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The Bridge: Natural Gas in a Redivided Europe

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A noted expert on Russian energy argues that despite Europe’s geopolitical rivalries, natural gas and deals based on it unite Europe’s nations in mutual self-interest. Three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the Soviet empire, the West faces a new era of East–West tensions. Any vision of a modern Russia integrated into the world economy and aligne A noted expert on Russian energy argues that despite Europe’s geopolitical rivalries, natural gas and deals based on it unite Europe’s nations in mutual self-interest. Three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the Soviet empire, the West faces a new era of East–West tensions. Any vision of a modern Russia integrated into the world economy and aligned in peaceful partnership with a reunited Europe has abruptly vanished. Two opposing narratives vie to explain the strategic future of Europe, one geopolitical and one economic, and both center on the same resource: natural gas. In The Bridge, Thane Gustafson, an expert on Russian oil and gas, argues that the political rivalries that capture the lion’s share of media attention must be viewed alongside multiple business interests and differences in economic ideologies. With a dense network of pipelines linking Europe and Russia, natural gas serves as a bridge that unites the region through common interests. Tracking the economic and political role of natural gas through several countries—Russia and Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and Norway—The Bridge details both its history and its likely future. As Gustafson suggests, there are reasons for optimism, but whether the “gas bridge” can ultimately survive mounting geopolitical tensions and environmental challenges remains to be seen.


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A noted expert on Russian energy argues that despite Europe’s geopolitical rivalries, natural gas and deals based on it unite Europe’s nations in mutual self-interest. Three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the Soviet empire, the West faces a new era of East–West tensions. Any vision of a modern Russia integrated into the world economy and aligne A noted expert on Russian energy argues that despite Europe’s geopolitical rivalries, natural gas and deals based on it unite Europe’s nations in mutual self-interest. Three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the Soviet empire, the West faces a new era of East–West tensions. Any vision of a modern Russia integrated into the world economy and aligned in peaceful partnership with a reunited Europe has abruptly vanished. Two opposing narratives vie to explain the strategic future of Europe, one geopolitical and one economic, and both center on the same resource: natural gas. In The Bridge, Thane Gustafson, an expert on Russian oil and gas, argues that the political rivalries that capture the lion’s share of media attention must be viewed alongside multiple business interests and differences in economic ideologies. With a dense network of pipelines linking Europe and Russia, natural gas serves as a bridge that unites the region through common interests. Tracking the economic and political role of natural gas through several countries—Russia and Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and Norway—The Bridge details both its history and its likely future. As Gustafson suggests, there are reasons for optimism, but whether the “gas bridge” can ultimately survive mounting geopolitical tensions and environmental challenges remains to be seen.

30 review for The Bridge: Natural Gas in a Redivided Europe

  1. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Gusev

    A well researched book about the story, status and future of gas industry and its implication on overall energy policy. As the share of gas consumption is expected to only increase from 20 to 25 per cent in the future, establishing, negotiating and managing contracts as well as waging exploration is important for political stability. Where in part influenced by national righty for prestige - something that formed both the onset of USSR export into W Germany and the exploration programs in Siberi A well researched book about the story, status and future of gas industry and its implication on overall energy policy. As the share of gas consumption is expected to only increase from 20 to 25 per cent in the future, establishing, negotiating and managing contracts as well as waging exploration is important for political stability. Where in part influenced by national righty for prestige - something that formed both the onset of USSR export into W Germany and the exploration programs in Siberia, European infatuation with methane started amid the competitive drive of Austria vs Netherlands and subsequent North Sea exploration championed by Norway. Where gas reliance spelled doom on other reforms in the Union, it also allowed lights and heat in Russian cities in early 90ies. Where market reforms could split Gazprom into numerous entities, liberal market reformers showed their Communism colours and stood against. Where management of Gazprom sought pieces for itself, new management loyal not to the industry but to new president of Russia and sharing the experience of working together in St Petersburg, reversed the privatisation and turned the monopoly in a good quasi state aiding national foreign policy agenda. A good book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dhruv Singh

    Overall a really good book. The first half of the book though, could be compressed. The second half of the book is very well written, very informative, and goes into just the right level of detail. Enjoyed the book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Weirdly fascinating.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ietrio

    Another governmental drone and his belief in "unity". Stalin's dream is not dead. Another governmental drone and his belief in "unity". Stalin's dream is not dead.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  6. 5 out of 5

    Zaman

  7. 5 out of 5

    David Manley

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anton

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

  10. 5 out of 5

    Robert Love

  11. 4 out of 5

    Elena Anankina

  12. 4 out of 5

    Donna Bahry Bartlett

  13. 5 out of 5

    Raiyan Ahsan

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rjhayes

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sam

  16. 4 out of 5

    Zach

  17. 5 out of 5

    Felix Zaharia

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nick Nguyen

  19. 5 out of 5

    Maximilian

  20. 4 out of 5

    Arno

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mauricio Santoro

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alfie

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mauricio Belaunde

  25. 4 out of 5

    Philipp

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ilnur Aznabaev

  27. 4 out of 5

    Corey Kupersmith

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dzhanneta

  29. 4 out of 5

    Matt

  30. 4 out of 5

    Neil Bhatiya

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