revista presei pe energie 6 octombrie patr II

2010/10/06

inforusia.ro: Gazprom nu se ingrijoreaza pentru scaderea exporturilor in UE

Recesiunea globala a determinat tarile Uniunii Europene sa isi reduca activitatea industriala si consumul de energie, ceea ce a dus la cereri de revizuire a contractelor cu Gazprom, principalul furnizor de gaze naturale pentru Europa occidentala.

Nezaisimaia Gazeta scrie ca, deoamdata, gigantul rus este linistit, datorita contractelor in vigoare, care pretind plata intregii cantitati contractate. In acest timp, ponderea Rusiei pe piata europeana a gazelor a scazut usor, de la 28,4 la suta in 2009 la 26. Ceea ce nu impiedica incheierea noi contracte pentru furnizarea de gaze, de exemplu cu Macedonia, care examineaza conditiile tehnice si economice pentru suplimentarea cantitatii de gaze contractate din Rusia, inclusiv prin ramificatia proictata a conductei South Stream.

Problemele Gazprom in Europa sunt tot mai grave, scrie Nezavisimaia Gazeta. Cantitatea de gaze contractate si neconsumate de europeni este aproape de nivelul record din 2009, 5 miliarde metri cubi, a anuntat presedintele companiei, Aleksander Medvedev. “Chiar daca nu am vandut mai mult de 140 miliarde metri cubi de gaze in Europa, am primit sume suplimentare echivaland cinci miliarde metri cubi, din cauza clauzelor <<take or pay>> din contractele incheiate pe termen lung”, spune presedintele Gazprom.

Nikolai Isain, specialist in combustibili-energie in cadrul Institutului pentru monopoluri naturale de la Moscova, crede ca scaderea ponderii Gazprom pe piata europeana este un fenomen temporar. “Gazprom va avea din nou un cap de pod in Europa din momentul in care va incepe sa functioneze conducta Nord Stream, prin care vor circula gazele contractate deja de consumatorii din Germania, Danmarca, Franta si Marea Britanie. Aceasta inseamna o crestere a exporturilor Gazprom in 2012”, se arata optimist analistul.

RIA Novosti: Rosneft halts talks with LUKoil on buying Caspian Oil Consortium stake

Russia’s largest oil company Rosneft has broken off talks with LUKoil to buy its stake in the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC), LUkoil Vice President Leonid Fedun said on Wednesday.

Rosneft, which currently controls 3.83 percent of CPC via Rosneft-Shell Caspian Ventures Limited, a joint venture with Shell, previously said it was holding negotiations with LUKoil on the acquisition of 5.6 percent in CPC.

Rosneft and LUKoil signed an agreement on Rosneft’s possible acquisition of a 46 percent stake in Lukarco company, which holds 12.5 percent of CPC and is wholly owned by LUKoil, Russian business newspaper Kommersant said In June, quoting a source familiar with the document.

The Caspian Pipeline Consortium whose 1,500 km-long oil pipeline links west Kazakhstan’s deposits with Russia’s Black Sea coast is the largest oil transportation route from the Caspian region to world markets.

ITAR TASS: The 5th Eurasian forum KAZENERGY begins its work in the Kazakh capital on Tuesday

The 5th Eurasian forum KAZENERGY begins its work in the Kazakh capital on Tuesday.

Representatives of more than 20 countries, leaders of ministries and departments, top managers of leading energy companies of the world, well-known representatives of business and experts’ circles will discuss urgent issues of the energy sector.

As chairman of the Kazakh Association of organizations of the oil, gas and energy complex (KAZENERGY), deputy chairman of the board of the National Well-Being of Kazakhstan Fund “Samruk-Kazyna” Timur Kulibayev said in an interview with ITAR-TASS, during KAZENERGY forums, a wide range of issues, beginning from geopolitical relations to ecology and investment cooperation, is discussed.

“High interest of foreign businesses, biggest energy companies of the world in developing business interaction with Kazakhstan, investing in home oil, gas and energy projects is not the least of the factors. The forum gives a unique opportunity to find new contacts, strengthen Kazakhstan’s image as a reliable supplier of resources,” Kulibayev said.

Russian-Kazakhstanian relations and aspects of Russia’s energy policy traditionally occupy an important place in discussions of the forum. The head of the KAZENERGY association expressed the hope that new contacts will be found and business interaction will be expanded jointly with Russian partners within the framework of the forum.

“Russia is a key and strategically important partner of Kazakhstan both in the field of energy and the whole complex of political and economic relations. Our countries are actively developing bilateral energy interaction. In particular, such large-scale joint projects as the extension of the KTK and Atyrau-Samara oil pipelines and strengthening of cooperation in the uranium and nuclear sphere are planned for the near future. As a whole, the potential for strengthening of the whole range of energy relations is exclusively high,” Kulibayev said.

“Energy map of Eurasia: balance of risks and new opportunities” will the key topic of the forum. According to the association’s head, the forum participants will try to respond to the most important for energy security of Eurasia challenges and risks, coordinate a formula of post-crisis development. Special attention will be paid to energy geopolitics and balanced energy interests in Eurasia.

“At the same time, the forum’s discussions will touch upon a much wider range of issues. We’ll pay special attention to issues of ecology and environmental protection which acquired special importance after the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The forum will consider issues of effective introduction and use of alternative sources of energy. Among other important topics is the investment potential of Kazakhstan and the Caspian region, discussion of issues of transit and transportation of raw materials and others,” the KAZENERGY chairman stressed.

apa.az: Press conference on power engineering and climate changes held within the framework of Eurasian Forum KAZENERGY

Press conference on power engineering and climate changes was held within the framework of the 5th Eurasian Forum KAZENERGY in Astana, APA reports quoting vesti.az website.

Kazakhstan’s Deputy Minister for Environmental Protection Eldana Sadvakasova, former Prime Minister of Australia John Howard, Kazakhstan’s Minister of Emergency Situations Vladimir Bozhko, Director of International Institutional Relations of Abengoa SA German Bejarano, CEO of Voluntary Carbon Standard Association David Antonioli, Azerbaijan’s Minister of Emergency Situations Kemaleddin Heydarov, Director General of KAZENERGY association Jambulat Sarsenov addressed the conference.

The participants focused on reduction of the negative influence of power engineering on the environment, process of climate changes, prevention of technogenic accidents in the Caspian region. Kazakhstan’s Minister of Emergency Situations Vladimir Bozhko said there is a permanent national commission on reaction to oil spills in the republic.

The participants underlined the special role of KAZENERGY association in increasing the ecological sustainability of Kazakhstan’s power engineering and international ecological cooperation. They expressed the commitment of the states to the proposal to carry out joint purposeful activities to minimize the negative influence of the power engineering on the climate. The participants of the press conference underlined the purposeful efforts of the state for increasing ecological sustainability of Kazakhstan’s power engineering, taking measures to prevent technogenic accidents in the Caspian region.

apa.az: Russia to base budget planning on fall of oil prices to 60 USD per barrel in 3 years

The expected fall of oil prices to 60 U.S. dollars per barrel in the next three years is unlikely to bring Russia National out of balance, Murmansk & Shtokman News reported.

This said the Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin on Wednesday in Moscow in the Federation Council, the parliament’s upper house.

The Finance Minister who is also deputy prime minister confirmed his earlier prediction that “the price per barrel will fall over the next three years to 60 USD”. In designing the draft state budget for the years 2011 to 2013 this was taken into account.

This barrel price ensure a balanced budget, Kudrin emphasized. He pointed out that it was based on a barrel price of 70 dollars for next year’s state budget. At the moment the price of oil is slightly above 80 U.S. dollars.

The Norwegian government assumed – in comparison – an oil price of 485 Norwegian Crowners for its budget for next year. At the current rate, this corresponds to around 83 USD.

trend.az: American expert: Azerbaijan turned into major exporter of hydrocarbons and assumes great transit importance in region

Over the past 15 years, Azerbaijan has become a major energy exporter, the country assumes a large transit importance, a senior energy expert at the American Center for Strategic and International Studies, Edward Chow said in Baku on Wednesday. “Over the past 15 years, Azerbaijan has much developed and turned into a major oil and gas exporter, assumes great transit importance in the region,” said Chow.
During his visit to Baku, where he arrived with the financial support of the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan, Chow delivered a lecture on “The role of the energy sector in the development and modernization” at the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy.
According to BP, the proven oil reserves in Azerbaijan as of the beginning of 2010 amounted to 7 billion barrels. Oil production in the country in 2009 totaled 1.033 million barrels per day, which is 13.5 percent more than the volume in 2008.
According to OPEC, oil production in Azerbaijan in 2010 is forecasted at 1.11 million barrels per day. Experts of the oil cartel predict the increase of oil production in Azerbaijan to 1.21 million bpd in 2011. The main oil production growth next year will be at Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) block, which produces Azeri Light oil.

today.az: Kulevi terminal dispatches over 312 thousand tons of oil and oil products in September

The SOCAR`s Black Sea terminal Kulevi successfully exports oil and oil products from Azerbaijan and Central Asia to Europe. During September of 2010, 312,719 tons of oil and oil products have been transported via the terminal. Some 347, 332 tons of oil and oil products were shipped to the world markets in September.

news.az: Turkish government ratifies gas agreement with Azerbaijan

The Turkish government has ratified an agreement between Azerbaijan and Turkey on natural gas supplies.

According to Turkish ANKA, the decision of the Turkish Council of Ministers regarding ratification of an agreement signed on June was published in official press on October 6.

The gas agreement was signed within the framework of the visit of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to Turkey on June 7-8.

This document fixed all agreements including gas purchase from Stage-1 and  Stage-2 of the development of the Shah Deniz gas condensate field in Caspian Azeri sector. Under the contract, Turkey will purchase 6 bn cubic meters of gas from Azerbaijan per year and ensure the transit of gas to Europe.

In this connection, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz stated that the contracts “will become a start in the implementation of Nabucco project”. In addition, experts believe that the signing of the Azerbaijani-Turkish documents is an important step in implementation of the project of the Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline planning to supply gas produced in the Caspian region to the European countries.

The concluded contracts will promote the development of Stage-2 of Shah Deniz. Baku expects to receive up to $20bn of investments in this connection.

news.az: Nabucco, Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field require synchronized development

by Vladimir Socor

Russia seems to have lost its lobbying battle for South Stream and against Nabucco in Europe. At present, Moscow seeks as a last resort to negate the availability of gas supplies to the Nabucco project in the Caspian basin.

Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, summed up this official line during the recent Valdai Club meeting in Russia. He claimed that the Nabucco project lacks guaranteed supplies (and Russia would “not contribute any volumes”); that Nabucco cannot fully count on Azerbaijan since the latter has signed a supply agreement with Gazprom; and a dispute over the delimitation of the Caspian seabed would block the transportation of Turkmen gas to Azerbaijan en route to Europe. In their acrimonious tone as well as in content, Putin’s remarks sounded like arguments of despair.

Azerbaijan is the existential supply source for the Nabucco project. Russia seeks to increase its imports of Azerbaijani gas to the maximum possible extent, so as to reduce the volumes available to Nabucco. During President Dmitry Medvedev’s recent visit to that country, Gazprom signed an agreement to purchase 2 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas from Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company (SOCAR) in 2011 (up from the 0.5 bcm first agreed in October 2009, then 1 bcm during 2010). The agreement, moreover, does not set any quantitative limit on annual deliveries from Azerbaijan to Russia. Also during Medvedev’s visit, Gazprom CEO, Aleksei Miller, signaled his readiness to acquire a stake in Phase Two of development at Shah Deniz, the offshore field in Azerbaijan that constitutes the main supply source for the first phase of the Nabucco project.

However, Gazprom is falling short of those disruptive goals. Its agreements on gas import from Azerbaijan are valid for one year at a time. Azerbaijan remains free to redirect its gas export volumes from Russia in a westward direction, choosing the most advantageous pricing and transportation terms, as soon as the Nabucco pipeline becomes operational. Russia has no means at present to induce or coerce the Shah Deniz consortium into accepting Gazprom as a stakeholder in Phase Two of development.

That consortium includes BP and Norway’s Statoil with stakes of 25.5 percent each; Azerbaijan’s SOCAR, Russian Lukoil, French Total, and the National Iranian Oil Company, with stakes of 10 percent each; and Turkish Petroleum with 9 percent. The distribution of votes precludes any possibility that the steering committee would willingly allow Gazprom into the consortium.

Phase Two is envisaged to produce some 16 bcm annually from 2016 onward, at an investment cost of $20 billion for the duration of the project, assuming an investment decision by 2011. These expectations had formed prior to the three major financial institutions’ recent announcement about funding the Nabucco project. That announcement should in turn stimulate the long-awaited investment decision by the Shah Deniz consortium.

Commercial operator Statoil has recently invited potential customers to hold bilateral talks on gas supplies from Shah Deniz Phase Two. The invitees include consortiums and companies involved in three projects: Nabucco, the Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy (ITGI), and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP, in which Statoil itself is one of the stakeholders, and which runs through the same three countries as ITGI).

The Nabucco consortium expects 8 to 10 bcm of Azeri gas per year for Nabucco’s first stage. Azerbaijan counts on Shah Deniz Phase Two to supply the bulk of that volume, opening the way for Turkmen gas in the second stage of the Nabucco project.

These plans, however, could be derailed if the Shah Deniz Phase Two production is broken up among several pipeline projects. Of those three under consideration, only Nabucco at 31 bcm, and bound for Central Europe, has strategic significance, both in its own right and as the mainstay of the EU-planned Southern Corridor. The ITGI and TAP, potential components of the Corridor, are far smaller in their projected capacities, and running toward southern Italy. They are interesting business propositions for the companies involved, but cannot significantly contribute to the diversification of supplies to Europe, unless supplementing a Nabucco that operates at its full projected capacity.

All these potential components of the Southern Corridor (also including the proposed White Stream) are needed to maximize transportation capacity for Central Asian gas to Europe, thus stimulating investments in gas field development. However, these pipeline projects become suboptimal or even redundant if they end up competing against each other, over limited volumes of Azeri gas. The financial institutions’ choice to support Nabucco reflects awareness of this project’s strategic value.

Putin’s latest claims notwithstanding, Turkmenistan is quietly moving closer to a transportation solution for feeding the Nabucco pipeline via Azerbaijan. There is no serious indication that Ashgabat would invoke the disagreement on seabed delimitation to impede a trans-Caspian link. On the contrary, Turkmenistan initiated in early 2010 an East-West pipeline across its territory, from the gas fields in the country’s east to the Caspian shore. Planned to carry 30 bcm annually from 2015 onward, this project reflects intentions to sell that volume of gas (in addition to offshore volumes) at Turkmenistan’s western border, when a trans-Caspian outlet opens up.

This would not only enable the Nabucco pipeline to operate at maximum capacity, but would also contribute decisively to turning the EU-planned Southern Corridor into a reality. On the other hand, European failure to seize this opportunity would cause Ashgabat to desist from its East-West pipeline project; or redirect those volumes, partly or fully, to Russia (via the northbound Caspian coastal pipeline that Russia proposes to enlarge) or other non-European destinations.

German RWE, Hungarian MOL, and Austrian OMV are Nabucco stakeholders seeking to procure gas volumes from Iraq’s Kurdistan Region. Last year, MOL and OMV acquired stakes of 10 percent each in the Pearl Petroleum consortium, which develops gas fields in that region of Iraq. The privately owned, Sharjah-based Dana Gas is the operating company in that consortium.

Last month, RWE signed an agreement with the Kurdish regional government for development of gas deposits and transportation infrastructure. This can open the way for gas supplies from the Kurdish region to Europe via Turkey and the Nabucco pipeline. RWE aims to conclude an agreement on such supplies. Iraq’s central government in Baghdad is raising legal and fiscal objections. For their part, Kurdish regional authorities declare that they would share the export revenue with the central government in accordance with national and regional legislation.

While volumes, timetables, and other conditions for gas supplies from this part of Iraq are yet to be clarified, it seems that the Kurdish region can contribute significant inputs into the Nabucco project. Last month the consortium decided to proceed with construction of two feeder lines on Turkish territory: one from the Georgian border and the other from the Iraqi border, for gas supplies originating in the Caspian basin and in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, respectively. Thus, the Nabucco project’s supply outlook is taking a more definite shape, along with the funding outlook.

Vladimir Socor
Political analyst of East European affairs for the Jamestown Foundation.

news.az: Massive funding in prospect for Nabucco pipeline construction

On September 7 in Brussels, three leading international financial institutions launched the process of funding the Nabucco gas pipeline project, potentially to a multi-billion Euro level. The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) signed a “mandate letter that formalizes the conditions under which the three institutions will conduct their appraisals of the Nabucco project, and provides an indication of the potential level of financing”.

The three institutions are prepared to provide up to 4 billion Euros toward funding the Nabucco pipeline’s construction, from eastern Turkey to Austria. Of that sum, the EIB would provide up to 2 billion Euros; the EBRD, up to 1.2 billion Euros (including up to 600 million Euros on EBRD’s account and up to 600 million Euros to be syndicated to commercial banks); and the IFC, up to 800 million Euros (including up to 400 million Euros on IFC’s account and up to 400 million Euros to be syndicated to commercial banks).

According to the joint announcement, this move constitutes “a clear signal that Nabucco has the full political support of Europe.” The three institutions are initiating a due diligence process to assess the project’s conformity with their economic, social, and environmental criteria for lending. The definitive funding decision would follow a successful conclusion of due diligence. The process is expected to be finalized in the second half of 2011. This would enable construction work to be launched in 2012, synchronized with the availability of gas supplies.

The project’s cost is estimated at 8 billion Euros. Thus, the three financial institutions are prepared to provide up to 50 percent of the cost. Shareholders in the Nabucco consortium had from the outset agreed among them to cover 30 percent of the construction costs.

According to the project company’s (Nabucco Gas Pipeline International) managing director, Reinhard Mitschek, the company will in the next few months launch an “open season” process for gas shippers to book capacity in the planned pipeline. The line is planned to carry 31 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas annually in its second phase. A test-run of the open season in 2008 had shown gas shippers’ total demand for booking capacity exceeding the planned capacity by some 50 percent. Strong demand for booking capacity can again be expected, as European import demand rebounds with the recovery from crisis.

The preliminary decision for project financing on this scale (with a final decision likely next year) marks the most significant milestone for the Nabucco project since its inception. It provides that incontrovertible, long-expected boost to the project’s credibility with Caspian gas producers and European gas importers.

It also vindicates the decisions by governments and companies in Hungary and Bulgaria to prioritize the Nabucco project clearly over its rival, Gazprom’s South Stream. According to Hungarian MOL supply and trade chief, Sandor Fasimon, at the signing event in Brussels, “Nabucco is a core project for Central Europe since it will provide real gas, ensure real competition, and promote security of supply, in a part of Europe that still lags behind in the necessary infrastructure and diversification of resources”.

Meanwhile, Romanian President, Traian Basescu, has overruled the economics ministry and changed its leadership, which had started discussions on Romania’s accession to South Stream in response to Gazprom’s overtures. This appeared to be a case of departmental policy contradicting national policy. At the annual policy conference of Romanian diplomats from around the world in Bucharest, Basescu deprecated those who had “jumped aboard South Stream’s wagon,” and noted that Romania’s exclusive bet on Nabucco has helped maintain the project’s credibility during the difficult times that are now behind it.

Vladimir Socor
Political analyst of East European affairs for the Jamestown Foundation.

inform.kz: Oil export to China to rise up to 12 mln tons in 2011

In 2011 export of oil via Kazakhstan-China pipeline to the People’s Republic of China will be increased from the current 10 mln tons up to 12 mln tons, Minister of Oil and Gas Sauat Mynbayev has informed of it at KAZENERGY V Eurasian Forum in Astana today.

According to him, this year Kazakhstan has exported about 27.5 mln tons of oil to Europe via the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, 17.5 mln tons via Atyrau-Samara pipeline, 11 mln tons – through the Aktau Sea Port, 4 mln tons – by the railroad and 2 mln tons – through Orenburg Oil Refinery.

S. Mynbayev added that total amount of oil output in Kazakhstan in 2010 would make 81 mln tons, 68 mln tons of which would be exported. KazMunayGaz National Company extracts  24% of the total amount of oil only, the rest of the oil is produced by private enterprises or international oil companies.

According to the Ministry of Oil and Gas, Kazakhstan’s reserves of oil makes more than 5 bln tons today while the reserves of gas is more than 5 bln cubic meters.

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