RUSSIAN GAS….Via Juan Cole, Asia Times reports that Russia, the Saudi Arabia of natural gas, has signed an agreement to buy and market Turkmenistan gas. “Curiously,” says M K Bhadrakumar, “the agreements reached in Ashgabat on Friday are unlikely to enable Gazprom to make revenue from reselling Turkmen gas….In other words, plain money-making was not the motivation for Gazprom. The Kremlin has a grand strategy.”

That “grand strategy” is, basically, to control as much world gas production as it can, and to form a cartel with other gas producers where it can’t. I’m not sure what exactly this means, but at a minimum it kills the American plan to build a pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan to India; it makes Iranian gas production even more strategic than it already is; and it makes me more perplexed than I already am about T. Boone Pickens’ claim that natural gas is the key to U.S. energy independence. Hopefully some energy experts will weigh in soon to tell me whether any of this is stuff I really need to be concerned about.

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