The media and military attack against Syria is directly related to the global competition
for energy, as explained by Professor Imad Shuebi in the masterly article we publish. At a time when the euro area threatens to collapse, where an acute economic crisis led the U.S. into
debt up to 14 940 billion, and where their influence is dwindling in the face of emerging powers BRICS , it becomes clear that the key to réusite economic and political dominance lies mainly in
controlling the energy of the 21st century: the gas. This is because it is at
the heart of the most colossal gas reserve in the world that Syria is being targeted. The war of the last century were those of oil, but a new era, that of the gas wars.
With the fall of the Soviet Union, Russians have realized that the arms race had exhausted them, especially in the absence of supply of energy necessary for any industrialized country. Instead, the U.S. had been able to develop and decide on international politics without much difficulty because of their presence in the oil areas for decades. This is why the Russians decided to turn to position themselves on energy sources, as well as gas oil. Whereas the oil sector, given its international division, offered no prospects, Moscow counted on the gas, its production, its transport and large-scale commercialization.
The kickoff was given in 1995 when Vladimir Putin introduced the strategy of Gazprom gas from areas of Russia to Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Iran (for marketing), to the Middle East. Certainly projects Nord Stream Stream etSouth testify before History of merit and effort of Vladimir Putin to bring Russia into the international arena and influence the European economy because it will depend, for decades to come, gas as an alternative or supplement to oil, but with a clear priority for gas. From there, it became necessary for Washington to create the project competing Nabucco, to compete with Russian projects and hope to play a role in what will determine the strategy and policy for the next hundred years.
The fact is that the gas will be the main energy source for the 21st century, both as an alternative to declining global oil reserves, and as a source of clean energy.Therefore, control of gas-rich areas of the world by the old and new power is the basis of an international conflict which are regional event.
Clearly, Russia has read the cards and has learned the lesson of the past, because it is the lack of control at the level of global energy resources, essential to the injection of capital and energy in industrial structure , which was the cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Similarly Russia has learned that the gas would be the energy resource of the next century.
History of the Great Game Gas
A first reading of the map reveals that the gas it is located in the following regions, in terms of deposits and access to areas of consumption:
1. Russia: Vyborg and Beregvya
2. Annexed to Russia, Turkmenistan
3. More or less immediate vicinity of Russia: Azerbaijan and Iran
4. Taken to Russia: Georgia
5. Eastern Mediterranean: Syria and Lebanon
6. Qatar and Egypt.
Moscow was quick to work on two main strategies: the first is the establishment of a Sino-Russian long-term based on economic growth Bloc Shanghai, the second to control the gas resources . Thus was laid the foundation of projects South Stream and Nord Stream, facing the U.S. blueprint Nabucco, supported by the European Union, which was the gas from the Black Sea and Azerbaijan. Ensued between these two initiatives a strategic race for control of Europe and gas resources.
The Nord Stream project connecting Russia directly to Germany, passing through the Baltic to Sassnitz and Weinberg, bypassing Belarus.
The South Stream project starts in Russia, passes through the Black Sea to Bulgaria and is divided between Greece and southern Italy on the one hand, and Hungary and Austria on the other.
For the U.S.:
Nabucco from Central Asia and around the Black Sea, through Turkey where are the storage facilities, then the path Bulgaria through Romania, Hungary, arrived in Austria and from there goes to the Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. It was originally intended to cross into Greece, but this idea was abandoned under Turkish pressure.
Nabucco was supposed to compete with Russian projects. Originally scheduled for 2014, it had to be postponed to 2017 due to technical difficulties. From there, the gas dispute has turned in favor of the Russian project, but everyone is always looking to expand the project to new areas.
This concerns firstly the Iranian gas, the U.S. wanted to see come to reinforce the Nabucco project by joining the consolidating point of Erzurum, Turkey, and the other gas from the Eastern Mediterranean: Syria, Lebanon, Israel.
But in July 2011, Iran signed various agreements on the transport of its gas via Iraq and Syria. Therefore, it is now Syria, which became the main center for storage and production in conjunction with the reservations of Lebanon. It was then a brand new space geographic, strategic and energy that opens, including Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Barriers that the project suffered for over a year outline the level of intensity of the struggle being played out for control of Syria and Lebanon. They illuminate the same time the role played by France, which considers the Eastern Mediterranean as its historic sphere of influence, to eternally serve its interests, and where he must catch his absence since the Second World War. In other words, France wants to play a role in the world gas whereby it acquired a kind of "insurance" in Libya and now wants a "life insurance" through Syria and Lebanon.
As for Turkey, she feels she will be excluded from this gas war as the Nabucco project is delayed and does not belong to any of the two projects South Stream and Nord Stream, the gas in the eastern Mediterranean seems to inexorably away as it moves away from Nabucco.
For both projects, Moscow created the company Gazprom in the 1990s.Germany, who wanted to free themselves once and for all consequences of World War II, prepared to be involved, be it in terms of facilities, review of the Northern Pipeline, or storage areas for South Stream line within its area of influence, particularly in Austria.
Gazprom was founded in collaboration with Hans-Joachim Gornig, a German close to Moscow, former vice president of the German company of oil and gas industry who oversaw the construction of the pipeline network of the GDR. It was led until October 2011 by Vladimir Kotenev, former Russian ambassador to Germany.
Gazprom signed a number of transactions with German companies, foremost among which those cooperating with Nord Stream, such giants E.ON Energy and BASF chemicals; with E.ON to clauses guaranteeing preferential tariffs in If prices rise, which is somehow a subsidy "policy" of German energy companies in Russia.
Moscow took advantage of the liberalization of European gas markets to force them to disconnect the distribution of production facilities. Page clashes between Russia and Berlin being turned, then began a phase of economic cooperation based on reducing the burden of enormous debt burden on the shoulders of Germany, of a Europe over-indebted by the U.S. yoke . Germany, which considers space Germanic (Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Switzerland) is destined to become the heart of Europe, but does not have to bear the consequences of aging of an entire continent, nor that of the fall of a superpower.
The initiatives include Gazprom's German joint venture Wingas with Wintershall, a subsidiary of BASF, which is the largest producer of oil and gas to Germany and controls 18% of the gas market. Gazprom gave its main partners German interests unmatched in its Russian assets. And BASF and E.ON each control about a quarter of gas fields that feed Loujno-Russkoye largely Nord Stream, and it is therefore not a coincidence that the German counterpart of Gazprom, called 'Gazprom Germanic, "will hold up to 40% of the Austrian company Austrian Centrex Co, specializing in gas storage and intended to extend to Cyprus.
An expansion that certainly not please Turkey in dire need of his participation in the Nabucco project. It would be to store, market, then 31, then transfer 40 billion cubic meters of gas per year, a project that Ankara is increasingly beholden to the decisions of Washington and NATO, especially since its accession the EU has been repeatedly rejected.
Strategic linkages associated with the gas determine the more policy that Moscow lobbies on the German Social Democratic Party in North Rhine-Westphalia, a major industrial base and center of the German conglomerate RWE, electricity provider and subsidiary of E. ON.
This influence has been recognized by Hans-Josef Fell, head of energy policy among the Greens. In his four German companies related to Russia play a major role in the definition of German energy policy. They rely on the Committee on Economic Relations of Eastern Europe-that is to say on narrow economic enterprises in contact with Russia and countries of the ex-Soviet bloc, which has a very complex network of influence over ministers and public opinion. But in Germany, the discretion is still required as to the growing influence of Russia, assuming that it is highly necessary to improve "energy security" of Europe.
It is interesting to note that Germany considers that the policy of the European Union to resolve the crisis of the euro could eventually hinder the Germano-Russian investment. This reason, among others, explains why she drags to save the euro weighed down by the European debts, even though the Germanic bloc could, by itself, support these debts. Moreover, whenever the Europeans oppose its policy vis-à-vis Russia, it asserts that the utopian plans of Europe are not feasible and could push Russia to sell its gas in Asia, jeopardizing European energy security.
This marriage of the Germano-Russian interests was based on the legacy of the Cold War, that makes three million Russian speakers live in Germany, forming the second largest community after the Turks. Putin was also adept in the use of the network of former officials of the GDR, who took care of the interests of Russian companies in Germany, not to mention the recruitment of ex-Stasi agents. For example, personnel managers and finance Gazprom Germania, or the Director of Finance Consortium Nord Stream, Matthias Warnig which according leWall Street Journal, would have helped Putin recruit spies in Dresden as a young officer KGB. But we must recognize the use by Russia of its old relationships has not been detrimental to Germany, because the interests of both parties were served without one dominates the other.
The Nord Stream project, the main link between Russia and Germany, was inaugurated recently by a pipeline which cost 4.7 billion euros. Although this pipeline linking Russia and Germany, the recognition by Europeans that such a project to guarantee their energy security was that France and Holland have hastened to declare that it was indeed a project "European". In this regard, it is worth mentioning that Mr. Lindner, executive director of the German Committee for Economic Relations with the countries of Eastern Europe said, without laughing, that it was "a European project not German, and he does not confine Germany in a greater dependence vis-à-vis Russia. " Such a statement highlights the concern over increasing Russian influence in Germany; the fact remains that the projetNord Stream is structurally a plan Moscow and not European.
The Russians can paralyze the distribution of energy in Poland in several countries as they seem, and will be able to sell gas to the highest bidder.However, the importance of Germany for Russia is that it is the platform from which she will be able to develop its strategy continental Gazprom Germania with interests in 25 projects crossed to Britain, Italy, Turkey, Hungary and other countries. This leads us to say that Gazprom - after a while - is destined to become one of the largest companies in the world, if not the largest.
Draw a new map of Europe and the world
Gazprom leaders have not only developed their project, but they also made sure to counter Nabucco. Thus, Gazprom owns 30% of the project to build a second pipeline to Europe, broadly following the same route as Nabucco which is, by the admission of his supporters, a proposed "policy" intended to show its strength by slowing or blocking the Nabucco project. Besides Moscow rushed to buy gas in Central Asia and Caspian Sea in order to suppress it, and to ridicule Washington politically, economically and strategically at the same time.
Gazprom operates gas facilities in Austria, that is to say in the strategic area of Germany, and also leases facilities in Britain and France. However, it is the major storage facilities in Austria which will be used to redraw the energy map of Europe, since they feed Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia, Hungary, Italy and Germany.At these facilities, we must add the center stokage of Katrina, that Gazprom is building in cooperation with Germany in order to export gas to the major consumption centers of Western Europe.
Gazprom has set up a joint facility of storage with Serbia in order to supply gas to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia itself. Feasibility studies have been conducted on similar modes of storage in the Czech Republic, Romania, Belgium, Great Britain, Slovakia, Turkey, Greece and even France. Gazprom strengthens the position of Moscow, provider 41% of European gas supplies. This means a substantial change in relations between East and West in the short, medium and long term. It also announced a decline of U.S. influence, by missile shields interposed, seeing the establishment of a new international organization, which the gas will be the main pillar. Finally it explains the intensification of the fight for gas on the east coast of the Mediterranean in the Middle East.
Nabucco and Turkey in difficulty
Nabucco would bring gas 3,900 kilometers from Turkey to Austria and was designed to provide 31 billion cubic meters of gas annually from the Middle East and the Caspian Basin to European markets. The willingness of the NATO coalition-United States-France to end the obstacles that rose up against its gas interests in the Middle East, notably Syria and Lebanon, is that it is necessary to sprovide stability and caring for the environment when it comes to gas infrastructure and investment. The Syrian response was to sign a contract to transfer its territory to Iranian gas through Iraq. Thus, it is on the Syrian and Lebanese gas that focuses the battle, will supply t-ilNabucco or South Stream?
The Nabucco consortium consists of several companies: German (REW), Austrian (OML), Turkey (Botas), Bulgarian (Energy Holding Company), and Romanian (Transgaz). Five years ago, the initial project costs were estimated at $ 11.2 billion, but could reach $ 21.4 billion by 2017. This raises many questions about its viability given that Gazprom was able to conclude contracts with various countries that were alimenterNabucco, which could no longer rely on the surplus of Turkmenistan, especially since the failed attempts to hold on Iranian gas. This is one of the unsung secret of battle for Iran, which has crossed the red line in its challenge to the U.S. and Europe, by choosing Iraq and Syria as transport paths part of its gas.
Thus, the best hope for Nabucco remains in the supply of gas from Azerbaijan and the Shah Deniz field, become almost the sole source procurement of a project that seems to have failed even before it started. This is what reveals the acceleration signatures of contracts awarded by Moscow for the redemption of àNabucco sources originally intended, on the one hand, and the difficulties in imposing geopolitical change in Iran, Syria and Lebanon on the other part. This at a time when Turkey is quick to claim his share of the Nabucco project, either by signing a contract with Azerbaijan for the purchase of 6 billion cubic meters of gas in 2017, by the annexation of Syria and Lebanon with the hope to block the transit of Iranian oil or to receive a share of the rich gas in Syria. Apparently a place in the new world order, that of gas or something else, go through a number of services, ranging from military support to the hosting of strategic missile defense system.
This is perhaps the greatest threat pourNabucco is Russia's attempt to derail the negotiating better contracts than its own in favor of Gazprom for North Stream and South Stream, which would invalidate the efforts of the United States and Europe, would diminish their influence, and would harm their energy policy in Iran and / or in the Mediterranean. In addition, Gazprom could become one of the investors or operators of major new gas fields in Syria or Lebanon. It is no coincidence that August 16, 2011, the Syrian Ministry of Oil announced the discovery at a gas well in Qara, near Homs. Its production capacity would be 400,000 cubic meters per day (146 million cubic meters per year), not to mention the gas present in the Mediterranean.
Projects Nord Stream and South Stream thus reduces the influence U.S. policy, which now seems to lag behind. The signs of hostility between the States of Central Europe and Russia have improved, but Poland and the United States seem unwilling to give up. Indeed, in late October 2011, they announced the change in energy policy following the discovery of coal deposits which should reduce European dependence vis-à-vis Russia and the Middle East. This seems to be an ambitious but long-term, because of the many procedures required before marketing; corresponding to the coal found in sedimentary rocks thousands of meters underground and require hydraulic fracturing techniques under high pressure to release the gas, not to mention the environmental risks.
Participation of China
The Sino-Russian cooperation in the energy sector is the engine of the strategic partnership between the two giants. This is, according to experts, the "base" of their double veto reiterated in favor of Syria.
This cooperation is not only the supply of China on preferential terms. China is led to become directly involved in gas distribution through the acquisition of assets and facilities, in addition to a proposed joint control of distribution networks.Meanwhile, Moscow shows its flexibility on the price of gas, subject to being allowed access to highly profitable Chinese domestic market. It was agreed, therefore, that experts from Russia and China would work together in the following areas: "The coordination of energy strategies, forecasting and prospecting, market development, energy efficiency, and energy sources alternative. "
Other common strategic interests concern the risks facing the project of "missile shield" U.S.. Washington has involved not only Japan and South Korea but, beginning in September 2011, India was also invited to become partner.Accordingly, the concerns of both countries meet at the time when Washington's stimulus strategy in Central Asia, that is to say, on the Silk Road. This strategy is the same as that launched by George Bush (draft Greater Central Asia) to roll back the influence of Russia and China in cooperation with Turkey to solve the situation in Afghanistan by 2014, and impose military force by NATO in the region. Uzbekistan has already hinted that he might welcome NATO, and Putin said that this could thwart the intrusion and prevent the U.S. West to undermine Russia would be the expansion of space-Russia Kazakhtan-Belarus cooperation with Beijing.
This overview of the mechanisms of current international struggle can get an idea of the formation process of the new international order based on the struggle for military supremacy and whose keystone is the energy, and the first gas.
The gas from Syria
When Israel began extracting oil and gas from 2009, it was clear that the Mediterranean basin had entered the game and that Syria would be appealed or the whole region would enjoy peace, because the 21st century is supposed to be that of clean energy.
According to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP, the think tank of AIPAC), the Mediterranean basin contains the largest reserves of gas and it is Syria that there would be the most important. This institution also hypothesized that the battle between Turkey and Cyprus would expand because of the inability of Turkey to assume the loss of the Nabucco project (despite the contract signed with Moscow in December 2011 for the transport of part of South Stream gas via Turkey).
The revelation of the secret Syrian gas raises awareness of the enormity of the issue about it. Who controls Syria could control the Middle East. And from Syria, gateway to Asia, he will hold "the key to Russia House," as stated the Tsarina Catherine II, as well as that of China via the Silk Road. Thus, it would be ability to dominate the world because this century is the century of gas.
It is for this reason that the signatories to the agreement of Damascus, allowing gas to pass through Iran Iraq and access to the Mediterranean, creating a new geopolitical space and cutting the lifeline of Nabucco, had said "Syria is the key to the new era."