US President-elect Joe Biden, who will be inaugurated on January 20, is preparing to sign the documents on the first day to ban the Canadian-American oil pipeline Keystone XL, according to CBC News.
This decision will be a boon for Russia, as the United States will face a shortage of oil and gas in the next few years, from which Russian companies can also make money. This opinion was expressed in comments to Vedomosti by the head of the Center for Energy Security of the Institute of the USA and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences Andrei Korneev.
The ban will be a continuation of the US policy of Barack Obama, in whose administration Joe Biden served as vice president. In 2015, the 44th US President agreed with the arguments of environmentalists, but his successor, Donald Trump, canceled the decision on the fourth day of his presidency and promised to complete the laying of the oil pipeline.
In 2018, the project became more relevant due to the conflict with Venezuela. The United States refused to buy oil from the Latin American republic, which led to problems at American oil refineries (refineries). Technologically, they need a Venezuelan or a similar grade of oil, and they could get it in Canada.
Against this backdrop, refineries in the United States reduced their production. Average data for the last month show that they purchased an average of 14.332 million barrels of oil per day, which is comparable to December 1996.
According to Korneev, plans for the development of carbon-free energy cannot be implemented quickly, which means that the United States will need additional volumes of oil and gas. They can be taken, for example, in Venezuela, for example, and Russian companies have every chance of becoming intermediaries in this operation. “It is difficult and risky, but in general it is possible,” the expert admitted.
He sees spot deliveries of gas to the American market in winter as an even more realistic option for earning, especially if it is possible to organize year-round escort of tankers along the Northern Sea Route.
Meanwhile, the US has already begun to increase imports of heavy grades of oil, including from Russia. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the US Department of Energy in October (the most recent data) estimated purchases of Russian oil at 660 thousand barrels. According to this indicator, the country came in second place in the world after Canada, which supplied almost four million barrels. Mexico and Saudi Arabia are next in the list of suppliers.
Earlier it became known that Biden’s team did not intend to change the policy regarding the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline. Candidate for the post of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken did not rule out that the new administration will use additional sanctions pressure.