revista presei pe energie 19 august

2010/08/19

ZF.ro: Kazahii au plătit statului doar 10% din datoria de la Petromidia

Adrian Năstase, Mihai Tănăsescu şi Dan Ioan Popescu au semnat ordonanţa din 2003 prin care Petromidia, deţinută de Dinu Patriciu, a primit facilitatea de a-şi transforma datoriile de 570 mil.euro în obligaţiuni cu scadenţa în 2010.

Rompetrol Rafinare (simbol bursier RRC), compania care deţine rafinăria Petromidia – controlată acum de grupul kazah KazMunaiGaz, a plătit statului mai puţin de 10% din împrumutul de 570 mil. euro care ajunge la scadenţă la sfârşitul lunii septembrie, iar pentru restul sumei Ministerul Finanţelor ar putea primi acţiuni în companie, dar a căror valoare scade de la un trimestru la altul din cauza pierderilor.

Problema obligaţiunilor de la Rompetrol Rafinare, afacere care a fost făcută acum 7 ani de Dinu Patriciu, care ulterior a devenit miliardar vânzând tot grupul Rompetrol kazahilor, ar putea genera cel mai mare proces din istoria corporatistă a României, principala problemă fiind acum interpretarea ordonanţei prin care datoriile istorice ale Petromidia au fost transformate în obligaţiuni în favoarea statului.

Întrebarea este dacă kazahii au sau nu dreptul de a realiza doar o răscumpărare parţială a obligaţiunilor. Rompetrol a apelat pentru consultanţă juridică la cele mai mari case de avocatură – Ţucă Zbârcea, Nestor (NNDKP) şi Muşat.

Rompetrol Rafinare a răscumpărat pe 9 august obligaţiuni în valoare de 54 mil. euro de la statul român printr-un credit de la acţionarul majoritar, potrivit materialelor explicative pentru AGA din 14 septembrie.

Până la finele lunii septembrie, compania ar trebui să achite restul de 516 mil. euro, la care se mai adaugă dobânzile aferente ultimului an, de circa 17 mil. euro. Kazahii susţin însă că nu dispun de fondurile necesare pentru achitarea întregii datorii, în condiţiile în care pierderile companiei au crescut de la an la an. Kazahii au convocat AGA la Rompetrol Rafinare pentru a aproba conversia restului de obligaţiuni în acţiuni.

Astfel, statul ar putea redeveni acţionar la Petromidia, la peste 10 ani de la privatizare. mai mult

RIA Novosti: Gazprom Neft first half net profit up 42 pct to $1.5 bln

First half 2010 net profits at Gazprom Neft, the oil division of Russia’s energy giant Gazprom, rose 42 percent year-on-year to $1.501 billion to U.S. GAAP, slightly exceeding analysts’ expectations, the company said on Wednesday.

Revenue rose 61 percent to $15.322 billion, Gazprom Neft said in a statement.

Analysts expected a net profit of $1.46 billion and revenue of $14.915 billion.

Gazprom Neft also posted a second quarter 2010 net income of $747 million under US GAAP.

The bottom line is up 3% year-on-year from the second quarter 2009 net income of $725 million, with second quarter 2010 EBITDA also up 3% to $1.55 billion as revenues climbed 52% year on year to $8.026 billion.

The company said the results reflected an 8% rise in production, coupled with higher prices over the reporting period.

ITAR TASS: East Siberia – Pacific Ocean oil pipeline to reach 50M tonnes

Russia’s federal state expertise department, Rosekspertiza, approved a project to expand the East Siberia – Pacific Ocean pipeline’s part from Taishet to Skovorodino from 30 to 50 million tonnes a year, a source in the management of the Vostoknefteprovod Company, a subsidiary of Russia’s Transneft, said on Wednesday.

The project adds five pumping stations to the existing seven station of the pipeline. Four of them will be constructed in Yakutia, and one – in the Amur Region. The stations will be equipped with storage reservoirs. Oil will be pumped ‘from pump to pump.’

“The main task of the project is to provide additional and uninterrupted flow of the hydrocarbon raw material,” the source said. “The natural and geological conditions in those territories are complex, and the pipeline will cross mountainous and rough terrain regions.”

“Hydraulic losses over pumping across such territories are very high,” the source said.

Reserve lines will be laid off-shore across the Angara, Lena, Aldan rivers and the Ust-Ilim storage pond to raise reliability and safety of the main pipeline.

The part of the East Siberia – Pacific Ocean pipeline from Taishet in the Irkutsk Region to Skovorodino in the Amur Region is 2,496 kilometres long. Its capacity is 30 million cubic metres of oil a year. The part went operational on December 28, 2009.

In future, the pipeline’s capacity will reach 80 million tonnes a year. Nine more oil pumping stations will be built there. The existing stations will be further equipped with additional storage reservoirs.

energia.gr: Bulgaria, Azerbaijan Inch Closer to Gas Deal

Under the project, Azeri gas would be transported via a pipeline to Georgia to be compressed and shipped by tankers to Bulgaria’s Black Sea port of Varna, said Ivan Drenovichki, executive director of Bulgartansgaz. Azeri state oil company SOCAR, Bulgartransgaz and Georgian Oil and Gas Company are set to launch a feasibility study for the project at a meeting planned for September 23-24, he said. “We have an initial agreement to launch a feasibility study. In September, we are to make this decision,” Drenovichki said. “If all goes well and the project proves expedient, first deliveries can start at the end of 2013,” he said. Bulgaria’s gas consumption averages about 4 bcm a year, he said.

today.az: SOCAR, Gazprom negotiate to determine gas price for 2011

The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and Russia’s gas monopoly company Gazprom negotiate to determine the cost of gas for 2011, Russian Trade Representative in Azerbaijan Yuri Shedrin said at today’s news conference.

The gas price for 2011 is still not agreed upon, but the parties continue negotiations, Shedrin said. Gazprom and SOCAR have agreed upon volumes of Azerbaijani gas to be exported to Russia in 2011. In 2010, this figure would be about two billion cubic meters. Shedrin said that Azerbaijan’s gas reserves will be sufficient for export of two billion cubic meters of gas to Russia.

The medium-term contract on purchase-sale of Azerbaijani gas to Russia (with the possibility of extension) was signed between SOCAR and Gazprom in Baku Oct. 14. It covers 2010-2014. Under the contract, the Azerbaijani side will annually supply gas amounting to no less than 500 million cubic meters to Russia. The contract did not specify a limit to the gas supply volume. SOCAR will notify the opposite side of the amount which the company can deliver for the next six months.

Azerbaijan launched gas supplies to Russia Jan.1, 2010. According to SOCAR, the company exported more than 494.6 million cubic meters of gas to Russia in January-July under the mid-term contract. In July, Russia was delivered more than 66.4 million cubic meters compared to 81.54 million cubic meters in June.

apa.az: Latvijas Gaze and Gazprom reach agreement on lowering gas prices

Agreement has been reached on lowering the gas purchasing price for Latvia, the Saeima’s Economy, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee was informed by gas utility Latvijas Gaze Director Adrians Davis. Agreement has been reached with the Russian gas supplier Gazprom on lowering the current purchasing price, The Baltic Course reported.

Davis will travel to Moscow in two weeks in order to speak about the method for calculating the new price, which will be in effect for three years.

The current agreement between Latvijas Gaze and Gazprom will be revised by the end of November at the latest, predicted Davis.

The company’s director was not able to give more specific information about the size of the price reduction, as talks are still ongoing.

As reported, discussions have been underway since the beginning of this year on obtaining a more favorable gas price for Latvia from Russian supplier Gazprom.

The Latvian utility today announced its opposition to the excise tax currently placed on natural gas. Talks with Gazprom are at an advanced stage, but will not bear fruit if the Russian company feels that a price reduction will be used to cover the new tax.

Latvijas Gaze representatives stressed that a reduction in the gas purchasing price was in everybody’s interests – both commercial entities and households.

news.az: SOCAR increases independent operations at Azerbaijani gas market

This July, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) increased gas supplies to the domestic market by 14.4% against June 2010.

Since July 2009 SOCAR has been running national gas operator Azeriqaz CJSC (now it is SOCAR’s sub-company with the same name).

SOCAR reports that this July gas supplies to the domestic market reached 443.3 million cu m versus 387.5 million cu m in June, 462.9 million cu m in May, 597.1 million in April, 702.2 million cu m in March, 749 million cu m in February, 808.4 million cu m in January 2010 and 779.49 million cu m in December 2009. Maximum level of such supplies to the domestic market was registered in December 2008 (1.08 bn cu m).

“For Jan-Jun 2010 supplies to the domestic market totaled 4.148 bn cu m,” the company informed.

Supplies reached 8.89 bn cu m in 2009, versus 10.767 bn cu m in 2008.

For Jan-July 2010, as well as between August and September 2009, the former main gas consumer, Azeriqaz CJSC, did not receive gas, although in entire 2009 it was designed 3.1 bn cu m versus 5.8 bn cu m in 2008.

Energy operator Azerenerji OJSC received 316 million cu m of gas from SOCAR this July, 2.217 bn cu m in January to July 2010, 4.318 bn cu m in 2009 and 4.95 bn cu m in 2008.

The company’s gas supplies to the population reached 66.2 million cu m this July, 1.165 bn cu m for Jan-July 2010 and 849.14 million cu m in 2009.

SOCAR’s supplies to industrial sector this June totaled 49.4 million cu m, and over 7 months of 2010 – 557.1 million cu m against 421.06 million cu m in 2009 and to public utility & budget consumers 3.6 million cu m, 154.3 million cu m and 53.89 million cu m respectively. This July, energy agency of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan received 8.1 million cu m and 53.7 million cu m since early 2010.

businessneweurope.eu: Kazakhstan reasserts control over big energy projects

Hard on the heels of news that state-owned KazMunaiGas has signed off on the deal to increase its stake in the giant Kashagan oil project, comes reports the Kazakh government is close to striking a deal over the Karachaganak gas project, under which the international consortium developing it would avoid export duties in return for handing over a stake.

On August 12, KazMunaiGas’ chairman, Kairgeldy Kabyldin, announced the company had finally signed a deal to increase its stake in the operating company for the offshore Kashagan oilfield. Kabyldin also said that KazMunaiGas would invest $8bn in Kashagan by 2014, but there would be further delays to the second phase of the project, which is now due to start in 2018 or 2019.

A few days later, unconfirmed newswire reports were saying the international oil companies developing the Karachaganak gas condensate field in northwestern Kazakhstan are willing to hand over a 10% stake in the Karachaganak Petroleum Operating (KPO) consortium to the Kazakh government. The four KPO members – Eni, BG Group, Chevron and Lukoil – will transfer a 5% stake in the consortium to the Kazakh government provided it either gives up plans to levy export duties from Karachaganak or drops a $1bn lawsuit against the consortium, Reutersquoted a source close to the negotiations as saying. The Kazakh government plans to pay cash for an additional 5% stake in Karachaganak, which currently is the only mega field being developed without KazMunaiGas’ participation.

After a hiatus during the crisis, when oil prices fell below $40 in 2009, the Kazakh government formally re-introduced export duties on August 16. The Kazakh government has set the duty at $20 per tonne of crude oil, also announcing that the Tengizchevroil and KPO consortia would no longer be exempt.

Negotiations between the Kazakh government and KPO, which believes it should not be subject to the duty, took place in mid-July, but no final agreement was reached, and further discussions are due to take place in the autumn. KPO members have declined to comment on the negotiations.

If a deal is reached, it could spell the end of an ongoing dispute between the consortium and the government over the country’s second-largest energy project. At present, KPO faces a series of claims from the Kazakh government worth around $2.5bn. In addition to the $1bn lawsuit, which concerns an alleged overstating of costs, they also include tax claims, environmental claims, and claims relating to alleged violations of environmental regulations. From its side, KPO has an outstanding case against Kazakh government to recover over $1bn in export duties.

KPO members say they should not have to pay export duties. On an investor call on July 28, Ashley Almanza, CFO of BG Group, which holds a 32.5% stake in KPO, said the consortium and government were meeting regularly and that discussions were “constructive”. “All parties, all the partners and the Republic continue to look for and prefer an amicable negotiated resolution of our disputes outside of the arbitration process,” he told investors.

Strained relations

The re-introduction of oil export duties is one of a series of events recently that have impacted on oil and gas companies operating in Kazakhstan, and strained their relations with the government.

There are also problems at Tengizchevroil. Kazakhstan’s financial police said on July 17 – four days after the government’s announcement on export duties – that it had launched criminal proceedings against the consortium. The financial police claims that Tengizchevroil over-produced oil at the field, resulting in illegal earnings of $1.4bn. “There have been a number of changes recently,” says Dominic Lewenz, director of oil and gas research at Visor Capital. “The main elements include a new tax code that was introduced at the start of 2009, affecting all companies except Tengizchevroil and those operating under PSAs [production sharing agreements]. More recently, we saw the reintroduction of Customs Export Duty, whilst also broadening the taxpayer bade. At the same time, the government is questioning the status of PSAs, albeit insisting that any changes will be made through negotiations.”

Lewenz says that despite the recent changes, Kazakhstan remains a good place for oil companies to do business given the scale of its reserves. However, he stresses that the ability of the government to commit to rules and stick to its word is especially important for oil and gas companies, given the long time horizons and huge investments typical of the industry. “The government spent many years building up its international reputation. Kazakhstan’s desire to increase its share of profits from the industry need to be offset against this risk to its reputation.”

For the oil and gas industry, uncertainty over taxes makes economic planning and investment much more difficult, Lewenz says. A similar situation is arising in the mining sector, where the government has indicated it is likely to introduce an export duty in 2011, but without saying where the burden will fall.

Historically, the Kazakh government has encouraged international oil companies to operate in the country, which has allowed the exploitation of technically difficult fields such as Tengiz. Kazakhstan is acknowledged by international companies to be a much investor-friendlier place than, for example, Russia.

Although KazMunaiGas has increased its stake in Kashagan, the other five participants in the North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC) are all international oil majors. KazMunaiGas will operate on equal terms with Royal Dutch Shell during the second phase of the project, gradually taking on a greater share of responsibility for the operations.

When the Kashagan field was discovered in 2000, it was the largest discovery for some 30 years. Kashagan is estimated to contain between 9bn and 14bn barrels of oil. The tough operating environment has meant that getting to a stage where production can begin has been no easy task. Kashagan is located offshore in the north Caspian Sea where temperatures range from 40°C in summer to -35°C in winter, and rigs are at risk from ice floes and sudden storms. The field is high pressure and contains high levels of toxic hydrogen sulphide.

According to Kabyldin, KazMunaiGas plans to invest $8bn in Kashagan by 2014. Visor Capital estimates that the entire consortium – which also comprises Shell, Eni, Total, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and Inpex – will invest a total of $47.5bn.

Production is due to start in 2012 or 2013, with an initial 300,000 barrels per day (b/d) being extracted. This is set to rise to around 1m b/d in the second phase, which has now been delayed until 2018 or 2019. Within around a decade, Kazakhstan’s oil production is due to approximately double, when the third phase of production of 1.5m b/d begins.

This is expected to herald the start of a “Golden Age” for Kazakhstan’s oil and gas industry, when Kashagan output is at its peak alongside continued production from the other mega fields of Tengiz and Karachaganak.

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