Blog note 1. In the course of just six (6) months, Europe has gone from record setting low (below freezing) temperatures in to raging wildfires. It is interesting to compare the facts in this article which go back to February and March of this year, to what is currently happening throughout Europe in July and August. Amazing. End of blog note 1.
Why Would Gog/Magog Come Seeking Natural Gas Spoils in Israel?
Blog note 2. I came across the following article in my archives and quickly realized that it has a direct implication towards the Gog/Magog alliance that comes against Israel to “take a great spoil” in Ezekiel 38-39. As stated in several of my earlier blog postings, massive amounts of natural gas (perhaps the largest natural gas fields ever found) have been found in Israeli territory. Israel has gone on record indicating that it would like to build a pipeline to Europe to provide it with natural gas. This would be a tremendous boom for the Israeli economy. This would become a trillion dollar cash flow, where one never existed before! Meanwhile, Europe is Russia’s number one customer and importer of natural gas. Russia is extremely dependent on natural gas exports to Europe to keep its shrinking economy propped up as best as can be. Israel and her HUGE natural gas supplies threaten the monopoly that Russia has on Europe via natural gas supplies.
Currently, demand for natural gas supplies is forecasted (over the coming winters) to exceed the supply of natural gas that Russia and other smaller suppliers can sell to Europe. Russia is caught in a “catch 22”. They don’t have enough supply to keep up with forecasted European demand. They don’t have anywhere else to get and build up natural gas inventory. Conversely, the Israeli’s could undercut the Russians with their new natural gas pipeline to Europe, both by price and supply. In either case, Putin and the Russian economy would be in jeopardy. At some point, the Bible is clear that Gog of Magog will advance against Israel. The world will condemn the advancement against Israel thinking that the Gog/Magog alliance has come to “take great spoil” (in the form occupying Israeli natural gas fields). The other two main parties in this axis of evil (Turkey and Iran) will most likely be looking at the livestock and other produce that Israel exports to Europe. Turkey and Iran’s economies are falling faster than a millstone thrown in the ocean. It has become so bad in Iran that people are demonstrating in Tehran against the dictator regime because of Trump’s sanctions affecting the economy and people’s livelihoods.
Hypothetically, what could “trigger” Gog/Magog into thinking his alliance could come against Israel? One, an upcoming severely cold winter(s) in Europe could prompt him into coveting Israel’s natural gas supplies for his own. Putin has declared himself the world’s “energy czar.” Two, for some reason he has to think that there will be little to no resistance from anyone other than the Israeli’s. For some reason, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are said to just protest the alliance coming against Israel. There does not appear to be any military defense in place against the axis of evil (Gog/Magog alliance) other that what the Israelis can muster. The Gog/Magog alliance must believe that the land of Jacob would be “easy pickings.” Of course, God says otherwise in Ezekiel 38-39. End of blog note 2.
As Another Arctic Freeze Approaches Europe, Fears Grow Over Gas Supplies
Mar 14, 2018, 10:25am. Dave Keating. Forbes.
This week, as Europeans were just beginning to thaw out from record-setting low temperatures last month, they learned that their welcoming of Spring was premature. A large arctic airmass nicknamed the “Beast from the East” stretched from the Russian Far East to the British Isles in late February and early March, causing record-low temperatures well below freezing in Western Europe. It was the worst winter weather in the UK and Ireland for 30 years.
Weather warmed up over the past two weeks, and today it is 14°C (57°F) in Brussels. But on Saturday the Beast will return, plunging Brussels temperatures down to -5°C (23°F). Now there is some doubt about whether Europe will have the gas to keep people warm during this new freeze. Gas markets across Europe are already reeling from the Beast’s earlier visit. Demand soared and prices reached record highs at the end of February. Gas stocks in Northwest Europe are now at a seven-year low. Withdrawal rates are severely constrained by the lack of inventory.
The new freeze is expected to last a week, and gas prices have already started to spike in anticipation. UK NBP within-day and day-ahead contracts were trading at 80 p/th (Eur30.73/MWh) early Monday, and contracts for March 19-23, reaching 85 p/th. Dutch and German gas prices also rose.
“With LNG and gas storage stocks at record lows in the UK and on the Continent, concerns remain as to where the market will source its gas,” says Simon Wood, European Gas Analysis at analyst S&P Global Platts. “We forecast UK domestic demand in the UK ~260/mcm/d over the coldest period – 18th to 19th March – 100mcm/d below the 360mcm/d peak on 1st March, the peak of the last severe cold spell.” However Wood says he expects the UK to remain balanced without having to call on strong imports or storage withdrawals. “Although, with the outlook so cold across the region, prices may remain elevated to ensure the UK receives continental volume through this period,” he added. This is because warm weather over the past two weeks means temperatures are set to be closer to normal overall in late March, suggesting we could be seeing an over-reaction from the market.
The real risk for Northwest Europe, he said, is for next winter. “Sustained cold weather through to the end of March will see storage in the UK and on the continent even lower. All major European hubs have seen a narrowing on Winter-Summer spread, suggesting a lower economic incentive for summer injections. This implies that the deficit to previous years may not be made up through summer injections, leaving the whole region once again exposed next winter.”
Reliant on Russia
However the concerns for countries like Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia and Austria is more immediate. A surge in demand during the new cold freeze will have to be met with Russian gas supplies. Domestic production and other import sources — such as Norway — are effectively maxed out, Wood says.
Some LNG cargoes were offloaded in northwest Europe over the past week to relieve pressure during the previous cold snap and the resulting need to replenish at storage facilities. But it is unlikely a price spike now will provide enough time for LNG pricing to offer an incentive for the diversion of cargoes to the region. This presents a problem because the new cold snap is coming just as a new gas conflict between Russia and Ukraine is flaring up. Russia announced on 3 March that it will cut its gas contracts with Ukraine, after a Swedish court ordered Russia’s state supplier Gazprom to pay Ukraine’s Naftogaz more than 2 billion euros for failing to fulfil contractual obligations. Ukraine has closed schools and universities to conserve gas supplies during the last weeks of winter.
In the winter of 2009 a similar gas dispute shut off the tap of Russian gas which proves several EU member states from pipelines that travel through Ukraine. It plunged households in Hungary, Romania, Austria and several other countries into severe cold. Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak has assured Maroš Šefčovič, the EU’s vice-president for energy, that EU gas supplies will not be affected. The EU chose not to activate emergency response mechanisms at the time, despite being asked to do so by Ukraine. Brussels may have felt a lack of urgency because just as the dispute was unfolding, the Beast from the East was retreating from Europe. Temperatures over the past two weeks have been Spring-like. Because this crisis is coming so much later in the winter than in 2009, there was less worry. Now this new cold freeze may put this to the test.
For the moment, meteorologists are predicting that this cold freeze will mostly stay in Northern and Central Europe, unlike the previous freeze which extended as far south as Egypt. But should that pattern shift south over the coming days, and European countries start taking Russian gas at an accelerated pace, havoc could ensue.
Dave Keating is an American journalist in Brussels who has been covering EU politics and policy for 12 years, formerly as the editor of EuropeanVoice.com, a side publication of The Economist.