revista presei pe energie 11 iulie

2011/07/11

Adevarul: Reducerea subvenţiilor pentru energia verde nu sperie investitorii

Planul României de a reduce subvenţiile generoase pentru proiecte de energie regenerabilă nu va descuraja investitorii în energia eoliană, în pofida incertitudinilor legate de finanţare, întrucât potenţialul eolian al României este uriaş, se arată într-o analiză realizată de Reuters.

Schema de promovare a energiei verzi aşteaptă acordul Comisiei Europene, care consideră că subvenţiile ar putea fi prea generoase. Schimbările propuse includ posibilitatea reducerii sprijinului dacă proiectul devine prea profitabil.

Analiştii consideră că perspectiva profiturilor ridicate se menţine, spre deosebire de Bulgaria, unde guvernul a tăiat drastic subvenţiile pentru energia verde, din cauză că acestea ar fi crescut prea mult preţul final.

Potenţialul eolian bate subvenţiile

„Vor fi cazuri de proiecte abandonate în Bulgaria, dar interesul pentru dezvoltarea energiei eoliene în România se menţine”, a declarat Joanna Kozak, analist la compania de brokeraj Greenmax Capital Advisors.

Alte schimbări propuse de România sunt reducerea numărului de certificate verzi pentru tehnologii precum biomasa, iar accesul la reţea va fi garantat, nu şi prioritar. Investitorii primesc certificate pe care le vând la un preţ între 27 şi 55 de euro fiecare, în plus faţă de preţul energiei. „Nu sunt sigur cât timp va avea România capacitatea financiară să menţină aceste facilităţi”, a declarat Alexandar Kovacevic, analist la Institutul Oxford pentru Studii în Energie.

Aceasta deoarece cu cât sunt mai mari subvenţiile, cu atât preţul final va creşte şi mai mult. În opinia lui Alexandar Kovacevic, România poate fi atractivă şi fără aceste stimulente, întrucât are un potenţial eolian foarte bun.

Money.ro: Viitoarele depozite de gaze şi modernizarea reţelei de transport presupun investiţii de 750 mil.euro

Creşterea capacităţii de înmagazinare a gazelor naturale în depozite subterane şi reabilitarea sistemului naţional de transport al gazelor necesită investiţii de peste 750 de milioane de euro, estimează compania de stat Transgaz Mediaş (TGN), operatorul reţelei de transport.

“Depozitele noi sunt programate să fie amenajate în zăcăminte semidepletate (aproape epuizate, n.r.), situate optim faţă de zonele deficitare şi în caverne de sare pentru zonele cu fluctuaţii zilnice şi orare ale consumului”, se arată într-un studiu al companiei, care citează informaţii dintr-un proiect de strategie energetică a Guvernului.

Sumele necesare pentru suplimentarea capacităţilor de stocare a gazelor se ridică la 500 milioane de euro. Depozitele de gaze existente au o capacitate anuală totală de trei miliarde metri cubi de gaze naturale.

Investiţiile pentru creşterea cu 50% a debitelor de extracţie din depozite se ridică la 180 milioane de euro, până în 2012.

Producătorul de gaze Romgaz Mediaş este cel mai mare operator de depozite de înmagazinare din România. Grupul franco-belgian GDF SUEZ, prezent pe piaţa energetică românească din 2005, are două depozite de mici dimensiuni.

Transgaz are nevoie până în 2013 de investiţii evaluate la 256 milioane de euro pentru reabilitarea reţelelor.

Documentul nu precizează sursele de finanţare a proiectelor.

Romgaz şi Transgaz sunt deţinute de stat, prin Ministerul Economiei.

Hotnews: Petrom sustine ca a descoperit in sud-vestul Romaniei un zacamant de gaze: Ar putea fi cea mai importanta descoperire de gaze onshore de pe teritoriul Romaniei din ultimii 6 ani

Petrom a anuntat ca a facut o descoperire importanta de gaze in urma explorarilor la sonda 4539 Totea. Sonda a fost forata in Sud-Vestul Romaniei, in regiunea Olteniei, la o adancime de 3.600 m si a avut ca obiectiv o potentiala acumulare mare, cu presiune ridicata, se arata intr-un comunicat al Petrom. “Carotajul geofizic a indicat mai multe intervale de hidrocarburi in Miocenul inferior. In perioada de teste s-a inregistrat, dintr-un singur strat, un debit maxim stabilizat de gaze si condensat de aproximativ 3.100 bep/zi (barili echivalent petrol pe zi). Rezultatele inregistrate pana la aceasta data indica faptul ca acesta ar putea fi un nou zacamant semnificativ, care urmeaza a fi determinat prin evaluare”, precizeaza Petrom.

Este planificata o evaluare viitoare pentru a confirma ceea ce ar putea fi cea mai importanta descoperire de gaze onshore de pe teritoriul Romaniei din ultimii sase ani, se arata in comunicat.

UPDATE Sonda se afla in satul Negreni, comuna Licurici, judetul Gorj.

Productia experimentala pe sonda 4539 Totea este estimata sa inceapa la sfarsitul anului, imediat dupa conectarea sondei la infrastructura de conducte de gaze din apropiere.

  • “Ma bucur sa putem anunta acest succes, care ar putea reprezenta cea mai importanta descoperire de gaze onshore din Romania in ultimii sase ani. Rezultatele inregistrate in timpul testelor confirma potentialul zacamantului si asteptarile noastre in ceea ce priveste regiunea Olteniei, unde am concentrat investitii ridicate”, a declarat Johann Pleininger, membru al Directoratului Petrom, responsabil cu activitatea de explorare si productie.

Sonda 4539 Totea a fost sapata in urma unui program de explorare seismica 3D derulat recent. Trei probe de productie care au inregistrat succes au fost executate pe trei intervale reprezentative ale rezervorului, cu un debit maxim al productiei stabilizate de circa 3.100 bep/zi de gaze si condensat.

Pentru a determina dimensiunea acumularii, care este localizata intr-o zona cu complexitate geologica ridicata, Petrom va incepe un program de evaluare.

“Astfel de rezultate in activitatea noastra de explorare sunt esentiale pentru a furniza energie in Romania si sunt remarcabile avand in vedere ca ne desfasuram activitatea intr-o activitate care in Romania numara peste 150 de ani. Prin investitiile pe care le facem pentru utilizarea de tehnologii moderne asiguram accesul la zacaminte de gaze care pana acum nu au fost accesibile”, a declarat, la randul ei, Mariana Gheorghe, CEO Petrom.

  • Carotaj geofizic – Măsurare continuă cu instrumente electrice a proprietăţilor formaţiunilor pentru a determina proprietăţi şi a lua decizii legate de foraj şi operaţiuni de producţie.

money.ro: Câtă energie a produs centrala de la Cernavodă în primul semestru din 2011

Cele două unităţi ale Centralei Nuclearelectrice de la Cernavodă au produs, în primul semestru din 2011, o cantitate de energie electrică de 5,644 milioane MWh, din care circa 5,2 milioane MWh au fost livraţi în Sistemul Energetic Naţional, conform datelor publicate pe site-ul Nuclearelectrica.

Unitatea 1 a produs, în primele şase luni, 3,037 milioane MWh şi a livrat peste 2,792 milioane MWh, înregistrând un factor mediu de capacitate de 99,70%, iar Unitatea 2 a produs 2,607 milioane MWh şi a livrat 2,404 milioane MWh, având un factor mediu de capacitate de 85,2%, din cauza opririi planificate din luna mai.

De la punerea în funcţiune până la finele lui iunie, cele două unităţi ale centralei nuclearelectrice au produs 101,68 milioane MWh şi au livrat în sistem 93,809 milioane MWh.

Hotnews: Bulgaria doreste sa importe de patru ori mai putin gaz rusesc, iar Romania de patru ori mai mult

Rusia ar putea exporta de patru ori mai mult gaz in Romania si de patru ori mai putin in Bulgaria. Romania se afla in plina renegociere a conventiei semnate cu Rusia in 1996, fapt care ar putea duce la cresterea livrarilor de gaze pana la de patru ori. In acelasi timp, Bulgaria anunta ca doreste sa reduca de patru ori cantitatile de gaze importate din Rusia. Potrivit agentiei Novinite care citeaza publicatia rusa Kommersant, Bulgaria este decisa sa faca pasi definitivi pentru scaderea importurilor din Rusia de la 2 miliarde de metri cubi la 500 de milioane de metri cubi pe an. Si aceasta in doar 2-3 ani.

Ministrul bulgar al Energiei Traykov Traycho a anuntat intentia Bulgariei de a renunta la contractele pe termen lung cu gigantul rus Gazprom. Acum se pune problema inlocuirii cu alte surse. Bulgaria are solutii in aceasta privinta si anume gazele care tranziteaza Turcia, Romania si Grecia. In plus, sunt perspective pentru dezvoltarea unor zacaminte de gaze de sist.

  • Bulgaria se bazeaza pe dezvoltarea rezervelor de gaz sist din Novi Pazar (in nord-estul Bulgariei de nord-est), unde ar putea fi cantiati suficiente pentru 300 de ani de acum inainte. In acest proiect intentioneaza sa se implice compania americana Chevron american care a anuntat disponibilitatea sa de a investi 30 de milioane de euro in cercetare si explorare. Insa, aceste explorari au starnit controverse in Bulgaria, declarandu-se total impotriva organizatiile ecologiste, autoritatile locale si Partidul Socialist Bulgar. Acestea considera ca producerea gazelor de sist ar putea avea un impact negativ puternic asupra mediului.

In ceea ce priveste alte surse de aprovizionare, Bulgaria spera sa-si sporeasca tranzitul de gaze prin Turcia, intentionand sa construiasca un gazoduct in prin care sa fie aduse gaze azere. Vor mai fi construite conducte de interconectare cu Romania si cu Grecia. Bulgaria mai pune la socoteala si proiectul Nabucco.

Declaratiile privind reducerea cantitatilor de gaze din Rusia nu au fost comentate pana in acest moment de reprezentantii Gazprom. Intentiile Bulgariei ridica mari semne de intrebare in conditiile in care a tot purtat discutii cu Rusia pe tema implicarii in proiectul South Stream. In cateva luni, Gazprom va face publice rezultatele studiului de fezabilitate a proiectului, fiind luate in calcul doua posibile rute de tranzit: Prin Bulgaria sau prin Romania. Pana acum, Bulgaria a fost vazuta ca fiind preferata de Rusia, mai ales ca in noiembrie, anul trecut, un acord de infiintare a unei companii comune care va proiecta, construi si coordona segmentul bulgar al conductei South Stream. Atunci, seful Gazprom, Alexei Miller, a tinut sa inlature si temerile potrivit carora, din cauza ca Executivul lui Boiko Borisov a cerut participarea Rusiei la cateva proiecte energetice comune, Moscova ar putea sa aleaga Romania ca locul din care conducta South Stream va ajunge atat in sudul, cat si in centrul Europei.

South Stream ar trebui sa fie gata pana in 2015. Conducta va transporta 63 miliarde metri cubi de gaze naturale anual, aproximativ 35% din totalul exporturilor anuale realizate de Rusia catre Europa.

Hotnews: Romania renegociaza conventia semnata cu Rusia in 1996. Vezi cum ar putea ajunge Romania sa importe de 4 ori mai mult gaz rusesc

Romania se afla in plin proces de renegociere a Conventiei semnata la Moscova in 1996 cu Federatia Rusa, potrivit unei informatii transmise de Ministerul Economiei la solicitarea HotNews.ro. Aceasta conventie este foarte importanta in conditiile in care face referire la atat la cantitatile de gaze rusesti livrate in Romania, cat si la tranzitul in tari terte. O modificare esentiala a conventiei va fi introducerea dreptului de a revinde in alte state gazele livrate de Rusia pentru consumatorii romani. In plus vor fi negociate si cantitatile de gaze pe care Gazprom le va exporta in Romania, putand ajunge la 10 miliarde de metri cubi pana in 2020. Fata de cat importa acum Romania, este o diferenta mare. Potrivit datelor Gazprom, anul trecut, au ajuns in Romania 2,6 miliarde metri cubi de gaze rusesti. Renegocierea conventiei reprezinta unul dintre cei trei pasi necesari pentru elaborarea unei strategii nationale in domeniul gazelor naturale.

Ministerul Economiei intentioneaza sa elaboreze o strategie in domeniul gazelor naturale, ca si parte componenta a Strategiei energetice nationale la orizontul anului 2035, se arata intr-un raspuns al institutiei catre HotNews.ro. Acest lucru va fi posibil dupa finalizarea urmatoarelor etape care se afla in desfasurare in prezent:

  • Transpunerea in legislatia nationala a celui de-al treilea pachet legislativ privind piata de energie. Chiar daca s-a depasit termenul legal de transpunere (3 martie 2011), calitatea transpunerii este mult mai importanta, putand fi astfel evitata deschiderea unei proceduri de infrigement pentru o eventuala transpunere incompleta si necorespunzatoare, precizeaza Ministerul Economiei.
  • Promovarea strategiei de interconectare a Sistemului National de Transport Gaze Naturale cu cu sistemele similare din tarile vecine– etapa intarziata de necesitatea realizarii procedurii de evaluare de mediu, in conformitate cu prevederile Directivei 2001/42/CE transpusa in legislatia nationala prin HG nr. 1076/2004. Conform procedurii, raportul de mediu si proiectul strategiei de interconectare trebuie sa fie supuse dezbaterii si consultarii publice timp de 60 de zile.
  • Renegocierea Conventiei dintre Guvernul Romaniei si Guvernul Federatiei Ruse privind extinderea capacitatilor conductelor de tranzit gaze pe teritoriul Romaniei pentru cresterea livrarilor de gaze naturale din Federatia Rusa in tari terte si in Romania, semnata la Moscova in anul 1996 in scopul eliminarii neconcordantelor cu legislatia comunitara- proces in curs de derulare, cu sprijinul Comisiei Europene.

Asa cum precizeaza Ministerul Economiei, renegocierea conventiei este necesara in vederea alinierii cu legislatia europeana. “Trebuie adaptata la legislatia europeana, fiindca sunt cateva elemente care nu corespund, precum lipsa dreptului de a revinde”, a declarat pentru HotNews.ro, Corneliu Condrea, director in cadrul Ministerului Economiei. In forma actuala a conventiei, “gazele naturale ce se vor livra din Federatia Rusa in Romania, pentru nevoile consumatorilor de pe teritoriul acesteia, nu pot fi exportate in terte tari fara acordul Gazprom”.

Astfel, prin eliminarea acestei prevederi, Romania va avea dreptul sa revanda fara probleme gazele venite din Rusia. Pentru acest lucru mai trebuie rezolvata problema tehnica, si anume pregatirea conductei Arad-Szeged pe sensul de export, finalizarea conductei Giurgiu-Ruse si realizarea interconectarii cu Serbia.

Potrivit unui grafic cuprins in proiectul de strategie de interconectare a Transgaz (vezi documentele atasate), din 2000 pana in prezent, cele mai mari cantitati au fost importate in 2003 (6 mld metri cubi). In istoria importurilor din Rusia, recordul il detin anii 1989 si 1990 cu peste 7 mld metri cubi.

Cresterea volumului de gaze aduse din Rusia ar putea fi un punct de plecare pentru negocierea unor preturi mai avantajoase. Intrebat daca se poate vorbi de preturi mai mici la gazele rusesti in cazul cresterii cantitatilor de gaze, Condrea a raspuns ca “sunt simple speculatii”, dar a admis faptul ca in mod obisnuit “la stabilirea unui pret, unul dintre criteriile pentru reducerea lui este cresterea cantitatilor”.

  • Conventia semnata 1996 intre Guvernul Romaniei si Guvernul Federatiei Ruse prevedea mai multe obiective care nu au fost indeplinite pana acum. Inclusiv cele referitoare la cantitatile de gaze. In plus, conform conventiei trebuia infiintata o companie mixta Romgaz-Gazprom. Nu a fost infiintata, desi au existat discutii in acest sens. Partea romana trebuia sa acorde societatii mixte posibilitatea de a utiliza, pe baza contractuala, depozitele subterane de pe teritoriul Romaniei pentru depozitarea gazelor naturale destinate consumatorilor interni si pentru asigurarea tranzitului gazelor rusesti in terte tari.

Potrivit conventiei, partea rusa era dispusa sa livreze Romaniei in perioada 2005-2010 pana la 14 mld metri cubi/anual, dar aceasta numai in cazul construirii unor noi capacitati de transport gaze.

Un proiect in acest sens este interconectarea cu Moldova prin Ungheni-Iasi. Desi se vorbeste de mai multi ani de acest proiect, abia acum a inceput sa se concretizeze.

Romania si Republica Moldova vor finaliza in aceasta vara studiul de fezabilitate pentru proiectul privind constructia gazoductului Ungheni-Iasi, o conducta prin care vor putea fi realizate atat importuri, cat si exporturi de gaze, a declarat la Bucuresti vicepremierul Republicii MOldova, Valeriu Lazar. Potrivit acestuia, este un proiect sustinut atat de Uniunea Europeana, cat si de Federatia Rusa. “Federatia Rusa are interesul de a consolida capacitatea de tranzitare. Prin Republica Moldova se tranziteaza 16-18% din gazele rusesti catre Europa. Noi facem bani din asta. Si Comisia Europeana are interesul sa aiba cat mai multe linii de interconexiune”, a spus Lazar.?

Potrivit acestuia, imediat dupa finalizarea studiului de fezabilitate va demara procesul de cautare a investitorilor. O parte din fondurile necesare, in suma de 7 mil. euro urmeaza a fi alocate de catre Comisia Europeana prin intermediul Programului Operational Comun Romania-Ucraina-Republica Moldova. Costul estimativ al proiectului se ridica la 19-20 de milioane de euro. “Pana in toamna vom structura dosarul, apoi vom demara proiectarea si licitatia”, a precizat Lazar.

Viitoarea strategie in domeniul gazelor naturale  depinde si de finalizarea strategiei de interconectare a Sistemului National de Transport Gaze Naturale cu cu sistemele similare din tarile vecine. La ora actuala, exista doar trei conducte de interconectare si toate sunt doar pe sensul de import: Tekovo- SMG Mediesu Aurit, Orlovka- Isaccea si Szeged- Arad Transgaz are in acest moment atat un proiect de strategie in acest sens, cat si raportul de mediu(documentele atasate).

Potrivit strategiei exista mai multe proiecte de interconectare prin care vor fi facute atat importuri, cat si exporturi de gaze:

  • Interconectarea cu Ungaria- mai trebuie facute investitii pentru a permite exporturile. In prezent, se pot face doar importuri
  • Interconectarea cu Bulgaria pe directia Russe- Giurgiu- in curs de elaborare (finalizarea proiectului- 2012)
  • Interconectarea cu Serbia- in faza discutiilor de colaborare
  • Interconectarea pentru diversificarea punctelor de import (Punct de import- Negru Voda IV)
  • Interconectarea cu Moldova -in curs de realizare (finalizarea proiectului- 2012)
  • Interconectarea cu conducta NABUCCO- In faza de proiect (primele livrari-2017)
  • Lucrari pentru asigurarea curgerii reversibile a fluxului de gaze naturale prin interconectarile existente in scopul cresterii sigurantei in aprovizionarea cu gaze naturale in situatii de criza

Legislatia europeana obliga statele membre sa asigure transportul de gaze prin conductele de interconectare in ambele directii, si in sensul de import, dar si de export, motivul fiind sporirea securitatii aprovizionarii. In aceste conditii, din 2013, toate conductele de interconectare din Romania vor trebui sa asigure si “fluxul invers”, ceea ce inseamna permiterea exporturilor de gaze. Trebuie facilitate fluxurile de gaze naturale pe ambele sensuri, atat prin conducta Arad-Szeged, cat si viitoarea conducta Giurgiu-Ruse. Dar nu numai. Ci si prin conductele de interconectare cu Moldova si cu Serbia.

In ceea ce priveste conducta Arad-Szeged, din punct de vedere tehnic nu se pot realiza decat importuri. Proiectul prevedea constructia conductei pe ambele sensuri, insa pana la urma s-a realizat doar pentru importuri. Insa, daca autoritatile ar decide sa deblocheze exporturile, in cateva luni ar putea fi rezolvata si problema tehnica. In schimb, conducta Giurgiu-Ruse va asigura inca de la inceput transportul gazului in ambele directii. Interconectarea cu Bulgaria va fi finalizata pana la sfarsitul anului viitor, in prezent derulandu-se procedurile pentru selectarea constructorului pe partea romana.

  • Potrivit Regulamentului european 994/2010, pana pe 3 martie 2012, fiecare stat trebuie sa prezinte o propunere de capacitate bidirectionala. Pana pe 3 decembrie 2013, trebuie asigurata capacitatea bidirectionala permanenta in toate interconectarile transfrontaliere intre statele membre. “Operatorii de sisteme de transport asigura capacitatea bidirectionala permanenta in toate interconectarile transfrontaliere intre statele membre cat mai curand posibil si cel tarziu pana la 3 decembrie 2013”, se arata in regulament.

Regulamentul mai spune ca “operatorii de sisteme de transport nu ar trebui impiedicati sa ia in calcul situatia in care investitiile care permit capacitatea fizica de a transporta gazul in ambele directii (capacitate bidirectionala) in cadrul interconectarilor transfrontaliere cu tari terte”. Romania are in vedere interconectarea cu Moldova si cu Serbia. In plus, vor fi facute investitii la statiile Isaccea si Negru Voda pentru ca din punct de vedere tehnic, gazele sa poata fi transportate in ambele sensuri. Pana la 3 decembrie 2011, statele membre comunica Comisiei acordurile interguvernamentale existente semnate cu tari terte care au un impact asupra dezvoltarii infrastructurilor de gaze si aprovizionarii cu gaze.

inforusia.ro: Rusia va produce 509 milioane de tone de petrol in 2011

Productia de petrol a Rusiei va creste cu un procent in acest an, pana la 509 milioane de tone, a declarat premierul rus Vladimir Putin, transmite AFP.
”In primele sase luni ale anului, productia de petrol s-a situat la 252,4 milioane tone, ceea ce inseamna ca pe ansamblul acestui an productia ar putea fi usor mai mare decat cea de anul trecut, aproximativ 508 – 509 milioane de tone”, a declarat Vladimir Putin.
In 2010, Rusia a produs 505 milioane tone de petrol, devenind cel mai mare producator mondial de titei.
Premierul rus a apreciat ca nivelul actual de extractie este unul „optim”, care permite atat acoperirea cererii interne, cat si a obligatiilor contractuale pe pietele externe.
In schimb, Vladimir Putin a criticat companiile petroliere rusesti pentru ca nu si-au indeplinit obligatiile vizand modernizarea rafinariilor lor.
”Un deficit in aprovizionarea cu combustibil este un nonsens in Rusia. Acest lucru nu ar trebui sa existe”, a apreciat Vladimir Putin.
In acest sens, premierul rus a anuntat ca societatile petroliere vor fi obligate sa furnizeze pe piata interna o parte din productia lor totala. Cererea de produse petroliere a pietei rusesti este estimata la 90 de milioane de tone anual.

inforusia.ro: Gazprom va controla un sfert din piata de electricitate din Rusia

Grupul rus de stat OAO Gazprom, cel mai mare producator mondial de gaze naturale, a anuntat ca subisidiara sa din domeniul productiei de energie electrica (Gazprom Energoholding) isi va uni activele cu compania de utilitati KES Holding, o subsidiara a Renova Group, societate controlata de magnatul Viktor Vekselberg, pentru a da nastere celui mai mare producator de energie electrica din Rusia, transmite Reuters, citat de Agerpres.

Viktor Vekselberg si directorul general al Gazprom, Alexei Miller, au semnat, joi, un acord in urma caruia Vekselberg isi transfera participatiile pe care le detine la patru companii producatoare de electricitate din Rusia (TGK-5 , TGK-6 , TGK-7 si TGK-9) catre Gazprom Energoholding, in schimbul unei participatii de 25% plus o actiune din noua companie de utilitati creata in urma fuziunii.

”Compania va avea o marime similara cu cea a altor mari grupuri energetice precum E.ON si EDF, urmând a controla un sfert din piata de electricitate din Rusia, cu o capacitate totala de generare de 52 de Gigawati”, a declarat Alexei Miller.

In urma fuziunii, care ar putea sa aiba loc pâna la finele anului, Gazprom Energoholding va fi restructurata si ar putea sa-si listeze actiunile pe piata bursiera. „Obiectivul nostru este sa cream o companie care sa-si tranzactioneze actiunile pe bursele straine si autohtone”, a declarat Viktor Vekselberg.

Gazprom, companie la care actionar majoritar este statul rus, este cel mai mare producator mondial de gaze naturale si in prezent detine patru companii producatoare de energie electrica (Mosenergo , OGK-2 , OGK-6 si TGK-1) a caror productie se ridica la 36GW, sau 17% din productia de energie electrica a Rusiei.

inforusia.ro: Pretul gazelor rusesti pentru Belarus va ramane neschimbat pana la sfarsitul anului

Oficialii de la Moscova si Minsk nu au reusit sa ajunga la o intelegere pentru pretul gazelor rusesti furnizate Belarusului. Intre cele doua tari exista un contract in vigoare pana la finalul acestui an si potrivit partii ruse, pretul gazelor (244,7 dolari pentru 1.000 de metri cubi) nu se va modifica pana la incheierea acestui angajament, informeaza RIA Novosti.
Belarus si Rusia negociaza contractul pentru perioada 2012-2014, iar Belarusul spera sa obtina un pret mai bun, daca va reusi sa vanda Moscovei cele 50 de procente ramase din compania de gaze Beltransgaz, pentru suma de 2,5 miliarde de dolari.
Moscova isi doreste sa incheie tranzactia pentru Beltransgaz, insa, in acelasi timp, spera sa mentina pretul gazelor la nivelul contractului precedent.

Vocea Rusiei: Europa se teme să nu rămână fără gaz rusesc

Europa trebuie să colaboreze cu Rusia la construirea conductei de gaz South Stream, a declarat directorul  concernului Eni Paolo Scaroni. El a menţionat că dacă Rusia va reorienta livrările de gaz în Răsărit, atunci Lumea Veche riscă să rămână fără resurse energetice. Experţii relevă că în condiţiile instabilităţii din Orientul Mijlociu şi ale reexaminării politicii în domeniul energiei în UE – rolul Rusiei va creşte.

Se pare că perspectiva de a rămâne fără resurse energetice, a obligat UE să aprecieze avantajele cooperării cu Rusia. Directorul companiei Eni Paolo Scaroni a declarat în interviul pentru ziarul italian „Sole 24 Ore” că numai Rusia va putea asigura viitorul energiei UE. Evident dacă iniţiativa nu va fi preluată de China şi India, care poartă tratative intense cu Moscova referitoare la  livrările de resurse energetice.

Expertul rus în domeniul securităţii energetice, Konstantin Simonov menţionează că Europa începe să înţeleagă caracterul eronat al politicii precedente în domeniul securităţii energetice.

„Suntem martorii „primăverii arabe” din nordul Africii, în orice moment poate începe o revoluţie şi în Algeria, iar această ţară este furnizorul de gaz nr.3 în UE. Este incertă situaţia din Arabia Saudită, în jurul căreia se înmulţesc punctele  instabilităţii politice. Nu există gaz din Irak. În condiţiile sancţiunilor drastice faţă de regimul actual de la Teheran, de asemenea nu se poate vorbi despre gazul iranian”.

Între timp, „Gazprom” intenţionează să livreze Chinei până la 68 de miliarde metrii cubi de gaz pe an. Ceea ce este comparabil cu capacitatea de 63 de miliarde a South Stream şi depăşeşte Nord Stream, a cărui capacitate planificată va fi de 55 de miliarde de metrii cubi pe an.

În afară de asta, are nevoie de mari cantităţi de gaz şi Japonia, care din motive bine cunoscute este obligată să renunţe la folosirea centralelor nucleare. Companiile indiene, au semnat la rândul lor, contracte practic pentru tot gazul lichefiat de la zăcământul Ştokman, a cărui exploatare abia începe. În această situaţie, Europa se va confrunta cu o concurenţă serioasă din partea ţărilor asiatice în privinţa gazului rusesc.

RIA Novosti: Gazprom delegation visits N.Korea for energy cooperation talks

Russia’s gas giant Gazprom has held energy cooperation talks with secretive North Korea, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

North Korean Minister of Oil Industry Kim Hui Yong met with Gazprom Chairman Alexander Ananenkov to discuss cooperation on oil and gas and other bilateral issues, the statement said.

The visit by the Gazprom delegation was agreed in June at a meeting between Gazprom President Alexei Miller and North Korean Ambassador to Russia Kim Yong Jeh.

In 2009, Gazprom and South Korea’s Kogas agreed to consider gas supplies to South Korea, the world’s second largest liquefied natural gas buyer after Japan.

The construction of a pipeline through the North Korean territory to bring Russian gas from the Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok transportation system to South Korea has seemed the most efficient project but the idea was postponed indefinitely as relations between the two Koreas soured.

Russia and North Korea share a border, but their trading relations worsened after the collapse of the Soviet Union 20 years ago.

Seoul has developed an alternative fuel imports route involving transportation of LNG by sea directly from Vladivostok.

Russia expects to start gas supplies to South Korea in 2017 with deliveries of no less than 10 billion cubic meters a year. Currently Gazprom sells about 1.5 billion tons of LNG annually to the country.

RIA Novosti: Gazprom, E.ON discuss joint power projects

Russia’s gas export monopoly Gazprom and Germany’s E.ON, one of Europe’s biggest purchasers of Russian gas, may develop joint projects in the electrical power industry, Gazprom said late on Thursday, without elaborating.

In June, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said the company did not rule out buying stakes in German energy companies, but had received no concrete proposals.

On Thursday, Gazprom signed an agreement under which it will merge its power division with assets belonging to oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.

Vekselberg’s Renova Group will transfer its stakes in four Russian power plants to Gazprom’s electricity company in exchange for at least a quarter of the newly merged firm.

The government broke up state electricity monopoly UES three years ago and sold some generators to Russian businessmen and foreign companies including E.ON.

Gazprom has been gradually consolidating various power assets over the past year, including a recent merger between OGK-2 and OGK-6.

InterRAO, a state-controlled electricity trader created during privatization, has also been buying power assets to bring more of the industry under state control.

Novinite: Bulgaria to Hold Auctions for Six Shale Gas Exploration Blocks

Bulgaria will hold auctions for a total of six shale gas exploration blocks, said Kristalina Stoykova from the Geological Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS).

Stoykova heads a scientific group in charge of shale gas research in Bulgaria.

In her words, four of the blocks that will be auctioned off are located in North-East Bulgaria and two other in North-Central Bulgaria.

At this stage, US oil and gas giant Chevron has won a contract to carry out shale gas exploration works near the town of for Novi Pazar in North-East Bulgaria. ‘

According to the estimates of the bidders, the deposit near Novi Pazar contains between 300 billion and 1 trillion cubic meters of shale gas.

A few days ago, local authorities said they would appeal the government’s decision to sign a contract for shale gas exploration and production.

The tender procedures for the other shale gas exploration blocks have not been finalized yet.

According to Stoykova, shale gas exploration does not differ from conventional oil and gas drilling, with Bulgaria already hosting over 2000 such platforms.

Stoykova dismisses the risk of water and soil contamination as a result of shale gasexploration.

Shale gas remains a contentious issue in Bulgaria, with environmentalists and people residing near designated exploration blocks stressing the water, soil and air pollution and the seismic risks, while energy experts put the benefits of energy diversification at the forefront.

According to Bulgarian Energy Minister Traicho Traikov, a strong proponent of shale gas drilling, domestic shale gas deposits should suffice to guarantee the country’s natural gas consumption for the next 1000 years.

The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), however, has called for holding local referendums before giving the green light to shale gas exploration and extraction.

Novinite: Bulgaria Seriously Bent on Giving Up Russian Gas

Bulgaria is making definite steps to achieve a fourfold reduction in the amount ofnatural gas it is buying from Russia, according to an extensive publication by Russian paper Kommersant.

Looking at boosting its own gas production, but also at diversifying imports, Bulgaria hopes to achieve a reduction from the 2 B cubic meters of gas it buys from Russiaper annum, to some 500 M cub.m in 2-3 years.

Bulgarian Minister of Economy and Energy has already declared Bulgaria’s intention to give up on long-term contracts with Russian gas giant Gazprom in a bid to give his country more leeway in negotiating terms and prices.

Among recent developments, the Bulgarian state’s commitment to exploring forshale gas on its territory is seen as a pressure against Gazprom.

Recently US energy giant Chevron receved a permit to explore for shale gas in the north east part of the country, at a site that is believed to contain massive amounts that could satisfy the country’s gas needs for decades on.

Bulgarian-American company Direct Petroleum has already made significant findings of 10 B cub.m. shale gas in central northern Bulgaria and plans to start producing in 1-2 years at a rate of some 1 B cub.m. per annum.

Shale gas has already raised controversy in Bulgaria though, with environmentalists, local authorities and the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party alarming about its possible negative environmental impact.

France has recently become the first country to ban the production of shale gas on its territory, and worries are rampant in the USA, the very country where the novel technique led to a revolution in the gas market.

But Bulgaria is also looking at other ways to diversify gas supply, including pushing the EU Nabucco pipeline project, set to deliver gas from the Caspian and Middle East, as well as constructing system links with neighbors Romania and Greece.

Kommersant further quotes analysts who remark that in addition Bulgaria needs to develop a competitive internal market for natural gas to achieve lower prices for consumers.

At the time being there are only two major companies who sell gas in Bulgaria, the state Bulgargaz, selling gas to industrial consumers, and Gazprom-controlledOvergas, which primarily sells gas to households.

Kommersant recalls that if those plans of Bulgaria reach fruition, that will be a second major hit against Gazprom, after Croatia has given up on its 1 B cub.m. of Russian gas at the start of 2011.

Novinite: Bulgaria Set to Benefit Big from Newly-Found Natural Gas Deposit

A newly-discovered natural gas deposit near Lovech in Northern Bulgaria contains 10 billion cubic meters of gas, Bulgaria’s Minister of Economy, Energy, and Tourism announced.

Traikov said that Bulgaria will soon be able to extract about 1 billion cubic meters ofnatural gas per year, or about one-third of its annual consumption.

He spoke Tuesday night without providing details about the deposit near Lovechbut he apparently referred to an area around the village of Deventsi in central northern Bulgaria explored in the recent years by Direct Petroleum, a US-based company.

In February 2011, Texas-based company TransAtlantic Petroleum acquired 100% of Direct Petroleum Bulgaria EOOD. Novinite.com’s November 2010 interview with the head of Direct Petroleum Bulgaria Kolyo Tonev read HERE

The news about the Lovech deposit comes two weeks after Bulgaria’s Cabinet formally decided to award a large-scale concession for shale gas exploration to US energy giant Chevron. The exploration plot in question is near the town of Novi Pazar in Northeastern Bulgaria, and the Bulgarian government will get EUR 30 M fromChevron for the exploration rights.

According to the estimates of the bidders, the deposit near Novi Pazar contains between 300 billion and 1 trillion cubic meters of shale gas. In Traikov’s words, Bulgaria’s shale gas deposits should be able to guarantee its domestic consumption of natural gas for the next 1000 years.

It is still unclear when the extraction of the mentioned natural and shale gasdeposits in Bulgaria can be materialized. At present Bulgaria’s natural gasconsumption is about 3 billion cubic meters per year, and 90% of that is imported from Russia. The rest comes from the development of the Kaliakra deposit in the Black Sea by UK company Melrose Resources.

energia.gr: Oil and Gas Exploration Rights Granted in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Naftna Industrija Srbije AD said its joint venture in Bosnia-Herzegovina with OAO Zarubezhneft’s Neftegazinkor unit is to start oil and gas exploration after local authorities gave it a 28-year concession.

The concession applies to the territory of Republika Srpska, the Serb-run part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, whose government agreed that Jadran-Naftagas d.o.o., the locally registered joint venture, may explore oil and gas for three years and exploit any commercial finds in 25 following years, NIS said in an e-mailed statement today.

“This practically marks the beginning of oil and gas exploration in Republika Srpska which, we hope, will result in finding commercial quantities of carbohydrates in the area,” the company said.

The joint venture in Republika Srpska is 66 percent owned by NIS and 34 percent by Neftegazinkor. NIS is majority-owned by Gazprom Neft.

centralasianewswire.com: KMG reports production losses due to strikes

State-owned KazMunaiGas Exploration Production (KMG EP) on Thursday said that oil production has been affected by continued industrial action from oil workers.

The Kazakh oil major says oil production in the first six months of 2011 has dropped 3 percent when compared to figures in the same period in 2010, the company said in a Thursday release.

The company estimates that it has lost 191,400 tons in production of oil since the start of the strikes.

KMG EP blames the drop in production both on the ongoing strikes and “a number of emergency power cuts in the fields, caused by severe weather conditions in March and April 2011.”

Strikes by oil workers began on May 26, 2011, with workers demanding higher wages and more rights for trade unions.

One union leader has been jailed for organizing what the government termed an illegal gathering. The strikes have been held in the west Kazakh province of Mangistau, where most of Kazakhstan’s oil riches are found.

English rocker Sting earlier this week canceled his expected performance in the Kazakh capital Astana for the national holiday Astana Day, due to the thousands of oil workers still on strike.

“Hunger strikes, imprisoned workers and tens of thousands on strike represents a virtual picket line which I have no intention of crossing,” Sting wrote on his website.

trend.az: Iran to export gas to Oman via seabed pipeline

Managing director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), Javad Oji says Iran will start gas exports to Oman through a seabed gas pipeline following singing a contract that is going to be finalized up to the end of the current year (Iranian year ends 20th March 2012), Shana news agency reported

Talking to Shana reporter, Mr. Oji referred to failure of past negotiations with Omani side due to disagreement on price and technical aspects, adding bilateral negotiations had been resumed recently and fortunately two sides had reached good results.

Stating that launching and injection of natural gas through the Seventh Iran’s gas trunkline (IGAT_7) has been completed to the Iranshahr city, the official said IGAT-7 construction would be extended to Chabahar city in Sistan o Balouchestan province and next extending toward border with Pakistan, where a seabed offshoot would transfer Iran’s gas to Oman.

“Up to the end of this year or at the latest in next year the contract will be signed between Iran and Oman’, NIGC head noted.

Oji continued construction of IGAT-7 with about 1.7 billion dollars investment is underway by domestic contractors and participation of Bank Parsian.

Referring to transfer of thirty kilometers of pipelines to the related site for lying in the route, Oji said that by completion of the pipeline not only gas needs of Hormozgan, Kerman, Sistan o Baluchestan provinces but also those of Pakistan would be met.

‘In order to extend gas exports to other countries through Pakistan, construction of nine gas compressor stations have been planned that will increase transfer capacity of natural gas to 110 million cubic meters from 50 million cubic meters per day’, NIGC managing director said.

56 inch diameter IGAT-7 with pressure of 1350 pounds per square inch and length of 907 kilometers is being constructed to transfer natural gas from Pars Special Economic Energy Zone to Iranshahr city by crossing 42, 72, 153, 431 and 209 kilometers in Boushehr, Fars, Kerman, Hormozgan and Sistan o Baloshestan provinces respectively.

news.az: Azerbaijan to meet energy demand via alternative sources in future – minister

Azerbaijan will totally provide its electric supply and consumption with alternative energy sources in future.

The statement came from Azerbaijan’s Ecology and Natural Resources Minister Huseyngulu Bagirov.

To him, alternative energy production is a capital-intensive industry from investment standpoint:

‘Only on initiative and in accordance with concept of Azerbaijani President it will be possible to implement these projects in a short time by paying expenses in time. First of all, the concept considers effective use because of high need for traditional energy sources in the world’.

gazeta.kz: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan to discuss energy cooperation

Prospects of developing cooperation in the fuel and energy sectors will be high on the agenda of a forthcoming meeting between the premiers of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The meeting will be held in Moscow on 12 July, Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich told media on 6 July.

“The sides are set to discuss issues regarding cooperation in the fuel and energy areas. The issues are topical for us,” the Belarusian head of government said. In his words, the parties will also study the issues related to the participation of Russian and Kazakh companies in the privatization processes in Belarus.

According to BelTA, the premiers of the Customs Union member states will attach special attention to the operation of the single economic space. “There are still issues to address. We have not yet harmonized our relations with Kazakhstan in the field of standardization and regulations. Belarus has made a considerable headway with Russia in the area,” Mikhail Myasnikovich noted.

The heads of government will also look into ways of improving working mechanisms in the Customs Union. “We are to define the most optimal approaches to the Customs Union efficient operation,” he said.

The sides will discuss other issues, as well. They will include the WTO accession by the Customs Union member states. The forthcoming event also envisages a meeting between businessmen of the three countries. “It will be not simply a meeting between the premiers, but a so-called business forum,” Mikhail Myasnikovich added.

inform.kz: OSCE promotes transparency in Kazakhstan’s oil and gas industry

Transparency and accountability in the management of oil, gas and other extractive industries revenues in the western Caspian Sea region of Kazakhstan is the topic of a one-day OSCE-supported roundtable discussion organized on Wed in Uralsk.

The event brought together some 50 participants representing local authorities, non-governmental organizations, companies working in the extractive industries and international organizations. Participants discussed public participation in decision-making, as well as social, environmental and infrastructure projects. Civil-society, business and government representatives from Western Kazakhstan shared their experience of civil-society oversight of government and industry, as an example of good practice in this field, the OSCE Centre in Astana reports.

Stefan Buchmayer, Human Dimension Officer at the OSCE Centre in Astana, said: “The effective and sustainable development of the region requires transparency in information about the various investment projects undertaken by the extractive industry and the participation of the local community in decision making on their implementation. The role of the local administration in providing access to this information is of no less importance”.

“Good governance in the exploitation of natural resources can generate significant revenue to accelerate wealth creation and poverty eradication. The aims of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative – to contribute to this process through greater transparency and accountability in the extractive industries and the development of multilateral co-operation – are issues being discussed at today’s event,” said Timurlan Baimukhambetov, the Deputy Head of the Entrepreneurship and Industry Division of Akimat of the Western Kazakhstan Oblast.

Anton Artemyev, the Program Director of the Soros Foundation, Kazakhstan, said: “Public participation in decision making contributes to the efficiency of government agencies’ work, as well as to the stable social and economic development of the region. The establishment of a Multilateral Council in Western Kazakhstan will bring real benefits to all parties – the public, government and business – by increasing the return from the projects. The Council should be established on the basis of partnership and equal participation.”

Participants exchanged views on different models of co-operation between the government, private companies and the public sector in Western Kazakhstan. Other regions have already started work on establishing multi-stakeholder councils of representatives of the wider public, government and business to participate in the approval and the monitoring of investment projects for sustainable development.

The event is part of the Centre’s promotion of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) – the international standard for extractive industry revenue transparency, implemented in Kazakhstan since 2005. It was jointly organized by the OSCE Centre in Astana, the Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan, the local administration of the Western Kazakhstan Oblast, and Zaman, an Uralsk-based non-governmental organization.

turkmeniastan.gov.tm: President of Turkmenistan receives Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of the Republic of Armenia

President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov received Armen Movsisian, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of the Republic of Armenia, who had arrived in the Turkmen capital leading the high-level delegation to participate in a regular meeting of the Intergovernmental Turkmen-Armenian Commission for economic cooperation.

Thanking for the opportunity of a personal meeting, the guest conveyed the hearty greetings from President of Armenia Serj Sargsian, who had expressed the best wishes to the Turkmen people and Turkmen leader.

In a businesslike, constructive atmosphere the President of Turkmenistan and his guest exchanged views on a wide range of aspects of intergovernmental cooperation brought to a qualitatively new level in recent years meeting mutual interests.

Focusing with satisfaction on the high dynamics of bilateral relations in the political, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres, the Turkmen leader put emphasis on the role of the Intergovernmental Commission that proved to be a reliable tool for implementing the agreements reached at the top and intergovernmental levels.

Focusing on the existing tremendous potential to expand cooperation built initially on a long-term, mutually advantageous basis, the Turkmen leader and the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Armenia discussed the possibilities to intensify long-term partnerships in a number of key fields, including the trade and economic, fuel and energy and humanitarian spheres, which were of considerable importance for the two states.

Expressing firm belief that bilateral ties would be developed steadily, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov wished the successful, fruitful work of the meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission for economic cooperation in Ashgabat to the head of the Armenian government delegation.

Thanking for the high evaluation of the Commission’s activity, Armen Movsisian, Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Turkmen-Armenian Commission for economic cooperation assured that the meeting participants would make every effort so that the Ashgabat forum would contribute to enhancing traditionally friendly relations between the two brotherly nations profoundly interested in intensifying the multifaceted intergovernmental dialogue.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Armenia to Turkmenistan V. Badalian attended the meeting.

turkmenistaninfo.ru: INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS RECOGNIZE TURKMENISTAN’S IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE WORLD ENERGY MARKET

The national tourist zone “Avaza” hosted the 2nd International Gas Congress of Turkmenistan in late May. The large-scale exhibition aiming to increase international cooperation in the energy sector was also timed to this event. The forum that brought together over 500 participants was organizers by the state corporation “Turkmengaz” and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Turkmenistan. Some 160 representatives of international organizations and companies from 31 countries, including EU, USA, Russia, Japan, China, South Korea, UAE, India, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey and other countries participated in the Gas Congress. Issues of diversification of export routes for energy supplies, international cooperation and investments, as well as development of national and regional transportation infrastructure were among the priority topics of the forum. In particular, foreign participants noted the increasing role of Turkmenistan as an important supplier of gas to the world energy markets of Eurasia. This is clearly demonstrated by increased supplies of Turkmen gas via new pipelines to China and Iran, as well as dynamic work on developing new energy routes. As President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted in his welcoming address to the forum participants, “Turkmenistan is taking concrete steps to create a multi-vector pipeline system for reliable, stable and long-term energy supplies to the world markets, which is beneficial both for exporters of fuel and raw materials and for their customers”. In this context, the President noted that Turkmen natural gas supplies to Europe are expected in the future, and implementation of the project on construction of the Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India (TAPI) gas pipeline should play an important role in the Asian region. The desire to expand business partnership in the energy sector with Turkmenistan, possessing enormous resources of natural gas, was the leitmotif of the speeches delivered by the representatives of many oil and gas companies from the EU, Asia, USA and CIS countries. Gaffney, Cline & Associates company made a sensational statement that Southern Yoloten – Osman field, by its reserves, can now be regarded as the world second largest after Iran’s South Pars. Having announced that, the company’s General Manager for Russia and the Caspian region, Peter Holding, said the company would soon complete work on the new audit of reserves of this field in view of recent results obtained by Turkmen geologists. As is known, Ashgabat estimates that the resources of this field exceed 21 trillion cubic meters of gas. Daniel Stein, the Senior Adviser of the Office of the Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy of the U.S. Department of State, expressed the U.S. support to Ashgabat’s position on comprehensive development of export routes. He noted that the U.S. supports the desire of Turkmenistan to create opportunities for gas supplies to Europe. The envoy also commended Turkmenistan’s initiative on the implementation of TAPI gas pipeline project, noting that its construction will provide clean fuel to the growing economies of India and Pakistan, as well as revenues and new jobs in Afghanistan. In their speeches, a number of foreign representatives voiced full support to the relevant initiatives of Turkmenistan that it put forward at the UN, aiming at ensuring reliable and secure energy supplies to the world markets. Noting that the issue of energy security and reliable energy transit today acquire global significance, Advisor to the Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Vladimir Lapikov stressed that Russia attaches importance to all Turkmenistan’s international initiatives aimed at ensuring global energy security. Among them the expert named the initiatives put forward by Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at the 65th session of the UN General Assembly in September 2010 such as establishment of a special body – Energy Council – under the auspices of this international organization that would be responsible for securing stable energy supplies. “Russia fully supports the important contribution of Turkmenistan to the resolution to the problem of security,” Vladimir Lapikov said. Today, the world community views Turkmenistan as a reliable and promising natural gas supplier to major global markets. The representative of the Austrian company OMV, Michael Ulbrich, noted that the meeting of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in Ashgabat this January gave a new impetus to the active development of the Turkmen-European cooperation in the energy sector. Today, Turkmen gas is in demand in the east of Eurasia. Noting that India considers Turkmenistan the largest supplier of natural gas, Deputy Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas of India Sudhir Bhargava said that his country attaches great importance to the TAPI project, which will bring not only economic benefits but also contribute to establishing peace and stability in the Asian region. He also noted that the parties will soon sign an agreement on the sale of Turkmen natural gas for TAPI, which would give a powerful impetus for starting this project. Prospects of cooperation with Turkme-nistan and willingness to offer the Turkmen partners their expertise, technology and investment were raised in the speeches of the heads of several foreign companies, including Chevron, Exxon-Mobil, Baker Hughes, Honeywell (USA), Shell (Netherlands – UK) OMV (Austria), BP, BOTAS (Turkey), GAIL (India) and others. “Promising plans to increase Turkmen gas production will require more than a hundred billion in investment over the next few years, said the President of Chevron Nebitgaz, Douglas Uchikura. These global problems once again confirm the importance of strategic partnerships with leading foreign companies for the effective exploitation of huge amounts of energy. Thus, Turkmenistan will be able to realize its potential as a major energy supplier in the global market. Working together, we can lead extraction through safe, environmentally acceptable and effective methods. To succeed in this, Turkmenistan needs to take real steps to create a mutually beneficial, durable and long-term partnership that will provide the necessary investment, expertise and technology”.

Jamestown.org: Implications of Lithuania’s Unbundling of Gazprom-Controlled Pipelines

Lithuania has become the first EU country to start implementing the EU’s Third Package of energy market liberalization laws. Estonia is considering a move in the same direction, possibly by October. Meanwhile, Latvia has postponed a decision, awaiting potentially fateful elections. In Lithuania (as elsewhere in the Baltic region and beyond), adopting that legislation mainly involves separation of pipelines from Gazprom’s control by “unbundling” –an anti-monopoly measure (“Lithuania Decides To Unbundle Pipelines From Gazprom’s Control,” EDM, July 7).

When preparing Lithuania’s just-adopted legislation, Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius accurately predicted that it would become a “test case” for the EU, Russia, and relations between them in the energy sector (BNS, May 6). This is actually developing as Gazprom seeks to preserve monopoly positions in some EU countries, and establish such positions farther afield in Europe. The Russian government actively supports these goals and uses ad-hoc business allies in the process.

Thus, the implications of Lithuania’s initiative transcend the country itself or the Baltic region. In the short term, Lithuania’s move has a direct bearing on liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in the Baltic region, and an indirect bearing on the politics of Gazprom’s South Stream project in Europe. Beyond the short term, the success or failure of divesting pipelines from Gazprom in the Baltic States will set legal and political precedents in the EU. Such precedents can either help dismantle Russian monopoly positions within the EU or, on the contrary, facilitate their further expansion, depending at least in part on the outcome of the Baltic “test cases.”

All three Baltic States plan to break Gazprom’s monopoly by accessing the global LNG supply flows. However, those LNG projects may be deemed risky or even nonviable, if gas transportation from coastal terminals to inland consumers would depend on Russian-controlled pipelines. Such control would enable Gazprom or allied companies simply to refuse inland access for re-gasified LNG; or to impose their conditions for renting their pipelines to connect LNG coastal terminals with inland markets; or (if that were agreed) to disrupt the flows later, on various excuses along the familiar pattern.

Diversification and security of supply (the goals of LNG projects) would be compromised, and their commerciality doubtful, if transportation of gas from the coast by overland pipelines were to depend on Gazprom or its allies. Thus, Russian sway over pipeline systems can discourage investment in Baltic terminals for LNG.

LNG projects in the Baltic States (as elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe) necessitate inland pipelines that are not under Russian control. This could theoretically be circumvented by building new pipeline systems, dedicated to gas sourced from LNG terminals. However, this additional investment could raise the overall cost of LNG projects to prohibitive levels. The optimal and perhaps the only viable solution are to re-acquire the existing pipelines from Gazprom through the unbundling process, as now mandated by EU law. This would clear the way for implementation of LNG projects in the Baltic States.

Latvia, Lithuania, neighboring Poland, and (tentatively) Estonia are each planning or considering LNG projects. They need not be seen as competing against each other over a limited regional market. They could all become mutually compatible within a broader concept, beyond national requirements, addressing demand growth in continental Europe. The EU supports the concept (in a nutshell thus far) of north-south interconnector pipelines for re-gasified LNG, from the Baltic Sea to other parts of an evolving European energy market. This would allow the imported gas to flow southward into Central Europe, alleviating the inlands’ dependence on Gazprom. Such links can ensure commercial viability of several LNG projects in the Baltic region, avoiding redundancies there.

Consequently, Baltic LNG projects must be evaluated not only on a comparative basis (leading to EU support for one of them), but on the intrinsic merits of each (allowing the EU to support more than one Baltic LNG project on the merits).

On those merits, Latvia’s project for an LNG terminal in Riga (announced in broad outline, soon to be fleshed out) enjoys some significant advantages. Latvia’s geology is uniquely suited for large-scale underground gas storage. Latvia’s central location favors relatively short pipeline links from an LNG terminal and gas storage site to both Estonia and Lithuania (see EDM, February 14).

However, Latvia has not yet initiated the separation of the country’s pipeline system from Russian control. The gas-trading and pipeline-operating company, Latvijas Gaze, is controlled by Gazprom and its Russian affiliate Itera with a combined 50 percent of the shares; E.ON Ruhrgas, allied with Gazprom, holds another 47 percent. Russian control of the inland pipelines undermines the rationale for an LNG terminal on the coast (see above).

The outgoing President, Valdis Zatlers, and the government are firmly Western-oriented, and battling corruption. They have recently disavowed earlier ideas about building the LNG terminal and storage site in cooperation with Gazprom and/or Itera. Those ideas had originated with influential oligarchic interests and politicians representing them. Zatlers (who has just lost a re-election bid, but may run again) and the incumbent government face a powerful challenge from a coalition taking shape between Latvian oligarchic groups and local Russian parties. The upcoming general elections might be Latvia’s most fateful since the restoration of independence in 1991. Bold decisions on Latvia’s energy policy ahead of the elections could boost the governing coalition’s prospects.

upstreamonline.com: Strikes slash KazMunaiGaz numbers

Lost crude oil production due to long-running strikes at a KazMunaiGaz-owned facility in Kazakhstan has now hit over 100,000 barrels.

Severe weather conditions in the first and second quarter have also hurt production levels at the Kazakh state-owned company in the six months to the end of June.

Some workers at a facility run by offshoot Uzenmunaigas have been on strike since 26 May over pay conditions. In response the parent company has fired many of the striking workers while others have returned to work.

Late last month KazMunaiGaz warned that production so far this year was down 20,123 barrels due to the strikes and the company was set to miss its annual target by “at least” 80,493 barrels.

In today’s first-half report, the parent revealed that lost production from the striking action has now hit 100,617 barrels.

British singer Sting this week cancelled a concert in the country’s capital, Astana, after being informed by Amnesty International of the workers’ strike.

Total production at KazMunaiGaz slipped 3% year-on-year in the first half to 846,525 barrels. Numbers were also dented by power cuts caused by severe weather in March and April

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