revista presei pe energie 27 septembrie

2010/09/27

money.ro: Serbia este gata să înceapă construcţia la South Stream

Serbia este gata să înceapă construcţia conductei de tranzit pentru South Stream, a anunţat sâmbătă, la postul naţional de radio al Bulgariei, directorul companiei Srbijagas, Dusan Bajatovic, relatează Sofia News Agency.

Bajatovic a declarat că Serbia va fi prima ţară din Europa care va începe construirea South Stream.

În urmă cu câteva zile, Bajatovic spunea, citat de RIA Novosti, că Serbia intenţionează să lanseze construirea tronsului terestru de gazoduct South Stream înainte de sfârşitul anului 2012. Oficialul companiei sârbe preciza că aspectele economice şi tehnice vor fi analizate împreună cu partea rusă înainte de sfârşitul lunii noiembrie.

În interviul pentru postul naţional de radio al Bulgariei, el a estimat că gazoductul susţinut de Rusia va fi terminat în 2015 şi a precizat că în prezent nu sunt niciun fel de probleme din partea Gazprom sau din partea Bulgariei în ceea ce priveşte ruta conductei.

După ce va porni din Rusia şi va traversa submarin Marea Neagră, gazoductul se va ramifica în două pe teritoriul bulgar. Ramificaţia din nord, care va fi ceva mai mare, cu o capacitate de circa 36-41 de miliarde de metri cubi, va intra în Serbia pe la un punct situat în apropiere de Vidin şi Zaicar.

“Suntem aproape gata cu studiile tehnice ale acestei rute pe lângă Zaicar. Nu am informaţii despre existenţa vreunei probleme şi ne aşteptăm să avem o decizie comună referitoare la această rută până cel târziu în noiembrie”, a spus Bajatovic.

În iulie, Bulgaria, la rândul ei, a semnat cu Rusia foaia de parcurs pentru tronsonul bulgar al South Stream

Costurile South Stream, proiect ruso-italian considerat rivalul proiectului Nabucco, sunt estimate între 19 şi 24 de miliarde de euro. Gazoductul, proiectat să ocolească Ucraina, va transporta 63 de miliarde de metri cubi de gaz pe an, adică 35% din totalul exporturilor pe care Rusia le face către Europa într-un an.

South Stream va porni de lângă Novorosisk, de pe coasta rusă a Mării Negre, şi va ajunge la Varna, în Bulgaria. Conducta va străbate pe sub apă o distanţă de 900 de kilometri.

În Bulgaria, gazoductul se va ramifica în două – o conductă va merge spre Grecia şi sudul Italiei, cealaltă ramificaţie va merge spre Austria şi nordul Italiei traversând Serbia, Croaţia şi Slovenia.

Proiectul a fost iniţiat de Gazprom şi de compania italiană Eni, iar compania franceză EdF intenţionează să se alăture ca acţionar.

Rusia a declarat în câteva rânduri că şi România şi-a exprimat interesul pentru a participa la proiectul South Stream. La un moment dat chiar, când poziţia noului guvern bulgar de centru-dreapta părea ezitantă în ceea ce priveşte continuarea implicării sale în South Stream, Gazprom ar fi ameninţat că va înlocui Bulgaria cu România, dar analiştii au considerat că este un bluf destinat să pună presiune pe Sofia. La rândul lor, declaraţiile oficialilor români în privinţa South Stream nu au fost niciodată tranşante. Poziţia fermă a Bucureştiului este că rămâne deplin angajat în proiectul Nabucco, dar totodată că niciun proiect energetic major nu va ocoli România.

Adevarul: Giganţii energetici, gata până la finele acestui an

Cele două companii energetice-gigant vor fi înfiinţate până la sfârşitul acestui an, susţine noul ministru al Economiei, Ion Ariton. Problemele juridice care au blocat formarea campionilor naţionali vor fi rezolvate printr-o modificare legislativă.

Cele două companii energetice naţionale – care vor include atât hidrocentrale, cât şi termocentrale, mine de cărbune şi reactoare nucleare – vor fi înfiinţate până la sfârşitul acestui an, a declarat noul ministru al Economiei, Ion Ariton, la finele săptămânii trecute, cu ocazia unei vizite de lucru la Buzău.

El a punctat faptul că este adeptul proiectului moştenit de la fostul ministru Adriean Videanu. „Eu consider că aceste două companii sunt utile, le susţin ca şi proiect, pentru că numai aşa vom putea ajunge în zona noastră un competitor important în domeniul energetic. Avem această şansă, poziţia noastră ca şi ţară, poziţia geografică, ne permit acest lucru şi ar fi păcat să nu fim un jucător foarte activ în acest domeniu”, a spus Ariton, citat de Agerpres.

Cele două companii, Electra şi Hidroenergetica, ar fi trebuit înfiinţate la 1 iulie, însă demersul a fost blocat de 19 procese, cele mai multe din partea sindicaliştilor care au de recuperat restanţe salariale.

Modificare legislativă

În urmă cu două săptămâni, Mihai David, directorul general al Hidroelectrica – societatea care va fi nucleul viitoare companii Hidroenergetica – a declarat că Guvernul pregăteşte o modificare legislativă, astfel încât creditorii să nu mai poată bloca un proces de fuziune.

„S-a prezent un anumit punct de vedere la Ministerul Justiţiei pentru o modificare legislativă şi cred că miercuri, în următoarea şedinţă de Guvern, dacă nu săptămâna viitoare, deci în cel mult o săptămână, acest mic diferend va fi rezolvat. Am convingerea că până la 31 decembrie cele două companii vor fi înfiinţate”, a mai spus Ariton.

Dacă acest termen va fi depăşit, întregul proces de restructurare a sistemului energetic va trebui regândit, întrucât evaluarea tuturor companiilor a fost realizată în baza rezultatelor obţinute de fiecare dintre ele în anul 2009.

Regretul lui Videanu

În ultima sa conferinţă de presă ca ministru, Adriean Videanu a arătat că cel mai mare regret al său este faptul că giganţii energetici nu au fost înfiinţaţi la timp.

inforusia.ro: Rusia vizeaza China ca pe o noua piata energetica

Vizita de stat de trei zile in China a presedintelui rus Dmitiri Medvedev (26-28 septembrie) are drept prioritatisemnarea a peste 10 acorduri in domeniul energetic, dupa cum a anuntat consilierul prezidential Serghei Prihodko.

Este vorba, in primul rand, despre un acord intre gigantul rus Transneft si Chinese National Petroleum Company (CNPC), pentru furnizarea de titei din campul de la Skovorodino, in sudul Rusiei, spre terminalul chinez de la Daqing, in nord-estul Chinei. Conducta chineza este o parte a oleoductului Siberia-Pacific, proiect demarat in 2009, care o data finalizat, in 2011, ar trebui sa furnizeze 1,6 milioane barili de titei pe zi din Extremul orient rus spre China si regiunea Asia Pacific.

De asemenea, cele doua tari au gata de semnare un acod de cooperare in domeniul exploatarii carbunelui, iar Atomstroiexport va semna un acord cu agentia nulceara Jiangsu pentru construirea a doua reactoare la centrala nucleara Tianwan. Iar directorul executiv al Lukoil, Vagit Alekperov, vorbea recent despre un contract pentru furnizarea de gaze din campurile uzbece. Moscova intentioneaza ca, cel mai probabil din 2015, sa furnizeze gaze naturale Chinei, la un pret ce urmeaza a fi stabilit in prima parte a lui 2011. Potrivit agentiei Bloomberg, pretul ar trebui sa fie mai avantajos decat cel convenit cu UE, unde preturile sunt stabilite pe termen lung in functie de piata petrolului. Orientarea Rusiei spre pietele energetice asiatice este ceva firesc, intrucat Europa in criza structurala nu promite o crestrere semnificativa, afirma Roland Nash, director de strategii al bancii Renaissance Capital.

Complexitatea agendei se reflecta in componenta delegatiei de afaceri ce-l insoteste pe Medvedev, delegatie din care fac parte directorul executiv al gigantului minier Norilsk Nikel, Vladimir Strjalkovski, seful United Co. Rusal, Oleg Deripaska, si directorul executiv al OAO Gazprom, Aleksei Miller. Din delegatia rusa la Beijing face parte si Anatoli Isaikin, directorul Rosoboronexport, chiar daca partea chineza a renuntat in 2005 la un contract de cumparare de vase si avioane de lupta rusesti, canalizandu-se pe importul de energie. Konstantin Matvienko, de la Centrul de analize strategice si tehnologice din Moscova, aminteste ca, din 2007, China nu mai este intre primii cinci clienti pentru armamentul rusesc, dupa ce fusese prin traditie un cumparator de baza. Din punct de vedere al cooperarii militare, vizita de acum a lui Dmitri Medvedev marcheaza „o noua etapa”, trecerea la productia de armament sub licenta, crede consilierul prezidential Serghei Prihodko.

Potrivit agentiei Bloomberg, vizita lui Dmitri Medvedev are, din punctul de vedere al Rusiei, pe langa semnificatia diversificarii pietelor energetice (concentrate pana acum in Europa) si pe aceea a unui pas in transformarea economiei ruse „primitive”, bazata pe exploatarea resurselor de materii prime. Un oficial al UralSib Financial Corp. Moscova, Chris Weafer, atrage atentia asupra pericolului ca „Rusia sa se limiteze la rolul de furnizor de energie si materii prime pentru China, caz in care greutatea politica a Rusiei pe plan international va incepe sa se reduca”. Consilierul prezidential Serghei Prihodko a precizat, pentru agentia Bloomberg, ca si China are un interes egal de a-si diversifica importurile din Rusia si, mai ales, de a-si creste exporturile de masini.

Dar vizita de stat a lui Dmitri Medvedev in China se vrea a depasi cadrul de afaceri. Presedintele rus a pasit pe pamantul chinez cu o vizita la centrul rus al Institutului de limbi straine de la Dalian, ocazie cu care i-a indemnat pe rusi la invatarea limbii chineze si pe chinezi la invatarea rusei.

RIA Novosti: Russian-Swiss Wintercroft Capital to build 2 thermal power plants in Iraq

Russian-Swiss joint venture Wintercroft Capital has signed a contract with the authorities of the Maysan province in southeast Iraq on building two thermal power plants with total capacity of 1,150 MW, Aswat al-Iraq news agency reported on Sunday.

“The administration of the Maysan province signed on Saturday an agreement with Wintercroft Capital on building two thermal power plants with a capacity of 650 MW and 500 MW,” Amer Nasrallah, head of the provincial administration’s energy committee told the paper.

The sum of the deal has not been disclosed.

The provincial authorities will pay for the two electric power plants by installments during eight to ten years. The power plants will help resolve many problems related to the shortage of electricity in the province, Nasrallah said.

RIA Novosti: Russia, China to sign gas supplies contracts next year – Russian deputy PM

Moscow and Beijing may sign contracts on the supply of Russian natural gas to China by mid-2011, a Russian deputy prime minister said.

“We plan to sign a number of contracts by the end of the first half of 2011,” Igor Sechin said.

He said Russia is ready to meet China’s growing demand for natural gas consumption.

“If we agree on all provisions then the supplies of Russia’s natural gas to China will begin in 2015,” Sechin said.

China’s National Reform and Development Commission said in its report on Sunday that natural gas consumption in the country increased 23.8% in August year-on-year to a record 8.8 billion cubic meters and 21% in January-August 2010 to 69.2 billion cubic meters.

RIA Novosti: Russia to begin 2nd stage of Tianwan nuclear power plant construction next year

Russia will begin constructing two new reactors at the Tianwan nuclear power plant in China next year, the head of the Rosatom state-controlled nuclear corporation said.

Russia’s nuclear power equipment and service export monopoly Atomstroyexport and its Chinese partner, the Jiangsu nuclear power corporation, signed a framework agreement this March stipulating the construction of two VVER-1000 reactors with a power output of 1000MW.

“The work must begin next year,” Sergei Kiriyenko said.

The first two VVER-1000 reactors at the Tianwan nuclear power plant were launched in 2007.

Atomstroyexport and the Jiangsu nuclear power corporation signed a general contract to build the plant, the largest project in Russian-Chinese economic cooperation, in 1997. The Russian company was charged with design work, equipment and material supplies, construction and assembly work, as well as training Chinese personnel.

Russia and China agreed that Moscow would receive 1.3 billion euros ($1.8 bln) to build the second stage of the Tianwan nuclear power plant. The figure is 2.2 billion euros ($3 bln) less then the initial figure.

RIA Novosti: Gazprom signs agreement extending terms of Russian gas supply to China

Russian gas giant Gazprom signed an agreement with China on Monday extending the terms of Russian natural gas supply to China.

The document was signed by Gazprom President Alexei Miller and President of the Chinese National Petroleum Coorportion Jiang Zemin during bilateral talks in Beijing as part of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s three-day visit to China.

The agreement will “extend the conditions for the supply of natural gas” Gazprom vice president Alexander Medvedev said earlier on Monday without revealing any further details.

The Gazprom deputy head also said that a “road map” on the gas supply contract would be signed no later than July 1, 2011.

Earlier this month Alexander Medvedev said that the agreement on the core terms of supply would include volumes, cut-off points and take-or-pay terms. He said Gazprom was ready to supply China with 30 billion cubic meters of gas a year from 2015.

Russia and China signed a gas supply memorandum in 2006, but a framework agreement was only signed in October 2009 as the parties could not agree on prices.

At the end of December 2009 Gazprom export and a subsidiary of Chinese oil and gas supplier CNPC PetroChina signed an agreement on the basic terms of gas supplies, which defines the basic commercial and technical parameters of Russian gas supplies to Chinese consumers.

The gas will be supplied from two areas of Russia: Western and Eastern Siberia, and Russia’s Far East and Sakhalin.

tr.com: Nord Stream charges towards phase 1 completion

The first phase of the Nord Stream gas pipeline is due to be completed by next April with an international crew of more than 400 specialists working night and day laying pipe at record speed.

The world’s biggest pipe laying vessel has started working in the Baltic Sea only a month ago and already it is one week ahead of schedule – having laid 40 kilometers of the pipeline so far. 300 metres long and 60 metres high – the vessel is a record-holder in deepwater pipe laying. There are over a thousand kilometers ahead, but it’s progressing fast.

Environmental concerns were the main obstacle to the Nord Stream pipeline, and as an added complication the waters between Russia and Finland are full of mine lines left from the Second World War. But with Solitaire’s dynamic positioning system there’s little to fear as the vessel can be manoeuvered with pinpoint accuracy without having to use anchors. The technology has helped increase the speed of the operation and also made it cheaper, according to Sergey Serdyukov, Technical Director of Nord Stream.

“Every seven minutes the pipe is going down and the vessel moves. It’s planned for it to lay 2.3km a day; but we’re already reaching 2.5km. And we believe it’s quite possible to reach 3km. In fact, to lay pipes in the sea is cheaper than on land where you have to deal with landowners and compensate them. That’s complicated. Our project is very detailed and we’re already advancing in our schedule.”

The vessel has already hosted several dignitaries on its journey towards Russia. The main promoter of the pipeline, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, was one of those to go aboard and watched the pipes as they made there way to the sea floor. Leo D Varkevisser, Vice President of Allseas, a Nord Stream contractor, is keen to support Putin’s plans to build more energy links between Russia and Europe and take on the work it would bring.

“We are aware of the new developments of the South Stream project, we are already talking with Gazprom on the Shtockman project and we foresee huge amount of activity in the Arctic area in the future.”

No matter who ultimately wins the battle for the Arctic’s energy reserves, the owners of the Solitaire are already betting the development of the region will happen. To meet that need, they’ve started to build a new vessel which will be three times bigger than The Solitaire and will be able to withstand the harsh conditions of the far north.

ITAR TASS: Russia to begin commercial oil supplies to China in 2011: official

Russia will begin commercial oil deliveries to China starting from January 1, 2011, and it does not rule out that supplies will be doubled in the future, the head of the Russian Transneft oil company, Nikolai Tokarev, said on Monday.

“The pumping of process oil in the pipeline, about 600,000 tons, will begin in November-December. Commercial supplies will begin in January,” the head of the company told reporters.

He reminded reporters that the contract envisages yearly supplies of 15 million tons of Russian oil to China. Tokarev did not specify the total sum of the contract. “The oil price is changing constantly, the contract has been signed for 20 years, but in any case it is a rather serious amount,” he said.

Tokarev explained that the ceremony to launch the Russian-Chinese pipeline, in which Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao will take part, meant that the pipeline was in preparation for operation.

He said the Mohe station is the first station on the Chinese bank of the Amur River, from which the 1,000-kilometer-long ground section of the pipeline will run to Daqing.

“Technologically it is possible to increase the amount to 30 million tons, and we don’t rule out that,” Tokarev said.

ITAR TASS: Russia plans to launch gas supplies to China starting from 2015

Russia is planning to launch gas supplies to China starting from 2015 and to sign commercial contracts before the middle of 2011, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin told reporters here on Monday. He is accompanying Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during a state visit to China.

“Russia is ready to meet China’s full demand in gas,” Sechin stated. However, the negotiations on the details of gas supplies are in progress, he noted. Sechin has not elaborated on the issue yet.

“We held, are holding and will hold negotiations with Chinese partners and keep negotiating separate parameters (of the agreements), which the sides will consider additionally,” the deputy prime minister noted.

“The current gas consumption in the overall consumption of energy carriers in China makes 7-8%, and coal is the main energy carrier,” Sechin recalled. “Therefore, there are no limits for gas consumption growth in China, and Russia can provide all gas supplies needed for China,” the high-ranking government official said. He added that the bilateral cooperation in the gas industry is strategic.

China produces current 82-83 billion cubic meters of gas annually, and the gas production has doubled recently, and China imports seven billion cubic meters of gas annually, Sechin pointed out. “The fact that the negotiations continue for a long time is caused by the scale of the problem,” the Russian deputy prime minister underlined. “Russia is China’s natural partner,” he indicated. Sechin also specified that the negotiations highlight “all aspects of cooperation – infrastructure, various routes and credits.” “We have reached mutual understanding,” the deputy prime minister said.

“If we agree on all issues, the gas supplies will be launched starting from 2015 and commercial contracts will be signed before the middle of 2011,” he underlined.

Novinite: Serbia Ready to Start Building South Stream

Serbia is about ready to start the construction of the South Stream gas transitpipeline, announced the head of the Srbijagas company Dusan Bajatovic.

Bajatovic told the Bulgarian National Radio Saturday that Serbia will be the first country in Europe to start building South Stream.

He predicted that the Russian-sponsored pipeline will ready in 2015, while also pointing out there were no problems at present on part of Russia‘s Gazprom or on part of Bulgaria about the route of the pipe.

After running from Russia to Bulgaria through the Black Sea, the South Stream pipe will split in two on Bulgarian territory.

Its northern arm, which will be slightly larger, about 36-41 billion cubic meters, will enter Serbia from Bulgaria near Vidin and Zaicar.

“We are almost ready with the technical studies of this route near Zaicar. I don’t have any information about any issues, and we expected to have a joint decision on this route by November at the latest,” Bajatovic said.

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 leave Gazprom and Eni with 40% each.

energia.gr: EU: Ukraine Energy Pact Entry To Boost Supply Security

Ukraine ‘s entry in Energy Community, a pact that ensures countries share the same legal framework for energy investments, will enhance Europe ‘s security of gas supply, the European Commission said Friday.

“This is a major step both for the Energy Community and Ukraine , said Marlene Holzner, spokeswoman for Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger. “It will enhance security of supply.”

The European Commission now expects Ukraine to ratify the pact in the next few months, so it can become a full member by early next year, Holzner said.

The pact ensures member countries share the same legal framework to enforce transparency in investments, open access to the markets, and limit abuse of dominant market positions.

Holzner also said that now Ukraine ‘s national energy company Naftogaz has to separate its production business from the transmission activities, in line with European and Energy Community rules.

” Ukraine has to split the two,” she said.

The country’s Minister of Fuel and Energy, Yuriy Boyko, signed earlier Friday an agreement to enter the Energy Community.

energia.gr: Poland Says Closer To Russian Gas Deal, Final Talks In Oct

Poland and Russia have moved “significantly closer” to reaching a revised long-term agreement for natural gas deliveries to Poland, with final talks expected in early October, Poland’s Economy Ministry said in a statement Friday.

The initial conclusions of the latest round of talks held in Moscow Thursday and Friday have been accepted by the European Commission, the statement said.

The negotiations began in early 2009 when a gas trader, 50%-owned by Russia’s OAO Gazprom (GAZP.RS), lost access to its sources of gas amid a Russian-Ukrainian dispute and stopped delivering gas to Poland, causing a shortfall of 2.3 billion cubic meters a year.

Russia and Poland reached a preliminary deal in winter 2009-2010, agreeing to increase volumes and extend the agreement until 2037, but the deal hasn’t been finalized. The European Commission in the meantime raised concerns the new agreement could violate the EU’s laws, including on third-party access to pipeline infrastructure.

Polish gas firm PGNiG SA (PGN.WA) warned Monday it would soon use up the volumes of Russian gas available under the current contract and could be forced to cut natural gas deliveries to industrial clients in the fourth quarter without a new deal with higher volumes.

centralasianewswire.com: Kazakhmys to expand Kazakhstan’s largest power plant

Kazakh mining giant Kazakhmys will pour $400 million into the expansion of the country’s largest power plant to meet a spike in demand for electricity.

“Demand for power in Kazakhstan has been strong over the past 12 months, creating good cash flows within [power plant] Ekibastuz GRES-1 and enabling the capital expenditure programme to be significantly accelerated ahead of the original schedule,” the Reuters news agency on Friday quoted Kazakhmys Chief Executive Oleg Novachuk as saying.

According to an investment program decided upon in 2008, Kazakhmys expected to invest in the plant’s expansion in 2011. However, sharp increases in electricity consumption have lead to the plan being implemented sooner.

The upgrade means that the power plant will increase its energy production capacity by 40 percent by 2014 to produce 3500 megawatts.

The mining company owns 50 percent of the Ekibastuz plant, having acquired the shares in 2008.

Kazakhmys will obtain the expansion funds from internally generated cash flows, the RTT Global Finance Newswire reported on Friday. The company benefitted from an 88 percent increase in tariffs since 2008.

The funds will be spent to refurbish turbines at the plant, as only five of the eight turbines at Ekibastuz are currently in operation. They produce 2500 megawatts.

Jamestown.org: Armenia, Iran Forge Ahead With New Energy Projects

Armenia and Iran are pressing ahead with the long-awaited implementation of fresh joint energy projects that will cement closer ties amid Tehran’s deepening standoff with the West. The two neighboring states are expected to start building, before the end of this year, two major hydro-electric plants on their border, a fuel pipeline and a third high-voltage transmission line connecting their power grids.

Armenian Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Armen Movsisian, announced on September 16 that work on the cascade of two plants, to be located on either bank of the Arax River marking the Armenian-Iranian border, will commence during his Iranian counterpart Majid Namju’s upcoming visit to Yerevan. Movsisian said each plant will cost more than $320 million and have a capacity of 130 megawatts, enough to increase Armenia’s current electricity output by more than 10 percent (Armenian Public Television, September 17).
Under a bilateral agreement formally approved by the Armenian government on September 13, these plants will be built by an Iranian company, Farad-Sepasad, during the next five years. In Movsisian’s view, Armenia will finance its share of the project with electricity to be generated by the Armenian plant and exported to Iran. It will need 15 years to recoup the Iranian investments, Movsisian said. A similar arrangement was reached on a $180 million pipeline designed to pump Iranian petrol and other oil products to Armenia at prices which Movsisian said will be well below international levels. The cash-strapped government in Yerevan is expected to receive a $90 million Iranian loan and repay it with proceeds from future Iranian fuel sales. Movsisian said in July that the pipeline’s construction will start this fall (www.armenialiberty.org, July 14).
Movsisian also announced in July that that the new Armenian-Iranian power transmission line will begin construction “within approximately one month.” The facility is essential for large-scale exports of Armenian electricity to Iran planned by the two governments. That electricity is due to be generated using Iranian natural gas which Armenia began importing, in modest amounts, in May 2009 through a newly built pipeline. The pipeline’s construction, completed in late 2008, marked an important milestone in the development of Armenian-Iranian relations, making Iran an alternative supplier of gas to the South Caucasus country still heavily dependent on Russian energy resources.
The three energy projects will only move those relations up a gear. Iran’s Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, stressed their importance in an interview on September 2 with the Panarmenian.net news service. Mottaki stated that the two nations should go even further and sign a free trade agreement. Mottaki also spoke of “serious progress” in bilateral ties and Armenia’s “special place” in Iranian foreign policy, underlying a common belief that it is always motivated by shared concerns. The Iranian assistance to the cash-strapped government in Yerevan in realizing the projects is a measure of the Islamic Republic’s strong interest towards its sole Christian neighbor locked in a bitter dispute with Shia Muslim Azerbaijan.
Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Armenian Foreign Minister, Edward Nalbandian, expressed their “satisfaction with the multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries” and “readiness to develop it further” when they met in Tehran on September 15 (statement by the Armenian foreign ministry). Nalbandian also met with Mottaki and Saeed Jalili, the secretary of the country’s Supreme National Security Council, during the one-day trip. The official Iranian IRNA news agency quoted Mottaki as saying after the talks that the two sides are “determined to enhance the level of our political, economic and cultural cooperation.”
With the Karabakh conflict unresolved and the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations still a long way off, the benefits of that cooperation for Yerevan are more than obvious. It secures an alternative source of vital gas supplies and a huge market for multiplying and exporting Armenia’s electricity surplus and, more importantly, eases the impact of the continuing Turkish and Azeri embargoes. “Iran is a country rich in energy resources,” Armenian President, Serzh Sargsyan, told the Ukrainian magazine Profil in an interview on September 17. “We do not have such resources and are cooperating in that area with pleasure.” Sargsyan again praised the “balanced” Iranian position on the Karabakh conflict, an Armenian euphemism for Tehran’s failure to lend unconditional and meaningful support to Azerbaijan (Profil, September 17).
Close ties with Iran have taken on another security dimension for Armenia in the past two years. Ever since the Russia-Georgia war in August 2008, the Islamic Republic has been the only more or less reliable supply line for Russian troops stationed in Armenia. A recent Russian-Armenian defense agreement extended their presence by 24 years, until 2044, and gave them a larger role in the landlocked country’s security. Iranian territory and airspace also seems the most realistic transit route for Russian weapons supplies to Armenia envisaged by the agreement.
In implementing the multimillion-dollar energy deals with Tehran, Yerevan is clearly undaunted by new, harsher, sanctions which the UN Security Council imposed on Iran in June over its controversial nuclear program. Armenian leaders have always avoided any criticism of Iranian nuclear ambitions, contenting themselves with general calls for a negotiated solution to the standoff. Visiting Germany this summer, Sargsyan suggested that the West will fail to lay its concerns to rest unless it addresses “Iran’s sense of being in danger.” “I am convinced that it is wrong and not possible to ignore Iran in regional solutions,” Sargsyan said (Hayastani Hanrapetutyun, June 23).

Armenian Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Armen Movsisian, announced on September 16 that work on the cascade of two plants, to be located on either bank of the Arax River marking the Armenian-Iranian border, will commence during his Iranian counterpart Majid Namju’s upcoming visit to Yerevan. Movsisian said each plant will cost more than $320 million and have a capacity of 130 megawatts, enough to increase Armenia’s current electricity output by more than 10 percent (Armenian Public Television, September 17).
Under a bilateral agreement formally approved by the Armenian government on September 13, these plants will be built by an Iranian company, Farad-Sepasad, during the next five years. In Movsisian’s view, Armenia will finance its share of the project with electricity to be generated by the Armenian plant and exported to Iran. It will need 15 years to recoup the Iranian investments, Movsisian said. A similar arrangement was reached on a $180 million pipeline designed to pump Iranian petrol and other oil products to Armenia at prices which Movsisian said will be well below international levels. The cash-strapped government in Yerevan is expected to receive a $90 million Iranian loan and repay it with proceeds from future Iranian fuel sales. Movsisian said in July that the pipeline’s construction will start this fall (www.armenialiberty.org, July 14).
Movsisian also announced in July that that the new Armenian-Iranian power transmission line will begin construction “within approximately one month.” The facility is essential for large-scale exports of Armenian electricity to Iran planned by the two governments. That electricity is due to be generated using Iranian natural gas which Armenia began importing, in modest amounts, in May 2009 through a newly built pipeline. The pipeline’s construction, completed in late 2008, marked an important milestone in the development of Armenian-Iranian relations, making Iran an alternative supplier of gas to the South Caucasus country still heavily dependent on Russian energy resources.
The three energy projects will only move those relations up a gear. Iran’s Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, stressed their importance in an interview on September 2 with the Panarmenian.net news service. Mottaki stated that the two nations should go even further and sign a free trade agreement. Mottaki also spoke of “serious progress” in bilateral ties and Armenia’s “special place” in Iranian foreign policy, underlying a common belief that it is always motivated by shared concerns. The Iranian assistance to the cash-strapped government in Yerevan in realizing the projects is a measure of the Islamic Republic’s strong interest towards its sole Christian neighbor locked in a bitter dispute with Shia Muslim Azerbaijan.
Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Armenian Foreign Minister, Edward Nalbandian, expressed their “satisfaction with the multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries” and “readiness to develop it further” when they met in Tehran on September 15 (statement by the Armenian foreign ministry). Nalbandian also met with Mottaki and Saeed Jalili, the secretary of the country’s Supreme National Security Council, during the one-day trip. The official Iranian IRNA news agency quoted Mottaki as saying after the talks that the two sides are “determined to enhance the level of our political, economic and cultural cooperation.”
With the Karabakh conflict unresolved and the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations still a long way off, the benefits of that cooperation for Yerevan are more than obvious. It secures an alternative source of vital gas supplies and a huge market for multiplying and exporting Armenia’s electricity surplus and, more importantly, eases the impact of the continuing Turkish and Azeri embargoes. “Iran is a country rich in energy resources,” Armenian President, Serzh Sargsyan, told the Ukrainian magazine Profil in an interview on September 17. “We do not have such resources and are cooperating in that area with pleasure.” Sargsyan again praised the “balanced” Iranian position on the Karabakh conflict, an Armenian euphemism for Tehran’s failure to lend unconditional and meaningful support to Azerbaijan (Profil, September 17).
Close ties with Iran have taken on another security dimension for Armenia in the past two years. Ever since the Russia-Georgia war in August 2008, the Islamic Republic has been the only more or less reliable supply line for Russian troops stationed in Armenia. A recent Russian-Armenian defense agreement extended their presence by 24 years, until 2044, and gave them a larger role in the landlocked country’s security. Iranian territory and airspace also seems the most realistic transit route for Russian weapons supplies to Armenia envisaged by the agreement.
In implementing the multimillion-dollar energy deals with Tehran, Yerevan is clearly undaunted by new, harsher, sanctions which the UN Security Council imposed on Iran in June over its controversial nuclear program. Armenian leaders have always avoided any criticism of Iranian nuclear ambitions, contenting themselves with general calls for a negotiated solution to the standoff. Visiting Germany this summer, Sargsyan suggested that the West will fail to lay its concerns to rest unless it addresses “Iran’s sense of being in danger.” “I am convinced that it is wrong and not possible to ignore Iran in regional solutions,” Sargsyan said (Hayastani Hanrapetutyun, June 23).

Jamestown.org: Russia Plans Increased Energy Exports

Senior Russian officials have made clear that the country’s energy policies will continue to evolve around the nexus of ambitious export plans. The government pledged to make the country’s gas exports more flexible. Russia’s total gas exports will include 10 percent of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by 2020 and 15 percent by 2030, Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, announced on September 17. The global demand for hydrocarbons will be increasing in the next decade according to Putin. (Interfax, ITAR-TASS, RIA Novosti, September 17). On September 20, Putin toured the construction of the Nord Stream subsea pipeline in the Baltic Sea. The 1,200-kilometer pipeline is due to supply up to 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Russian gas to Germany and other West European nations by 2011 (Interfax, RIA Novosti, September 20).

Meanwhile, Moscow has resumed its efforts to supply gas to China. Russia and China are due to reach a final agreement on natural gas supplies next year, Deputy Prime Minister, Igor Sechin, announced. The agreement on gas prices is expected in the first half of 2011 and supplies could start in 2015, Sechin explained (Interfax, ITAR-TASS, RIA Novosti, September 21). Sechin made the announcement during the bilateral energy forum in Tianjin on September 21.

Furthermore, the Russian state-run gas giant Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) are due to agree on gas supply volumes later this month, Gazprom’s Deputy CEO, Alexander Medvedev, told the Tianjin forum. He voiced expectations to agree on “take-or-pay” terms and pledged to supply 30 bcm to China in 2015 (Interfax, September 21).

Gazprom’s project to build the Altai gas pipeline to China has been stalled for years as a bilateral agreement on gas prices has remained elusive. Four years ago, Moscow promised to export up to 40 bcm of Russian gas to China via a 6,700-kilometer Altai pipeline. In March 2006, Gazprom and CNPC signed a memorandum on the delivery of Russian natural gas to China by 2011. Gazprom first offered to supply gas at European prices, while CNPC insisted on lower prices.

In October 2009, Gazprom and CNPC signed a framework agreement on gas supplies, including the construction of a gas pipeline. Gazprom and CNPC agreed that gas prices would be connected with the “Asian oil basket.” Russian officials had previously expected a final agreement on gas prices in June 2009, and gas supplies to start in 2014-2015. In July 2010, Gazprom and CNPC held talks on financing the Altai pipeline, but the negotiations failed to reach any agreement. Gazprom initially estimated the pipeline’s construction cost at $10 billion, but then raised this estimate up to $14 billion.

Gazprom has insisted that the country would have no trouble supplying gas to China and other Asia Pacific nations as its East Siberian gas reserves exceed 65 trillion cubic meters (tcm). Russia’s Far Eastern and East Siberian regions are expected to produce up to 150 bcm per year of gas by 2020, according to the Russian governmental estimates. Gazprom has also sought new partnerships in Asia. In May 2010, officials announced that Gazprom had started negotiations with South Korean companies to discuss joint projects to develop West Kamchatka offshore gas deposits. Earlier this month, Gazprom pledged to sign a “roadmap” with South Korea’s KOGAS on gas supplies later this month, Gazprom’s CEO, Alexey Miller, announced (Interfax, September 9). From 2009 to 2010, Russia already supplied 2.6 million tons of LNG to South Korea from the Sakhalin-2 project.

In July 2009, Gazprom was granted licenses to develop the West Kamchatka and Sakhalin-3 offshore gas deposits. Gazprom pledged to cooperate with the state-run oil giant Rosneft to develop the West Kamchatka gas deposits estimated to contain up to 2 tcm of gas reserves. Meanwhile, Rosneft has pledged to raise its crude output. Last month, Rosneft indicated plans to increase crude oil production from 119 million tons in 2011 up to 133 million tons in 2015 (Interfax, RIA Novosti, August 14). In 2009, Rosneft produced 112.6 million tons of crude.

On September 18, Rosneft said it would expand into retail markets of oil products in Central Asia, including Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The company also pledged to increase jet fuel supplies to the region, including to Manas air base in Kyrgyzstan (Interfax, September 18).

Earlier in September, Rosneft’s new CEO, Eduard Khudainatov, urged the government to extend Vankor tax exemptions till 2015. Rosneft plans to produce up to 17 million tons of crude per annum at the Vankor deposit in the Krasnoyarsk region. However, on September 21 Finance Minister, Alexey Kudrin, said he saw no reason to extend tax exemptions granted to Rosneft’s Vankor deposit in Eastern Siberia beyond January 2011 (Interfax, RIA Novosti, September 21).

Rosneft apparently needs increases in crude production in Russia’s Far Eastern and Siberian regions in order to honor its commitments under contracts with China. In April 2009, the Chinese and Russian governments finalized a deal under which Russia will supply China with 300 million tons of crude for 20 years in exchange for a $25 billion loan to Russian state-run companies Rosneft and Transneft. Subsequently, Transneft moved to build a branch from the East Siberia Pacific Pipeline (ESPO) to China. The branch’s construction began in April and was completed on August 29, 2010.

On September 21, CNPC and Rosneft formally started construction of the Tianjin refinery to be built as a joint venture. Deputy Prime Minister Sechin argued that the refinery would cost $5 billion (Interfax, ITAR-TASS, RIA Novosti, September 21). Therefore, the Kremlin has been encouraging the country’s oil producers not only to increase output and exports, but also to develop refining facilities beyond Russia’s borders.

These latest developments indicate that Moscow’s long-term energy strategy appears to be based upon an expectation of increased global demand for hydrocarbons and higher energy prices. However, this strategic thinking will inevitably face a reality check in the years ahead.

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