation to Europe after 2016. Turkmenistan plans to finance the overland pipeline from its own budget, but is running into problems with funding and subcontracting some of the work.