revista presei 20 octombrie

2009/10/19

EVZ: Gazele azere, spre Europa prin România

STRATEGIE. Azerbaidjanul analizează posibilitatea de a exporta gaze naturale

către Europa pe ruta Marea Neagră – România, Bulgaria, ca alternativă la tranzitarea Turciei, care pune „condiţii inacceptabile” pentru Baku, a declarat preşedintele azer, Ilham Aliyev, potrivit Mediafax.

El a menţionat, ca rute alternative, Rusia, Iranul, dar şi un traseu către Europa, prin „porturile de la Marea Neagră, România şi Bulgaria”.

Romania Libera: Investitii in energie de 1,6 miliarde euro la Craiova

Termocentrala de la Craiova va fi sprijinita de statul roman pentru crearea unei statii de captare a dioxidului de carbon, cu tehnologii experimentale in Europa. Proiectul statiei de captare, la care se adauga un nou grup energetic, necesita investitii de 1,6 miliarde euro, din care cel putin 500 milioane de euro ar putea fi asigurate de UE.

Complexul Energetic (CE) Craiova, in colaborare cu Transgaz Medias si cu compania Romgaz, intentioneaza sa demareze la Craiova una dintre cele mai importante investitii in domeniul energetic din ultimii ani, ale carei costuri vor depasi un miliard de euro. Este vorba de o statie de captare a dioxidului de carbon cu ajutorul unei tehnologii experimentale in Europa. Costurile investitiei sunt estimate la circa 500 milioane de euro, la care se adauga costurile de exploatare pentru urmatorii zece ani – estimate si ele la circa 500 milioane de euro. Secretarul de stat in Ministerul Economiei, Tudor serban, a declarat la sfarsitul saptamanii trecute ca proiectul de la Craiova va fi dezvoltat in colaborare cu o companie energetica din Norvegia, care participa cu un grant de 100 milioane de euro. Pana pe 1 ianuarie 2010, ministerele de Externe din Romania si Norvegia vor semna un memorandum de colaborare in acest sens, a mai spus secretarul de stat.

Investitie conditionata de noile norme de mediu ale CE
Dezvoltarea proiectului de la Craiova porneste de la premisa ca societatea are in vedere construirea unui nou bloc energetic, cu o capacitate instalata de 500 MW la sucursala de la Isalnita, ale carui costuri sunt estimate la peste 500 milioane de euro. Investitia este insa una de tip brownfield: CE Craiova pune la dispozitie platforma de la Isalnita, iar investitorii vin cu tehnologia si finantarea. In acest moment, companiile interesate sunt AES (SUA), Edison (Italia) si CEZ Cehia. Toate cele trei au fost preselectate pentru demararea proiectului, iar o hotarare in acest sens urmeaza sa fie luata pana cel tarziu in primavara anului 2010. Cu o putere instalata de 1.430 MW, CE Craiova va deveni astfel a doua mare termocentrala din Romania, dupa cea de la Turceni. Investitia de la Isalnita este insa conditionata de noile reglementari de mediu ale Uniunii Europene (UE), care prevad ca orice noua termocentrala cu o putere instalata de peste 300 MW trebuie sa fie dotata obligatoriu cu statii de captare a dioxidului de carbon. Tehnologia de captare a dioxidului de carbon este insa experimentala in Europa, in acest moment. Tot in acest scop, UE a decis sa finanteze 10-12 proiecte experimentale din fondurile destinate certificatelor pentru emisiile de gaze cu efect de sera. Astfel, 50% din costurile acestor proiecte provin din fonduri comunitare. Restul finantarii urmeaza sa fie adus de companii private sau din fonduri publice ale statelor in care se dezvolta aceste proiecte.

Depozitul de la Ghercesti, principalul atu al CE Craiova
Pentru a fi eligibile in cadrul selectiei facute de CE, proiectele trebuie sa indeplineasca mai multe conditii: instalatiile sa fie apte pentru captarea dioxidului de carbon, sa existe conducte de transport si posibilitati de stocare geologica a dioxidului de carbon. Aceste conditionalitati fac din CE Craiova candidatul ideal pentru unul dintre proiectele experimentale ale UE in domeniul energiei. Transgaz Medias ar urma sa transporte dioxidul de carbon care va fi stocat in situl Romgaz de la Ghercesti. “Intregul proiect ar trebui sa fie gata in 2015-2017”, ne-a precizat Sorin Alecu, directorul de Dezvoltare al CE Craiova.

Pravda: Russia Goes to Romania for Major Gas Deal

Romania is interested in the South Stream project, Aleksei Miller, the head of Russia’s Gazprom said October 8. There were no talks conducted with Romania on the subject before. If Bucharest agrees, Russia will obtain more opportunities to implement the vital project.

“It goes about the opportunity to build a gas pipeline branch to Romania,” Miller said at the World Gas Congress in Argentina.

Until recently, Romania was not a member of the project, the official said. That is why, it only goes about the gas pipeline branch. The main pipe will be build along the bottom of the Black Sea from Russia’s Novorossiisk via the economic zones of Turkey and Bulgaria. The line will go to Serbia, Hungary, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece and Italy.

For the time being, it is not clear where the pipeline is going to be built. The entire project is being executed to secure Europe against the troubles with the shipments of the Russian gas via Ukraine.

The administration of Bulgaria supported the project enthusiastically before the summer of 2009, after the nation was seriously affected with interrupted deliveries of gas last winter. However, the state of affairs in Bulgaria took a different turn after the change of authorities in Sofia.

On July 13, Bulgaria suspended its participation in the project. The Bulgarian administration signed an agreement about the construction of the Nabucco pipeline, which would bring the Asian gas to Europe bypassing Russia. However, the nation did not refuse from its participation in the South Stream project.

The Bulgarian prime minister claimed that the contracts for the construction of the Russian pipeline should be investigated to find out a possible corruption constituent. Finance minister stated that Bulgaria could not afford the funding of such large-scale projects like South Stream because of the financial crisis.

Russia was forced to look for a different partner against the background of such circumstances. Romania seemed to be the only option. This nation also sits on the western coast of the Black Sea. However, Romania’s stance on the situation with Moldavia differs from Russia’s approach to the issue, which could probably generate a problem for the nation’s participation in the Russian project.

Moscow supports Moldavia’s integrity and independence, whereas Romanian President Traian Basescu openly referred to Moldavia as the second Romanian state and propagated the unification of the two countries.

However, Romanian officials have not released any statement to criticize Russia’s foreign policies lately. President Basescu urged the European Union during the Russia-EU summit in May to attract Russia to various projects. Romania’s Ziua 9 newspaper wrote that Romania supported Russia in its refusal to recognize the independence of Kosovo.

Therefore, there are no serious obstacles for Romania to join Russia’s South Stream project. If Bulgaria continues to delay its reply about the Russian project, Russia will most likely build the pipeline branch in Romania and then to Europe.

RussiaToday.com: Shtokman partners call for new breaks to improve project viability

Partners in the world’s largest offshore gas project Shtokman say they want new tax breaks to justify development costs, as Shtokman developer Total warns the project will not be profitable at current gas prices.

The head of Shtokman Development signed a 25-year deal to build the project’s onshore infrastructure, on Thursday. There’s no price tag, as it’s still in the planning stage. Gazprom CEO, Aleksey Miller it will soon be available.

“We expect to have the investment plan ready by the first half of next year.”

500km off Russia’s far north in Arctic waters, the deposit’s the most challenging energy project around. Most equipment isn’t available “off the shelf”, requiring state-of-the-art conceptual design, according to Yury Komarov, CEO of Shtokman Development AG..

“It’s not just one of the most prestigious projects, it’s very complicated, and we need to do a lot of work in this region.”

Gazprom says Shtokman can come on tap by 2013. But analysts cry foul. Contractors are still not in place, and it’s a difficult time to be raising finance. Gazprom wants the Arctic’s vast reserves to be shipped through the port of Murmansk, to the world’s largest energy markets Europe and the US. But even project partners question the viability of the development, especially at today’s energy prices.

Natural gas prices are at their lowest in decades. French project partner Total last week added Shtokman is not feasible at current rates.

The development’s third shareholder, Norway’s StatoilHydro called for tax breaks, to make it worthwhile, according to its Russia Representative Bengt Li Hansen.

“When we are going to make a decision on Shtokman we need favourable tax regimes – more favourable than today.”

Shtokman plans to supply Europe through the Nord Stream pipeline, and later ship LNG to the US. Demand there should grow over the next decade, but not at any price.

WSJ: U.S. Enlists Oil to Sway Beijing’s Stance on Tehran

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is encouraging key Arab states to boost oil exports to China in order to reduce Beijing’s reliance on Iranian energy and pare Chinese resistance to tougher sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear program.

The administration’s strategy has yielded a gain: in a step coordinated with Washington, the United Arab Emirates recently agreed to boost oil exports to China to between 150,000 to 200,000 barrels a day from a current level of 50,000 over the next six months, according to U.S. and Emirati officials.

A senior Emirati official said Abu Dhabi plans to make a significant additional increase “within the next three years.”

Saudi Arabia, long at odds with Tehran, also appears prepared to offer China more oil to make up for any losses it incurs as part of an international effort to punish Iran, according to people familiar with Saudi thinking.

The kingdom buys considerable weapons, natural resources and consumer products from China, and is weighing how to leverage those purchases to persuade Beijing to distance itself from Tehran.

The U.S. strategy is as much about realigning diplomatic alliances as shifting the oil supply, U.S. officials said.

Many diplomats and Middle East analysts are skeptical that the U.S. and the Arab states will succeed over the long term in breaking Beijing’s reliance on Iranian energy.

Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. are both constrained in exporting oil by quotas established by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Industry analysts question how the two countries could significantly boost exports to China without flouting those quotas and flooding markets with excess oil.

Washington and its European allies increasingly view China as the pivotal player in an international effort to pressure Tehran economically over its nuclear program. Iranian officials are scheduled to meet representatives from the U.S., France and Russia in Vienna on Monday in a bid to conclude an agreement for the international community to better monitor and manage Tehran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium.

[International Pipeline chart]

Growing sanctions against Iran could lead to significant instability in the Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. could be important partners in guaranteeing Beijing’s continued oil supply. China’s consumption is expected to grow to about 20 million barrels of oil a day by 2030 from its current level of eight millions barrels a day.

Saudi Arabia is the largest oil exporter to China, sending 740,000 barrels a day during the first five months of 2009. Iran is the second-largest supplier at about 540,000 barrels a day.

“We’ve been telling the Arab states to directly express their concerns to Russia and China about Iran’s actions,” said a U.S. official involved in the dialogue. “And we stressed that they should use their leverage.”

Beijing is the second-largest buyer of Iranian oil. The Asian giant has pledged tens of billions of dollars in new investment in Iran’s oil and gas infrastructure in coming years. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao damped U.S. hopes for broad cooperation on Iran last week, praising Beijing’s “widened and deepened” relationship with Tehran following a meeting with Iranian Vice President Reza Rahimi.

China and Russia have the ability to block new sanctions proposals being discussed at the United Nations Security Council. Beijing has repeatedly expressed opposition to enacting expansive financial penalties against Tehran.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Beijing’s National Energy Administration didn’t respond to requests for comment about the U.A.E. offer of additional oil.

A spokesman at Saudi Arabia’s Washington office didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Beijing also views Iran as a crucial partner in helping China achieve energy independence. China is investing in massive joint exploration, extraction and refining projects in Iran. Oil-industry analysts note that many of China’s energy ventures in Iran have yet to bear fruit, due to technological deficiencies and contract disputes. But Beijing is still seen as unwilling to turn its back on opportunities to develop China’s own refining and extraction capabilities.

“The Chinese are wooing Iran because they are banking that the best energy security is to be their own producers,” said Patrick Clawson, an Iran expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

U.S. officials, however, view the U.A.E.’s action as an important early signal from a key oil-producing Arab state.

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