Russia’s Faltering Energy Empire

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Russia qualifies for World Cup with draw

Putin and the Russian energy establishment do recognize the impact of shale gas on their strategy. In July, at the 2013 Gas Exporting Countries Forum, Mr. Putin acknowledged that developments, such as shale gas, are a serious challenge for all [gas exporting countries] . Mr. Putin has reason to be uncomfortable. The world energy market is shifting thanks to the shale gas revolution and the expansion of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) technology. These developments increase the uncertainty of Russias position. The shale gas revolution has led to a steady and continued rise in U.S. natural gas production. Experts anticipate U.S. gas production to reach between 800 and 880 billion cubic meters by 2035. By comparison, US production was just 681 bcm in 2012 .

Russia qualify for World Cup with 1-1 Azerbaijan draw

“Russia was the best team. They were better than us,” Portugal coach Paulo Bento said. “We needed to demonstrate better quality if we wanted the top spot.” In Baku, Roman Shirokov gave Russia the lead in the 16th minute from a cutting pass from Alexander Samedov. Vagif Javadov headed in the equalizer in the 90th. Azerbaijan was reduced to 10 men in the 73rd when Maksim Medvedev was given a red card for a rough tackle. “I’m satisfied with this qualifying campaign,” Russia coach Fabio Capello said. “With such a strong opponent as Portugal in our group, we grabbed the top place.” Capello still had some concerns, saying it was the third time that Russia conceded a goal in the last minute. “We should look ahead and improve our game,” he said. Portugal also had to go through the playoffs to qualify for its last two major tournaments, the 2012 European Championship and 2010 World Cup. It was a semifinalist at Euro 2012. The Portuguese have been dogged by inconsistency. They have won just eight of their 16 qualifiers and friendly games since Euro 2012.

The Micex Index (INDEXCF) increased 1.2 percent to 1,528.97 by 11:10 a.m. in Moscow, the highest intraday level since Feb. 14. The dollar-denominated RTS (RTSI$) gained 1.3 percent to 1,492.76. OAO Magnit, the nations largest food retailer, traded up 1.2 percent at 8,460 rubles. OAO Gazprom, the natural gas export monopoly, increased 1.5 percent to 155 rubles. OAO Sberbank, the countrys biggest lender, added 0.8 percent to 103.85 rubles. Democrat and Republican Senate leaders made reference to progress in talks on a deal to suspend the debt ceiling through Feb. 7 and fund the government through Jan. 15. The U.S. will not default, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said in Seoul today. Crude, Russias main export earner, was steady at $102.37 in New York. The market has received good news that theres been progress in U.S.

England, Spain, Bosnia, Russia qualify for World Cup; Greece, Portugal in playoffs

A worker cleans an exterior of a newly built urban complex building accommodating offices and retail shops in Beijing October 14, 2013.  REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon (CHINA - Tags: BUSINESS CONSTRUCTION TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Russia’s Aleksandr Samedov (C), Aleksandr Kerzhakov (R) and Denis Glushakov celebrate a goal scored by their team mate Roman Shirokov (not pictured) during the 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match against Azerbaijan in Baku, October 15, 2013. Credit: Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili MOSCOW | Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:43pm BST MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia clinched a place in the 2014 World Cup finals with a 1-1 draw away to Azerbaijan on Tuesday thanks to an early goal from Roman Shirokov that secured top spot in Group F and consigned Portugal to the playoffs. Fabio Capello’s Russia, who have not qualified for the World Cup since 2002, led from the 15th minute when Shirokov found himself one-on-one with keeper Kamran Agayev following Alexander Samedov’s superb through ball. Shirokov feinted to shoot and as Agayev dropped to one knee the quick-thinking forward steered the ball inside the post. Azerbaijan had Maksim Medvedev sent off in the 73rd minute after a tackle on Shirokov but managed to equalise when Vagif Javadov headed past Igor Akinfeev in the 90th minute. However, the visitors, who will host the 2018 World Cup finals, held on to secure a ticket to next year’s tournament in Brazil with 22 points from 10 matches, one point above second-placed Portugal who can still qualify via next month’s playoffs. The Russians, who dominated the game and would have scored more goals but for Agayev who saved eight attempts on target, were booed and pelted with rubbish at the end of the match at Baku’s 8 KM stadium until the Azeri players signalled for calm. “Today was a good match. We had numerous moments to excel but at times we were not lucky, at times the goalkeeper played very well. The Azeri team had one chance, and they took it,” Capello was quoted as saying by Russia’s Itar-Tass. (Reporting by Thomas Grove; editing by Ken Ferris)

This is not an easy competition. France (5-1-2) was second and will be in the playoffs despite defeating visiting Finland 3-0 on goals by Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema around Joona Toivios own goal. Cristiano Ronaldos Portugal, Greece, Ukraine, Romania and Iceland also finished second in their groups, winding up in Mondays draw for the eight-team European playoffs next month along with Sweden and Croatia. The four playoff winners also will earn berths. With a population of just over 300,000, Iceland would be the smallest nation to qualify for a World Cup. Trinidad and Tobago, at about 1.3 million, was at the 2006 tournament in Germany. The seedings for the playoffs will be determined by Thursdays FIFA rankings. Denmark (4-2-4) had the poorest record among the nine second-place teams and missed out on a playoff berth. Bosnia (8-1-1) won 1-0 at Lithuania on Vedad Ibisevics 68th-minute goal to win Group G on goal difference over Greece. Bosnia-Herzegovina gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1992. Almost 10,000 fans jumped, cried and screamed Vamos Bosnia or Go Bosnia when Ibisevic scored in Kaunas. Fans headed to the airport after the game to wait for their team to arrive in the middle of the night and join the party. Greece (8-1-1) defeated visiting Liechtenstein 2-0 as Dimitris Salpingidis scored in the seventh minute and Giorgos Karagounis added a goal in the 81st. Russia (7-2-1) won Group F with a 1-1 tie at Azerbaijan as Roman Shirokov scored in the 15th. Portugal (6-1-3) finished a point back after defeating visiting Luxembourg 3-0 on goals by Silvestre Varela, Nani and Helder Postiga. Italy, which already had clinched, tied Armenia 2-2 at Naples.