revista presei pe energie 15 octombrie – part V

2010/10/15

Novinite: Gazprom Renews Threat to Swap Bulgaria for Romania in South Stream

Russian energy giant Gazprom has practically renewed its threat to replace Bulgaria with Romania as the primary transit hub of the South Stream gas pipeline.

This view is expressed in an article of the Russian business newspaper RBK Dailyentitled “Gazprom Threatens Bulgaria Again.”

The paper points out that Wednesday’s news of Gazprom signing a memorandum of mutual understanding with Romania‘s company Transgas are a clear sign thatRussia could decide to go for picking Romania as a transit route over Bulgaria, whose new government has balked at putting teeth into three large-scale Russian-sponsored energy projects over the past year, including South Stream.

The news that Russia and Romania will be forming an expert group for an economic and technical feasibility study for the route of South Stream in Romania, which, if successful, should lead to an intergovernmental agreement to be singed in the first quarter of 2011, is construed as evidence that Gazprom is eying Romaniaas an alternative to Bulgaria.

As the talks for including Romania in South Stream first started in the summer, the pipeline was only supposed to have an extension which did not require an intergovernmental agreement. The first intergovernmental agreement that Russiasigned for the realization of South Stream was with Bulgaria, as early as January 2008.

“When Boyko Borisov became Prime Minister, the Russian-Bulgarian energy projects (Belene NPP, South Stream gas pipeline, Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline) ground to a halt. The talks with Romania, which threatened to leave Bulgaria without gas transit fees, made Bulgaria more willing,” says the RBK Daily, which also reminds that in July 2010, during talks between Borisov and Deputy Russian PMViktor ZubkovGazprom agreed to certain concessions – reducing natural gasprices to Bulgaria and more favorable fees for transit to Greece and Turkey.

At the same time, however, Sofia has not been in a hurry to set up a joint project company with Russia for the construction of South Stream on its territory, the Russian paper says.

It cites Dmitry Abzalov, an expert of the Russian Center for Study of Political Situation, as saying that the renewed talks with Romania are a new attempt onRussia‘s part to overwhelm Bulgaria’s unwillingness to speed up South Stream.

Abzalov is convinced that Russia has got the edge with South Stream over its EU-backed competitor Nabucco, and that it should not let that go.

“For Gazprom changing the transit country is also not the best option. First of all, the talks will have to start anew, and second, striking a deal with Romania will also be hard. There are political disagreements between Russia and Romania over Moldova. What is more, the Romanians will also try to wrest concessions from Moscow,” Abzalov says.

“If the new threat does no work, it will also not be easy for Russia to strike a deal with Bucharest,” points out the article.

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller is expected to visit Bulgaria’s capital Sofia on Friday.

Russia and Romania first started talks for that in June fueling fears in Bulgaria thatRomania‘s inclusion into the project – combined with Macedonia’s accession for which talks are under way – might allow the Russians to go around Bulgaria as a result of the Borisov Cabinet balking at two other large-scale Russian-sponsored energy deals – the Belene NPP and the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline.

While Russia sought to refute such fears by saying that Romania will only be supplied with gas through South Stream, and most likely will not be a transit country, recent publications in the Russian media interpreting a statement by Italian PM Berlusconi that Bulgaria was creating difficulties for the project continue to fuel suspicions that Moscow might swap Bulgaria for Romania.

The South Stream gas transit pipeline is supposed to be ready by 2015. Its construction is expected to cost between EUR 19 B and EUR 24 B. It will be transporting 63 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually, or 35% of Russia‘s total annual natural gas export to Europe.

The South Stream pipe will start near Novorosiysk on the Russian Black Sea coast, and will go to Bulgaria’s Varna; the underwater section will be long 900 km.

In Bulgaria, the pipe is supposed to split in two – one pipeline going to Greece and Southern Italy, and another one going to Austria and Northern Italy through Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia.

The project was initiated by Gazprom and the Italian company Eni, and the French company EdF is also planned to join as a shareholder. It is seen as a competitor to the EU-sponsored project Nabucco seeking to bring non-Russian gas to Europe.

As early as April 2010, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced that the French company EDF will also become a partner in the South Stream project. Back then he said that EDF asked for a 20% share, which, if granted, will probably leaveGazprom and Eni with 40% each.

At their meeting on Saturday in St. Petersburg, Berlusconi and Putin welcomed the idea of having German companies join in as shareholders. There is no indication as to how the joining of RWE or some other German company would re-apportion the stakes.

Novinite: Bulgaria to Push for Lower Gas Prices during Gazprom CEO Visit

Bulgaria‘s government will make a new attempt to cut gas prices and sign a direct gas supply contract with Russian energy giant Gazprom during the one-day visit to Sofia of its chief executive officer Alexei Miller.

Miller will hold talks with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Minister of Economy and Energy Traicho Traikov.

Minister Traikov negotiated a gas price reduction during his talks with Russianofficials in July and forecast that prices for industry and households will be “a few percent lower”, but this did not happen to be the case.

Gazprom CEO will also discuss delivery of Russian natural gas and the signing of a contract, which will imply no intermediaries in the deal. According to energy expertsBulgaria will back its demands by pointing out the newly discovered local deposits of gas near Kavarna and the agreements for construction of gas network connections with Turkey and Greece.

The future of the South Stream gas pipeline project will also be on the agenda.

In July Russia and Bulgaria signed a roadmap agreement on Saturday to speed up the building of the gas pipeline on the Bulgarian territory.

Bulgaria however has had an uncertain stance on South Stream, which has led to an activizing on the part of the Russian side. Just Monday Russian press characterized Buglaria as the “problematic” country for South Stream.

Jut a day before Miller‘s visit to Sofia the Russian energy giant practically renewed its threats to replace Bulgaria with Romania as the primary transit hub of the South Stream gas pipeline.

Bulgaria has been committed to the execution of the EU-sponsored Nabucco gas pipeline project, which is widely seen as rival to South Stream, designed to bypass Ukraine in transporting Russian gas to Europe.

Imports account for nearly 70% of the energy Bulgaria uses and Gazprom provides almost all of its gas.

Novinite: Bulgaria, Russia to Set up South Stream JV by Nov 2010

Sofia and Moscow have agreed to establish a 50/50 joint venture by November this year for the building of the Bulgarian part of the Russian-led natural gas pipelineSouth Stream.

This was announced by Alexei Miller, chief executive officer of Russian energy giant Gazprom, following his meeting with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Turkey’s Ambassador to Sofia.

In his short statement to the media Miller stressed that talks with Sofia over the implementation of the project have marked a considerable progress and expressed confidence that South Stream, which aims to bypass Ukraine in transportingRussian gas to Europe, will be put into operations in 2015 as scheduled.

Earlier in the day Miller also held talks with Minister of Economy and Energy Traicho Traikov, during which the minister was expected to make a new attempt to cut gas prices and sign a direct gas supply contract with Gazprom. The minister however said the topic was not on the agenda of the meeting.

Minister Traikov negotiated a gas price reduction during his talks with Russianofficials in July and forecast that prices for industry and households will be “a few percent lower”, but this did not happen to be the case.

Gazprom CEO was also expected discuss delivery of Russian natural gas and the signing of a contract, which will imply no intermediaries in the deal.

According to energy experts Bulgaria needs to back its demands by pointing out the newly discovered local deposits of gas near Kavarna and the agreements for construction of gas network connections with Turkey and Greece.

In July Russia and Bulgaria signed a roadmap agreement on Saturday to speed up the building of the gas pipeline on the Bulgarian territory.

Bulgaria however has had an uncertain stance on South Stream, which has led to an activizing on the part of the Russian side. Just Monday Russian press characterized Buglaria as the “problematic” country for South Stream.

Jut a day before Miller‘s visit to Sofia the Russian energy giant practically renewed its threats to replace Bulgaria with Romania as the primary transit hub of the South Stream gas pipeline.

Bulgaria has been committed to the execution of the EU-sponsored Nabucco gas pipeline project, which is widely seen as rival to South Stream.

Imports account for nearly 70% of the energy Bulgaria uses and Gazprom provides almost all of its gas.

The South Stream gas transit pipeline is supposed to be ready by 2015. Its construction is expected to cost between EUR 19 B and EUR 24 B. It will be transporting 63 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually, or 35% of Russia‘s total annual natural gas export to Europe.

The South Stream pipe will start near Novorosiysk on the Russian Black Sea coast, and will go to Bulgaria‘s Varna; the underwater section will be long 900 km.

In Bulgaria, the pipe is supposed to split in two – one pipeline going to Greece and Southern Italy, and another one going to Austria and Northern Italy through Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia.

The project was initiated by Gazprom and the Italian company Eni, and the French company EdF is also planned to join as a shareholder. It is seen as a competitor to the EU-sponsored project Nabucco seeking to bring non-Russian gas to Europe.

As early as April 2010, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced that the French company EDF will also become a partner in the South Stream project. Back then he said that EDF asked for a 20% share, which, if granted, will probably leaveGazprom and Eni with 40% each.

At their meeting on Saturday in St. Petersburg, Berlusconi and Putin welcomed the idea of having German companies join in as shareholders. There is no indication as to how the joining of RWE or some other German company would re-apportion the stakes.

Novinite: Minister: No Way Romania Can Squeeze Bulgaria Out of South Stream

Economy Minister Traicho Traikov believes it is practically impossible for Romaniato replace Bulgaria as the major Balkan hub of the Russian gas transit pipelineSouth Stream.

Fears in Sofia about such a scenario were raised by a memorandum signed Wednesday in Bucharest between Gazprom and the Romanian company Transgas.

According to Russian analysts and media, this move was aimed at pressuring Bulgaria to fulfill its promises for the realization of South Stream.

It might have produced the desired results as on Friday Gazprom CEO Alexei Millerand the Bulgarian government agreed to set up a 50/50 joint venture for the construction of the Bulgarian section of South Stream.

Romania could also benefit from South Stream. As far as the fears that Romaniawill replace Bulgaria in the project are concerned, I think the chance of that happening is insignificant,” Traikov told the 24 Daily in an interview shortly before his meeting with Alexei Miller.

Russia and Romania first started talks for that in June fueling fears in Bulgaria thatRomania‘s inclusion into the project – combined with Macedonia’s accession for which talks are under way – might allow the Russians to go around Bulgaria as a result of the Borisov Cabinet balking at two other large-scale Russian-sponsored energy deals – the Belene NPP and the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline.

While Russia sought to refute such fears by saying that Romania will only be supplied with gas through South Stream, and most likely will not be a transit country, recent publications in the Russian media interpreting a statement by Italian PM Berlusconi that Bulgaria was creating difficulties for the project continue to fuel suspicions that Moscow might swap Bulgaria for Romania.

The South Stream gas transit pipeline is supposed to be ready by 2015. Its construction is expected to cost between EUR 19 B and EUR 24 B. It will be transporting 63 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually, or 35% of Russia‘s total annual natural gas export to Europe.

The South Stream pipe will start near Novorosiysk on the Russian Black Sea coast, and will go to Bulgaria’s Varna; the underwater section will be long 900 km.

In Bulgaria, the pipe is supposed to split in two – one pipeline going to Greece and Southern Italy, and another one going to Austria and Northern Italy through Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia.

The project was initiated by Gazprom and the Italian company Eni, and the French company EdF is also planned to join as a shareholder. It is seen as a competitor to the EU-sponsored project Nabucco seeking to bring non-Russian gas to Europe.

As early as April 2010, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced that the French company EDF will also become a partner in the South Stream project. Back then he said that EDF asked for a 20% share, which, if granted, will probably leaveGazprom and Eni with 40% each.

At a recent meeting in St. Petersburg, Berlusconi and Putin welcomed the idea of having German companies join in as shareholders. There is no indication as to how the joining of RWE or some other German company would re-apportion the stakes.

Novinite: Minister: Serbia Eager to Invest in Bulgaria’s Belene NPP

Bulgaria: Minister: Serbia Eager to Invest in Bulgaria's Belene NPP
Serbian Minister of Energy Petar Skundric. Photo by Blic Online.

Serbia is eagerly expecting a formal proposal on the part of the Bulgarian government to invest in the Belene NPP project, stated Serbian Minister of Energy Petar Skundric.

Speaking in an interview for the Bulgarian National Radio, Skundric said that Serbia gladly accepted Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov’s informal proposal for investment, but hopes to receive a formal letter detailing the full parameters of the intended investment within a month and a half.

Minister Skundric also confirmed information that he has had talks with Chinese financial institutions for the possible support of the Serbian investment, saying that the Chinese parties have expressed some “strong interest” but are again pressing for specific details.

The Serbian energy minister further offered high praise of the South Streamnatural gas pipeline project that both Serbia and Bulgaria will participate in, characterizing it as “the greatest strategic energy project” for the two neighboring countries and saying he believes it will give them huge benefits in the mid- and long term.

He further stated he views rival Nabucco pipeline project as less viable than South Stream, given that according to him Nabucco has not secured adequate gas supplies, while South Stream has even more quantities than initially previewed.

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.

September 2017
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

Site Metter