Category Archives: gas

Press freedom. The interesting case of Seymour Hersh and a gas pipeline sabotage

David Barry

In a recent interview Stefania Ascari, an Italian MP from the 5 Stars Movement commented on the case of the Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh who was brave enough inquire on the North-Stream sabotage.
There is a lot of talk about freedom of the press and recently in Rome with the Stella Assange .

Isn’t it a bit odd that countries like the United States, where there should really be freedom of the press at the highest level, are then the ones that create situations like Assange’s, doesn’t it surprise you a bit as a lawyer?
Actually it shocks and saddens me a lot, these countries that so much fly the flag of freedom should instead doubt internally their own democratic system. Julian Assange, we must remember, is a journalist, who has simply done his job, which others have not done out of fear, that is to say, he has informed us and therefore defended our right to know, he has fought for us, to know what were war crimes, victims, killings, especially against defenceless people in what were international conflicts, Afghanistan, Iraq, and thanks to him we have come to know about real massacres. Then he is not a spy, he has not been subjected to any trial, but he has been deprived of his freedom for twelve years.

That is, Julian Assange can no longer walk free in the streets. And why is this? Why do they want to annihilate Julian Assange?
Because he has revealed information that we all needed to know, to know not 30 to 40 years later, when no traces or truths are lost, it is difficult to find out. He has revealed these crimes in real time, while these conflicts were taking place, and thus highlighting behind them, superpowers who finance weapons and in a business of course, who want and get rich from war, and this is obviously unacceptable to those who have always wanted to keep these unspeakable truths hidden.

He was quoted yesterday with the news that we read, what is his comment on this second case, which is a crazy case, practically this journalist being isolated, and then today we have this news, which is news that in part confirms what you, as the Five Star Movement, have been fighting so hard to achieve in terms of truth in this dossier?
Yes, we are actually fighting for the truth and above all we are fighting alongside those who defend freedom of information. Obviously, this is a case that is in fact identical in all respects to Assange, because here too are those truths that should not be spoken about, that should be put our heads in the sand, of which obviously, if they emerge there is the most powerful weapon, namely isolation, delegitimisation, denigrating the person in order to make him or her not credible and consequently not trustworthy to public opinion and citizens, we have to counter this by obviously studying, informing ourselves, touching directly with those who carry out these investigations, those who make these enquiries, and above all defending these people to the sword because it is thanks to them that we can get information that would otherwise leave us with our heads in the sand.

There were some hope in the Biden administration with the change from Trump to Biden that something would improve, but in reality we are, shall we say at the same level?
We are at square one, nothing has actually changed we have to say. Just as I don’t see a revolution on the part of the entire European Union, even at the international level, there is no reaction such as to put the issue of freedom of the press, of Julian Assange’s freedom at the very top of the political attention.
There is also another journalist, Pulitzer Prize winner Hersh, who was recently attacked in his home country over the North Stream case.

So did the information you got on Hersh surprise you? How did it leave you? Because obviously this is one of the topics that will be in the next few years there is also an ecological catastrophe there are so many consequences from this?

Absolutely, what it has left me with is a lot of strength inside to fight together with all the journalists who are fighting for the truth to fight alongside them, to petition in parliamentary chambers to get their voices across, to network with the whole of society because we need a great network, teamwork to defend rights, because we are in a democracy and we have fought and must continue to fight to not lose these rights, including freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom to be properly informed.

To be more complete we added then the comments on this matter by Alessandro Di Battista ex- parliamentarian of the 5 Star Movement and Journalist for the Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano. In a public speech I said that it seemed strange to me that the Russians were responsible for the explosion of the gas pipeline because all they had to do was turn off the tap and there was no need to sabotage it, then I reconstructed a series of statements by President Biden and Victoria Nuland, by Biden at the White House made in front of German Chancellor Scholz.
However, it is unbelievable that a journalist who won the Pulitzer revealing North American crimes in Vietnam is treated in this way. They ask what his sources are as if secrecy of sources is not a right of journalists, good thing Seymour Hersh wrote that report.
And to end here the interesting remarks by Maddalena Oliva Deputy editor of Il Fatto Quotidiano.

You recently reported the case of Seymour Hersh who was accused the US of sabotaging the North- Stream Pipeline, could this be a second worrying case?

The violence of the reaction changes, in the Assange and Snowden cases the mass of published documents prevented anyone from seeing the reality. The Hersh case is very different because, unfortunately, over the years our level of research and accuracy of journalistic truths has dropped a lot.
Then in the Hersh case there was a process of delegitimisation linked to the fact that first of all it is peculiar that an award-winning journalist like him does not have a mainstream newspaper and has to publish on a social platform. This is because the mainstream newspapers no longer gave space to journalists like him, and I go so far as to say ‘if I went back to the New York Times I would no longer feel at home’. Journalists are then subjected to processes of delegitimisation that are based in Hersh’s case in a total questioning of his journalistic work, they have begun to make a process right from social media trying to delegitimise his sources. Today, but no longer put in jail, it is much more convenient to isolate and silence.

Naftogaz against Russia for Crimean assets


“Naftogaz of Ukraine and six companies part of the Naftogaz group – Chernomorneftegaz, Ukrtransgaz, Likvo, Ukrgazdobycha, Ukrtransnafta and Gaz Ukrainy – filed a lawsuit with the tribunal formed under the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on compensation of losses due to Russia’s illegal seizure of the group’s assets in Crimea,” the statement said.

Naftogaz, the Ukraine’s energy giant has filed a lawsuit with The International Court of Justice in The Hague against Russia to recover $5bln for the assets lost in Crimea.

The judgement pronunciation of this case is expected by late 2018.

Gazprom continues to strengthen its positions as supplier for Europe

Alexey Miller Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, held in St. Petersburg a conference call marking Oil and Gas Industry Workers Day.

Dear colleagues,

Let me wish you a happy Oil and Gas Industry Workers Day.

As usual, we celebrate our professional holiday with industrial accomplishments and new ambitious plans for the future.

Gazprom continues to strengthen its positions as a reliable supplier for Russian and foreign consumers. We ramp up production, break new export records, and advance toward the implementation of large-scale investment projects.

In the first eight months of 2017, we produced a total of 302.6 billion cubic meters of gas. It is a 20.1 per cent rise from last year, which translates into 50.7 billion cubic meters of gas in absolute terms.

Gazprom successfully fulfills its main purpose by providing Russian consumers with uninterrupted gas supplies. The Company’s gas deliveries to the domestic market grew by 8.4 per cent, or 11.2 billion cubic meters.

This year, we began to take stock of geological exploration in the Tambey group of fields in Yamal. Our gas reserves increased enormously, adding more than 4 trillion cubic meters. The overall amount of gas reserves in the Tambey group reached 6.7 trillion cubic meters.

The Yamal Peninsula is becoming Russia’s main gas production center. New transmission routes are evolving accordingly. We continue to expand the northern gas transmission corridor – the chief and most efficient route of gas supplies from central Russia to northwestern Europe.

As regards southern Europe, construction of the TurkStream gas pipeline is in full swing at the moment. Two microtunnels have been drilled and pipes have been pulled at the onshore section in Russia. As for the offshore section, a total of 220 kilometers have been laid along the two strings.

At the same time, we are building a formidable production complex in the east of Russia. It is the world’s largest investment project in the gas industry. The cornerstone of our strategy in Russia’s east is the Eastern Gas Program. We are actively working to set up new gas production centers in the Irkutsk Region and Yakutia. We are also ahead of schedule in constructing the Power of Siberia gas pipeline and the Amur gas processing plant.

We carry on with our gasification efforts in Russian regions. Access to natural gas dramatically improves the quality of life, especially in rural areas. This year, the Gasification Program covers 68 regions of the Russian Federation. There is no doubt that Gazprom will fulfill all of its obligations under this socially significant project.

Dear colleagues,

Gazprom is the biggest exporter of gas to Europe. In 2016, we delivered a record 179.3 billion cubic meters of gas to the region. Our exports keep growing in 2017. According to estimates, we exported as much as 126.3 billion cubic meters of gas to that market in eight months. It is 12.1 per cent higher than in the same period of 2016, an increase of 13.6 billion cubic meters.

This past winter, we repeatedly set new records for daily gas supplies to Europe. The absolute maximum was registered on January 27, 2017, at 636.4 million cubic meters. These record figures demonstrably show that, during peak loads, the Company can provide consumers on a timely basis with as much gas as they need. This solidifies Gazprom’s reputation as a reliable supplier.

It should be noted that even this summer our export pipelines worked in winter mode. As a matter of fact, last week we set an all-time record for August in terms of daily utilization of the Company’s gas export capacities. The record – 590.3 million cubic meters – exceeds the maximum figure registered during the winter peaks of the 2015–2016 season.

Such excellent results are encouraging. But they also pose a challenge. If we have to work this hard in summer, we will need to put in even more tireless and concerted effort during peak loads next winter. This applies to every single link in our process chain, from production to transmission to supervisory control to marketing. It is extremely important. After all, we work to bring gas, electricity, and heat to the homes of millions of people in Russia and abroad.

Dear colleagues,

Let us celebrate our professional holiday. Happy Oil and Gas Industry Workers Day!

I would like to wish you further success in your work, happiness, good health, prosperity, and all the best. And, as we say here at Gazprom, let us go on with our work!