by Jorge Vilches for the Saker Blog
How can you be so sure Jorge ? Please allow me 10 minutes to make my case with this focused, easy to follow, all-inclusive, and fully vetted explanation. Then I humbly and cordially challenge any individual or institution to prove me wrong. If history is any guide, banning Russian oil would turn EU members into failed states. Furthermore it would FUBAR world market dynamics by altering Russia's current stabilizing role thus triggering moving parts into motion.
6 key criteria
Beware: the reliable provision of Russian oil to the EU is essential because of its quality, quantities, price, service and delivery enlargement that Europe needs to constantly grow. Banning Russian oil means finding many different oils - from many new unproven vendors - that would have to render the same homogenized profile of delivery, quality, quantity, price, service and enlargeability that Russia reliably provides today. Nothing less, of course. Think about it.
Otherwise we cannot have the Europe we now know and the future Europe we need. All 6 factors are required. Not enough quantity adequately delivered means degraded European lives and failing economy, with shut down plants and refineries affecting transportation, heating, hospitals & schools, highly limited military, unemployment, etc., etc.
A different or lower oil quality means poor performance and operational risks with serious breakdown troubles and injuries plus down-time probably beyond repair. Not low enough price - Russian fuels are good & cheap - means disrupting the EU and the world with inflation beyond imagination. And as Procurement Depts. know well, an utmost reliable vendor service is paramount also to allow for mutual growth. Russia is a vetted, close-by, one-stop, well "oiled" 6-criteria compliant vendor. Instead, the EU's losing proposition is a far away beach-front bazaar with seaborne delivery only, shipped by a fleet too small for purpose. A single non-compliant vendor is simply unacceptable, period.
Furthermore, Russia's oil sales to Europe provide a stabilizing critical mass to compensate for world market variations
3 impossible missions 3
The huge problem is that there are 3 and only 3 ways out of this terribly EU mis-managed fuel sourcing hellish-crazy messy mess. For all 3 options in order to comply with the 6 oil criteria briefly explained before (more on that later) the EU would be required to import variable quantities from several different yet unknown vendors having
(1) fully compliant export-ready oil grades to be produced beyond and incremental to current production (#)
(2) fully compliant oil grades found deep underground somewhere yet unknown per definition 0% available today
(3) modify every single piece of machinery in the EU to fuel them with different non-compliant non-Russian oils...
and with no possible "toggle switch" to convert from one type of oil to another... We'd have a forcefull life-long linkage between one vendor and his supposedly constant oil deliveries, which would be different from other vendors and their supposedly constant deliveries made to other EU consumers. NO interchangeability here.
(#) It'd have to be "incremental" export volumes beyond current production for two reasons: one would be potential growth in EU demand and the second reason is that no vendor will leave traditional customers abandoned high & dry just because the EU has now gone bananas. Furthermore, these contracts could might all turn out being short-term ephemeral un-sustainable 'purchases of convenience' without continuity to be dropped the instant the EU's "ban Russia's oil" stops dead in its tracks for plenty of good reasons and thus discarding this nonsensical idea altogether.
Be it as it may, all 3 options require to find, negotiate, contract, plan for, test, schedule and get delivery of fully compliant Russian-oil substitutes. Per definition Option (2) does not exist today - if ever - and can only be considered for 2030 planning purposes or beyond in view of the firm 2022 EU deadline premise. Option (1) requires to import varying qualities, quantities, and prices of oils currently in production somewhere, if any are found, which as explained later due to current circumstances and overlapping requirements turns out to be 99% doubtful. Option (3) requires to modify, retrofit and adapt each and every European refinery, chemical & processing plant, machinery, engines, etc. etc. - everything powered by fuels really - for individual, specific not-interchangeable non-Russian oil substitutes which would all be slightly different at the very least and expensive. As shall be duly shown Option (3) is impossible.
"We will make sure to phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion in a way that allows us and our partners to secure alternative supply routes and minimises the impact on global markets" - said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. Quick response, no that will NOT happen Ursula. Neither markets nor Russia nor EU Green Standards nor prices nor regulators will let you do any of that. It will necessarily be very chaotic although most Europeans may not yet know it. Renewables and fancy footwork such as hydrogen or dirty coal & fuel oil will make things worse. Bankruptcies and unemployment would follow. Specifics are presented later herein. Let me explain.
Ref #1 oilprice.com
Ref #2 worldcrunch.com
Ref #3 worldcrunch.com
timing, volumes & judo
Now comes what would normally be described as a multiple-ring circus with the animals and clowns running lose.
Technically speaking, all three options should be dismissed altogether, particularly under current most unfavorable circumstances. Also beware that Europe needs to avoid a self-inflicted Armageddon depression. The reason is an EU ban on Russian oil means per Option (1) to engage in a years-long import development project with non-vetted vendors (from Africa ?) covering absolutely 100% of all the EU current and future oil consumption. So the EU should necessarily replace ALL the Russian oil Europe could possibly ever consume, NOT just a part. Because Russia now has other priorities and will no longer cooperate with and adapt to EU needs and timing in any way. So forget about gradual Russian oil substitution. It'd be the opposite Ursula. For example, and just to entertain the idea, even if eventually achieving constant delivery of 75% fully-compliant non-Russian oil per Option (1) - impossible - it'd still mean digging a 25% deep hole into Europe's economy, which Russia will not help to solve by supplying the missing 25% oil. The Druzhba pipeline supplies land-locked refineries in Poland, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia and Czechia, so no need to shut down all of Europe. Just triggering a strong negative impact on a couple of countries would be enough A brief cut-off on Germany's Schwedt refinery or Slovakia's Slovnaft would be unbelievably catastrophic by shutting down continuous year-round processes which cannot be re-started and would mean irreparable harm. So the EU would need to substitute forever with whatever ALL of the almost infinite and excellent quick & safe delivery Russian oils. Europe just makes naïve and rigid moves ignoring Russia's clever dynamic capabilities. Judo comes to mind. Ask Finland how does the Russian gut punch feel while now being cut off from both Russian nat-gas and electric power.
Ref #4 rt.com
Ref #5 wionews.com
the solar system (... and beyond)
And if EU politicians don't know or don't care they'll still very soon participate front and center in a fast & furious crash course on basic high school chemistry that will turn their faces pale, I promise. Hungary has publically exposed the problem: "the EU has 'no solution' to fix damage from Russian oil ban". Also promised, history will not be kind with the EU leadership both for absent fuels and everyday consumer staples with "prices out of the solar system". The EU relies on cheap and efficient Russian energy for many things such as transportation, heating, and electricity. The drop in supplies will lead to blackouts, shutdowns in industries and unemployment pushing inflation to unmanageable levels Ref #6 rt.com
Ref #7 oilprice.com
Ref #8 zerohedge.com
Ref #9 rt.com
renewables do not help
Renewables have other known serious problems but also require humongous loads of Russian nat-gas, oil, coal, minerals and commodities. Wind turbines require thousands of tons of nickel and rare earths. Any such large structures are moved and erected with Russian fuel-powered equipment. Solar energy requires silver beyond belief. When renewables in large quantities are added to the electrical grid, costs go up - not down - as they have to be backstopped by thermal plants that today run on Russian fuels. "The more renewables you add, the more natural gas you need". Ref #10 zerohedge.com
delivery + quality + quantity + price + service + reliability
The 3 options above are impossible to deploy for many reasons besides timing. For example, even if ever found, these 3 options need to be contracted, planned for, tested, scheduled, and delivered under very strict conditions that Russian sources already comply with regularly and reliably. Europeans are necessarily very much used to proven, vetted, Russian vendors and will not be acceptable to find it otherwise. It'd hurt Europe badly and possibly leading to outward chaos by continuous damage beyond repair of machinery, processes, sensitive devices and installations that EU plants currently have in place. With Russian sourcing, European production runs swift and smooth humming in all 8 cylinders... but not so with possible others... even if physical deliveries were adequately met. Also it's easy to imagine vendors having something that Europe would buy, that still under current circumstances would not even wish to entertain the idea of offering anything to Europe let alone helping it out in any way shape or form. Think India and China, the world's factory countries in many ways. And of course Russia would not help out Europe in any of the above 3 impossible missions. Russia will naturally - and probably very effectively - hinder any European effort or solution to replace Russian exports. The risky low tides and strong headwinds are fully against Europe, not Russia.
So then why do I say 'impossible' ? The short answer is that "petro-logistics" make it physically impossible to ban Russian oil from Europe no matter how it's diced or sliced as explained hereinafter in layman's language. The name of this game means that "plug & play" of ensured adequate substitutes for Russian oil grades - options (1) and (2) respectively - are and will always remain clearly absent in quantities anywhere near large enough to make any difference for European needs. Chemical composition and physical parameters matter lots. Options (1) & (2) are out.
Option (1) - In the very best of cases, only useless, tiny small, and sporadical deliveries - if any, actually - would ideally be found, let alone effectively contracted on a necessarily predictable basis. I'd call them minor deliveries of substitutes not comparable to Russian oil. At any rate, the above would be operationally un-manageable as no plant can run if receiving supplies on a highly variable and ocassional basis of now-you-have-it (maybe) now-you-don't (sorry) with feeds of dubious quality and composition. The EU today has highly sensitive plants finely tuned and used to Russian high quality oil during decades. So no plant runs without continuous, foreseeably constant feed of the right quality product (read chemical and physical properties) in large enough quantities which most probably will grow in time as demand increases. Otherwise no processing works as expected, or I'd rather say nothing works, period. This is shared by anybody with minimum plant hands-on or managerial experience, even millennials. So these facts all by themselves pretty much blow out options (1) and (2) out of the water. I confess that many times I disbelieve having to present such basic explanations. And no high sulphur content allowed as hydrotreating has reached its limits long ago
In a nutshell, the world wasn't anywhere nearly prepared for an EU ban on Russian oil... or other Russian fuels...
Franz marries Natasha
Early this century, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's philosophy and policies led to a very clear and conclusive European strategy vis-á-vis energy sourcing. Very simply put in everyday terms, fuel-wise Europe married fuel-rich Russia and soon had plenty of babies that have now grown-up and crave for Russian food. Now enter the violent situation re Ukraine thru NATO's provocation according to Pope Francis, and with an idle North Stream 2 fully wasted and just sitting pretty. So the whole European successful exporter industrial base was conceived, designed, built, and operated under the 'Russian fuels' premise. That is why every EU government has failed to find the architectonics - let alone build - a realistic energy strategy that does not depend exclusively on Russia's capability as an EXTRAordinary and reliable commodities exporter, most specially fuels. So Franz married gorgeous Natasha and raised a family. But now, per Anglo-Saxon ill-intentioned directives, Franz forces a divorce. The problem is that their children still demand Natasha's Russian food. Ref #11 politico.eu
The comments section of my latest article gained greatly from the input offered by SKovacs an excellent and friendly poster who shared his first hand 30-year knowledge in the oil & gas business with us all.
Please see link referenced below. So I'll just summarize and/or quote what this most experienced poster had to say
- many EU refineries have been built to process certain types of oils found in Russia. The very design & build of these refineries (and petrochemical plants) was based on certain specific oil types within narrow variation in blend/quality and steady supply - variation normally of less than 15% vol/day - guaranteed for over 30 years (most commonly 50+ years). Obviously enough, the continuous supply of quality feeds is critical to the operation of a refinery or any chemical plant.
- adapting an EU refinery to new types of oils is not an easy task. Every adaptation of a chemical plant or refinery or ore processing plant requires first a detailed laboratory knowledge of the new blend, and formal guarantees for its continuous delivery for decades, convoluted & lengthy contracts and procurement processes, extremely detailed engineering plans, manufacturing of parts, shipping, installation, testing, commissioning, optimization, permitting etc. etc. etc. before it can be declared "done". Any element of this incomplete list, if missing, renders the whole affair a failure both technically and economically...
- the above assumes guaranteed efficient and continuous shipping and receiving network(s) are always in place and fully operational (!) Such work involves thousands of people, complex processes and of course many billions of euros, regulatory permitting process, inherent lawsuits etc., i.e. A LOT OF TIME - years !
- Europe deprived of oil/gas/metallurgical coal from Russia - and also iron ore - is unlikely to build much. Never mind the finer components that require other alloy metals which are also provided by Russia...
Ref #12 thesaker.is
matched & mated
As already described, chemical plants and refineries are very closely matched and subtly calibrated to very specific and foreseeable supply feedstocks which are also very difficult to substitute. Changing anything requires lots of time, effort, money, dedicated facilities, experimentation, specific expertise, risk, and most important fixed, unchanging feeds always complying with specs. This means that Russia today supplies Europe with exclusive unreplaceable oil & gas grades of very specific chemical content (even coal grades) that would be impossible to get from third parties fast enough and cheap enough. So it's a very delicate and tight matching already achieved between European facilities and reliable and vetted Russian fuels and other inputs that cannot be altered or replaced, let alone all at the same time (!!) or else... So another factor is the "sudden death" moment, no possible easy-does-it slow and smooth transition phasing out the Russian stuff one at a time and gradually phasing in our new whatever stuff... It'd be like trying to change a tyre as you keep driving without ever stopping the car okay ? Ref #13 ifo.de
what for ?
And this banning of Russian oil idea defeats the supposed purpose as Russia would end up earning much more by exporting far less. And the higher the price of oil, the higher the inflationary pressure worldwide destroying the income of regular people. Go figure...By the way, it's a single oil world market Ref #14 bbc.com
And of course, Russia wouldn't dare to retaliate against its oil ban with delivery reductions of, say, gas or uranium, would they?
Banning Russian oil also means altering the traditional direction of logistic flows which is costly and risky. New shipping freighters are unprepared for unknown delivery schedules and product specs. Ports and oceans are different, same with shipping lanes, climates, seasonal availabilities of hydrocarbons and shipping vessels types and sizes which means lots of negotiation, coordination, funding, expertise, risk, new fixed and variable costs and surprises from yet unknown trade and business partners, new procedures, brokers, insurance companies, etc. Also expected continuity, LNG & LPG terminal bottlenecks, processing, availability, cost, weather restrictions when most needed.
Russia's oil & gas pipe delivery to the EU is safe, clean, and cheap. Russian sea freighted oil comes for nearby ports.
EU acquatics + age & Whatsapp
Altering the Russian energy sourcing strategy now leaves Europe gasping for air with its nose dangerously close to the waterline. By design, chemically speaking Russian feeds are a European absolute sine-qua-non. It is technically unfeasible and unsustainable for Europe not to count on Russian oil & gas. Politics - or war for that matter - can't change that. If this Russian oil ban is ever implemented, European operational and maintenance staff & field personnel would probably demand being switched to other jobs... or will drag their feet... or would simply resign thus necessarily compounding the problem to unchartered depths. New, young, inexperienced hands do not help under these experimental circumstances, trust me. With or without Whatsapp, having baldy and/or grey-haired guys around is a greatly-appreciated feature/asset, never a bug. Many would be called back from retirement, read my lips.
now some petrophysics
So option (1) applies to all non-Russian oils currently under production but not necessarily offered for sale. Option (2) refers to future oil theoretically down in subsurface in yet untapped reservoirs of hyper-low possible existence in ultra-low production volumes. If you are in the business agreed it's pure nonsense to go into the details of such an experiment. But apparently the topic now needs to be politically addressed and explained, so bear with me and so be it. To make a long story short, petro-physically speaking these Russian oil grades actually cannot exist elsewhere for very clear and well-known limiting geological parameters. So not only these oil grades can't be sourced somewhere else but it'd also be a monumental royal waste of time and money to look for such down in subsurfaces yet unknown,
to no avail. Nobody in the business will invest time, money, expertise and valuable people in such failed idea. No way.
pain but no gain
But be it as it may with options (1) and (2) no complying Russian oil & gas grades are available anywhere outside of Russia, neither today nor in the future, let alone in quantity and quality and required vendor reliability to make any difference. And it would certainly focus the European attention properly if everyone please gets used to this idea, the faster the better, Ursula included. So the supposed 'Russian oil ban' is impossible simply because Russian oil grades do not have and will not have any complying substitutes for the foreseeable future anywhere above or below ground. Such tremendous conclusion leaves one and only one hellaceous alternative open to be discussed in detail below - namely Option (3) - as from the "Mohammed and the Mountain" paragraph thereafter. But so as to avoid running around in circles proposing impossible chimeras, Europeans at large and most specially EU politicians should not forget that today or in the future Russian oil grades are un-replaceable for European consumption. What's left is technically dreadful and socio-politically most dangerous as we shall soon read about below as Option (3)
LNG / LPG ?
Lots of suggested overly optimistic "solutions" were posited regarding LNG / LPG. Not so. The comments section of my latest article covered this very thoroughly. Please see link below. Most especially we should all thank SKovacs once again for sharing a lot of his 30-year first-hand knowledge in the industry with us all. So I'll just summarize and/or quote what this most experienced poster has reported regarding LNG / LPG.
- There are not enough vessels - oil tankers nor lNG tankers - to replace existing pipelines. At least, a few dozen more are needed. How long and what does it take to build these? Who would build them? By when?
- European countries are extremely bureaucratic, so say ~20 years to have 1 LNG terminal ready where this is possible and if not vetoed by the local council. Meanwhile, a pipeline must be connected from the terminal to the existing grid... with further complications at every level. What capacity should these terminals have vis-á-vis the related new pipelines? Nobody can know that today [and thus adding even more load to timing demands]
- Transit times on the tankers change and existing EU southern pipelines are probably at full capacity already.
- Tankers are far more costly to operate as liquefied gas has to be kept liquefied re power-hungry refrigeration.
- Tankers have a more costly service life than other bulk tankers, if only for the regulation/inspection requirements. So therefore they are a higher risk with higher cost per cubic meter of gas transported vs. cheap, reliable, safe, environmentally friendlier pipelines.
- the EU needs several LNG terminals to receive and process liquefied nat-gas. The sites have to be carefully chosen, their expensive environmental impact assessments completed (which can take 5 to 15 years) with engineering design that can also take years with limited room for direct carbon copy of other designs, plus ground preparation construction would take 1-2 years + manufacturing of plant and modules (usually in Korea and China, would they now agree ?) which need contracts, capacity, materials, etc, lots of time and shipping.
- By the time all is said and done ~15+ years went by per first-hand knowledge...
- All LNG terminals are owned/built/operated by consortiums of gigantic multinational companies, not governments. They cost 10's of billions to design and build, which need to be borrowed from banks.
- The borrower must prove that it has a solid plan with guarantees in place to repay the loan with interest.
- The owner/operator of the terminal has all sorts of other very important liabilities.
Ref #15 thesaker.is
Russia delivers its oil & gas to some key EU locations through low-cost, safe, efficient, door-to-door clean pipelines.
Hungary has proposed to exempt all of Russia's pipeline delivered oil from current or future EU sanctions or embargo.
Ref #16 oilprice.com
then nuclear maybe?
Germany had 15 nuclear plants in operation. But no more. The last 3 operating nuclear plants in Germany were scheduled to be decommissioned permanently in 2022. Part of the "Green Agenda" in the EU is to eliminate nuclear plants. France does not approve this, but is having technical trouble with its nuclear plants. France has said it will shut down 50% of its nuclear plants for critical maintenance this year at the worst possible timing imaginable. No uranium as usually imported from Russia is the final monkey wrench shoved merciless inside the guts of the European engine.
Ref #17 bbc.com
no time & no volume...
Question: but what if such Russian oil grades substitutes were prospected for and luckily found in the future ? That's Option (2) which would first require lots of time we don't have, plus tons of money, and a major serious 'life or death' European-led major fossils fuels project in order to adequately and successfully explore such hypothetical reservoirs nobody has heard of today and with zero guarantees in a most risky and extraordinarily expensive business The EU Green Plan environmental agenda would not allow for that either. Plus those hypothetical reservoirs would also need to be geologically studied and mapped, with many thousands of sample cores lab tested before wild-catted or factory drilled and fracked (if allowed) to industrially produce and deliver thru today's non-existent infrastructure in yet unknown reservoirs most surely in the middle of nowhere in politically and environmentally unstable environments.
And as happens 95% of the time, even if luck strikes big in Europe's favor, such oil grades would only be found in very small rapidly depleting volumes (boom & bust oil towns) not anywhere close to solving the Russian massive oil availability problem Europe now faces per its own misdoings. Of course, also needed would be tons of infrastructure which doesn't exist today, including many special heavy-duty traffic-intensive roads, thousands of housing quarters, plenty of power generation and power distribution lines and equipment, readily available water in enormously large quantities, environmental and political approval (with "not in my back yard" mentality working against you) regulator's intervention, reasonable year-round climate, etc. etc. etc. No need to go on, is there ? Oh...
and no money
Normally, if successful, the above takes 10 to 15 years or more (!) and even if ever found such oil grades would be prohibitively expensive as in UN-payable. Europe simply does not have or earn that kind of money which the ECB cannot print either. We are talking many trillions of euros in an already 990% overloaded financial system ready to break its own back with a single added straw. Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde - President of the European Central Bank - would not authorize such nonsense, sanctions or no sanctions. She knows better than that.
physical chemistry & engineering
So Russian oil grades do not have available substitutes both in the needed quality and quantities, neither currently under production nor subsurface for future exploitation. Accordingly, the only other possible solution is exactly the other way around (Option 3) which does exist as a most unprobable possibility and is enormously difficult and time + resource consuming to execute. Actually, under current circumstances, this "other" alternative is absolutely impossible to put into practice simultaneously and throughout Europe with the same fixed deadline. When you "phase out" all of the current Russian oil as the EU's leading politician Ursula von der Leyen emphatically repeats... well, to put it kindly Ursula... you better simultaneously "phase-in" the corresponding operationally-adequate replacement for such. Or else you would be perpetrating the Mother of all Suicides of the Europe we know. Such phase-out / phase-in tango is very difficult to dance about with, let alone without absolutely any help from Russia. So, as if they had not learned anything during the past two centuries, Europeans are happily playing Russian roulette with their own gun.
Mohammed and the mountain
Refineries and chemical plants cannot be fed anywhere near the way you feed your dog, period. This means that if the Mountain won't go to Mohammed, then Mohammed must come to the Mountain, namely all of these highly technical European chemical plants, refineries and machinery have to be either (a) newly built from scratch or (b) completely re-vamped and retrofitted thru an enormous effort that will consume humongous amounts of euros, human resources, expertise, trials & errors, risk and lots of hard work and lots and lots of TIME we do not have. Enter Option (3)
mission impossible #3
Below please find a very brief descriptive summary of the basic requirements involved for such Option (3) EU-wide project. Actually there are many more, so this listing just pretends to give readers an idea of the category and caliber of the major endeavor Europe would be facing, namely mission impossible Option (3).
All refineries, chemical plants, etc.,etc. etc. in very broad terms need to undergo all of what is explained below which has been detailed only for the sake of completeness and the corresponding credibility. But actually any minimally experienced person that only knows some basic chemistry and process engineering concepts would understand that it should be absolutely unnecessary to continue describing the head-on technical/practical crash that the whole of Europe would be facing if adopting the only remaining game in town, namely Option (3) or better yet Chaos (3)
Chinese fire drill
In sum, in order for installed plants & processing capabilities to remain as they are intact & untouched, per options (1) and (2) Europe would need to effectively find, negotiate, contract, plan for, test, schedule and receive year-round rain or shine come hell or highwater adequate Russian oil grade substitutes in the right quantities, qualities, vendor reliability and prices. That is out of the question as it just doesn't exist and will not exist either for reasons explained.
The only card left is to modify all current European chemical plants and refineries etc by adapting them to whatever feeds of whatever quality and variations are effectively found, contracted and delivered by non-Russian vendors willing and able to sell to Europe under current circumstances. Oh, by the way, this would have to be done throughout Europe and all at the same time. A Chinese fire drill would be considered a well-organized event in comparison.
Option (3) : modify, adapt, retrofit European refineries, chemical plants, equipment etc for non-Russian substitutes of unknown origin with yet undefined all-around characteristics nor vendor track record. These oils would all be slightly different (not interchangeable) and definitely more expensive. No "toggle-switch" for alternate feed of different oils.
Option (3) requires executing the above modifications to every single European plant and piece of equipment at the very same time and with the same deadline. Of course, this is impossible to do simultaneously. And it'd still be monstrous to do it gradually, but if the decision were ever made it would require Russia's accommodation so as to allow for a gradually growing part of EU industry modified and fueled by new non-Russian sources while the rest still awaits modification thus still requiring Russian oil grades which Russia would not supply in the way that Europe would need to keep importing. The human resources and expertise required are nonexistent even if every single retired engineer and technician went back to work very hard. IMPOSSIBLE in many ways, just simply IMPOSSIBLE
- Overall agreement on European energy sourcing philosophy (years)
- Role of nuclear energy & LPG / LNG & renewables (years)
- European Green Plan implementation status and goals (open, probably never)
- Oil & gas & coal substitutes and suppliers approval to replace Russian imports (years)
- Schedule, plans, consultant vetting + industry input & feedback for new feeds (years)
- Site selection candidates for each country with adequate location for new plants (many months)
- Pre-feasibility studies + regulator's Report approval (more years)
- Feasibility studies + regulator's approval and involvement (yet more years)
- Detailed engineering + plans + specs + drawings, etc.etc (several years)
- Contractor bidding process re civil works, electromechanical contracts, etc. etc. etc. (years)
- Bid evaluation process, bid homologation and Contractor selection (months)
- Final design, construction, manufacturing of parts, shipping and installation (years)
- Trials, testing, commissioning, optimization, permitting (many months)
- New oil & gas feed contractor pre-selection (many months)
- Contractor bidding process etc. etc. etc. (many months)
- Bid evaluation process, bid homologation and Contractor selection (months)
- Trials and Testing (many months)
All of the above is explained in the simplest possible language for an enormously broad & technical topic but that still affects everybody's own daily lives. The time periods estimates required mostly do not overlap, they are sequential.
Ref #18 rt.com
Ref #19 theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Not mentioned, one way out is to rewind back to Feb. 1 for the EU to keep buying Russian oils directly from Russia. Another way out is to keep buying the same Russian oil but from third parties at a far higher price, per "triangulation".
Meanwhile, hungry bellies may focus stray minds. Ref # 20 rt.com
In the meantime, Bloomberg says - not exactly an enemy of the EU is it ? - that the Russian Ruble today is the best performing currency in the whole world Ref #21 rt.com.