Russia’s Dangerous Struggle With Obscurantism
imports of natural gas and crude oil have fallen 32% and 15%, respectively, over the last five years. Now the U.S. is also poised to beat Russia in total production of oil and natural gas combined, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. In fact, it may have already happened. In July, the U.S. produced the equivalent of roughly 22.2 million barrels a day of oil, natural gas and related fuels, according to data from the Energy Information Administration and International Energy Agency. Neither agency has data for Russias gas output, but based on the countrys forecast for 2013, combined production should be about 21.8 million barrels a day. Last year, the U.S. produced more natural gas than Russia for the first time since 1982. Russia does hold the potential for greater production. The country is believed to have one of the worlds largest oil-bearing shale formations. But so far, Russia hasnt embraced the combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling that has unleashed large supplies of oil and gas in the U.S. Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to hit production milestones amid rapid production at shale formations like North Dakotas Bakken and Eagle Ford in Texas. Based on the EIAs short-term energy outlook, domestic oil production in August was at its highest daily output, 7.6 million barrels a day, since 1989.
Shelton Soars as 4th Russia Well Starts Flowing: Stockholm Mover
Shelton added as much as 23 percent to 41 kronor, its highest level since at least Nov. 20 and steepest intraday advance since Sept. 17 this year. They rose 22 percent to 40.7 kronor as of 12:25 p.m. local time, with volume at more than five times the daily average in the past three months. The companys fourth well on the Rustamovskoye oil field in Russia has been taken into production with an initial flow rate of more than 300 barrels per day, it said in a statement today. Thats significantly higher than the fields previous wells, it said. The combined production of Sheltons Russian and Ukrainian operations now total some 1,000 barrels per day. We have two surrounding fields that also have potential but focus has been on the Rustamovskoye field and thats where we have the immediate focus to increase production, Shelton Chief Executive Officer Robert Karlsson said in a telephone interview today. Whats a lot of fun with this latest well is that it strengthens our view of the field. All else equal, it increases the potential to extract reserves from the field. Sheltons Rustamovskoye field, which produces 700 barrels per day, is the only of its three licenses in Bashkiria in the Volga-Urals area in Russia that produces oil, Karlsson said. The company also has a joint venture in Ukraine with oil and gas companies Ukrnafta and Chornomornaftogaz, he said. If we can repeat these results in future drillings, the company will be able to increase its reserves substantially at the next reserves update, the Stockholm-based oil explorer said in the statement.
The protest came after Moscow and Beijing for the second time vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on the President Bashar al-Assad regime’s crackdown on dissent./ MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images MOSCOW Russia’s Foreign Ministry says the Russian Embassy in Libya has been attacked by unidentified gunmen but none of its staff has been wounded. Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Ekho Moskvy radio the attackers fired at the embassy in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and tried to break into its grounds. She said that according to preliminary information no one among the embassy personnel was wounded. An attack last year in the city of Benghazi killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya last year. Meanwhile Libyan security officials say gunmen have shot dead a naval officer and his 7-year-old son in the eastern city of Benghazi. The officials said the gunmen fired Wednesday on the vehicle of Col. Saleh el-Hudeiry of the coast guards, killing him on the spot. The son was wounded and later died. Libya has been hit by a months-long wave of targeted killings against activists, judges and security agents. On Tuesday, an air force pilot was shot dead in the capital Tripoli. Most killings are presumed to be the work of armed factions, but authorities later apprehended a Russian woman whom they said had killed the pilot and written offensive graffiti in his blood. Her alleged motives were not clear. Officials spoke anonymously because they weren’t authorized to brief the media.
The Russian state nearly collapsed during this period under the combined pressure of a devastating famine, widespread civil strife, and foreign invasion. About one-third of the population died before the Romanov dynasty was established in 1613. In Repin’s portrait, Ivan the Terrible seems to be having a horrific presentiment of the disaster that his impetuous and uncontrolled rage has brought on his family and his country. But Boiko-Veliky and his group of Orthodox, nationalist co-signers argue there is no historical evidence that Ivan the Terrible actually killed his son and that the “myth” that he did was invented and disseminated by “foreign ambassadors,” who likely poisoned the heir in preparation for their war to destroy Russia. In an interview with the Russian News Service, Boiko-Veliky noted that Culture Minister Medinsky cast doubt on the notion that Ivan the Terrible killed his son in his book, “Black Myths About Russia.” In an interview with Kommersant-FM radio, art historian Andrei Yerofeyev said: “This isn’t the first attempt to settle scores with Russian art — either contemporary or historical — with Pushkin, with Tolstoy, with Dostoevsky, and now with Repin. That is people try to solve their internal problems, their problems in their relations with their fellow countrymen and with their country by fighting against their own culture. They want to replace it, proclaim it Russophobic. We have developed this type of obscurantism — and not just at the margins of society. They have also appeared in universities and have entered into various advisory bodies, into the Culture Ministry, and they are quietly moving up the ladder.” Yerofeyev added that it is “absolutely” possible that Minister Medinsky might agree with the complaint against the painting. He noted that last year prosecutors in St. Petersburg investigated an exhibition at the State Hermitage Museum after nationalist Cossacks complained it was “blasphemous” and “hurt their religious sensibilities.” The wave of nationalist-Orthodox cultural revisionism has been growing in Russia ever since Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000. Earlier this year, “The Calvert Journal” published a feature on Ilya Glazunov’s Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture.” Glazunov urges artists to “be worthy of yourselves and shoulder the great task of being an artist who expresses the national self-consciousness of his people.” “At a time when contemporary artists are increasingly coming into conflict with the state, particularly in response to recent impositions on freedom of expression exemplified by events such as the Pussy Riot affair and the introduction of new laws against so-called ‘homosexual propaganda,'” the article concludes, “it is important to remember that the Russian right wing continues to train its own legions of artists” that are obsessed with a “dangerous reverence for a nonexistent past.” Even if the government does not respond to the request to remove Repin’s painting, Boiko-Veliky’s letter could be still be dangerous. The complaint also states that Repin himself was punished by God for his deeds — “his right hand withered and he could neither paint nor cross himself.” The letter continues that “after the revolution in 1917, while he was in exile in Finland, he radically changed his views, began to attend Orthodox services, and sang in the choir.” It continues in what can only be seen as a thinly veiled appeal to some unbalanced figure like the unfortunate Abram Balashov.