Zainicjowana w maju 2011 roku, kilka miesięcy po awarii elektrowni atomowej w Fukushimie transformacja energetyczna RFN przedstawiana jest jako decyzja ostateczna, a ze względu na narzucone tempo zmian stanowi nową jakość w strategii energetycznej Niemiec. Głównymi jej założeniami są: rezygnacja z energii jądrowej do 2022 roku, rozwój odnawialnych źródeł energii (OZE), rozbudowa sieci przesyłowych, budowa nowych elektrowni konwencjonalnych i wzrost efektywności energetycznej.
Gazprom is determined to continue its efforts to build the South Stream gas pipeline regardless of the slump on the European gas market and the fact that there is sufficient capacity already in the existing transport infrastructure. The official inauguration of the maritime section of South Stream was held on 7 December this year, but the construction itself will commence in 2014.
On November 15, the Bulgarian state-owned gas distributor Bulgargaz signed a ten-year contract with Russian Gazprom regarding the annual purchase of 2.9 billion m3 of gas. The contract will come into force at the beginning of 2013. Details of the deal are subject to commercial confidentiality but Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov announced that they include a 20% decrease in gas prices and the withdrawal from existing services provided by the two intermediaries: Russian-Bulgarian Overgas (ownership: 50% Gazprom, 50% Overgas Holding) and Russian-German WIEE (ownership: 50% Gazprom, 50% Wintershall).
On 30 October, Gazprom’s Board of Directors approved a change in the investment programme for this year. The company plans to increase its capital expenditure for investment to around $31 billion (a rise of about 25% compared with the original programme approved in December 2011). The document foresees that most of this amount (over $27 billion) will be allocated to production, specifically extraction projects and the construction of gas pipelines.
Russia’s Gazprom and the state-controlled Serbian and Hungarian energy companies on 29 and 31 October passed final investment decisions concerning the construction of the Serbian and Hungarian sections of the South Stream gas pipeline. Bulgaria, whose consent is necessary for the investment to be implemented, has promised to pass a similar decision on 9 November.
In recent weeks, shares in Ukraine’s regional and local natural gas distribution companies (NGDCs) have been privatised; these previously belonged to the state-owned Naftogaz. Fourteen of the seventeen winners of competitions were business structures linked to Dmytro Firtash, one of the most influential businessmen in Ukraine.
Despite their initial interest in shale gas exploration, over the past year Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Romania have become increasingly sceptical about the development of unconventional gas resources. In January of this year Bulgaria introduced an indefinite ban on the exploration and production of shale gas and Romania followed suit in May by introducing a six-month moratorium on exploration work, which it plans to extend by another two years following the country’s parliamentary elections scheduled for December.
On 19 September the Slovak economy minister presented a draft agreement between shareholders of the country's gas operator - Slovensky plynarensky priemysel (SPP). The agreement is to enter into force after changes in the ownership in the company. The draft agreement specifies relations between the state (which holds 51% of shares in SPP) and the future co-owner of SPP – the Czech-Slovak company Energeticky a prumyslovy holding (EPH).