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The Natural Gas Card in Ukraine

Hunger Adds to Syria Crisis

Global Resources News examines the conflict over commodities and resources such as oil, water, land and minerals. We cover the competing interests of trade, local society and environmental concerns.

Our coverage is based on well-documented data about these issues, drawing on authoritative sources, describing these conflicts over commodities in a neutral tone.

We hope you will use this information to assess risks about the conflicts over commodities and use that assessment to guide your decisions in the fields of oil, gas, shale, land, food and other commodities.

Ukraine Energy Future Remixed Due to Crimea

Ukraine is a major transit area for natural gas. Source: GTE

German Firm Begins Gas Reverse Flow to Ukraine

April 16 - German energy provider RWE reversed the flow of gas to Ukraine on Tuesday April 15, the company said.

Invoking provisions from a contract it signed with Ukraine in 2012, RWE could provide 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Ukraine. That would equal about on-third of Ukraine's imports of natural gas from Russia.

RWE said it would drawing the natural gas from its overall portfolio of European supplies. RWE acquires some of its natural gas from Russia, but also obtains gas from Norway and the Netherlands.

RWE said it would supply the gas based on European wholesale prices and delivery costs.

Other European countries have discussed reversing the flow of natural gas to Ukraine but had not signed agreements to do so as of April 16.

Russia has said that reverse flows to Ukraine would be illegal and has also said that Ukraine's failure to pay its debt for past natural gas deliveries could lead to curtailment of supplies in the future.

Military Movements
NATO said that it was increasing patrols in the Baltics and deploying more forces on the ground. NATO's north-eastern members are wary of Russia after its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

In eastern Ukraine about a half-dozen Ukrainian armored vehicles April 16 rolled through the streets of Sloyansk bearing Russian flags. There were conflicting reports of whether Ukrainian troops had defected, pro-Russian forces had seized the vehicles or if the action was part of a Ukrainian strategy. Read more about the crisis in Ukraine

News about Commodities, Conflict and Sustainability

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Renewables to Top Gas: IEA
Renewable energy will surpass
natural gas in developed countries

Air Quality Improvements Uneven
Some air quality measures have improved, but many still suffer from pollution.

Pipeline Spills Becoming More Costly
While the number of onshore pipeline spills has dropped, the damage climbs.

Iraq Charts Oil Future Amidst Challenges
Iraq plans to increase production of oil. Pipeline blockages confront it now.

Spotlight: Middle East Conflict

Influx of Syrian refugees stretches Jordan's water resources - The Washington Post

Syrian refugees use 35 liters per day, six times as much water as Jordanians an official says.

The Ecology of Economics

Open Data Tracks Environmental Work
Read the full story at
With $700 billion planned for climate change investments, a way is needed to monitor the environment and related projects. Mapping, satellite imagery and open data are being used to provide information, this PBS report says.

See other summaries in our archive

InfoChannels: Key Facts about Key Issues

Conflict over Oil

Map of oil producing countries that export to the United States and their political, peace and stability status rankings.
The US gets 60% of its imported oil from countries
which are not free nor stable. Click on map for more details.
The world economy pumped 87 million barrels of oil a day in 2011, up from 84 mlllion in 2007. With emerging economies demanding more petroleum to fuel their growth, oil producers are turning to more difficult conditions and hostile territories for their exploration and production.

The increasing difficulties in maintaining high production rates is the key metric in this conflict. Although the earth may contain billions of barrels of oil or similar hydrocarbons, it is only the amount that can be extracted in a timely fashion that is use to economies and societies. There have been many examples of this extraction rate going into decline after a high point, a phenomenon called "Peak Oil." The United States experience Peak Oil in the early 1970's. As other countries, and ultimately the world as a whole, go into Peak Oil phases, competition is expected to become more intense.

The map to the right shows the political status of countries which export oil to the United States. The green countries are assessed as 'free' by the think tank Freedom House. The yellow countries are 'partly free' and the purple are 'not free.' The United States gets 60 percent of its foreign oil from countries which are neither free, peaceful nor stable. Click on the map to enlarge it and for a table and its accompanying story.

Extreme Weather

Extreme weather includes drought, which deprives plants of water necessary for life, and tornadoes which destroy homes. Climate Change is among the factors driving extreme weather.
The first years of the 21st Century have seen unusual hurricanes, tornado swarms, floods and droughts descending upon natural areas, croplands and cities.

Some say it is a largely a manifestation of man-made climate change; others attribute it to natural variability and periodic trends of the earth. And there is the argument that it is some of both.

Whatever the cause, extreme weather is causing thousands of deaths and destroying billions of dollars of property and crops. Coastlines are impacted by sea level rise, even at the rate of a few millimeters a year.

This channel helps you stay informed about the issues and ramifications of extreme weather.