The Bigger the Bang - The Louder the silence No 17 : Massive gas Explosion at Nyagan, Siberia covered up... and gas cuts to Ukraine ??
Nyagan is a recently developed town in Western Siberia, 230 km NW from the capital of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug - Khanty-Mansiysk. Originally a a settlement of foresters in 1967, it has since become the centre of a massive growth inf the natural gas and oil industry with the largest oil companies of Russia. Among them are "Tyumen Oil company - Nyagan", Khantymansiyskneftegasgeologiya", "Archneftegeologiya", "RITEK", "Sibneft" .
Probably most famous for being the home town of Maria Sharapova who was born there 19th April 1987 where her parents had fled from Gomel, fleeing from the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster.
There was a massive explosion there on 16th Fenruary which has only been noted once in the Russian / World Press.
These photographs have emerged (via a Sheikh of Araby in the Lord Patel offices) which suggest an apocalyptic event and no other news seems available.
One wonders if the "event" at Bacton in Norfolk could have resulted in such an event if that had really exploded.
Russian Gas supplies to Ukraine
Russia's state-controlled gas monopoly Gazprom reduced shipments to Ukraine yesterday by 30% and Sergei Kupriyanov from Gazprom has threatened a further 25% cut today if Ukraine did not resolve a dispute over debts and contracts by this evening.(AP)
As a consequence Dmytro Marunich, a spokesman for Naftogaz, Ukraine's natural gas company warned today that if Russia further cuts its gas supplies, it will begin diverting shipments intended for western Europe. He said they "reserve(s) the right to resort to adequate and symmetrical measures to defend the interests of its consumers."
Only 25% of Ukraine's gas imports from Russian is of Russian origin; the remainder is from Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan in pipelines controlled by Gazprom. By cutting more than 25% Gazprom is effectively also cutting Central Asian gas supplies as well.
Marunich said cutting Central Asian gas "grossly violates technical agreements between the two companies."
Gazprom says the dispute is commercial but Gazprom is controlled by the state and its chairman, Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's president-elect.
President Viktor Yushchenko, of the Ukraine has persistently irritated the Kremlin with threats to move out of Russia's sphere of influence and aims for closer integration with NATo and the West.
Again last month Gazprom threatened supply cuts in a US$1.5 billion debt dispute, which appeared tp be timed to coincide with Yushchenko's visit to Moscow. That cutoff was avoided by a last-minute agreement between Yushchenko and President Vladimir Putin although no documents/ contracts were agreed and signed to formalise this "gentleman's" understanding.
Sergei Kupranov told the press today "In connection with the lack of progress in talks, the lack of Naftogaz signing contracts for the purchase of gas, including for the amount already delivered in January and February, a decision has been reached to cut gas deliveries for Ukraine by another 25 percent."
Naftogaz has been silent on the fauilure to sign the contracts have not been signed. Allegedly it revolves around disputes over the use of "middlemen companies" (trans. graft and the curious RosUkrEnergo company ) in the Russia-Ukraine gas trade.
RosUkrEnergo, is an intermediary company half-owned by Gazprom and half by two Ukrainian businessmen. The gas in turn is sold to UkrGazEnergo — jointly owned by Naftogaz and RosUkrEnergo — which then supplies Naftogaz, an arrangement that the glamorous Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko doesn't share in and wants stopped and the use of direct formal arrangements with Gazprom.
Here is a picture of Miss Sharapova , the beautiful daughter of Nyagan, if you have not seen one previously or have forgotten what the winner of the Australian Open looks like.