revista presei pe energie 18 octombrie – part V

2010/10/18

news.az: Nabucco consortium upbeat on progress

Reinhard Mitschek, managing director of the Nabucco gas pipeline consortium, has said the first gas should flow to Europe in 2015.

“Nabucco’s progress has been very positive so far,” Reinhard Mitschek said in a statement today.

“This year saw the start of the Environmental & Social Impact Assessment with the first round of public hearings; a mandate letter was signed with the EIB, EBRD and IFC and starts the appraisal process for a potential financing of up to four billion euros; and we finalized the prequalification process for suppliers of long-lead items,” Mitschek said.

He was optimistic about the timescale for Nabucco too.

“The Final Investment Decision is expected to be taken in 2011 and we expect construction to start in 2012, first gas to flow in 2015, depending on the availability of sources. Nabucco will have a technical transport capacity of 31 billion cubic metres per year. We expect considerable quantities from Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Iraq.”

The statement made no mention of criticism over the failure to secure guaranteed sources of gas for the pipeline so far.

“Each day that passes is to the disadvantage of the project,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the end of September.

The consortium describes Nabucco as “the new gas bridge from Asia to Europe”.

It will directly connect the world’s richest gas regions – the Caspian region and the Middle East – to the European consumer markets. The pipeline will link the Eastern border of Turkey to Baumgarten in Austria – one of the most important gas turntables in Central Europe – via Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.

news.az: Nabucco gas pipeline ‘a dream’ for US official

Washington supports the creation of a southern corridor for energy exports from the Caspian region to Europe, rather than a sole pipeline.

These remarks were made by the US secretary of state’s envoy on Eurasian energy, Richard Morningstar, at a seminar on “The Caspian’s changing role in global energy” at Johns Hopkins University’s Central Asian and Caucasus Institute yesterday.

“We support the creation of the corridor, but it is important to understand that we have a balanced policy on energy, more balanced than previously,” Morningstar said.

“We support the Southern Corridor in general, rather than a sole pipeline.”

Nevertheless, Richard Morningstar said that Washington had been a strong supporter of the Nabucco gas pipeline project: “For me, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project was a dream. Now Nabucco is a dream.”

He said the main question now would be who, in addition to Azerbaijan, would supply gas to the pipeline. He named Turkmenistan and Iraq as possible choices, saying that Iraq had recently emerged as a significant potential contributor to Nabucco.

The pipeline consortium has to consider gas from outside the Caspian region as well to fill the planned capacity of 30 billion cubic metres of gas per year.

Richard Morningstar said that the US welcomed the energy policy of Azerbaijan and other countries in the region, including efforts to diversify the supply of its energy resources to world markets and to develop fully the enormous hydrocarbon resources in the Caspian Sea.

On Turkmenistan, Richard Morningstar confirmed American business circles’ growing interest in productive contacts in the oil and gas sector.

apa.az: First part of Nabucco pipeline launched

The first part of Nabucco pipeline was launched. According to RIA Novosti this achievement was signed by Hungary and Romania.

The 47 km part on the Arad-Szeged route merges gas distributing systems of Hungary and Romania. Constructed by Hungarian MOL Company this part is located in Hungary. Before, 60 km part of pipeline in Romania was launched. This part was constructed by Romanian Transgaz Company.

Note that, Nabucco is the new gas bridge from Asia to Europe and the flagship project in the Southern Corridor. It will be a pipeline to connect the world’s richest gas regions – the Caspian region, Middle East and Egypt – to the European consumer markets.

The shareholders of the company are: OMV (Austria), MOL (Hungary), Transgaz, (Romania), Bulgargaz (Bulgaria), BOTAŞ (Turkey) and RWE (Germany).

Each of the shareholders hold 16.67% of the shares.

today.az: Azerbaijani energy minister to attend OPEC energy forum

Oct. 18-20, the Azerbaijani Industry and Energy Minister Natig Aliyev will pay an official visit to Riyadh to attend the International Energy Forum, dedicated to the 50th anniversary of OPEC’s establishment. The visit will take place upon Saudi Arabian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi’s official invitation, Azerbaijani Industry and Energy Ministry said.

The anniversary events are expected to be attended by the OPEC member countries’ oil and gas sector’s ministers, leadership of the government agencies and companies, distinguished guests from the transnational energy companies.

The opening ceremony will be attended by Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and the Second Deputy Prime Minister Nayef bin Abdul Aziz. President Ilham Aliyev’s congratulatory letter to forum members and Saudi Arabian King on the occasion of the OPEC’s anniversary.

The forum includes Aliyev’s bilateral meetings with the Saudi Arabian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, the manager of the State Oil Company ARAMCO and other officials. Also during his visit Aliyev will attend the presentation on the topic “Azerbaijan and Organization of Islamic Conference, Achievements and Prospects” held by the Azerbaijani Embassy in Saudi Arabia.

Earlier, the Azerbaijani Minister participated in the OPEC’s meetings in December 2008 in Algiers and in Austria March 2009. Azerbaijan participates in the OPEC meeting as an observer.

gazeta.kz: German Military Report: Peak Oil Could Lead to Collapse of Democracy

According to Der Spiegel, the report from a think-tank inside the German military warns that shrinking global oil supplies will threaten the world’s economic foundations and possibly lead to mass-scale upheaval within the next 15 to 30 years.

International trade would suffer as the cost of transporting goods across oceans would soar, resulting in “shortages in the supply of vital goods,” the report states, as translated by Der Spiegel.

The result would be the collapse of the industrial supply chain. “In the medium term the global economic system and every market-oriented national economy would collapse,” the report states.

That collapse could, in turn, cause many countries to abandon free markets principles, the report states. Deals would be struck between oil-exporting and oil-importing countries that would fix prices and remove large amounts of oil from the global market place.

“The proportion of oil traded on the global, freely accessible oil market will diminish as more oil is traded through bi-national contracts,” the report states.

That would prompt some governments to abandon free market economics altogether, the report suggests. With peak oil causing “partial or complete failure of markets … [a] conceivable alternative would be government rationing and the allocation of important goods or the setting of production schedules and other short-term coercive measures to replace market-based mechanisms in times of crisis.”

But the report also warns that the economic crisis caused by shrinking oil supplies and skyrocketing prices could be seen by the general public as a failure of market economics as a whole – and with it, the political institutions that created those economic systems.

Public anger at the existing system would create “room for ideological and extremist alternatives to existing forms of government.” Populations would fragment along political lines and “in extreme cases” this could “lead to open conflict.”

Peak oil – which refers to the moment when the world’s production of oil begins to shrink – is a controversial concept, but few doubt the basic logic underlying it: That eventually the world’s finite supply of oil will run out, and nations will have to turn to other sources of energy, or face economic disaster.

With the report, Germany joins the growing ranks of Western governments apparently alarmed by the prospect of peak oil.

Last Sunday, the UK Observer reported that Britain’s Department of Energy and Climate Change is refusing to release documents related to peak oil, even though, as the Observer noted, previously released documents argue the veil of secrecy around the issue is probably “not good.”

The UK government is reportedly canvassing leading scientists and industrialists for their advice on how to build a contingency plan for peak oil.

And earlier this year, a report from the US Joint Forces Command stated that “by 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 million barrels per day.”

The report continued, “While it is difficult to predict precisely what economic, political, and strategic effects such a shortfall might produce, it surely would reduce the prospects for growth in both the developing and developed worlds. Such an economic slowdown would exacerbate other unresolved tensions, push fragile and failing states further down the path toward collapse, and perhaps have serious economic impact on both China and India.”

Not everyone agrees that peak oil is a reality – at least not yet. Detractors point out that predictions of peak oil have been made since the 1950s, and the date for it was originally pegged at around 1995. But the discovery of new oil fields and the development of new technologies for oil extraction mean that oil production has continued unabated in new oil fields even as traditional oil supplies run dry.

Peak oil skeptics argue that rising oil prices are responsible for the continuing supply of oil – as oil gets more expensive, extracting it from difficult places becomes more profitable. Some argue this process could continue for decades.

But environmentalists point out that these new alternative methods of extracting oil are more environmentally harmful than traditional methods. Producers in the Alberta oil sands, for example, use large amounts of water to push oil out of sand, and the thick oil produced by this process is significantly higher in carbon content than the light, sweet crude imported from the Middle East.

inform.kz: Kazakhstan increases oil and gas export by 5.9% – A.Magauov

Kanat Kulshmanov/ Kazakhstan has increased export of oil and gas by 5.9 percent in January-September, 2010. Vice Minister of Oil and Gas Asset Magauov has announced it at the Government’s session in Astana on Tuesday.

“According to oil companies, over nine months of 2010 there was mined 58.9 mln tons of oil including gas condensate. Export of oil and gas and gas condensate made up 52.9 mln tons”, A.Magauov said.

“The plan on oil and gas exploitation for 2010 makes up 80 mln tons. The 2010 export is expected at the level of 73 mln tons”, he added.

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