revista presei pe energie 15 octombrie – part III

2010/10/15

RIA Novosti: Russia’s Jan-Sept oil output up 2.2 pct, gas output up 14.7 pct – statistics service

Russia’s oil output in the first nine months of 2010 grew 2.2 percent year-on-year to 377 million tons and gas output grew 14.7 percent to 468 billion cubic meters, the Federal State Statistics Service said on Friday.

The country’s September oil output grew 1.3 percent year-on-year, and 2.1 percent month-on-month, the service said in a statement, while September gas output grew 10.5 percent month-on-month and 4.2 percent year-on-year

The service said 185 million tons of oil were delivered to refineries, an 8.7 percent increase compared to last year. Petroleum output rose 3.5 percent to 26.7 million tons, diesel fuel output grew 5.4 percent to 52.2 million tons, and furnace fuel oil output rose 12.2 percent to 51 million tons.

RIA Novosti: Russia’s Gazprom says EU gas reform threat to company, Europe

Russia’s gas giant Gazprom slammed European Union initiatives to reform its gas industry saying on Thursday that they pose a risk of underinvestment in Europe’s infrastructure and cause Gazprom problems in operational activities and threaten its property rights.

The EU is trying to reform its energy market to guarantee security of supply, competitiveness and environmental safety by breaking down production and transmission. In Russia, Gazprom mines, pumps and sells gas.

Gazprom Deputy Board Chairman Alexander Medvedev said in an interview published on Gazprom’s official web site that even if the company evaded direct obligations to sell transmission assets in some countries, the EU initiatives still deprived it of access to managing the assets, devaluating the investment it made.

“In the late 1990s … Gazprom Group found an opportunity to build the Yamal-Europe gas transit pipeline across Poland used to supply gas to Germany. Now we see an emerging threat that the asset meant for reliable gas supply to our customers will be transferred to an independent operating company that will start acting on its own account. Thus, the pipeline owner turns into a financial donor obliged to execute investment decisions taken by an independent system operator!” Medvedev, also head of Gazprom Export, Gazprom’s export arm, said.

Medvedev said the EU initiatives forced Gazprom to change its operational routine to adjust to new rules under which customers have the right to change their nominations once, on the day before supply instead of several times a day. Gazprom now maintains backup transmission capacities to meet the quickly changing demand but under the new rules this is unfair competition, he said.

“It will be very difficult to provide the envisaged reliability and flexibility of supplies without such backup capacities… Taking into account seasonality and an extremely uneven demand throughout the day – reliability and flexibility are of paramount importance for the gas industry,” Medvedev said.

Medvedev also criticized EU plans to switch to a spot market mechanism of gas supplies from long-term contracts favored by Gazprom saying the new mechanism would lead to higher prices.

“Without long-term price contracts the volume of gas coming to the market starts depending on the price appeal. The gas will be available when the price is high. If the price is low, volumes may outflow to more attractive markets or stored until better times. Hence, the reliability of European gas supply will be determined by the competition with other global gas markets, primarily, with Asian ones,” Medvedev said.

He said there were also risks for the development of gas transmission and storage capacities which required heavy investment with a long payback period unattractive to anyone but gas companies.

“However, these very companies will not be allowed to take part in such work…Having no opportunity either to get a reasonable income while the gas pipeline is operating or to take part in its operation, suppliers will not wish to make such significant investments, they will start searching for more attractive markets and projects. Thus, the ongoing reform brings a real risk of investment shortfall in the European gas industry – with all the consequences that come with it,” he said.

Medvedev said Gazprom was ready to help the EU work out a compromise that would suit everyone.

“We in Gazprom are confident that compromise decisions can still be worked out in cooperation with major gas suppliers from third party countries. We are working towards resolving this issue,” he said. “I also hope that we will be granted the opportunity to make a significant contribution to updating the (reform) document.”

RIA Novosti: Russia’s Gazprom, Bulgaria to sign South Stream feasibility study deal next week – agency

Russia’s state-controlled gas export monopoly Gazprom will sign an agreement with Bulgaria on a feasibility study of the Bulgarian part of the South Stream pipeline, Bulgarian news agency BGNES quoted Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller as saying on Friday following talks with the Bulgarian government.

“We have negotiated further construction of the South Stream pipeline,” the agency quoted Bulgarian Energy and Economy Minister Traicho Traikov as saying.

The parties have agreed to accelerate the establishment of a joint Russian-Bulgarian company, which will build the Bulgarian part of the pipeline. The company is expected to be established in November, according to BGNES.

According to Bulgarian media, the country planned to negotiate with Gazprom a price cut and sign a direct gas supply contract with it.

The South Stream, launched in 2007, is seen as a rival to the EU-backed Nabucco pipeline, which is supposed to transport Caspian natural gas to Austria. Nabucco also enjoys EU support as a strategic contribution to the Southern Gas Corridor and Europe’s energy security to ease Europe’s dependence on Russian gas.

Some experts expressed doubts about the South Stream’s feasibility due to its higher costs compared with Nabucco and conflicts among the participants. The project turned out to be highly complex, as the pipeline will be built and operated by several project companies specially created for this purpose.

RIA Novosti: Russia, Poland may sign gas transit deal on Sunday – Russian energy minister

An agreement which will put an end to a four-year gas transit row between Russia and Poland may be signed on October 17, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said on Friday.

“On Oct. 17, the next round of negotiations on the agreement will be held. I would like to be optimistic,” Shmatko told journalists during his visit to Ukraine.

He said the agreement would cover a shorter period than the 2045 contract term earlier agreed on.

“It will be signed for a shorter term, but not just a year or two [less than 2045],” Shmatko said.

The row between Poland and Gazprom started in 2006, when Warsaw wanted to increase the transit tariff on its stretch of the Yamal-Europe pipeline to $2 from $1.94 for 1,000 cubic meters per 100 kilometers.

Gazprom insisted on a rate set by an intergovernmental agreement and filed a suit against Poland, which it won in 2008.

rt.com: South Stream proving a bonus for Turkey

Gazprom is currently negotiating with Romania over its participation in the South Stream gas project, with Bulgaria pushing hard, but for Turkey it’s a case of the more gas projects the better.

Even then it may be too much gas for Europe. Analysts say, some projects will likely be abandoned. In the race to build new pipelines, Russia is trying hard to come first, securing gas and customers.

Konstantin Simonov, Head of the National Energy Security Fund, says Winning Turkey’s agreement to lay the South Stream through Turkish waters came at a cost. Russia will have to invest up to $3 billion into Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline – strategically important for Turkey.

“The question is what will be the price? Because now we see that first of all Turkey wants Russia to invest money to Samsun-Ceyhan project – it’s the first benefit and the first part of this payment. The second idea is that Turkey wants to change the details of our gas contracts, Turkey wants to have more cheap gas from Russia.”

In the Byzantine world of pipeline politics, Russia will have to offer something – in exchange for the support of other countries along the pipeline routes.

This week Gazprom chief Aleksay Miller is visiting Bulgaria and Romania to discuss delivery of Russian gas and the future of the South Stream pipeline project.

ITAR TASS: Poland not to extend gas supply contract with Russia until 2037

Poland has decided not to prolong its contract on increased natural gas import from Russia until 2037, Polish Economics Minister Waldemar Pawlak said on Thursday. So, the new agreement currently being discussed will be valid until 2022, the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita writes.

Earlier, Russia and Poland reached a preliminary deal, which was agreed upon by the prime ministers and governments of both countries, on an increase in the annual deliveries of Russian gas to Poland by an average of 2 billion cubic meters and on extending the agreement until 2037.

In addition, Pawlak said that the Russian gas transit agreement, which came into force in 2007, would be valid until 2019, and not until 2045 as it was planned originally.

“We will not insist on changing the terms, because the country feels no need for more long-term agreements,” he said.

According to Pawlak, the proposal for extending the terms of Russian gas transit via the Polish territory until 2045 looked reasonable.

“But various German and American interests played their role and the issue was postponed,” he added.

Earlier, the economics minister told a news conference that the next meeting of Russian and Polish politicians and experts would be held on Sunday and “all these problems will be settled, only if there is nothing extraordinary.”

Pawlak said the Russian-Polish agreement would be inked in the near future, because Poland may face gas supply problems as early as late October due to a shortage of energy resources.

ITAR TASS: Russia, Hungary set up Business Cooperation Council

Russia and Hungary have established a Business Cooperation Council, the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry reported on Wednesday.

Vladimir Nekrasov, the first vice president of Russia’s oil major LUKoil, was elected chairman of the Council.

Among the Council’s top-priority tasks at the initial stage will be drafting a list of the most promising bilateral cooperation projects, and encouraging small and medium-sized businesses from Russian regions to join its work.

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