Julian Bowden

Senior Visiting Research Fellow

Julian Bowden worked for BP for four decades in a variety of mainly planning, strategy and business development roles in downstream oil and international gas.  His international roles included postings to BP’s offices in Moscow and Brussels.  He was involved in the planning for Caspian crude oil exports (culminating in the BTC pipeline) and latterly in the development of the southern gas corridor.  Publications include chapters on Azerbaijan and Georgia in an OIES book on CIS gas, a chapter on SE Europe’s gas markets in an European Commission sponsored book on gas in the EU’s energy union and research papers on gas pricing for the IGU.  He has also published an academic journal article on Soviet oil marketing in the UK in the 1930s.  For OIES more recently, he has published papers on SE European gas developments and the potential energy outcomes of the Azeri-Armenia conflict.  Principle interests remain in gas and broader energy issues in Eurasia.

Contact

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                    [post_content] => On 7 October 2023, Hamas attacked Israeli communities near the Gaza strip, sparking a huge Israeli military response.  This Comment considers potential direct and indirect impacts and wider implications of disruptions to Israeli gas production and export flows.

Over the last 3-4 years Israel has become a major regional gas player. Production expansion plans would take it to the next level, moving it from leading a regional value chain to something more integrated with the global gas market.  The current conflict will probably put a brake on most of these plans. The Tamar field was shut down almost immediately, and exports to Egypt have been cut.

The Tamar shut-in should not jeopardize supply into the domestic Israeli market, mainly because of the Karish field ramp-up, but export volumes will be affected. It is expected that supply to Jordan will not be threatened, but exports to Egypt have been reduced at a time when Egypt is already struggling to allocate gas to its LNG plants because of its own supply/demand problems. Further afield, the near-term and even medium-term prospects of more LNG volumes to an EU looking to replace Russian gas look remote. Apart from the Tamar and EMG pipeline shut-in, so far there have been no announcements of investment cancellations. But expansion plans will be re-examined, and delays look probable. Cyprus is not discussed here, and these events could work either way: if the Egyptian balance remains critically tight into 2024, then market conditions around Egypt could lead to acceleration of plans around Aphrodite and other fields being developed to supply into Egypt.  On the other hand, any Cyprus plans involving Israel could be parked for the moment.
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                    [post_content] => In June 2023 Neptun Deep partners OMV Petrom & Romgaz took FID on this $4.4 bn project to monetise a recoverable gas resource of 100 bcm, with first gas scheduled for 2027.  Annual production is projected to climb within a year to 8 bcma, and it will flip Romania from gas net importer to gas net exporter.  Implications of this are wide for both Romania and the region, extending into pricing and hub formation, decarbonisation through lignite substitution, replacing Russian supplies, infrastructure creation. All these and others are discussed in this Insight.
                    [post_title] => Romania's Neptun Deep FID: can it be a regional gamechanger?
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                    [post_content] => For many years Russian domination of SE Europe’s gas imports meant it was regarded as “Russia’s market”.  In the last 3 years, however, much new infrastructure has been commissioned, which has enabled the region to diversify its import mix and significantly change its gas flow patterns.  TAP brings in Azeri pipeline gas, start-up of Croatia LNG and higher utilisation of Greece’s Revithoussa has brought more LNG to the region, and opening of the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector has improved onward gas distribution.  Turk Stream start-up has also opened potential opportunity for the now empty Trans Balkan pipeline system to be utilised for different gas flows.

The purpose of this paper is to describe these infrastructure developments and consequent changes to gas supply flow patterns, and to assess what further change there might be as other planned infrastructure projects are completed over the next 5 years.  There is also the Black Sea upstream, with Romania’s Neptun deep awaiting FID and Turkey’s Sakarya field about to produce its first gas in 2023, both of which can add new gas to the supply picture.

The central question is whether, as a result of these investments, the region can have a non-Russian gas supply future.  The conclusion is that sufficient capacity is almost in place to import and distribute enough alternative volume to replace the Russian imports – assuming of course that this other supply is available and at an acceptable price.

There are other emerging possibilities also: there will be pricing and hub evolution implications from the greater interconnectivity and supply diversity; Greece can emerge as the LNG gateway for the region; a stronger sense of region should position it better for the net zero campaign, where the first priority must be the removal of lignite from SE Europe’s energy mix.
                    [post_title] => South East Europe gas markets – reconfiguring supply flows and replacing Russian gas
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                    [post_content] => Protest in Kazakhstan in January 2022 escalated rapidly. Kazakh, and invited CTSO, armed forces intervened to confront protesters and protect Government buildings. So far these events have not affected export and transit flows of crude oil and gas, and the risk of them doing so is currently judged as low. If it emerges that what has happened has been more or less a coup d’etat and we are seeing the elite rearranging the deck chairs, there will be organisational and personnel changes in Kazakh companies. Influence over the deployment of the oil revenues will be one of the main prizes. Kazakhstan touches global energy markets at two points: directly through 1.3 million barrels/day crude oil exports through the CPC pipeline to the Black Sea; indirectly through the 30 bcma transit flow of Turkmen gas to China, where any disruption might cause China to turn to LNG to compensate. Both global oil and gas markets are currently tight, and the size of these crude oil and gas exports is sufficiently large to mean global markets would move immediately in response to any outage.  The purpose of this OIES Comment is to describe these flows and to put them in context of both global markets and Kazakhstan itself.
                    [post_title] => Protests in Kazakhstan – potential impacts on global energy markets
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                    [post_content] => The risk of the ongoing Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict spilling over to affect Azeri oil and gas exports  seems low.  But in the event of any supply disruptions, the impact on international oil and gas markets looks manageable.  Oil markets are well supplied and can readily adapt to make up 700 thousand barrels per day of Azeri exports.  European gas markets have become more flexible in the last 3 years thanks to LNG and responsive pipeline management.  Main Azeri gas volumes go into Turkey, which has demonstrated considerable ability in the last 2 years to use it enviable supply portfolio and bring in large volumes of LNG.  Deliveries from TAP in to SE Europe and Italy are not affected as TAP is yet to be commissioned.  The only market which would be disrupted is Georgia.  Overall, problems might be greater for Azerbaijan due to is extremely high dependence on oil export revenues.  Purpose of this Comment is to lay out the market and economic issues from any extension of the conflict.
                    [post_title] => Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict: energy implications of a potential escalation
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                    [post_content] => SE Europe as a regional gas market is often overlooked because of its small size – just 25 bcma aggregate demand.  However, this misses the point of its important role in other wider issues.  With Russia the dominant supplier, its countries have played a transit role for Russian gas into the region and to Turkey.  These flow patterns will now change from 2 developments.  First, as Turk Stream is commissioned from the end of 2019, transit through Ukraine will be reduced, most of the existing 25 bcma Trans Balkan Pipeline system in Romania and Bulgaria will become empty, and some new capacity will be needed to handle Turk Stream Line 2 gas.  Secondly, volumes will rise as TAP is commissioned at the end of 2020.  There is a third potential development if the Romania offshore starts up in the early 2020s, turning Romania into a net exporter and probably able to supply most demand growth in the region.  The region is basically a collection of island markets, poorly interconnected.  The EU has a policy initiative CESEC to fast-track a number of interconnector and LNG regas projects, but to-date delivery has been unimpressive.  This paper puts all these dynamics into context, and argues that if current interconnectivity plans can be delivered, the region will see improved security of supply and become a functioning gas market region by the mid-2020s.
                    [post_title] => SE Europe gas markets: towards integration
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            [post_content] => On 7 October 2023, Hamas attacked Israeli communities near the Gaza strip, sparking a huge Israeli military response.  This Comment considers potential direct and indirect impacts and wider implications of disruptions to Israeli gas production and export flows.

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Latest Publications by Julian Bowden