revista presei pe energie 6 aprilie – part II


RIA Novosti: Gazprom, E.ON Ruhrgas expect higher demand for Russian gas in Europe

Russia’s gas export monopoly Gazprom and Germany’s E.ON Ruhrgas, one of Europe’s biggest customers for gas from Russia, expect European demand for Russian gas supplies to grow, Gazprom said on Tuesday.

Gazprom head Alexei Miller and E.ON AG board chairman Johannes Teyssen held a working meeting in Moscow on Tuesday to discuss bilateral energy cooperation, Russian gas supplies to Germany and the prospects of the development of the European gas market.

“The participants in the meeting agreed that the demand for Russian gas supplies to Europe will only increase in the future,” Gazprom said in a statement.

E.ON Ruhrgas AG is Gazprom’s partner on the construction of Nord Stream, a pipeline designed to pump gas from Siberia to Europe under the Baltic Sea, bypassing East European transit countries. The companies plan to launch the first branch of the pipeline in October. Greece seals Azeri gas deal

Azerbaijan and Greece signed a deal today on direct gas supplies, bypassing Turkish intermediaries.

Azerbaijan – a potential key gas supplier of the European-backed Nabucco pipeline project – has made it a policy to diversify gas sales, to avoid dependence on any one intermediary such as Turkey or Russia.

The volume was not specified, but Azerbaijan said in February it planned to sell 0.7 billion cubic metres directly to Greece, which had been buying the same volume from Turkey since the end of 2008 as part of a re-export scheme.

“Azerbaijan is interested in boosting gas supplies to Greece and wants to use its transit possibilities in the future,” Reuters quoted Azeri President Ilham Aliyev as saying after talks with his Greek counterpart Karlos Papoulias in the Azeri capital, Baku.

The document was signed by Azeri state energy company Socar and the Greek company Depa.

“This document … will be a serious incentive for Azerbaijan’s co-operation with other European countries, as Azerbaijan will be doing its best to ensure the energy security of Europe,” Aliyev said.

It remains unclear when Azerbaijan will start direct supplies. Details of the memorandum were not disclosed.

Azerbaijan’s gas output rose by 11.2% in 2010 year-on-year to 26.2 Bcm from 23.6 Bcm in 2009.

It plans to produce 28 Bcm of gas this year, including 9.1 Bcm at its major Shah Deniz field.

Shah Deniz, co-led by BP and Statoil , is estimated to contain 1.2 trillion cubic metres of gas.

Production at the deposit began in 2006, while second phase production is expected to begin by late 2016 or early 2017.

Azerbaijan’s total gas reserves are estimated at 3 Tcm to 5 Tcm.

It sells gas to the domestic market, neighbouring Georgia and Turkey via the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline, as well as Russia. Gazprom and Wintershall sign Memorandum of Understanding on South Stream project

Today in Novo-Ogaryovo Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee and Jurgen Hambrecht, Chairman of the BASF SE Board of Executive Directors signed in the presence of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin a Memorandum of Understanding on the South Stream project, providing for participation of Wintershall Holding GmbH in constructing the gas pipeline offshore section.

The document outlines the basic terms, conditions and principles for the German company to join the offshore section of the project. For instance, the Memorandum identifies that Wintershall Holding GmbH will acquire a 15 per cent stake in South Stream AG, while Gazprom will retain 50 per cent.

The Memorandum also stipulates conclusion of new long-term contracts for natural gas supply to the joint venture company Wintershall Erdgas Handelshaus Zug AG (WIEE).

“Our Company and Wintershall have a long history of partnership that overcame such challenges as joint pre-development of the Achimov deposits in the Urengoy field and the Nord Stream gas pipeline construction. The interest of European energy majors in the partnership within the South Stream project proves significance and relevance of the project for Europe,” said Alexey Miller.

“With Gazprom and other European partners we have already shown how we can increase European supply security with natural gas through the Nord Stream Baltic Sea Pipeline. Together we are now strengthening the supply security in the south eastern EU member states, where Gazprom and Wintershall have been successfully involved in gas trading for many years. As economic growth in the region increases, so does the demand for gas. In the future, we can directly and reliably supply these customers via the South Stream pipeline,” said Dr. Jürgen Hambrecht.

The South Stream project is implemented with a view to diversify the routes of natural gas supply to European consumers and envisages construction of a gas pipeline running under the Black Sea to the countries of Southern and Central Europe.

A provision is made to gradually build up the South Stream throughput. The overall design capacity of the offshore section will reach 63 billion cubic meters per year. The first gas pipeline string is scheduled for commissioning in late 2015.

In January 2008 the South Stream AG joint project company (JPC) was registered in Switzerland. The company was established by Gazprom and Eni on a parity basis.

On November 27, 2009 Gazprom and EDF inked the Memorandum of Understanding on EDF’s possible participation in constructing the South Stream gas pipeline offshore section.

On June 19, 2010 Gazprom, Eni and EDF signed the trilateral Memorandum providing for specific steps towards the French company’s entry in the shareholding structure of South Stream AG. The Memorandum contemplates that the entry will be implemented through Eni’s stake reduction in the JPC.

BASF SE is the world’s leading petrochemical company. Its operational activities are focused on the following segments: chemicals, plastics, crop protection products as well as hydrocarbons extraction and transportation.

Being a wholly owned subsidiary of BASF, Wintershall Holding AG operates in the power generation industry. BASF SE and Wintershall Holding GmbH partner Gazprom in developing the Yuzhno-Russkoye oil and gas field, pilot production from block 1A of the Achimov deposits in the Urengoy field as well as constructing the Nord Stream gas pipeline.

Wintershall Erdgas Handelshaus Zug AG (WIEE) is a joint venture of Wintershall and Gazprom. It was set up in 1993 to supply Russian natural gas to Southeastern Europe and to analyze investment opportunities in the national markets of these countries. Since then, WIEE delivered over 48 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Romania and over 8 billion cubic meters to Bulgaria.

Information Directorate, OAO Gazprom

Centre for Eastern Studies: Dividing up Moldovagaz and Moldova’s gas debts

On 24 March, the deputy prime minister of Moldova Valeriu Lazar revealed that Moldova and Russia had reached an agreement to formally separate that part of the Moldovagaz company which is situated on the territory of the breakaway region of Transnistria. At the same time, the Transnistrian government would take over Moldovagaz’s debt to Gazprom, which stands at US$2.5 billion. This operation would legalise the existing de facto division of the gas infrastructure between Chisinau and Tiraspol, while at the same time releasing Chisinau from its legal liability for its debts for the gas consumed by Transnistria. Moldova’s accession to this agreement is a sign of Chisinau’s increasingly pragmatic policy towards the Transnistria issue.

Moldovagaz is Moldova’s national gas operator, and since 1999 50% of it has belonged to Gazprom. 35.33% of its shares belong to the Moldovan state, and 13.44% to Transnistria. Chisinau had hitherto refused to allow the company to be divided, seeing its existence as an element which unified the country. Moldovagaz therefore signed one contract with Gazprom to supply gas both to Moldova and Transnistria. However, the latter did not pay for the gas consumed on its territory, and this year the sum of the accumulated debt reached around US$2.5 billion – a debt which formally belongs to the whole of Moldovagaz.
Dividing up Moldovagaz’s assets and debts between Moldova and Transnistria, on one hand, will strengthen the formal position of the breakaway regime in Tiraspol; however, on the other, it will reduce Russia’s ability to put pressure on Chisinau. Because the allocation of assets will be a long and complex process, one may expect the Russian and Transnistrian sides to seek ways to shift part of Transnistria’s debt burden onto Moldova (for example, by arguing that the debt must be divided up in proportion to the value of the assets)

Centre for Eastern Studies: Ukraine: Will Firtash’s company return to the national gas market?

The National Commission for Energy Regulation has granted the Ukrhaz-Energo company (a joint venture between NAK Naftohaz and RosUkrEnergo) a five-year licence to sell up to 4.8 billion m³ of gas per year on the internal market. This is the company’s first step back onto the market of gas sales to industrial customers in Ukraine, although it is not known where Ukrhaz-Energo will buy its gas from, or who its clients will be. The gas will most likely be supplied to chemical plants belonging to the businessman Dmytro Firtash. If the company does resume its activities, this will mean losses numbering in the millions for the state-owned gas monopoly Naftohaz. Meanwhile, an improvement of Naftohaz’s situation is one of the conditions for Ukraine’s cooperation with the International Monetary Fund.

Ukrhaz-Energo is a joint venture between Naftohaz and RosUkrEnergo (the latter is half-owned by Firtash and half by Russia’s Gazprom). It came onto the market in 2006, providing gas to industrial customers. In 2008 the company was taken off the market as a result of an agreement between then-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and Russia, although it was not liquidated. Receiving a license now does not mean that Ukrhaz-Energo will resume trading in gas, as there are objections from Ukrtranshaz (a daughter company of Naftohaz, which operates the gas pipeline network), without whose agreement it will be impossible to make the deliveries. The company may use the gas which RosUkrEnergo has obtained from Naftohaz, and can buy gas from Gazprom. The most likely customer will be the companies in the chemical industry which belong to Firtash, since it would improve their profitability to purchase cheaper gas from Ukrhaz-Energo. The state-owned Naftohaz would turn out to be the injured party, as it currently holds a monopoly on gas supply. According to its own calculations, Naftohaz would lose US$980 million a year if Ukrhaz-Energo sold all the gas for which it had obtained a licence. Turkmenistan unveils new oil and gas research center

Turkmenistan on Monday unveiled a new oil and gas research center in the Capital Ashgabat.

The center includes a three-storey laboratory to be used by the Turkmengas Oil and Gas Institute, the Oil and Gas Institute Professional Training Center, the state concern TurkmenGeology Exploration Institute as well as other energy-related organizations, the Trend news agency reported on Monday.

The laboratory will also be available for research by visiting oil and gas experts.

The center also features a 25-storey building that will house three libraries, office space for 600 workers and a conference hall which seats 400. Smaller conference and multimedia rooms are also part of the facility.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was on hand to cut the ribbon to the center constructed by French firm Bouygues.

The Turkmen president also unveiled on Monday other buildings built by Bouygues in the capital, including a new building for the Tajik Ministry of Foreign Affairs which boasts an observation deck and office space for the press.

The education ministry will move into a 17-storey building built to accommodate 350 workers. The building includes a conference hall which seats 285, and each of the offices are equipped with computer and office equipment.

New buildings were also unveiled for use by the construction ministry, the communications ministry and civil society groups. Uzbekistan hikes domestic gas, electricity prices

Natural gas and electricity got more expensive for Uzbek residents on Friday when new rate hikes went into effect.

Uzbekistan’s state-owned energy company increased electricity rates by 8.85 percent, the Uzbekistan Daily news web site reported. Prices per one kilowatt of electricity went up by the equivalent of 1 U.S. cent.

Natural gas rates went up by 18 percent, from 3 cents to 5 cents per 1 cubic meter. Natural gas is used primarily to heat water and to prepare food.

State authorities last raised electricity prices in October by 8.9 percent. In 2010, the overall price for electrical power went up 17.7 percent and natural gas rates rose 9 percent.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov in January also announced that the country would see a 20 percent rise in the price of natural gas used in automobiles.

According to July figures from the Uzbek Economy Ministry, the average Uzbek salary is $291.73 a month. Azeri oil price goes up

Azeri oil price went up in world market. According to SOCAR Marketing and Economic Operations Department, Azeri oil price increased by $ 1.80 to $ 124.45 a barrel in London Stock, on April 4. Azerbaijan, Greece sign several documents

Signing of documents has been held today at the end of talks in large as part of the official visit of Greek President Carlos Papoulias to Azerbaijan, the official website of the Azerbaijani President said.

The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) president, Rovnag Abdullayev, and the chairman and chief executive secretary of the Greek National Gas Company (DEPA), Harry Sachinis, have signed a memorandum of understanding between the two companies.

Azerbaijani Ecology and Natural Resources Minister Huseyn Bagirov and Greek Deputy Minister for the Environment, Energy and Climate Change Ioannis Maniatis signed an intergovernmental agreement on “Cooperation in environmental protection”.

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and Greek Minister of Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries Yiannis Diamantidis signed the agreement on “Maritime transport”.

Azerbaijani and Greek Foreign Ministers Elmar Mammadyarov and Dimitris Droutsas signed the “Program for cooperation in science, education and culture between the Azerbaijani and Greek governments for 2011-2013” SOCAR exports 5.59m tons of profit oil by BTC

The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan exported 5.592m tons of profit oil by the BTC pipeline in the first quarter of 2010, sources in SOCAR report.

Export stood at 1.673m in January, 1.917m in February, and 2.156m tons in March.

In 2010, SOCAR exported 27.272m tons of Azeri profit oil by the BTC pipeline, an increase by 2.699m on 2009.

The BTC pipeline extends to 1,768km with 443 km in Azerbaijan, 248 km in Georgia and 1076 km in Turkey. The shareholders of BTC Co pipeline company are BP (30.1%), SOCAR (25%), Chevron (8.9%), Statoil (8.71%), TPAO (6.53%), Itochu (3.4%), Amerada Hess  (2.36%), ENI (5%), ConocoPhilliрs (2.5%), Inрex (2.5%), Total (5%). SOCAR’s western route export hits 788,567 tons of oil

In January-March the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan exported 788,567 tons of profit Azeri oil by the Baku-Supsa pipeline, sources in SOCAR said.

Export by this route was 242,397 tons in January, 234,537 tons in February, 311,632 tons in March.

In 2010, SOCAR exported 2,839,000 tons of Azeri profit oil by the Baku-Supsa pipeline. By results of 2009, this route exported 2,792,000 tons of Azeri profit oil. Baku-Supsa pipeline is intended for transporting oil from Chirag field as part of the Production Sharing Agreement signed between SOCAR and a group of foreign companies, led by BP, on 20 September 1995. Its length is 830 km, with 775 km of the new pipeline with 21 inches in diameter (530 mm) and 55 km of rehabilitated pipeline.

The pipeline capacity is about 7m tons of oil a year (140,000 barrels daily). The pipeline is operated by BP. Since the start of its operation the pipeline has transported 45m tons of oil (334m barrels). Stepping up to meet the growing demand for energy

The past decade has seen dramatic changes in the domestic structure and international position of Kazakhstan’s oil industry. Timur Kulibayev, chairman of KazEnergy, the industry association that represents the sector on issues with the government, said: ‘‘There is increased awareness of the approaching energy crisis. And Kazakhstan has become a needed partner for many countries and international organizations.’’

As an example, Kulibayev cited a growing convergence of interests within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, whose members represent many of the world’s biggest oil exporters. He said that as many OPEC states have curtailed production, Kazakhstan has increased production and now accounts for 1.3 percent of the total volume of global production, with annual output rising from 40 million to 80 million tons.

‘‘The level of supply experienced growth even during the crisis, and since the beginning of the current year has risen by 7.8 percent,’’ said Kulibayev. ‘‘Kazakhstan will increase its oil extraction up to 1.5 million to 2 million barrels per day over the next quarter century.’’

He emphasized the common ground among Kazakhstan and other producing countries. ‘‘OPEC, the largest world oil club, controlling 40 percent of global production, and the major oil power of the Caspian region, which accounts for 70 percent of regional production, have similar objectives and priorities,’’ he said.

He emphasized that Prime Minister Karim Massimov has said that the sprawling, natural resource- rich Central Asian state places a priority on the security, reliability and sustainability of energy supplies, similar to the stated goals of OPEC members.

‘‘The common objective of OPEC as a traditional source of oil and Kazakhstan as a new hub of supplies is to ensure adequate oil prices to enable future investment in a highly capital-intensive and long-term industry,’’ he explained.

He said he did not believe financial speculators were responsible for the rise in oil prices. ‘‘It is wrong to think that an increase of oil prices is a result of market speculators’ activity. In my opinion, oil as a commodity is fundamentally and artificially underpriced in the market. If revenues of oil companies and producing countries are insufficient, it will lead to lower investment that would result in reduced production and the emergence of a fuel crisis that would be more dangerous for the world economy than the recent financial one.’’

Kazakhstan, he said, possesses ‘‘a giant production-capacity potential. The world’s proven oil reserves increased by 12 percent during the last 10 years, while here they increased from 2.9 billion to 4.7 billion tons, or by 62 percent. Ultimately, they may be as large as 22.5 billion tons.’’

Total investments in the Kazakh oil sector were almost $104 billion during the last 15 years. Expected capital expenditure for the giant Kashagan offshore oil field alone is likely to be more than $130 billion.

‘‘It is the largest, but only one of 15 projects off the Caspian Sea shelf of Kazakhstan,’’ noted Kulibayev, ‘‘and there are multibillion-dollar plans to expand the giant Tengiz and Karachaganak onshore fields. The implementation of these plans will allow Kazakhstan to export up to 100 million tons of oil annually in the next decade.’’

Traditionally, Europe consumes most of Kazakhstan’s oil, with sales to that region comprising more than 80 percent of the total volume of hydrocarbon exports, and Kazakhstan’s share in Europe’s energy balance increases constantly, according to Kulibayev.

‘‘We intend to increase exports to Europe from 70 million tons in 2010 to 140 million to 150 million tons in 2025, using expanded capacity of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium to the Black Sea through Russia and a new tanker-based Caspian Transportation System to carry oil to Baku in Azerbaijan, where it will enter the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline system to Turkey.’’

Kazakhstan also intends to open up new markets, especially neighboring China. A pipeline linking Kazakh oil fields to western China is already operating, and Kulibayev predicts Kazakhstan will triple its supplies of oil to China in the middle of the next decade. He noted that the trans-Asian naturalgas pipeline to China also crosses Kazakh territory: ‘‘Nowadays Kazakhstan ensures the transit of gas through it, but in the next decade we expect to export our own gas through that pipeline. The Chinese market is a strategic objective of Kazakhstan.’’

He said Kazakhstan has avoided the extreme actions some countries have taken against oil investors: ‘‘Mutual understanding by foreign investors and national forces is one of the preconditions for the stable development of the global oil sector. Kazakhstan has avoided a confrontation between foreign and national participants, with the KazEnergy Association playing a crucial role as an interlocutor.

‘‘The association is a Kazakhstan model of international cooperation of states and businesses with market participants representing different countries to foster global energy progress. No other countries have unions similar to KazEnergy, considering the sphere of objectives and instruments for achieving them.’’

He said that world interest in Kazakhstan was based not only on the fact that the country has one of the highest global figures of oil-production growth, almost 8 percent annually, but was also due to the more than 400 contracts for subsoil use, the presence of investors representing more than 30 countries and the fact that it has succeeded in opening new markets.

Over the next decade, the tempo of development will increase. The Caspian Pipeline Consortium system’s capacity will be more than doubled, to 67 million tons per year; the new Caspian Transportation System export route (56 million tons) will be established; work on the second phase of the China gas pipeline will begin; and there will be large-scale exploitation of Caspian offshore resources and the creation of a modern refining and petrochemical industry.

Kulibayev concluded: ‘‘We think it is right to interact with OPEC concerning issues of global oil trading, with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe concerning the ensuring of global energy security, with the World Petroleum Council and the World Energy Council to develop international energy cooperation and mutual understanding. But a major factor of the oil politics of Kazakhstan is independence. It will further define the strategic course of our state in the future.’’ KazMunayGas and Statoil signed HOA on Abay block in the Kazakhstani sector of the Caspian Sea

ASTANA. March 30. KAZINFORM JSC NC “KazMunayGas” and Statoil have signed the Heads of Agreement (HOA) on the Abay block located in the Kazakhstani sector of the Caspian Sea on 16 March this year.

According to the press service of JSC NC “KazMunayGas”, under the HoA, the parties plan to conduct work on agreeing the terms of cooperation in implementing the Abay project. In addition, the parties have agreed Statoil’s participation in the construction of a jack-up drilling rig that will be used to develop the block on the Caspian shelf in the future.

“We are interested in cooperation with Statoil, in attracting and using their experience and technologies in operating international offshore oil and gas projects. HoA signing confirms the intentions of the Parties about the strategic partnership of our two companies on the joint activities in the Caspian Sea” – said Kairgeldy Kabyldin, Chairman of the Board of JSC NC “KazMunayGas”.

“Joint cooperation in the Abay block is an important strategic step for Statoil as we continue our international growth. This agreement marks an important milestone – Statoil’s re-entry into Kazakhstan – and I am very pleased that we have secured a strong partnership with National Company “KazMunayGas”,” says Tim Dodson, Executive Vice President for Exploration in Statoil.

Shortly JSC NC “KazMunayGas” is planning to start direct negotiations with the Ministry of Oil and Gas of Kazakhstan on getting the subsoil user rights on the Abay block. In the implementation of the project, the parties will assume obligations on training the local personnel and financing social projects. Flights to Europe Getting Cheaper

Flights to Europe are getting cheaper. This week travel companies inTbilisi have started offering trips to Europe for 350 EUR. It is expected that the number of Georgian tourists visiting European cities will increase significantly this summer.

A one week trip to Prague now costs 320 EUR, according to Ella Karapetyan, Director of BusinessTravel Com.

“The price of a one week trip in Europe includes the costs of air tickets, transfers, insurance, hotel accommodation and excursions. You can spend your vacations in Spain for 380 EUR, in Italy from 380 EUR, France – from 390 EUR, the Netherlands – 410 EUR, and Hungary – 400 EUR,” Karapetyan said.

“The prices of air tickets have decreased, that’s why some of the tours are cheaper,” she said. It is recommended to make one’s bookings for Summer in advance as flight costs are likely to increase in the run up to and during peak season, Karapetyan said.

The Czech Republic and Turkey are currently the top most popular European destinations with travellers from Georgia. Despite the political unrest in Egypt, the country’s famous resorts Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh are again at the top of the most demanded summer destinations.

“There are only 2 months left before summer starts, so I have already started thinking about where I will spend this summer. Turkey is one of my options, as it offers quite affordable prices and guarantees good weather. Unfortunately here in Georgia the weather is not always sunny, so it’s better to spend your time in Turkey. Moreover prices in Georgia and Turkey are almost the same,” Giorgi Akhvlediani, 24, told The FINANCIAL.

“In the last 4 years Europe has become more popular with Georgian tourists. That could be because of its increasingly affordable prices. A one week vacation in Europe costs just 500 EUR. I usually choose to spend my vacations in Spain,” said Tamuna Gzirishvili, 26.

“Everyone looks forward to their summer vacations and tries to plan in advance to make the holiday an unforgettable one. I usually spend the summer with my family at one of Georgia’s Black Sea coastal resorts, but this summer I plan to visit Prague with my friends. I think this vacation will be an amazing one,” said Mariko Iashvili, 22.

According to Mariam Simonia, Director of tour operator InterContinental , the most demanded destination among the company’s customers is Egypt.

NTour offers its clients trips to Israel from 1,491 USD at the moment. A visit to France will cost NTour clients 420 EUR. A trip to Spain – from 465 EUR, and a 4 night trip to Istanbul – 285 EUR.

“A trip to Italy costs 455 EUR. A holiday to see the carnival of Venice Colombina costs 565 EUR, the Top Caprice Italy package costs 645 EUR, the Whole of Italy in 8 Days trip costs 455 EUR,  and the Venice carnival Arleccino – 580 EUR. A visit to Spain costs 465 EUR,” NTour notes.

For those who are going to spend summer 2011 in Europe, below is a list of some of the best festivals Europe has to offer:

La Tomatina, Bunol Spain, August 31, 2011 – The world’s largest food fight. Notting Hill Carnival, London, England, August 28-29, 2011 – Europe’s largest street faire. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland, August 5-29, 2011 – Open Arts Festival.

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