Original: Voice of Sevastopol
Initially published June 22, 2014 in Russian by VooDoo
Initial Translation: Master Butch
Final Translation: Alice Seberry
Edited by S. Naylor
The Puzzle: How to Redistribute the World According to Gas (Resources)
Let’s look at all the pieces. The battle is waged with one thing in mind, and that is the energy crisis of 2030. It’s pretty simple: whoever can get his hands on the real estate where the resources are, wins. Whoever doesn’t make it, we’ll mourn him. So don’t expect a thing from the West. If they can bite off a chunk, they’ll take it, without regard for what is right or proper. That explains the steadfast position of the US and Europe, which appears a little inadequate but maybe it’s appropriate for those who are heading toward a global energy crisis – there’ll be no mercy for those who stand back; they will just be the first to die.
The Prospects for Shale Gas in Ukraine
The development of shale gas exploitation in Ukraine has begun in two regions: in the Olesskiy part (shown in pink) near the Lyublinsk basin, and the Yuzovskiy part (shown in red or orange) near the Dnieprovsk-Donetsk basin. The actual basins are marked in yellow.
The volume of the reserves, according to various statistics:
- Government geological services (2012)
7.0 trill cubic meters
- International energy agencies (EU, US)
1.2 trill. cubic m.
- Ukr. Min. for energy and coal production:
5.0 trill. cubic m.
The participation of Shell explains Europe’s position. Outwardly it seems that Europe is playing in tandem with the US to its own detriment, but that is not so. Shell is fundamentally a European company, and the main consumers of the potential shale gas are, too. They’re hoping to get gas from the Donbas for a price far lower than that of Gazprom. For that, a minimal investment is required – the transportation infrastructure is already in place. And that is why Europe will continue pushing this undying (and from the outside, absurd, although there is a certain logic to it) position on Ukraine. Since they’re always maneuvering to get gas as cheaply as possible, they hope to swallow up Ukraine in one piece. And when they pump the country dry, in 30-40 years, they’ll dump the skeleton in a landfill; anyone who wants it then, can have it. Now it’s a question of money. What’s cheaper? You can invest billions in laser fusion without any guarantees, or you can put the same amount into developing shale gas, especially given that it’s situated very close to the highway that’s already in place to deliver gas to one of the largest consumers – Europe.
Despite all of Shell’s reassurances that it’s all safe, the first drilling in North Donestk gave off emissions that the local people weren’t pleased with at all. So now there’s a problem – one has to stave off any problems with the population. In the worst case, in the US, when the farmers who got $2–3 million off the companies that were extracting the shale gas and destroyed the water supply, it was very instructive. Or you can put the same amount into developing shale gas, especially given that it’s situated very close to the highway that’s already in place to deliver gas to one of the largest consumers – Europe. There are two answers to this question, two paths – good and bad. The “good” way would be to re-settle all those who are unhappy, to pay for their relocation and new homes. Let’s try to estimate what that would cost.
How much is a house or two in the Donetsk region? Maybe 20,000 rubles. The population in the northern part of Donetsk Province (which used to be an industrial powerhouse) is almost a million, the greatest part of them concentrated in the twin cities of Slavyansk-Kramatorsk. Let’s say the average family consists of 3 people; that gives us 330,000 families. So to relocate the whole population we’d need 330 x 20,000, that is 6.6 million rubles.
For the first stage of this development, investments in the region of 3–4 billion per year were planned … That is, in the first two years, there was no need to get a single drop of gas, just to apportion the money to the population, the moms, kids, oldies. … But does Europe need this? The bad way would be to make a deal with the Ukies (those who are already entrenched in Kiev) to prepare the terrain for gas production. And let them take care of it themselves, by shooting everybody, or interning them in camps …
The democratic Shell will turn a blind eye. Similarly, those in Europe who are have an interest in gas will fail to notice any genocide. And a full-on genocide would be required for this plan. For this, the monetary costs of the bad course of action would be minimal. Say, half a million a day, 40 days for the entire wipe-out, and here with just 20 million your problem is solved. So the people of the Donbas region need have no illusions. They are all going to be swept out of the Yuzovsky gas field, or killed. I don’t think I’ll be far off if I suggest that modest sums have already been parceled out to all the interested parties, and the clean-up is already underway.
It’s no coincidence that Strelkov is always pointing out that the Ukies are shooting into peaceful areas and cities … And Europe will studiously avoid seeing the genocide, even if the Ukies douse Donbas with a layer of napalm.
To extract shale gas you need to dissolve limestone using acid mixtures. In the U.S., this process has led to environmental problems (mainly the contamination of ground water). But at least the surface doesn’t collapse, because the local shale contains a lot of sand and clay, which the acids don’t dissolve. The local shale layers hold up the surface after the gas is extracted. It’s quite another thing in the Donbass. There the rocks contain much more soft limestone. Few people probably realize that Karachun mountain is known locally as Chalk Mountain. It actually consists of chalk, and in the Slavyansk-Kramators’k region there are lots of chalk quarries. From the standpoint of gas extraction, a large proportion of soft chalk is a huge plus because it will dissolve faster, easier and in large quantities, releasing more gas. And so what happens at the surface? Right. It will collapse.
So we’re back to plan A. The people have to be out of there when the extraction begins. Otherwise, 3 million won’t get you out of even one lawsuit, and the costs will rise sharply to numbers that call into question the profitability of the project. So there’s no point looking for the slightest constructive position from Europe vis-à-vis the war in Donbas. The war is in Europe’s interest, in order to clear out the people.
The Main Pipeline
For now the government of Ukraine is in control of it, and it’s full of gas from GP, but the question has already come up, judging by the extreme statements made by Yatsenuk. And the decision doesn’t seem to be going the way a lot of people think. The goal is to provide access to a growing volume of shale gas, as is expected in the Yuzovsky formation. And then there is the problem – how to mix Gazprom’s natural gas with lower quality shale gas. I suspect that after extraction the shale gas will not purified much – after the chalk is dissolved, it will look good compared to the American stuff. However, the composition and quality in terms of the energy value will be lower than Gazprom gas … The pipeline will be under pressure, crowding out Gazprom, but not immediately (so as not to fill the markets and raise prices too much), but slowly, in step with the increasing production at Yuzov.
Gazprom won’t be able to prove anything in any court in Europe. In the near future Ukraine will be adopting laws that Europe and the U.S. are dictating to her, by means of which Gazprom will start to be crowded out of the main pipelines. A big part of the puzzle is to extend the conflict into the Kharkiv region, more precisely, its southern part. There will also be the same anti-terrorist results and goals, as in the Donbas – to expel and/or wipe out the local population.
That stands in the way of producing shale gas and could increase production costs. The same applies to the Poltava region — there, we may soon find terrorists among the civilian population, which will be all killed by the valorous Ukies during the third stage of the ATO. The fourth stage of the ATO will be in the Odessa region. But there Kolomoisky is already successfully at work. So many pieces fall into place with this puzzle – Nuland’s arrival right in Odessa (a drug trade hub and the sole major exit to the sea are also important, but oil and gas are no less important), part of Kolomoisky’s little businesses, as recently was revealed by the experts from the USA. (Oopsie!) Revised data on the Odessa field reserves increased so much that they move it into the category of major deposits, like Yuzovka.
In Odessa we’ll see the same problem with the population, including the fact of the soft limestone bedrock which will dissolve more or less completely when the gas is extracted, leaving the surface to cave in. So part of the Odessa province will be in the hands of terrorists again and there’ll be a genocide…
So, dear friends, those who have lost all, and those who think Putin can save the world. I strongly suspect that Putin and the right people at Gazprom know everything that I outlined. And then some. And they know that Strelkov, Abver (the Abwehr?), Borodai, and those other nice people hold in their hands the key not only to wealth, but to the life of Gazprom, and to the welfare of the Russians.
And it is they who determine whether GP will remain in the European gas market over the next 5–30 years, or will slowly but surely be pushed out in the next 5 years due to Shell’s shale gas from Donbas. The losses this would create, you can evaluate for yourself. And such losses are not acceptable for Russia. And even the most lowly of accountants would agree that it is cheaper to provide 100 million in aid to the DNR than trying to squeeze our gas into the pipeline occupied by Shell, or try to enter the European market with gas that would be more expensive than Shell’s.
Or to rebuild a completely demolished Donbas. So you see, Strelkov has not and will not [e?]… One thing we must keep in mind: this is a very delicate issue, and it means so much that for the sake of a half a trillion we can easily get into a regional war. And our damned partners will jump to that without the least hesitation. I’ve already suggested what’s at stake. Therefore it is necessary to work with very subtle methods.
However, the panic online about “Putin-has-flushed-it-all-away” is quite welcome – it creates the necessary background for the Ukies and our accursed partners.