An Expert's View

Robert Bensh

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Energy is by far the greatest factor shaping geopolitics and geoeconomics today.

Nowhere do we see this so clearly as Ukraine, the wider Black Sea region, and Europe as a whole. The ultimate aim of this blog is to provide additional insight into the role energy plays–and should play–in determining the end game for Ukraine, as well as the effect this will have on the Black Sea region and Europe as a whole, and the role LNG will play in this region’s future.

Robert’s Bio

Robert Bensh is an energy executive with over 20 years experience, to include over 15 years of experience leading oil and gas companies and energy investments in Ukraine. Mr. Bensh is the Managing Director and partner with Pelicourt LLC, a private equity firm focused on energy and natural resources in Ukraine, as well as Managing Shareholder of Leadville Resources.

Ukraine’s Next Crisis? Economic Disaster

Ukraine’s next crisis will be a devastatingly economic one, as violent conflict destroys critical infrastructure in the east and brings key industry to a halt, furthering weakening the energy sector by crippling coal-based electricity production.

The Ukrainian military’s showdown with separatists in the industrial east has forced coal mines to severely cut production or close down entirely. This has led to an electricity crisis that can only be staunched by cutting domestic production along with exports to Europe, Crimea, and Belarus — or worse, getting more imports from Russia.

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Ukraine’s New Tax Law Threatens Long-Term Energy Security

We’ve spent a considerable amount of energy lobbying against this new tax law that essentially doubles taxes for private gas producers in Ukraine, to the benefit of local political-business elite.

This law is dangerous to the long-term security of Ukraine.  It adds little to the budget and discourages drilling and investment in the upstream oil and gas sector as well as calls into question the ability to invest in Ukraine at all.

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