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Russia’s Gazprom Tightens Its Stranglehold On Europe, France Falls: The Natural Gas War Gets Dirty

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Wolf Richter   www.testosteronepit.com

Why would France suddenly prohibit shale gas exploration? Sure, there are environmental issues with horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the methods used to extract gas from porous shale deep underground: flammable drinking water, earth quakes, cows that die, radioactive sludge in sewage treatment plants.... But French governments have had, let’s say, an uneasy relationship with environmentalists. Its spy service DGSE, for example, sank Greenpeace’s flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, in the port of Auckland, New Zealand, killing one person.

No, there must have been another reason why the government of Nicholas Sarkozy prohibited shale gas exploration in 2011, after having already issued permits in 2010. A mini hullabaloo had broken out, stirred up by the European Ecologists and The Greens (EELV), the fringe on the French left. And Sarkozy caved! Without a fight! Enthusiastically. The government of François Hollande just confirmed the prohibition when Environment Minister Delphine Batho declared: “Hydraulic fracturing remains and will remain prohibited.”

The clue: Sarkozy suddenly visited Japan on March 31, 2011, a couple of weeks after the horrific earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent nuclear accident at Fukushima, to declare in front of shell-shocked Japanese that there was “no alternative” to nuclear power.

He’d been dispatched by the almighty state-owned nuclear industry to tamp down on the growing anti-nuclear sentiment at home. Owned by the government, nuclear power plants produce 75% of France’s electricity and export some of it. No one who wants to be politically viable is allowed to hamper the industry. If someone strays off the reservation, he or she is dragged back soon. While Hollande campaigned on a vague promise to reduce dependency on nuclear power to 50%, it was understood as one of the bones he had to toss to environmentalists. Nothing would come of it.

So when Batho, who wants to add more renewables to the portfolio, toed the party line by saying, “Nuclear power is an industry with future,” then qualified it with a “but,” it caused an outcry even among the Socialists. That’s the power the nuclear industry has over the political machines.

But now another powerful entity turned up: Russia’s Gazprom. It’s the world’s largest gas producer, gas exporter, and gas distribution company with nearly 100,000 miles of gas trunk lines and branches. The Russian government owns 50.01% of it. At home, it has to sell gas under cost, one of the Soviet leftovers. It relies on high-profit sales from Europe to make up for it. But Europe is diversifying away from its single most important supplier.

Competitors include Russia’s number two, Novatek, and Norway—the second largest natural gas exporter in the world. So, in April, Gazprom had to lower its European sales guidance for 2012. Its market share in Europe was 27% last year, and it’s shooting for 30% by 2020, but if the US shale-gas boom ever infects Europe, those plans would become a pipedream—and if the high-profit sales from Europe tapered off further, it would have to raise prices at home, a political nightmare. Hence its fight by hook or crook against shale gas in France.

Gazprom’s “underhanded tactics” and “scaremongering about a new technology” have Moscow’s nod of approval and are designed to dissuade governments from developing their own shale-gas reserves, according to a report by Platts, a global provider of information on energy, petrochemicals, and metals. Efforts include all manner of operations, online and through encouraging demonstrations, but also paying public relation firms to spread “myths and misconceptions,” said Aviezer Tucker, assistant director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas. A “European Union-wide ban” on shale-gas production, he said, would be the “holy grail.”

With France already knocked off, Sergei Komlev of Gazprom Export has been bouncing around the world in his fight against European shale gas. At a meeting in Qatar, according to Platts’ report, he gave a presentation. “Multiple Handicaps Will Retard Shale Gas Development Outside US” was the title of one of his slides. “Fortunately, it claimed, “European shale gas development faces numerous economic, regulatory, and political barriers before there are significant amounts of shale gas production, not sooner than in ten or more years.”

Breathing room for Gazprom in the natural gas wars.

In the US, natural gas may be the most mispriced commodity these days. Its price has been below the cost of production for so long that the industry is suffering billions in losses. But demand for natural gas by power producers has been booming—and it’s killing coal, one powerplant at a time. Read.... Natural Gas Is Pushing Coal Over The Cliff.

And here is a highly insightful interview of James Hamilton, energy economist, former visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, DC and other Federal Reserve Banks. Read.... The Real Reason Behind Oil Price Rises, by James Stafford.

 


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Sun, 09/02/2012 - 04:15 | Link to Comment chistletoe
chistletoe's picture

you are talking about a "Carrington Event"? ....

 

the way that the sun has been behaving lately, the odds have increased dramatically ....

 

http://www.spaceweather.com/

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 23:52 | Link to Comment blueridgeviews
blueridgeviews's picture

"Sure, there are environmental issues with horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the methods used to extract gas from porous shale deep underground: flammable drinking water, earth quakes, cows that die, radioactive sludge in sewage treatment plants."

Where's the scientific evidence of any of this? These sound like the many hypothesis that are thrown around but never proved.

Sun, 09/02/2012 - 03:57 | Link to Comment Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

That's right. Shaking the porous aquifer until it collapses is a GREAT idea for today and all future generations.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 22:46 | Link to Comment gregga777
gregga777's picture

We would all be much better off converting our electrical power generation to thorium molten salt reactors.  The United States Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and what is now known as the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) performed extensive research & development into molten salt reactors. 

[See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten_salt_reactor for details.]

ORNL, assisted by INL, research into molten salt reactors culminated in a Molten Salt Breeder Reactor (MSBR) design in 1970-1976.  The MSBR would use LiF-BeF2-ThF4-UF4 (72-16-12-0.4 mol%) for fuel.  Graphite would be the moderator with a four-year replacement schedule.  It would use NaF-NaBF4 as secondary coolant.  Peak operating temperature would be 705 degrees Celsius.

The MSBR offers many potential advantages versus burning irreplaceable hydrocarbons to produce electricity:

o The design is inherently safe.  Safety is assured by passive components and the strong negative temperature coefficient of reactivity.

o It uses the abundant supply of throrium to breed uranium-233 fuel.

o It is much cleaner than current reactor technology.  It operates as a full recycle system.  The reactor discharge wastes are predominantly fission products having relatively short half-lives compared to current reactor technology's longer-lived actinide waste products.  The nuclear waste containment period in a geologic repository is dramatically reduced to ~300 years versus tens of thousands of years. 

o Radioactive elements exist in small concentrations in hydrocarbon fuels and are released into the environment when burned.  This problem is not considered by opponents of nuclear power.

o The fuel's liquid phase easily allows the separation of individual fission products from the fuel and from each other.  The useful fission products can then be collected and sold.

o The MSBR can "burn" some radioactive waste with transuranic elements produced by traditional solid-fuel nuclear reactors.

o The MSBR design is scalable in power output.  Small reactors, 2-8 MW (thermal) or 1-3 MW (electricity), are feasible.

o The MSBR can quickly react to load changes in less than 60 seconds versus the very slow response time of "traditional' solid-fuel nuclear power plants.

o Thorium is abundant and not weaponizable.  Estimates indicate that 500 metric tons of thorium could supply all U.S. energy needs for one year.  The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that the largests known U.S. thorium deposit in the Lemhi Pass district on the Montana-Idaho border contains thorium reserves of 64,000 metric tons.  That would be enough thorium to power the U.S. for 128 years, ignoring annual increases in energy usage.  Allowing for 2% annual growth in U.S. energy usage that deposit would last about 64 years.  Even so, the U.S. and the rest of the world have relatively abundant thorium deposits.

There does not seem to be a consistent agreement on worldwide thorium deposits.  It is though that India has the greatest reserves at 25% of world total.  The USGS estimates thorium deposits worldwide at 1,660,000 metric tons.  The USGS estimates U.S. reserves at 440,000 metric tons and India at 650,000 metric tons. 

[See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium for worldwide thorium deposits.]

A variety of liquid salt very high temperature reactor designs have been spun off from the research that culminated in the MSBR.  Some designs promise very high temperature operation exceeding 1400 degrees C, offering further increases in thermodynamic efficiency.

Blind reliance on hydrocarbon fuels to power our civilization, a darkly amusing concept considering that billions of people world-wide rely on wood for their fuel needs greatly increasing desertification, rests on a dwindling resource.  Despite protestations to the contrary, it will take ever increasing investments in time, money,  fresh water and energy input to bring new sources of hydrocarbons to market.  Burning these hydrocarbons for energy deprives us forever of their use for high value-added recycleable manufactured products.

Despite anyone's beliefs to the contrary, the annual addition of 10 billion tons of CO2, an increase of 29%, and increasing yearly, to the atmosphere is, in the long run and with the benefit of hindsight, probably not going to be seen as having been a good thing.  [My atmospheric composition analyses are rather complicated and the possibility exists that the 29% annual increase could be in error.] 

My apologies for the length of this post.  Once I get going on a topic I find it difficult to quit.  (;^) 

Sun, 09/02/2012 - 06:32 | Link to Comment RECISION
RECISION's picture

 

 

o The design is inherently safe.

 

 

Sure it is, until you have a catastrophic event, then it is just like any other reactor spewing radioactivity.

 

o It is much cleaner than current reactor technology.  It operates as a full recycle system.  The reactor discharge wastes are predominantly fission products having relatively short half-lives   The nuclear waste containment period in a geologic repository is dramatically reduced to ~300 years versus tens of thousands of years.

 

 

If you have a full on reprocessing industry and recycle the fuel properly, eventually (hopefully)the waste products are shorter lifed. 

But interesting isn't it that no-one has as yet managed to get that all working.

Reminds me a lot of Fusion promises. 

I think some-one has been drinking a bit too much cool-aid.

 

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 16:01 | Link to Comment WhiteNight123129
WhiteNight123129's picture

Wolf Richter is a hack. Get educated with the real deal like Doug Casey Wolfy!

 

Sun, 09/02/2012 - 03:56 | Link to Comment Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

I read Casey a lot when I was first learning about this stuff. He seemed knowledgeable.

But now that I'm all grown up, I see Casey as a clown.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 14:05 | Link to Comment THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Diesel Railcar routes upgraded recently with Agri rail freight potential......

google translate - The Bergerac Sarlat line

 

After more than a year of construction, 60 km of line were renovated between Bergerac and Sarlat, and trains resumed Friday, March 9, 2012.

 

Registered in the rail part of the CPER 2007-2013 Aquitaine region, the operation was to modernize 60 km line and remove the slowdown 50km / h between Siorac and Sarlat. Now, the entire line allows traffic to speed 80/90km/h. This project a total of 44 million was financed equally by the State, the Regional Council of Aquitaine and RFF. Further work is planned, however, and two phases: - In 2013, with the upgrading of the road between Le Buisson and Siorac - In 2015, with the modernization of the signaling Star Buisson (Libourne-crossing lines Bergerac Sarlat and Périgueux, Agen). This additional phase is included in the CPER for an amount of € 26 million.

 

Last year.....

www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iHWKHdQt6w

This year......

www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGHhC0yL5mo

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 15:01 | Link to Comment kayl
kayl's picture

Vive L'Aquitaine!

Sun, 09/02/2012 - 12:35 | Link to Comment THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

 0ther Recent rail work in the region includes......

Montmoreau - Bordeaux  - 102KM rail ,ballast ,sleeper replacement : 140 Million Euro , Jan -July 2012

Aiguillon -Agen - 18 km of rail replacement ,24.5 km of ballast :20million Euro , Jan -March 2012

Dax  - Pau  -68 km of rail ,ballast and sleeper replacement ;86 million Euro ,nov 2012 to May 2013

www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaYroVkhwuE

 Previously.......

 

Since January 2011, Pau-line Oloron was put into service after the completion of upgrades.

 

This operation was the total renewal of the constituents of the track (rails, sleepers, ballast) for an amount of € 35 million, funded by the Aquitaine Regional Council, the State and RFF, to ensure the sustainability of the line.

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvIKs_dzTZ0

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 14:02 | Link to Comment trx
trx's picture

THE BIG EVERYTHING:

Just forget the environmental, souvereign end national issues related to this. There are a few companies that are both BigGas, BigNuclear, BigAutomotive, BigArms, etc. at the same time. They are just "BigPower", they are global, and they are able to influence the energy policies in any country at any time. Follow the money, and the big picture becomes much clearer.....  

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 13:40 | Link to Comment THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

@Q99

Russian Nuke elec production increased 1.5% last year to roughly 40 ~ million tons of oil E.

Their nuclear industry is producing more electricity then in 1985.....much more.

This means they can export more Nat Gas.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 13:22 | Link to Comment q99x2
q99x2's picture

If the nuclear power plants in France are kept running long enough they will go away all by themselves and Russia won't have so many people to support. So in the long run nature will provide a solution that human intelligence wouldn't due to it being subordinate to greed.

Greed genes, bad genes but necessary for faster if horrific change over time.

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 13:17 | Link to Comment THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Although they appear to want to close down this most rural of railcar lines in the mountains of the  

  • Cévennes    with much local friction
  • They will find the money me thinks.......

    http://www.midilibre.fr/gard/saint-ambroix/index_10.php

    Scroll down to 7.mai 2012
    Une manifestation très suivie contre la fermeture de la ligne ales Bessèges.
    And scroll down some further to get the video link.

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 13:08 | Link to Comment THE DORK OF CORK
    THE DORK OF CORK's picture

    It exports some of its cereals through La Rochelle with 3,548,691 tonnes handled in Y2011
    In the late 80s & 90s (post EMU) there was a modal shift towards trucking inGrain transport…..this now appears to be reversing.
    “Late 2011, rail has exceeded for the first time the million mark tons (1.06 Mt) of freight pre-or post-shipped by rail. This represents an increase of 57% for 4 years. The modal share of rail in the port now stands at 12.63% of port traffic, against 8.96% in 2007?

    vimeo.com/46625605

    fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_port_maritime_de_La_Rochelle

    To give a idea of how Important France is to food production in Europe we need to look at total cereal production 2009 /10 (000 tonnes)
    Usable production Domestic comsumption self suff %
    France : 70,173  /  36,849   / 190%
    Germany :49,982     / 42,479   / 118%
    Poland :27,664     / 27,021   / 102%
    Italy :20,105  /    25,239    / 80%
    UK :24,268  /   21,138    /115%
    Hungary :16,831  /   7,797   / 216%
    Romania :16,778   / 12,098  / 139%

     

    OK – France is the bread basket of Europe producing 70.173 million tonnes of cereal in 2009 /10
    Much of it produced in the Paris Basin , much of which is exported out via the Seine River.
    http://www.panoramio.com/photo/16826727
    ……Rouen Port is the biggest exporter of Grain in France.
    Also France is the biggest Cattle producer.
    Of the 86.757 million cattle in Europe during December 2010 France had 18.992 million of these ,with Germany next – holding 12.706 million….

    OK – of course Germany produces a hell of a lot of PIGS but who is counting ?

    Excellent interview in this excellent series

    fromalpha2omega.podomatic.com/

    His first interview….
    Energy and the wealth of nations

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 12:53 | Link to Comment THE DORK OF CORK
    THE DORK OF CORK's picture

    People just don't get how much money is going into French rail (I think its much  bigger in real terms then the French nuclear capital budget of the 70s & 80s)

    You see its not just the French state directly , its SNCF , RFF ,companies such as SYtral ,PPPs, much of the regions taxes go back into rail........indeed its difficult to get a grasp on the scale of it all.

    For example look at this PDF document

    [PDF] 

    Présentation RFF - Le site info du Conseil Régional d'Auvergne

    41 million Euros is going into just one old lightly used regional railcar line near Massif Central.

    Now much of the  low land rail lines have agricultural potential such as the transport of Grain to ports such as La Rochelle which is receiving much more rail freight.......so much of these are classic mixed freight /railcar lines.

    But this is a hill /cattle country railway line !!!! 41 million Euros ? for a line that operates mainly single railcar X73500s ?

    fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligne_de_Figeac_à_Arvant

     

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNFGk9cVJsg

     

    France is preparing for a change in the worlds monetary system - whether it will happen or not  - they are preparing for a change in input costs.

     

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 13:38 | Link to Comment SubjectivObject
    SubjectivObject's picture

    Thanks for the info and analysis.

    Too bad the Neaderthal progeny of them pushed into the New World don't get it.

    The USless electorate is just so phenomenaly stupid.

    The only remaining hope for their change is that pain may yet refine their sensibilities.

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 11:25 | Link to Comment Richard Whitney
    Richard Whitney's picture

    The environmental movement was not the prime target of the DGSE. Yes, the DSGE sank the Greenpeace's 'Rainbow Warrior' flagship in Aukland. They deliberately left scuba gear at the scene of the crime with their identity on it, knowing that the shitstorm that was certain to happen would blow back into the face of Mitterand.

    Nor was this the first treasonous act they performed against Mitterand. When Argentina took the Falkland Islands in and Thatcher sent a military response to the area, she first asked Mitterand about those Exocet missiles that France had sold to Argentina. She asked, "Francois, do they know how to use them?". His reply was "I will check.", and he asked the DGSE, who gleefully answered "No." when they knew that the real answer should be "Yes." So it was Mitterand who lost face when Argentina hit the troop ship with that Exocet.

     

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 10:28 | Link to Comment My Days Are Get...
    My Days Are Getting Fewer's picture

    Good article and excellent comments.  I learned something here.

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 10:29 | Link to Comment THE DORK OF CORK
    THE DORK OF CORK's picture

    Some local rail projects in the pipeline.

    Railway freight line east of Orleans next to tram line B will carry regular passengers for the first time since 1938.

    www.rff.fr/IMG/pdf/20120106_CpresseOrleans_Chateauneuf-2.pdf   So 27 KM of new steel and ballast + 6/7 stations for 100 ~ million Euros - railcars (probally X73500s) running every half hour during peak times....  www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZSGVRv42_0     (look to the right at 2.00m to see this old railline which will integrate with both Orleans main line station and this tram route. reouverture-avignon-carpentras.fr/   Linking little towns such as this to the rail network. www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnBfnkWFLD8   Avignon is also linking its TGV station & older central station via a rail link through the city.
    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 09:29 | Link to Comment SafelyGraze
    SafelyGraze's picture

    Gazprom’s “underhanded tactics” and “scaremongering about a new technology” .. are designed to dissuade governments from developing their own shale-gas reserves

    this drivel smacks of conspiracy koolaid. you won't find any drinkers here. 

    if an eco group persuades the head of state to stop exploring shale gas, well that's just good-sense responsible stewardship of our shared resources for future generations. plain and simple. 

    go peddle your "corporate influence" narrative over at yahoo news where you have an audience skeptical about the leadership it elected. 

    you won't find that audience here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAtxnYOdgYE

    watch to the end. "we don't have to choose between our environment and our economy".

     

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 21:41 | Link to Comment Gordon Freeman
    Gordon Freeman's picture

    WTF are you smokin'???

    Sun, 09/02/2012 - 00:39 | Link to Comment SafelyGraze
    SafelyGraze's picture

    the MDB blunts

    have one!

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 09:10 | Link to Comment Bicycle Repairman
    Bicycle Repairman's picture

    So as we can see governments NEVER intervene in the workings of the energy market.  Just as with the labor market, the energy market is totally free, thanks to the WTO.  And governments would never create such destructive myths as climate change and peak oil as part of some alleged energy conspiracy.  NEVER.

    All decisions in the energy market are based solely on economics and technology.

    /sarc

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 08:51 | Link to Comment BigDuke6
    BigDuke6's picture

    Save me the russian scare story.

    It maybe worked in the 60's but now Putin is the only head of state in the G8 not beholden to the Rothschild NWO.

    So this shit doesn't cut it with me.

    tonight i've been drinking an ardbeg supernova (the peatiest whisky in the world) and comparing a bowmore 12yr and 18yr.  Very yum.

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 08:40 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
    AnAnonymous's picture

    'American' economics is all about consumption.
    Environmental restrictions have only one aim in 'American' countries: postpone immediate consumption of close resources to keep focusing on consuming distant resources.

    Putting shale gas extraction would not mean a decrease in consumption of nuclear energy for example. Shale gas consumption will come to add itself to already existing consumption.

    Now, 'Americans' residing in France know that their nuclear industry is an hoax as it depends on the extortion business they are running in their former african colonies.
    Lately, due to uranium contract reaching its final term, the 'Americans' residing in France were compelled to revise up their prices on Uranium from their african suppliers. They stroke a new deal for a price one third below the market price (one should keep in mind 'Americans' in France used to pay less than that before)
    It already had consequences on France's competitiveness as the rise in energy ate on the margin therefore, that had to shifted on to all types of consumers.

    The 'American' french nuclear fallacy will go as long as their business of extortion in Africa is solvent. When their african suppliers run out of metals, the 'American' french will have to buy at market prices as they are not able to run an extortion business on other Uranium suppliers.
    With that,the downfall of their shaking competiveness will come.

    Just have to time the life expectancy of their various suppliers'mines to know when.

    At this point, extraction of shale gas from France will come very handy. If they extract now, they will have much less to consume when their uranium extortion business ran out.

    If one adds that they are turning radioactive the african environments they extract their uranium from, one understands they have to keep close at hand some sort of energy...

    Contrary to the article claims, the russians have little to do with the final decision. But one agrees they are convenient scapegoats when it comes to discuss 'American' energy policy.
    Much better the Russians than the 'Americans' themselves.

    But hey, the author would not be an 'American' if he did not rely heavily on propaganda.

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 08:59 | Link to Comment BigDuke6
    BigDuke6's picture

    Why so serious all the time AnA?  Busily providing responses for acock and co.

    Have some scotch, you would like.

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 12:36 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
    AnAnonymous's picture

    'Americanism' is serious stuff...

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 12:44 | Link to Comment akak
    akak's picture

    Make me laugh!

    'Americanism' does not exist, except in the bigoted and retarded mind of AnAnnoyingMouse.

    Now, Chinese Citizenism is much more seriously --- the crustiest bit of it, a woeful menacing something.

    Sun, 09/02/2012 - 08:55 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
    AnAnonymous's picture

    More of 'Americans' denying their own existence and that of 'Americanism'... Ultimate trick, one could suppose.

    Sun, 09/02/2012 - 14:14 | Link to Comment Kayman
    Kayman's picture

    Boring... Your Chicom masters need to give you a new script.  By the way, how's that new invention- toilet paper -working out for you ?

    I know TP is a little tough to master, but you'll get used to it.

    Sun, 09/02/2012 - 10:33 | Link to Comment OneTinSoldier66
    OneTinSoldier66's picture

    Is there anything else in your head besides a 'divide and conquer' mentality? It's the only thing I ever see espoused in your ideals.

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 07:49 | Link to Comment THE DORK OF CORK
    THE DORK OF CORK's picture

    PS - the Germans are clearly in league with the Russians - their Nuclear shutdown programme has created a rolling Nat Gas spike throughout the Euro region - destroying the economies of Ireland for example in one giant leap for entropy.

    It was a act of war on their part - they can do what they like if the go back to a national economy but withen the euro their actions have real externalties on its neighbours.

    Their solar industry is a sick joke - you cannot feed solar back into the grid system on a large scale.

     

    Sarko was correct - if we want a measure of wealth to remain in Europe - a major nuclear programme is the only option for base load duties.

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 10:18 | Link to Comment Element
    Element's picture

    Problem is they need to get the reactors rebuilt underground so that when they pop, which one eventually will, it is already more or less contained, and does not ruin pasture, crop, livestock, reservoirs, plus rural and city environs for decades.

    Do the French govt or private sector have finances for such a root and branch rebuild of the industry?

    (they should consult the Iranians, they know a bit about doing the underground option with little money)

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 08:50 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
    AnAnonymous's picture

    The Russians have little to do with it: 'Americans' know by now that putting new energy sources online only leads to more consumption.

    With a world pushed on the path of depletion of resources, 'Americans' are compelled to wonder what kind of consumption for tomorrow.

    Germans are jumping on solar energy, right now, so that solar energy can be installed (at a loss) on the remaining oil energy.

    Solar energy wont provide enough in the future. But this is not the story. The story is about providing something.

    The nuclear energy is an hoax: France runs its own on a much lower uranium price.

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 06:30 | Link to Comment THE DORK OF CORK
    THE DORK OF CORK's picture

    A single X73500 pulls out of Agen station on a a red sunset evening
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNnnouJkzso

     

    The key to reducing oil dependence is these medium scale projects located withen the hinterland rather then Paris - Stuff can be done.

    But of all the stuff - its the old Paris Metro which does the heavy lifting for now with 1.5 billion passeneger movements a year.

    Its harder to get rail data from the regions other then places with a political rail focus such as Aquitaine but the Paris Basin Data is available.

    Covering Years 2010 & 2011 (number of trips , millions)

    RATP including: 3,048 / 3,102 (1.8 % increase)
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RATP_Group

    Metro 1,506 / 1,525 (1.2 % increase)
    RER 457 / 469 (2.6% increase) – RER is the local rail system covering the Hinterland around & outside Paris
    Paris Bus 339 / 352 (3.8 % increase)
    Suburban bus 637 / 641 (0.6% increase)
    Tramways (excluding T4) 101 / 107( 5.9% increase)
    Other services 8 / 8 (5.0% increase)
    SNCF * 687 / 706 (2.8% increase)
    Bus OPTILE TRA + (p) 320 / 331 (3.4 % increase)
    Together 4,055 / 4,139 (2.1 % increase) 

    So we have fairly modest rises in passenger numbers given the rise in fuel costs in the optimum for public transport Paris basin….
    Clearly the famous Paris Metro does the Heavy lifting with the small tram system holding the most potential for growth

     

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 08:44 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
    AnAnonymous's picture

    It all relies on the extortion business they are running in Africa. They have their uranium at a much lower price than the market price.

    Germans know this. The French nuclear miracle can only be mimicked if the Germans managed themselves into similar prices in uranium.

    Wont happen, cant happen.

    That is why they are dismantling their nuclear program. Because it is hogwash.

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 09:11 | Link to Comment THE DORK OF CORK
    THE DORK OF CORK's picture

    Sure - all industrial activity requires inputs to get output.

    But even if Uranium prices were to double the main costs of Nuclear is the fixed capital costs on site - not the raw fuel price.

    The Nuclear industry is very different from the Nat Gas elec. industry - where the capital costs are very low (gas tubines are little more then fixed site jet engines) and the fuel costs are high relative to output.

    The dynamics of Nuclear is as I say very very different.

    Germany is merely a extreme mercantile state & France values its internal capital assets more highly - Germany prefers to use its resourses to export its goods rather then build its internal capital base.

    So France pays it internal workers rather then exporting its money to import Nat Gas.

    France is the only western european economy that can become a  national economy again.

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 12:45 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
    AnAnonymous's picture

    Both are 'American' economies, therefore relying on optimization of transfer from an exterior to an interior.

    France can not become a national economy again: they depend on imports of uranium at a much cheaper price than the market price.

    Nat Gas wont substitute for nuclear energy: it will be consumed along with nuclear energy, adding terajoules to be consumed. There is no substitution here.

    Getting a low price in uranium has proven vital: the increase has choked the french production sector competitiveness as it forced up the price of a kWh, which was substantially lower due to the inputs'price.
    One could easily imagine what happens when the price to pay is market price, or when more and more actors are relying on uranium, which will create price inflation in uranium.

    'Americans' in the US have oil they can buy through credit emissions, very low cost. 'Americans' in France have their uranium scam, which is extracted at the expense of the indigenous populations'health and paid under the market price.

    None are viable models. Only good to make sure that a race to depletion of resources is the way to go.

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 12:51 | Link to Comment akak
    akak's picture

    But your beloved China does not use resources in any way, nor import any resources from outside its own borders, right?

    Hypocritizenism, thy name is AnAnnoyingMouse.

    Sun, 09/02/2012 - 09:00 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
    AnAnonymous's picture

    My beloved China? Inventing narratives is an 'american' thing.

    So one day, China will fall and 'Americans, as the can kickers they are, will be left with the likes of Somalia to avert attention from themselves.

    As US citizens nature is eternal, once China has fallen, anyone reporting about 'Americanism' will be opposed stuff like "how is doing your beloved Somalia?" to explain any 'American' behaviour...

    'Americans': the stronger is coerced by the weaker. 'American' tale coming up to you every day.

    Sun, 09/02/2012 - 13:55 | Link to Comment akak
    akak's picture

    Typical for the Chinese Citizenism troll --- nothing but more diversion, more irrelevancies, more evasion, more lies.

    Trying to argue honestly and rationally with you is like trying to teach algebra to a coconut.

    EVERYTHING of which you accuse Americans under your own self-defined rubric of "US Citizenism" can equally be laid at the feet of the population and ruling regime of China, or indeed the population of almost any other industrialized/industrializing nation --- so what makes the consumption of resources a uniquely "American" thing?  And why are you consistently unable to provide any clear or logical definition of your so-called 'US Citizenism'?

    Face it: you are nothing but a raging, dishonest, cowardly bigot, who uses this forum for no reason other than to constantly condemn the population of the USA for "crimes" of which you and your countrymen are equally guilty, if not in fact even more guilty.

    Sun, 09/02/2012 - 12:28 | Link to Comment Ghordius
    Ghordius's picture

    come on, akak, he is doing lately some very good comments, next to the sidedish of "Americanism".

    -del- found it lacking in grip

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 06:21 | Link to Comment THE DORK OF CORK
    THE DORK OF CORK's picture

    France has also cut her oil imports by 1.7% in 2011 despite  major mainly rail & tram construction projects ongoing

    www.rff.fr/

    Indeed The reason why we have not seen such dramatic falls of Diesel consumption as in Italy is because construction projects remain ongoing.


    omrpublic.iea.org/demand/fr_dl_ov.pdf    Meanwhile it petrol consumption is tanking.  
    omrpublic.iea.org/demand/fr_gs_ov.pdf 

    There is 4 major high speed project planned , 2 are in high tempo of operations , 1 is getting started now and the other will be moving in a few years. Tram projects too numerous to mention but Orleans line B is a good example - now forming a cross shaped tram network in that town and also there are plans to integrate a old railway line east of Orleans closed to passenenger traffic in 1938 with this new ine B. In Aquataine there is a major regional railcar TER focus to the region.


    A good example of what can be done on a regional level despite catostrophic monetary conditions if you have enthusiastic pro local rail leadership.
    fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alain_Rousset
    TER trains (the local services are showing big increases in 2011 passenger numbers * km)
    Go to

    En 2011, progression de 8 % du trafic passagers des TER et des aéroports

    http://www.insee.fr/fr/regions/aquitaine/collection.asp?id=42

    The Bordeaux -Agen route exceeded 100 million passenger KMs for the first time.

    Google translate
    “The “Flying Agen Heart” is available in 6 points to make downtown Agen its attractiveness and dynamism including:

    the creation of a real pedestrian area around the Boulevard de la République;
    the creation of 800 additional parking spaces with new rules for parking ;
    a new plan for transport which irrigate the city center with regular bus and shuttles;
    one plane traffic in downtown magazine that fits both the new pedestrian area and in terms of public transport;
    entertainment program and development of commerce city;
    a program of home renovation old.”

    http://www.agen.fr/1-39583-Renovation-Gare-Agen-Centre.php

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52dJdA3IaGY

    http://www.panoramio.com/photo/9702086

    Still I think the money would be best spent rebuilding the old freight line between Agen & Auch rather then Bus & Parking stuff.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agen–Vic-en-Bigorre_railway
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cinoH8AElYc

    http://www.panoramio.com/photo/9507891

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 05:42 | Link to Comment THE DORK OF CORK
    THE DORK OF CORK's picture

    Much of the Shale Gas reserves is located in the Paris basin......they won't drill there.

    Besides, Ile de France is the richest area of France by far.......

    Also its a very major agri - region.

    France does not only make Wine & Chesse - its the biggest European cereal producer by far - producing 63,495,000 tonnes in 2011 of a  total EU 27 cereral crop of 280,814,000.

    Much of this crop is produced in the Paris Basin.

    Also France would be much less of a economic power without domestic Nuclear on its soil - Nuclear electricity production has returned to it near pre crisis peak , increasing by 3.2% in 2011.

    Meanwhile it has cut its Nat Gas imports by a very large 13.9% in one year !!

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 18:18 | Link to Comment Zero Govt
    Zero Govt's picture

    Dork of Cork  -  you're making the (politicians) case that drilling for shale gas in the Paris basin would effect agriculture. We've got enough hysterical eco-loons without members of the public also making wild accusations

    here's no contamination drilling for shale gas in the area, if there was the company would soon be put right by the short tempered French farmers

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 05:50 | Link to Comment SmittyinLA
    SmittyinLA's picture

    dat big tower in Paris would make a nice drill-rig 

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 13:22 | Link to Comment Oldrepublic
    Oldrepublic's picture

    http://nextbigfuture.com/2010/09/paris-basin-shale-oil-could-have-more.html

    Paris basin oil shale has more oil than Bakken oil field

    Sat, 09/01/2012 - 17:54 | Link to Comment boogerbently
    boogerbently's picture

    "In the US, natural gas may be the most mispriced commodity these days. Its price has been below the cost of production for so long that the industry is suffering billions in losses. But demand for natural gas by power producers has been booming—and it’s killing coal, one powerplant at a time."

     

    .....SO, charge more for it!

    Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!