From time to time we like to have a little peek inside the scary world of Gazprom, the company that is going to hold Europe to ransom unless we build ruinous windfarms and nuclear power stations. What a painful dilemma for us all, eh ?
The thing is, scary Gazprom badly needs the money (just like we need the gas, which is why there’s an intelligent deal to be done ...) But Big G also likes to announce impressive projects, all over the world, which is how it imagines big companies behave (it secretly models itself on Shell). If you believed all their press releases, you’d imagine they were a Real Global Player. How gratifying.
But in the end, as we’ve noted before, Gazprom never spends any cash of its own.
Here’s a gem. In order to be seen as a big European downstream player in its own right, complete with fanciful market-share targets, Gazprom announced several big gas storage projects across Europe, which don’t come cheap. Would they put up, or would they …?
Well, it turns out that there are safety issues preventing them from going ahead with their flagship German project, and as their man says, Sicherheit geht vor. Yes indeed: safety first.
Which is a real shame for the good burghers of Wittstock – no Nimbys they – who were hoping for “... Ein Erdgasspeicheraufschluss mit allem Drum und Dran” – with all the trimmings !
Sorry chaps: as we said to the Nigerians …