revista presei pe energie 5 ianuarie – part II

2011/01/05

ITAR TASS: Direct supply could lower gas price for Germany — Gazprom chief

Direct supplies can lower the gas price for consumers in Germany, the Russian Gazprom gas company’s head Alexei Miller said in an interview to the German weekly Spiegel.

“If we could supply gas directly to consumers, Germans would pay less,” he said.

According to Miller, Gazprom’s share in the final gas price for Germany never was higher than 50 percent.

The Spiegel noted the German energy concern negotiated with Gazprom for months to lower the purchase gas price.

“We love and respect our clients,” Miller said. “However, for them the question is not one of the price for final consumers, but own profit. Naturally, nobody wishes decreasing own margin,” Miller noted.

The Gazprom head favoured linking of the gas price with the price for oil. According to his long-term forecast, the “blue fuel” cost will rise. In the future gas will be used wider, also as synthetic liquid fuel, he said.

RIA Novosti: Gazprom expects high spot market gas prices in 2011

Russia’s Gazprom, the world’s biggest natural gas producer and exporter, expects spot market prices to rise next year, Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said on Thursday.

“If we speak about our contracts, the price is determined by a formula tied to oil product prices. If we speak about the spot market price, we believe that the excessive supply which we have seen recently is fading away. We believe that next year the spot market price will be quite high even in summer,” Kupriyanov told RT international TV news channel.

“We do not expect a lower demand next year, on the contrary, we believe that it will rise.”

Earlier this week Kupriyanov said that Gazprom’s European consumers, which have pegged their contracts to spot market prices now have to pay more for natural gas supplies than consumers with long-term contracts the company prefers.

Gazprom’s export chief Alexander Medvedev has said that the energy giant planned to increase gas exports to Europe by 10 billion cubic meters to 150-155 bcm in 2011.

RIA Novosti: Belarus says in ‘no hurry’ to discuss Russian gas price

Belarus has dismissed fears over a possible new gas row with Russia, saying that it has another two months to settle the price for Russian gas supplies in 2011.

“[Belarus] is in no hurry to solve this issue. We have at least 1.5-2 months to deal with the matter,” Belarus’ First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko said on Thursday.

He said Minsk will make the first payment for the January gas deliveries in late February, as scheduled.

“We are prepared to become the first out of three states [of the Customs Union] to switch to equal prices by January 1. The corresponding requests for Russia have been made at various levels,” he said.

Gazprom official spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said on Wednesday Russia and Belarus have yet to reach an agreement on reducing the gas price for Minsk in 2011.

He said changes could be brought only into the Russian-Belarusian contracts for 2012-2013. The changes are expected as Belarus recently ratified all the documents to create a common economic space with Russia and Kazakhstan.

Under the 2007-2011 contract between Russian gas giant Gazprom and Belarusian Beltransgaz, Belarus paid less for Russian gas than European states in 2008-2010. However, Minsk will have to pay the same price as others in 2011.

The average cost of gas for Belarus totaled $187 per 1,000 cubic meters in 2010. Next year the gas price for the ex-Soviet state will rise to $230 per 1,000 cubic meters.

Last week, Belarus’ Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov said Minsk and Moscow were in “difficult” talks on 2011 gas prices, adding that Gazprom had said its local and foreign sales would bring it equal profits by 2015.

Russian Ambassador to Belarus Alexander Surikov said last week Russia and Belarus were in talks on a possible decrease of gas prices if prices for oil grow significantly.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said earlier on Thursday that he hoped Russia will not be embroiled in any energy disputes with the CIS countries next year.

In this year’s gas conflict with Minsk, Russia slashed supplies to Belarus after failing to reach agreement over payments in June, but later resumed them as Minsk paid off its $200 million debt to Gazprom.

ITAR TASS: Lebanon looking at laying gas pipeline along Mediterranean coast

Lebanon is looking at laying a gas pipeline along its Mediterranean coast. As many as 19 foreign companies, including Russia’s Stroitransgaz have qualified for a would-be tender, Lebanese Minister of Energy and Water Gibran Bassil said.

The 174-kilometre gas mains will run from a heat power plant in Deir Ammar in northern Lebanon to the port city of Tyre. The project cost will total 360 million U.S. dollars. According to Bassil, the would-be pipeline will help cope with the fuel deficit, which is currently being covered by annual purchases of fuel oil to the overall sum of 1.5 billion U.S. dollars.

In 2012, gas will be pumped to Lebanon through the Arabian pipeline running from Egypt’s El Arish via Jordan and Syria. The minister also made public ambitious plans worth some five billion U.S. dollars to overhaul the country’s energy sector.

In 2011, Lebanon plans to hold a tender to develop prospective oil and gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea. The Lebanese government has urged the United Nations to demark the sea border with Israel, which has recently made a test drilling to a depth of 5,800 meters.

At a meeting with Stroitransgaz’ chairman of the board Sergei Makarov in December 2010, the Lebanese minister said his country was interested in cooperation with Russia in the construction of an oil and gas infrastructure, heat stations and other energy sector facilities.

Novinite: Gazprom Will Keep Controversial Intermediaries as Strategic

Russian gas giant Gazprom‘s export schemes are optimal and are not to be altered, is the conclusion of a recently completed largescale internal review.

Gazprom sells gas abroad through chains of intermediaries which are frequently almost 100% owned by it, or joint ventures with local firms. This has provoked the suspicion of parties from other countries that the conditions offered by Gazprom are unfavorable, and led many countries, including Bulgaria, to request the removal of intermediaries.

The situation is also reported to have provoked an internal feud between the financial and the export sector of the gas giant. All of that motivated the massive internal review of export schemes that has continued through 2010.

“The existing scheme for the export of natural gas is optimal, and any changes to i t would be dangerous. The exclusion of companies from existing delivery chains, as well as their change, might be used by European consumers as a ground for changing to their advantage the balance of interests of seller and buyer,” says the conclusion of the review, as reported by the Vedomosti paper and Interfax.

The sole problematic scheme discovered in the review involves Gazprom Bulgaria, which would have to be excluded from the chain. Gazprom Bulgaria has a contract to deliver 0.6 B cubic meters of gas yearly. In total Gazprom must deliver to Bulgaria 2,4 B cub.m. gas for 2011.

Novinite: Inter RAO Woos E.ON, RWE, Enel, Close to Bulgarian Deal

Russia‘s state power trader Inter RAO is in talks with E.ON AGRWE AG and EnelSpA on possible asset swaps or acquisitions in Europe as the company seeks to expand abroad, a company official said.

Inter RAO is close to a agreement to buy for cash the Maritsa power plant inBulgaria from Enel, Italy’s largest utility, and may announce the outcome at the end of January,” Ilnar Mirsiyapov, head of the company’s strategy and investment department and management board member, said at a briefing in Moscow, as cited by Bloomberg agency.

Inter RAO is also seeking to swap its blocking stake in OAO OGK-5 for European assets, he said.

Meanwhile an Enel spokesman said the utility is interested in selling its stake in exchange for cash and not for assets.

Should the Russian company acquire Enel‘s assets in Bulgaria, it will become of the biggest energy companies in the country, accounting for about 12% of its electricity output.

Experts say Inter RAO‘s planned Bulgarian purchases fit in well with the strategy of the Russian company, which already owns GRES, the largest power station of Moldova, which exports electricity to Romania and Bulgaria.

Inter RAO also plans to be part of the consortium, which will construct the 4.8 GW Akkuyu nuclear plant. Turkey’s first nuclear power plant is scheduled to be put into operations in 2011, with completion expected in 2018.

Enel Chief Executive Fulvio Conti said at the end of November that the company has “at least two” bidders for the Bulgarian coal power plant, known as Maritsa 3.

Russia‘s Inter RAO has been tipped as the most likely buyer of a majority stake inBulgaria‘s Maritsa East 3 coal-fired power plant, controlled by Italy’s Enel SpA.

In late July, Austria’s utility EVN, which already owns EVN Bulgaria, an electricity distribution company in south and southeast Bulgaria, confirmed it is holding talks for the acquisition of a majority stake in the Maritsa East 3 coal-fired power plant.

British utility International Power, US power producer AES Corp. and CEZ AS are also said to have shown interest in acquiring Enel majority stake in Maritsa East 3.

A year ago Enel increased the capacity of Maritsa East Three plant to 908 megawatts, up from 840 MW, and also put new desulphurisation installations on the plant’s four units.

Experts comment that the potential buyer is probably eying a 100% stake in the plant, in which the state owns a 27% stake. The rumors were fanned by a statement of Energy and Economy Minister Traicho Traikov, who recently announced that the state can land EUR 200 M from the sale of its stake in the plant.

The plant is located in the Maritsa East lignite coal mining complex in southernBulgaria, which generates 30% of the country’s electricity. Enel also owns seven wind parks of 3 megawatts near the Black Sea coast.

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