Energy & Resource Protection

Putin questions Ukraine grain decision

Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested today that a deal brokered by the UN and Turkey to lift a naval blockade and permit embattled Ukraine to export grain might need to be reviewed. Saying that other foods and fertilizer were being sent to European Union states and Turkey rather than to poor countries, he also threatened to halt all energy supplies to Europe if the EU caps the price of Russian natural gas. [node:read-more:link]

Alberta sued by First Nation

A First Nation in northern Alberta is suing the provincial government for what it says is the cumulative negative impact of the sale of Crown land and industrial and agricultural development. “Alberta has engaged in a pattern of conduct that has significantly diminished the . . . right to hunt, fish and trap as part of their way of life,” the plaintiff says in its statement of claim. [node:read-more:link]

UN nuclear chief very worried

After leading an International Atomic Energy team to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in Ukraine, the UN agency’s director general said today that the situation remains “very worrying” and warned that ongoing conflict in the area is “playing with fire.” Rafael Grossi called for a safety zone around Europe’s largest station. “This is a measure that one way or the other must be put in place.” [node:read-more:link]

Italy’s energy sector under cyberseige

Cyberattacks on Italian energy operators and infrastructure are increasing, says the country’s National Cyber Security Agency. Following two breaches over the last week, it urges the sector to “raise the levels of protection of digital infrastructure of energy operators” and says it is “constantly updating them in line with the most recent threat information” as attackers use new coding software. [node:read-more:link]

Russia shuts down natural gas line

The German manufacturer of a turbine is questioning Russia’s explanation of Gazprom’s decision to shut down one of its main natural gas lines to Europe on the weekend, stocking fears of winter shortages. European governments had expected the Nord Stream 1 to resume flows after what was to be a brief maintenance pause but Gazprom said an oil leak in a Seimens turbine cancelled that plan. Siemens says the leak would not normally affect turbine operation and, besides, other units could keep the pipeline running. [node:read-more:link]

Europe digging in for winter

One of several European Union states to enact emergency measures in preparation for winter as Russia shuts off natural gas supplies, Germany has announced a US$65-billion plan to help its citizens and businesses cope with soaring prices. “Russia is no longer a reliable energy partner,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Sept. 4. [node:read-more:link]

G7 agrees to cap Russian petroleum prices

Canada today joined its G7 partners — Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.S. — in agreeing to contain the costs of imported Russian crude oil and petroleum products in a bid to curb its ability to fund its war in Ukraine. Beginning in early December, the initiative would ban “services which enable maritime transportation of Russian-origin crude oil and petroleum products globally” above a price cap to be set by “a broad coalition” of countries. Russia had already threatened to ban exports to countries that implement a cap. [node:read-more:link]

UN inspectors reach nuclear plant

A convoy of UN inspectors managed today to reach Europe's largest nuclear power station, in southern Ukraine, despite the presence of Russian forces embedded in and around the Zaporizhzhia plant. Some of the International Atomic Energy Agency team left after only a few hours but Ukraine's nuclear power operator expects five others to remain for two more days. [node:read-more:link]

Russia suspends natural gas shipments

Insisting that critical repairs are needed, Russia has shut Nord Stream 1 natural gas pipeline for three days after it had already reduced throughput to European markets. The line had been shut down for 10 days in July for repairs and state-owned Gazprom now is blaming faulty valves. [node:read-more:link]

Canada invokes energy treaty

Canada has invoked a 1977 energy treaty with the U.S. in a bid to prevent the shutdown of an Enbridge pipeline. Echoing similar legal action by neighbouring Michigan, Wisconsin fears that a break could cause a catastrophic spill. Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said “the economic and energy disruption and damage . . . from a Line 5 shutdown would be widespread and significant . . . on both sides of the border.” [node:read-more:link]

Russia flaring huge amounts of gas

An estimated 4.34 million cubic meters of natural gas is being flared daily by Russia at a new Gazprom liquification plant near its border with Finland even as it threatens to limits shipments to Europe this winter. The burn-off is considered an “environmental disaster” as it emits some 9,000 tons of carbon dioxide a day. [node:read-more:link]

Japan rebooting nuclear options

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced today that Japan will restart more idled nuclear plants as it considers next-generation reactors and sustainable options, a decade after the Fukushima disaster saw the country’s nuclear industry shut down. He also said officials had been instructed to come up with plans by year’s end, including how to gain “the understanding of the public” of such a major policy shift. [node:read-more:link]

Natural gas export idea rests with industry

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz wants Canada to increase its shipments of liquefied natural gas to Europe in a bid to reduce reliance on Russia, but a lack of infrastructure and an unproven business case stands in the way. “We are creating the atmosphere for very direct talks between the business sectors of Canada and Germany,” he said August 23 during a visit to Toronto. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had already expressed skepticism about the economics. [node:read-more:link]

Lessons for Organizational Resilience

Three well-known incidents highlight key aspects from which to learn from failure and then improve resilience. Approaching global uncertainty is not unlike going into battle with an unknown adversary. However, there are “known” unknowns, and while recognizing them makes them no less daunting, it does help to better understand the battle space. [node:read-more:link]

Drought causing power generation crisis

A record-breaking drought in much of Europe and Britain is causing major supply problems for electricity utilities. Hydroelectric generation has fallen by some 20 per cent since 2021 and output from nuclear power stations, which rely heavily on river or lake water for cooling, is down 12 per cent. A major environmental downside is that coal-fired stations’ output has risen by 11 per cent. [node:read-more:link]


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