revista presei pe energie 26 noiembrie – part II

2010/11/26 Gazprom: Studiul de fezabilitate privind construirea “South Stream” prin Romania a fost incheiat

Compania Gazprom a incheiat studiul de fezabilitate privind construirea pe teritoriul romanesc a gazoductului “South Stream”. Acest lucru a fost facut public in cadrul intalnirii unei delegatii de la Gazprom cu vice-directorul companiei romanesti Transgaz Liviu Pintican.

“Partile au recunoscut necesitatea de a lucra in continuare pentru construirea unei conducte de gaz prin Romania”, se spune intr-un comunicat de presa remis de Gazprom.

ITAR TASS: Gazprom says rerouting South Stream through Romania makes sense

Gazprom has recognized the feasibility of re-routing the gas pipeline South Stream through Romania’s territory, as follows from the company’s statement.

Gazprom and Romania’s Transgaz SA have completed the feasibility studies for the Romanian section of South Stream gas pipeline. The parties recognized the desirability of further work for laying the gas pipeline in Romania, Prime-Tass reports.

ITAR TASS: Putin likely to discuss with Merkel E.ON sale of Gazprom stake

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on a visit to Germany is likely to discuss with Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday the possible sale by E.ON Ruhrgas of its 3.5 percent stake in Gazprom to Russia’s state-owned VEB bank.

Kommersant daily said earlier this week negotiations were underway between VEB and E.ON on the sale of the 4.5-billion dollar stake adding the deal was likely to be on Putin’s agenda in Germany.

Analysts in Russia believe E.ON plans to sell the stake to cope with debts and falling revenues.

Kommersant said VEB would likely pay a premium for the Gazprom stake over the current market price to support the company’s market cap and the government’s optimistic view about the future of pipeline gas.

Gazprom, VEB and E.ON refused comment. SOCAR: Azerbaijan’s gas reserves to total at least 2 trillion cubic meters

Azerbaijan’s promising gas reserves could hit at least 2 trillion cubic meters, SOCAR Vice President on Geology, Geophysics and Mining, Khoshbakht Yusifzade said during Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s meeting with the company to discuss the opening of the Umid gas field on the Caspian Sea, the AzerTAc state agency reported today.

“In general, based on the results, I can say confidently that if we have 2 trillion cubic meters of proven natural gas reserves, then there will be a minimum of 2 trillion cubic meters of promising reserves,” Yusifzade said.

He added that the reserves of the promising Babak offshore structure alone could reach 400-600 billion cubic meters of gas.

The first well drilled at the Umid Field shows that Babak is twice as large, he said.

“Strong results from Umid mean that Babak is twice as big,” he said. “As Babak is situated lower, its reserves must be twice as much as Umid’s. So, if Umid’s reserves are 200 billion cubic meters, then Babak’s are 400 billion.”

According to Yusifzade, SOCAR is confident that there are 200 billion cubic meters of gas and 30-40 million tons of condensate at Umid. According to data received from the first exploratory well drilled on the field, total reserves are 250 billion cubic meters.

“Now, Umid has only one well,” he said. “This well was drilled in the sea area, where there is a depth of 170 meters. After commissioning this well, we will continue our work. I think that if we achieve good results and acquire more experience, then we will conduct works at Babak ourselves.”

The Umid Field is located 75 kilometers from Baku – 40 kilomters from land. In 1953, the first geophysical works were carried out at the field. They were repeated in 1972 in a somewhat improved form. From 1977 to 1992, nine wells were drilled without result. Nabucco official: “The first gas contracts are expected most likely with Azerbaijan”

The first gas contracts for the Nabucco pipeline should be sealed by the middle of 2011 now that gas supply talks with Azerbaijan have intensified, the spokesman of the Nabucco consortium Christian Dolezal said on Thursday, Reuters Africa reported.

Nabucco shareholders are negotiating intensively. The first gas contracts are expected in mid-2011, most likely with Azerbaijan,” Nabucco spokesman Christian Dolezal told Reuters on the sidelines of an economic forum in Sofia.

He said all six shareholders of the EU-backed project were holding talks to secure gas for the pipeline, which will have a capacity of 31 billion cubic metres a year and is aimed at bringing Caspian region gas to Europe and reduce European reliance on Russian gas

On Nov. 10, Germany’s RWE said talks with Azerbaijan and progress in the Kurdish region of Iraq would bring it closer to obtaining enough supply for the gas link.

Other partners in the 7.9 billion euro ($10.5 billion) project include Austria’s OMV (OMVV.VI: Quote), Hungary’s MOL (MOLB.BU: Quote), Romania’s Transgaz (TGNM.BX: Quote), Bulgaria’s BEH and Turkey’s Botas.

RWE and OMV hope to secure 10 bcm from Azerbaijan to ensure the minimum requirements to start the pipeline, which faces the rivalry of Russia’s South Stream gas project.

Dolezal said he was confident that Nabucco was a competitive project that will make its first gas shipments in early 2015.

He said the capacity of the pipeline, planned to run from Turkey via eastern Europe to an Austrian hub, will be easily booked once supply agreements are in place, opening the way for a final investment decision by the end of 2011.

The Vienna-based consortium plans to secure about 8 bcm a year from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan and about 10 bcm from Iraq.

“The most important thing is there is enough gas available in the Caspian region. We are confident this will end up in gas supply contracts in 2011, because the time has come to conclude then” Dolezal said. Nabucco is planning to supply Azerbaijani gas in June next year

Austrian OMW has revealed some details of talks with Azerbaijan on gas purchase for Nabucco.

“By the end of the next year we hope to complete talks with Azerbaijan on purchase of gas from the Shah Deniz-2 project for Nabucco”, managing director of Austrian OMW Wolfgang Rutenstorfer said, reports with reference to Zaman newspaper.

“In June of the next year it will become clear whether the Azerbaijani gas from the Shah Deniz-2 project will go to Nabucco or not. Considering the negotiations with the Azerbaijani side, they are also interested in the successful completion of negotiations”, he noted.

He said the negotiations involve all six Nabucco shareholders including German RWE, Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Romanian Transgaz, Bulgarian BEH and Turkish Botas.

In turn, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz said he believes in the Nabucco implementation and does not consider this project to be a rival for the South Stream.

Earlier the Turkmen authorities voiced readiness to ensure supplies of up to 40m cubic meters of gas within Nabucco framework every year.

Novinite: Rosatom Head: Russia Wants 30% of Bulgaria’s Belene NPP

Bulgaria has time until the spring to decide on its participation in the Belene Nuclear Power Plant and sign a contract with Russia for the creation of a project campaign,Sergey Kiriyenko, CEO of the Russian state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom, said in Moscow.

Kiriyenko told Bulgarian media that if the deadline is not met, the contractor on the project, Atomstroyexport, will redirect the equipment for the Belene NPP to another nuclear project and Russia will refuse to become a shareholder in the Bulgarian plant.

In his words, during the official visit of the Russian PM Vladimir Putin in Sofia, Moscow has demanded to have about 30-40% stake in the project and would not agree on less than 25%.

Kiriyenko has stated that there was still a chance that Belene NPP is not realized.

“Russia will not lower the Belene NPP price to EUR 5 B, as demanded by the Bulgarian government,” the Rosatom CEO said.

He has pointed out that the real price of the plant is at least EUR 6,7 B, but was lowered to EUR 6,4 B during the bilateral negotiations.

“If Russia makes any more compromises in this direction, the project would be built at a loss,” Kiriyenko said.

He explained that the most difficult and complex demand, presented by Bulgaria’s PMBoyko Borisov, was to transform the variable price, based on inflation, into a fixed price.

“We thought a lot about this, we did not like this demand by the Bulgarian government, but we accepted it in the end. This is not a bargain for 5, 10 or 20 billion, but is rather a matter of accounts and calculations, so the cost of EUR 5 B is meaningless and no one will discuss it,” Kiriyenko said.

He pointed out that the Belene NPP project has advanced a lot and its equipment is ready. In his words, however, if Bulgaria continues to delay its decision on the project after the spring of 2011, then the equipment would be given to another country – China or Turkey, and Bulgaria will have to pay much more if it orders it later.

The Rosatom CEO said that the plant would be paid for about 19 years and would bring profit for 40 years after that because a deficit of electricity is expected on the Balkans in the next years.

According to Kiriyenko’s calculations, the construction of Belene NPP could be started in September 2011 and the first reactor could start operating in 2016.

“I am convinced in the profitability of the Belene project and we are ready to become 100% shareholders in it, but I am not sure we will be allowed to,” he said.

He noted that the project has triggered interest from Western European investor, as well as from neighbor countries to Bulgaria, like Serbia and Macedonia. Kiriyenko said that the project was very good and that Russia would be sad if it had to abandon it.

“Negotiating with the Bulgarian government is really difficult. This is why there is a risk,” he said.

Kiriyenko will visit Sofia on November 30 to meet with Borisov and continue the negotiations about Belene NPP. The two are expected to agree on the exact price for the construction of the plant. Energy Infrastructure in EU: Questions & Answers

European Commission Press – 18.11.2010

Why do we need new pipelines and power grids?

1. Energy infrastructure – pipelines, power grids – are key to all our climate and energy goals.

2. To increase the share of renewable energy to 20 percent of our final energy consumption by 2020, we need to bring the energy generated by wind parks and solar power stations to the consumers. For this, we need a more decentralised and differentiated network than exists today.

3. To save 20 percent of our estimated energy consumption in 2020 via technology, we need smart meters and smart grids, which allow consumers to control exactly their power consumption and to save money and energy by changing their habits.

4. To secure gas supply also in the event of a crisis, we need to diversify our sources and new pipelines which bring the gas from this region directly to Europe.

5. To have a functioning internal market with competition and fair and competitive prizes, we need the interconnections between member states, allowing companies to offer their services in all member states.

Why is there a need for the EU to become active?

1. It is estimated that the investments needed to achieve the 2020 goals will not be made on time, mainly because of two reasons:

2. building permits take too long to obtain;

3. not all the investments needed are commercially viable.

4. The strategy outlined in the Communication addresses this issue. A strategy at EU level is needed to coordinate and optimise the network development in Europe.

What is new?

1. The Communication defines a limited number of EU priority corridors. Based on these pre-defined corridors, concrete projects of “European interest” will be identified in 2012, which should benefit from financing and faster building permits, including a time limit for final decision while ensuring full respect of environmental legislation and public participation. In planning and implementing these projects, the Commission favours regional cooperation between countries.

What are these corridors?

In the electricity sector four EU priority corridors are identified:

1. An offshore grid in the Northern Seas and connection to Northern and Central Europe to transport power produced by offshore wind parks to consumers in the big cities and to store power in the hydro electric power plants in the Alps and the Nordic countries.

2. Interconnections in South Western Europe to transport power generated from wind, solar, hydro to the rest of the continent, including Spain-France interconnections.

3. Connections in Central Eastern und South Eastern Europe, strengthening the regional network.

4. Integration of the Baltic Energy Market into the European market.

5. In the gas sector, three EU priority corridors are identified:

6. Southern Corridor to deliver gas directly from the Caspian Sea to Europe to diversify gas sources.

7. Baltic Energy Market Integration and connection to Central and South East Europe

8. North-South corridor in Western Europe to remove internal bottlenecks.

Why are these priorities needed?

Some examples:

1. The interconnections in South Western Europe are needed because the Iberian Peninsula is not sufficiently connected to the rest of Europe. To bring power generated from renewables in Spain to Western Europe and integrate Spain into the European network, the capacity of power lines between France and Spain needs to be increased from around 1400 MW today to 4000 MW in 2020.

2. The aim of the Southern Corridor is to import gas directly from the Caspian basin / Middle East, the largest deposit of gas in the world with estimated 90.6 billion cubic meters. This will diversify gas sources and increase security of supply. The objective is to get 45-90 bcm of gas per year, this is about 10-20% of EU gas demand by 2020.

How much money is needed? And who will pay it? The EU?

1. About 200 billion € of investments are needed for gas pipelines and power grids until 2020. It is estimated that 100 billion € of this total investment need will be delivered on time by the market alone, whereas the other 100 billion € will require public action on permitting and levering the necessary private capital.

2. In June, the Commission will propose a new financial instrument to support the projects of “European interest”, for the new financial perspective after 2013. Beyond grants, innovative market-based solutions may be proposed, such as equity participations, guarantees and public private partnership loans.

3. If companies will pay the bulk of the infrastructure, will this increase prices for consumers?

4. Not necessarily. Costs for the infrastructure, including network costs, represent only 28% of total electricity bill the EU consumer has to pay, taxes and VAT make 23% on average, while energy itself is about 48%. For gas, the infrastructure costs, including distribution, amount to 26%, taxes 22% and energy 52%.

5. As EU legislation will foster competition between energy companies they will be careful when considering passing on higher costs to their consumers.

Why can some projects not be financed by the private sector?

1. Some power lines and gas pipelines may not be commercially viable because the market is too small to get a good return of investment. It makes a difference if you plan a gas pipeline for a region where annual gas consumption is only about 10bcm, as in the case of the three Baltic States and Finland or for a country as Germany where annual consumption is about 80 bcm. Still, these countries should be linked to the European energy market to foster competition, fair prices for the consumer and guarantee that different gas suppliers can step in, in the event of a gas crisis.

2. Why can these investments not be financed and planned on national level?

3. As shown by the Offshore grid in the North Sea, working together on a regional and international basis can save money. According to the OffshoreGrid study, a regional approach optimising connection of all wind farms could reduce the costs by 20-30% until 2030.

4. What is the Commission proposing to facilitate the granting of building permits?

5. Permit granting procedures should be better coordinated and faster. One-stop-shops should be established, which will coordinate all building permits necessary for projects of “European interest”.

Why is it necessary to have faster building permits?

1. The time between the start of planning and final commissioning of a power line is frequently more than 10 years. For the project developers this means heavy development costs due to the time spent for the preparation and the discussion with authorities, and uncertainty over years whether the project can be realised or not.

2. For the EU 2020 targets, this means that the necessary investments will not take place in time to meet them. The 2020 targets include the reduction of CO2 by 20 percent, and the increase of renewable energy by 20 percent and the energy efficiency by 20 percent.

3. Is the Commission imposing fast building permits for all projects in the EU?

4. No. The proposal to speed up permitting procedures is limited to projects of “European interest”. The list of these projects will be drawn up in 2012.

Is the Commission setting an authorisation time limit of five years?

No. The Communication does not mention five years nor any other concrete deadline. It says that a “time limit” should be explored.

Why are you planning CO2 pipelines?

1. Carbon Capture and storages (CCS) will be needed to significantly decarbonise our economies post-2020 by capturing CO2 from large point sources such as fossil fuel power plants and storing it in such a way that it does not enter the atmosphere.

2. The component technologies of CCS are proven, but they are not yet tested at an industrial scale and are not yet commercially viable. There are currently six large-scale demonstration projects under construction which are co-financed by the Commission with Euro 1 billion in total. It is estimated that the commercial roll-out will happen after 2020 and that the sites where CO2 is stored will be distributed unevenly across Europe, making it necessary to transport the CO2 from the power plants to the storage site. Given the huge capacities, transport via pipeline costs less than transporting it by lorries, and it is also more environmentally friendly.

European Commission Press Release 17/11/2010

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