revista presei pe energie 30 noiembrie – part IV

2010/11/30

Novinite: Rosatom Claims Ready to Provide Fuel for Bulgaria’s Belene NPP

Russian state nuclear energy company Rosatom has announced it was ready to provide nuclear fuel for Bulgaria’s Belene nuclear power plant for the whole period of its exploitation, which is 60 years.

The Rosatom CEO, Sergey Kiriyenko, participated in the conference “Energy without frontiers,” organized in Sofia on Tuesday.

He said that Russia could not only provide uranium to Bulgaria, but also purchase it again for recycling.

“I know that Bulgaria is a small country with limited territory. Since this is a very dangerous procedure, we are ready to process the fuel,” Kiriyenko said.

He did not comment on the possibility for the EU to limit fuel exports to third parties, as the European Commission is planning at the moment as part of the EU energy strategy.

Kiriyenko presented the Belene NPP project as very safe, thanks to the latest model reactors. He said that the price for the project is EUR 6 B.

Prior to his statement, Bulgaria’s PM Boyko Borisov urged him to admit that the EUR 4 B contract, signed by the previous Bulgarian Three-way Coalition cabinet, was misleading about the real price of the project.

The Rosatom CEO did not comment on Borisov’s words. He pointed out that if Bulgaria wants to be an energy leader on the Balkans, it has to complete the Belene plant.

“No neighboring country could manage to finish its nuclear power plants before 2019. Bulgaria has the opportunity to do it by 2016-2017,” Kiriyenko said.

He guaranteed that Bulgarian companies, mostly in the engineering industry, could receive orders for EUR 2,5 B and that 8000 job position could be open in the construction sphere.

energia.gr: Russia Firm on 6.4 Bln Euro Price for Bulgaria’s Belene N-Plant, To Seek up to 40% Stake

Russia will negotiate for a stake of 30 to 40 percent in Bulgaria’s Belene nuclear power plant and a fixed price of 6.4 billion euro ($8.6billion) for the entire project, Bulgarian media reported on Friday.

“We have thought a lot andwe agreed at the end but we are not ready to build the Belene nuclear power plant at all costs. We are ready to build it with less profit for us but not at a loss,” business daily Dnevnik quoted the head of Russia’s nuclear monopoly Rosatom, Segei Kiriyenko, as telling Bulgarian journalists in Moscow.

eurasia.net: Caspian Summit Fails To Clarify Status, Resource Issues

The leaders of the five Caspian littoral states have once again failed in a bid to determine the sea’s legal status, which in turn will help determine how to divvy up its wealth of oil and gas resources.

The November 18 summit in Baku, like two others in the past eight years, appeared to offer more evidence of differences than unity among the presidents of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Russia, and Turkmenistan.

Only one important agreement was signed, and even that deal seems to serve some Caspian partners more than others.

Officials left Azerbaijan’s capital with an agreement to continue discussing the legal status of the Caspian Sea, an identical objective to that expressed in an inaugural summit in Turkmenistan in 2002. Since then, a final agreement on demarcation has become less important.

“In theory, the lack of resolution should have had a dampening effect on exploration and development. But in practice it has not,” Jennifer DeLay, editor of “FSU Oil and Gas Monitor,” a weekly publication from Scotland-based Newsbase group, told RFE/RL. “The littoral states, all five of them, have come individually to the same conclusion that they have very little to lose if they treat the sea as if it were already divided up in some fashion. So they have all been active in the Caspian to some degree. All five of them have done at least some exploration work even if they haven’t moved on to development and even Iran, which is the slowest to start work in the Caspian began drilling its first exploration well in the southern Caspian earlier this year.”

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad brought the subject of the legal status up at the summit but essentially conceded the matter would not be resolved in Baku, proposing that a resolution on the Caspian’s legal be concluded sometime in 2011.

If the Caspian is legally declared a sea, littoral countries will be obliged divide it into national sectors and each can claim the oil and gas in its respective sector as its own. If the Caspian is declared a lake, such resources and the resulting revenues must be divided equally among the five countries.

The status issue is particularly important for Iran. Divided into national sectors as a sea, Iran would only be able to lay claim to a 13-percent swath of the Caspian that estimates to date suggest has the least amount of hydrocarbons in it.

But Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbaev and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliev are reluctant to see the Caspian declared a lake, which would force them to share the immense revenues their countries are earning with their southern Caspian neighbor.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov reportedly surprised the forum with an expression of confidence that a pipeline could be built to carry Caspian oil and gas resources on the basis of agreements among those countries traversed by such projects.

Azerbaijan observer Ilham Shaban called that suggestion an “interesting moment” that directly contradicted an understanding from the last such summit, in Tehran in 2007.

At the time, Shaban said, the five verbally agreed that there should be common consent for any major pipeline projects along the Caspian bed.

Turkmenistan has long been hoping to build a Trans-Caspian pipeline to bring its gas into the pipeline system in Azerbaijan. From there the gas would head further west to Europe and — if the European Union had its way — eventually travel via the Nabucco gas pipeline project which, according to current plans, would avoid transiting either Russia or Iran.

Shaban claimed there were signs that Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, two countries that have often argued over hydrocarbon fields to which both lay claim, are in agreement on building this pipeline.

“There was a moment when Ilham Aliev welcomed the leaders to the summit,” Shaban said. “I noticed that of the four heads of state who came to Baku, Ilham Aliev hugged and gave a friendly kiss only to the president of Turkmenistan.”

Back in the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, Deputy Prime Minister Baymurad Khojamukhamedov announced that Turkmenistan was prepared to make some 40 billion cubic meters of gas available to Nabucco, the strongest commitment Turkmenistan has made so far toward joining the project as a supplier.

As was expected, the five leaders signed an agreement on Caspian security that could mean a greater naval presence and that would favor the two countries that already have the largest naval forces of the littoral states: Russia and Iran. Those two are also the countries most stridently opposed to the Nabucco pipeline.

Despite the usual warms words and promises such summits generally produce, DeLay suggested that in the end the money that is at stake will preclude the possibility of a deal.

“I honestly wonder how much of an incentive there is for an agreement given that everyone is going quietly ahead with things anyway,” DeLay said.

centralasianewswire.com: Russia may end export duties on oil for Kyrgyzstan

The Russian Energy Minister Sergey Shmatko announced this week Russia may end export duties on oil bound for Kyrgyzstan.

“It would be economically reasonable to go back to the abolition of duties on export of petroleum products to Kyrgyzstan, Shmatko said during the 9th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Premiers’ Meeting on Thursday in Dushanbe, according to 24.kg.

“As part of the abolition of duties, we are discussing the possibility of the creation of a joint venture.”

The proposed venture would likely be in the field of oil depots and gas stations, and Russia would expect to hold the controlling stake, he said.

The negotiations are part of a desire on both sides to normalize relations between the two countries.

“Russia and Kyrgyzstan should bring their relations to a normal, business course and bring their day-to-day activities to a normal regime, the Russian news agency Itar-Tass quoted Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as saying on Thursday.

“In times of hardships of Kyrgyzstan, Russia did everything possible to support Kyrgyzstan and its people. We rendered all the necessary, prompt assistance and gave humanitarian support to Kyrgyzstan.”

Kyrgyz interim President Roza Otunbayeva thanked Russia this week for its assistance over the last year.

“We heard Russia’s voice during those ‘hot’ days and received Russia’s support, which was vitally important,” she said.

centralasianewswire.com: Spanish, Qatari companies to help develop Uzbek gas

Companies in Spain and Qatar have both agreed to help Uzbekistan maximize its gas extracts.

Companies from both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Wednesday to provide technology for Uzbekistan to access gas from deep or complex gas deposits, the RIA Novosti news agency quoted a source from the Uzbek president’s press service as saying on Saturday.

“Qatar and Spain also expressed their intentions of including mobile technologies in deep-well gas projects and financial investments,” RIA Novosti reported the source as saying.

Several companies – including Qatar’s Black Cat Construction & Engineering (BCEC) and Spain’s INTECA – signed the referendum on Wednesday, during Uzbek President Islam Karimov’s state visit to Qatar.

Uzbek organizations including Uzkhimprom, which specializes in the chemical industry, the Uzbek Foundation of Reconstruction and Development and Uzbek energy company Uzbekneftegaz also signed the memorandum.

Uzbekistan is the third largest natural gas producer in the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Spain and Qatar also vowed to participate in the production of clean energy resources in the country.

In addition to gas, Uzbekistan has been aggressively recruiting foreign trade partners in the past month for its food, textile and oil industries.

centralasianewswire.com: Turkmenistan, Iran inaugurate pipeline

The presidents of Turkmenistan and Iran on Sunday inaugurated the final phase of a pipeline that will boost the volume of Central Asian natural gas to the Islamic republic.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were shown on Iran’s state TV jointly turning a spigot of the new pipeline in a ceremony near the northeastern Iranian town of Sarakhs, near the Turkmen border, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency reported Sunday.

The second half of the $1.2 billion cross-border pipeline now completes a 620-mile pipeline that will eventually carry 12 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Turkmenistan’s Dovletabad gas field to a refinery in Khangiran, near Sarakhs, and on to Tehran.

Turkmenistan has been providing Iran with eight billion cubic meters of gas a year since 1997 through another pipeline from its western Korpedje gas field to the north Iranian town of Kord-Kuy.

The new pipeline is critically needed to supply Iran’s domestic needs.

Although Iran sits on the second largest gas reserves in the world, its own production barely meets domestic needs. The new route will allow Tehran to supply populated areas in the north that are far from Iran’s gas fields and which suffer shortages in winter.

The pipeline is also an important part of the Turkmen government’s energy export strategy.

The gas-rich but landlocked Central Asian republic is eager to diversify its exports by constructing routes eastward and westward to supply growing demand in South Asia, the Far East and Europe.

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