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European Natural Gas Wrap-Up - September

This month we've decided to start a monthly company blog series outlining the biggest stories in the Natural Gas markets. We'll focus mostly on Europe and political and social changes affecting producers and exporters to the Western European market but will also include updates (when relevant) on changes in the price of Natural Gas and other market conditions.

Europe Natural Gas

Towards the end of September the TAP pipeline received a lot of media attention. The Italian, Albanian and Greek governments have moved a step closer to starting work on the pipeline project with an agreement signed in New York amidst the UN general assembly. The news after that event was generally very positive.

Some of the top stories we found useful included:

EU welcomes agreement on Caspian pipeline

The EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said that the discussion at the UN amounted to an agreement to move forward with the project. Mr Oettinger said in a statement the next day that "This is another important step toward our aim to get gas directly from the Caspian region."

Land and water surveys for the potential route were approved for the Italian section earlier this month after the same studies were completed in Greece and Albania towards the end of 2012.

Read more

Europe's Divorce with Russia's Gazprom: Will Central Asia Pay The Price?

"The real challenge for the EU remains to have a common, long-term policy and to assure that the European petrol giants, in central Asia and elsewhere, don't act against the interests of 500 million gas and oil consumers in the EU."

Read more

Another story about Gazprom has suggested that Russia is exploring the Asian export market and will look to send any additional reserves East if Europe continues down the path of independence from Russia.

EU Renewable Energy Sector In Jeopardy

This study into the European Renewable Energy Sector came up with three major criticisms of the industry which could see its growth slow in the next few years.

  1. Investors are concerned over Germany's recent decision to phase out subsidies for PV power, as well as similar decisions in Spain, Italy and Portugal.
  2. Recent decisions by companies such as First Solar to close production facilities in Europe because of regulatory uncertainty have investors convinced that Europe will lose ground in the rankings to the U.S. and China.
  3. There are concerns regarding the difficulty of setting renewable energy targets beyond the existing 2020 target. In June, the Commission issued a strategy document that failed to answer the question of whether further targets will be set and member states such as Poland have resisted setting any further targets.

Conclusion

We hope that these stories give everyone an idea of where the European Gas industry is positioned at the end of September 2012. Next month we will continue this series but of course we can't say what that company Blog post will include at this stage. Feel free to follow us on Twitter at @BRSResources to discuss these and any other issues to do with the industry.


Sources

FierceEnergy.com

Upi.com

WorldCrunch.com

IR Smartt - Social Media for Investor Relations