Foto 1 (din 1)

Rezultatele Petrom din primele trei luni au fost influenţate pozitiv de mediul favorabil al preţului la tiţei şi de managementul optimizat al costurilor. Pe 2010,Petrom va continua programul investiţional amplu, cu un buget de investitii pe 2010 in valoare de 6,9 miliarde lei pentruOMV Petrom S.A.

“În plus, vom urmari implementarea in timp util a majorarii de capital social, pentru care am primit autorizarea din partea actionarilor, pe data de 29 aprilie 2010. Obiectivul nostru este sa obtinem venituri totale de 600 mil. euro pentru actiunile nou-emise in termen de un an de la aprobarea actionarilor. In plus, vom continua discutiile cu autoritatile romane cu privire la convergenta preturilor gazelor naturale”,  se arată în comunicatul companiei.

Adevarul: OMV şi-a crescut profitul net de aproape nouă ori

OMV este acţionarul majoritar al OMV

OMV este acţionarul majoritar al OMV

Producătorul austriac de petrol şi gaze OMV, acţionarul majoritar al Petrom, a înregistrat, în primul trimestru, un profit net de 346 de milioane de euro, de aproape nouă ori mai mare decât în aceeaşi perioadă a anului trecut.

Principalele motive ale creşterii spectaculoase sunt impactul mai scăzut al taxelor, contribuţiile mai mari din partea companiilor grupului şi revenirea preţului petrolului, potrivit raportului financiar al companiei.

„În primul trimestru din 2010 am înregistrat o creştere continuă a preţului ţiţeiului şi o nouă reducere a costurilor operaţionale, care au condus la rezultate solide pe segmentul de explorare şi producţie. Suntem deosebit de mulţumiţi de rezultatele activităţilor de rafinare şi distribuţie, unde o marjă de rafinare mai bună decât în ultimele trei luni din 2009 a fost susţinută de reduceri de costuri şi rezultate mai bune ale operaţiunilor de petrochimie”, a declarat directorul general al grupului, Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer, în raportul financiar al companiei realizat pentru primul trimestru.

Grupul a raportat venituri de 5,3 miliarde de euro pentru primul trimestru, în creştere cu 23% faţă de 4,3 miliarde de euro în ianuarie-martie 2009.

La rândul său, OMV Petrom a înregistrat în primul trimestru un profit net de 807,4 milioane de lei, sumă de 2,4 ori mai mare faţă de câştigul din aceeaşi perioadă a anului trecut, potrivit rezultatelor întocmite după standardele IFRS, citate de Mediafax.

Profitul înainte de dobânzi şi taxe (EBIT) al OMV a crescut cu 167%, la 710 milioane de euro, de la 266 milioane de euro în perioada similară a anului trecut, Petrom contribuind la acest rezultat cu 230 de milioane de euro.

Rezultatele grupului au beneficiat de avansul de 72% al petrolului Brent la o cotaţie medie de 76,36 dolari pe baril în primul trimestru, de la 44,46 dolari pe baril în aceeaşi perioadă din 2009.

Volumele de petrol şi gaz natural lichefiat livrate de OMV în primul trimestru au crescut cu 9%, la 15,8 milioane de barili, după ce operaţiunile din Noua Zeelandă, Kazahstan şi Yemen au compensat scăderea înregistrată în România şi Tunisia, se arată în raport. Volumul de gaze livrat a scăzut cu 4%, la 71,5 miliarde de picioare cubice (2,02 miliarde metri cubi), de la 74,1 miliarde de picioare cubice (2,09 miliarde metri cubi), în urma reducerii producţiei în Austria şi România.

Operaţiunle de Rafinare şi Distribuţie au generat un profit EBIT de 92 de milioane de euro, comparativ cu o pierdere de 51 de milioane de euro în perioada similară a anului trecut, după ce veniturile au crescut cu 32%, la 3,76 miliarde de euro.

Marja de rafinare a scăzut cu 32%, la 2,92 dolari pe baril, de la 4,26 dolari pe baril în primele trei luni ale anului precedent, însă a crescut comparativ cu 0,79 dolari pe baril în octombrie-decembrie 2009.

Gradul de utilizare a capacităţii de rafinare a fost de 75% în primul trimestru, faţă de 86% în ultimele trei luni ale anului trecut, în timp ce la Petrom aceasta a scăzut considerabil, la 52%, mai ales din cauza închiderii rafinăriei Arpechim de la mijlocul lunii ianuarie până la finele lui februarie, ca urmare a condiţiilor nefavorabile din piaţă.

Pe segmentul Gaze naturale şi Energie, profitul EBIT a crescut cu7 3%, la 87 milioane de euro, în timp ce vânzările au stagnat la 1,27 miliarde de euro.

Pentru 2010, OMV prognozează că evoluţia preţului petrolului Brent să rămână volatilă, într-o bandă de variaţie de 60-85 de dolari pe baril, similară perioadei ianuarie-iunie 2009.

Totodată, grupul se aşteaptă la o apreciere a leului în raport cu euro şi dolarul american, ca urmare a condiţiilor volatile.

Hotnews: Scurtul drum al zilei catre noapte

Din nefericire, n-o sa vorbim despre lucruri placute  cum ar fi piesa lui Eugene O’Neill, ci  mai degraba despre modul in care omenirea reactioneaza la criza energetica cu care am inceput sa ne confruntam precum si despre anumite scenarii mai putin incurajatoare, care se profileaza in anii imediat urmatori.

Mentionasem anul trecut prin decembrie despre problematica Peak Oil, in acest post, insistand asupra implicatiilor ce ne-asteapta dupa colt (bineinteles ca n-am fost primul si nici ultimul care a adus subiectul in discutie ). Tot atunci promisesem sa mai discutam putin despre permacultura, forest gardening si solutii ingenioase aparute din imitarea proceselor naturale care au o eficienta energetica foarte mare. As vrea sa ma tin de promisiune in acest articol, insa va trebui sa aveti putintica rabdare, pentru ca am s-o iau mai pe ocolite…

Inainte de toate insa, ca refresh, as vrea sa revin asupra definitiei de Peak Oil, ca fiind momentul in timp la care productia de petrol atinge un maximum posibil, pentru a se incadra apoi pe o curba descendentaireversibila. Nu inseamna ca petrolul se termina brusc ci doar ca se extrage din ce in ce mai putin datorita scaderii rezervelor disponibile precum si a randamentului puturilor existente.

As vrea, mai apoi, sa mai zabovesc putin asupra unor aparitii mai recente legate de problematica Peak Oil (pe care, in mare parte, le veti gazi sumarizate aici) si care contureaza un scenariu, din ce in ce mai probabil, conform caruia productia de petrol nu va mai face fata cererii incepand cu 2014-2015, avand drept consecinte directe cresteri semnificative ale pretului petrolului si posibile rationalizari.

Iata un scurt rezumat a celor mai importante informatii:

In februarie 2010,  UK Industry Task Force on Peak Oil and Energy Security, un grup de oameni de afaceri ce includ pe binecunoscutul Richard Branson (Virgin) dar si reprezentanti ale altor companii, a publicat un raport denumit Peak Oil 2010 (al doilea raport publicat de acest task force), care spune clar si raspicat cateva lucruri:

–  Ne vom confrunta cu certitudine cu un “oil crunch”, adica cu o situatie in care cererea de petrol este mai mare decat productia, in urmatorii zece ani, cel mai probabil in urmatorii cinci ani.

–  Este foarte dificil ca productia mondiala de petrol sa depaseasca cu mult varful de 87 milioane barili pe zi (atins in 2008) si extrem de greu sa depaseasca 92 Mbz (milioane barili pe zi), cu exceptia situatiei in care se descopera unul sau mai multe super-campuri petroliere, cu rezerve uriase, de care n-a auzit nimeni. In context, raportul confirma cifrele IEA care arata ca cererea estimata spre 2030 este de 105 Mbz, in mare parte provenind de la tarile non-OECD (China si India in principal, dar si alte tari din Asia si America Latina). Presiunea demografica a celor 6.8 miliarde de oameni, cat se estimeaza ca vom fi la sfarsitul lui 2010, in crestere spre 8 miliarde in 2025, precum si deschiderea spre consum in China si India impinge nivelul cererii de petrol cu mult peste ce se poate extrage…

–  Din cauza declinului productivitatii campurilor existente, rata de atritie bruta a productiei de petrol este de 4Mbz in fiecare an, sau un procentaj anual de 4.7% din productia globala actuala. Cu toate campurile noi date in functiune, care sa compenseze scaderea productivitatii campurilor existente, productia globala este prognozata sa intre in declin dupa 2015. Industria petroliera este deasemenea cu mult in urma in eforturile de investitii pentru a putea genera o crestere marginala a productiei, iar costul extractiei petrolului risca sa creasca avand in vedere accesibilitatea mai dificila a noilor campuri petroliere .

–  Ca urmare a celor de mai sus este asteptata o crestere semnificativa a pretului petrolului in urmatorii ani precum si posibile rationalizari. Atat industria transporturilor cat si pretul alimentelor sau costul utilitatilor vor fi impactate semnificativ.

* In februarie 2010, raportul anual al comitetului interarme al armatei americane pe 2010 (Joint Operating Environment – United States Joint Forces Command) pe care il gasiti aici e si el de acord cu acest deficit al productiei vis a vis de cerere, desi il atribuie mai degraba lipsei de investitii productive de catre industria de profil (”Even were a concerted effort begun today to repair that shortage, it would be ten years before production could catch up with expected demand.” + “By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 MBD). Raportul este foarte interesant si vi-l recomand pentru a vedea o perspectiva militara asupra altor riscuri globale.

In martie 2010, cercetatori de la Oxford University impreuna cu Sir David King fostul consilier stiintific al guvernului Marii Britanii afirma ca este posibil ca actualele estimari ale rezervelor petroliere sa fie exagerate cu cel putin 33% (sursa). In acelasi articol, se estimeaza un posibil deficit (shortage) de petrol incepand cu 2014.

Tot in martie 2010un articol din Le Monde atrage atentia asupra unei prezentari facute in aprilie 2009, de catre Glen Sweetnam, director in cadrul US Department of Energy, in care acesta arata ca o mare parte din resursele necesare pentru a putea acoperi cererea de combustibili in urmatorii 20 de ani se bazeaza pe “proiecte nedescoperite inca”, un eufemism pentru a spune ca suntem in pom…Aceeasi prezentare ne spune ca, pentru a acoperi diferenta intre productie si cerere, intre 2011 si 2015, ne-ar mai trebui inca un producator de petrol de talia Arabiei Saudite.

Cu alte cuvinte, iata ca multiple surse, destul de credibile as spune, au inceput sa traga puternice semnale de alarma asupra a ce se poate intampla in 5 ani de zile. Fara sa ne gandim la viziuni apocaliptice a la Mad Max, cred ca impactul unui astfel de scenariu este, dupa cum va puteti imagina, extrem de serios si presupune niste schimbari majore ale modului in care gandim, asupra modelelor de productie si cele sociale existente.

Despre acest “paradigm shift”, despre cateva aplicatii practice interesante si despre altele, in partile urmatoare ale articolului…

inforusia.ro: Rusia propune ca petrolul sa nu mai fie transportat prin stramtorile Marii Negre

Rusia a propus oprirea tranzitului de titei prin stramtorile turcesti din Marea Neagra si alegerea ca alternativa a celor doua oleoducte aflate in constructie. Conform ziarului Izvestia, initiativa de interzicere a tranzitului petrolului prin Bosfor si Dardanele urmeaza a fi lansata oficial de cei doi presedinti, Dmitri Medvedev si Abdullah Gul, saptamana viitoare, pe 11-12 mai, in comisia bilaterala interguvernamentala.

Argumentul Moscovei este ca stramtorile turcesti sunt supraincarcate, iar vasele de mare tonaj, cum sunt petrolierele, trec foarte greu pe aici. In ceea ce priveste oleoductele Samsun-Ceyhan si Burgas-Alexandropolis, ele ar trebui administrate de un centru de comanda unic, sugereaza Moscova.

Companiile spun ca transportul petrolului pe vase este mai ieftin si permite transportarea de cantitati mai mari. La aceasta, Transneft raspunde ca ar putea continua transportul prin stramtori al produselor petroliere, dar pentru titeiul brut solutia sunt cele doua conducte.

Burgas-Alexandropolis este un proiect ruso-greco-bulgar, pentru care acordul s-a semnat in 2007, si in care companiile rusesti detin pachetul de control (51 la suta). Proiectul a fost pana anul trecut blocat de Bulgaria, care a cerut conditii financiare si de mediu mai avantajoase. Celalalt oleoduct, Samsun-Ceyhan, este un proiect turcesc aflat in constructie, in care Rusia nu detine nici o parte, dar exista un memorandum de intelegere care ar oferi companiilor neturcesti (in speta rusesti si italiene) pachetul de peste 50 la suta. “Izvestia” considera ca nici ideea unui centru unic pentru cele doua proiecte (care par atat de diferite si chiar concurente) nu este atat de absurda, daca rolul conductelor va fi clar definit: de exemplu, unul din oleoducte pentru transportul titeiului cu concentratie mare de sulf, celalalt pentru titeiul cu continut slab de sulf. Dar schema cea mai logica ramane “doua conducte, doua companii de management”, afirma expertii citati de gazeta.

Ceyhan este portul pe care Turcia vrea sa-l transforme in principalul nod al tranzitului de petrol. Tot Turcia cere garantii ca va fi acoperita cantitatea de titei pe care preconizeaza sa o tranziteze prin Marea Neagra, de 1,5 miliarde barili pe an. Monopolul rusesc Transneft a oferit aproximativ 990 milioane de barili pe an.

RIA Novosti: Russia, Turkey may ban oil tanker transportation across Black Sea

Russia has proposed clearing Turkey’s Black Sea straits from oil tankers and transport oil via two pipelines, which are under construction to pump crude to Europe across the sea, Russian daily Izvestia reported.

The idea to clear the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits, which serve as the boundary between Europe and Asia, and send oil via the Russia-backed Burgas-Alexandroupolis and the Turkish Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipelines, will be discussed by a bilateral inter-governmental commission and the issue will be raised by the presidents of both counties on May 11-12, the paper said.

Russia argues that the Black Sea straits are overloaded and it takes a long time for ships to pass through them. It is also proposed that both pipelines be managed from a single center.

Oil companies, however, say that oil shipment by sea is cheaper and tankers can take several blends of oil at a time. The idea of Russia’s oil pipeline monopoly Transneft is that the straits can be used only to ship petroleum products while crude can be supplied via the two pipelines.

Experts view the proposal as bold. Burgas-Alexandroupolis is a project between Russia, Greece and Bulgaria to pump Russian and Caspian oil from the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas to the Greek Aegean port of Alexandropoulis. The three countries signed an agreement to build the 280-km (174-mile) Trans-Balkan pipeline in 2007, following several years of talks.

The construction of the pipeline, in which Russian companies will hold 51% while Greek and Bulgarian firms will possess the remainder, had until recently been delayed by Bulgaria seeking better economic and environmental terms for the project.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline is already under construction but Russian companies have no stake in it so far. However, an available memorandum of understanding could offer non-Turkish (Russian and Italian) companies a shareholding of up to 50% in the project, the paper said.

Although both projects seem to be quite different and can be regarded as rival undertakings, the idea of their management from a single center does not look so absurd, if the roles of the pipes are clearly defined, the paper said.

In particular, one pipe can be used to pump crude with a high content of sulfur and the other can be used for low-sulfur crude. Moreover, the Turkish pipeline will run to Ceyhan, which Turkey has pledged to make almost the most powerful oil port in the world, the paper said.

The negotiations are not easy as Turkey estimates future oil transits across the Black Sea at 200 million metric tons (1.5 billion barrels) of crude annually and seeks guarantees for oil supply volumes.

Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft, however, has inferred some 132-136 million tons (968-997 million barrels) of oil annually and says it can only ensure the technical conditions for oil transportation, the paper said.

Experts say, however, that although both pipelines can be merged technically, it is more logical to use the scheme “two pipelines – two management companies,” the paper said.

RIA Novosti: Azerbaijan ready to supply 50% of gas output for Nabucco project

Energy-rich Azerbaijan is ready to supply half its natural gas extracts to the Western-backed Nabucco pipeline intended to pump gas to Europe, a presidential administration official said on Thursday.

Nabucco, whose planned pipeline would bypass Russia, is a rival project to the Kremlin-backed South Stream gas pipeline. Both projects aim to supply natural gas to Southern and Central Europe.

“Azerbaijan attaches great importance to Nabucco … We are ready to supply 50% of Azerbaijani gas via the pipeline,” Ali Gasanov, head of the social and political department of the Azerbaijani president administration, said.

The South Stream project is designed to deliver up to 63 billion cubic meters of Central Asian and Russian natural gas under the Black Sea while Nabucco is intended to pump 31 billion cu m of natural gas from the Caspian region via Turkey.

Natural gas production in Azerbaijan grew 0.8% in 2009 year-on-year to 23.58 billion cubic meters. Azerbaijani gas is currently supplied to Turkey, Georgia, Russia and Iran. Azerbaijan’s recoverable gas reserves are estimated at 2-3 trillion cubic meters.

In an apparent bid to divert Azerbaijani gas supplies from Nabucco, Russian energy giant Gazprom agreed with Azerbaijan to buy 1 billion cubic meters of gas from the ex-Soviet South Caucasus republic this year and around 2 bcm from 2011.

Even though Azerbaijan is viewed as a potential supplier of gas for Nabucco, experts doubt that the pipeline will ever come online as its operation requires the participation of Turkmenistan, a major natural gas supplier in Central Asia, which has not yet agreed to join the project.

RIA Novosti: Gazprom-Naftogaz merger proposal merits attention – Ukraine PM

Russia’s proposal to merge its state-run Gazprom and Ukraine’s national energy company Naftogaz merits attention and will be studied by the government, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said on Wednesday.

“The proposal merits attention. We’ll naturally examine it because it was made by the prime minister of a very large state, our neighbor, out of good intentions,” Azarov said.

At a meeting of the committee for Russia-Ukraine economic cooperation on April 30, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proposed merging both energy companies. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said the energy ministers of Russia and Ukraine would meet in Moscow with the management of Gazprom and Naftogaz after the May holidays (after May 10) to discuss the details of a possible merger.

The proposal comes after the two ex-Soviet republics reached a deal in April on extending the lease on the Russian Navy base in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol for 25 years after the current lease expires in 2017.

In return for the lease extension, which may be extended for an additional five years, Ukraine will receive a 30% discount on Russian natural gas. The discount will be worth an estimated $40 billion over the next 10 years.

RIA Novosti: Ukrainian premier hails breakthrough in Kiev-Moscow ties

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said on Wednesday the improvement in relations between Russia and Ukraine will give a boost to the country’s economy.

“Today we can surely say that a positive breakthrough in Ukrainian-Russian relations has taken place,” Azarov told a Cabinet session.

“Now we definitely have confidence that Ukraine will rapidly start renewing its economic potential,” he added.

Azarov praised the results of a meeting of the intergovernmental committee for economic cooperation between Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Friday.

In Sochi, Azarov and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed cooperation in more than 10 spheres, including oil, gas, nuclear energy and defense.

The Ukrainian premier said a number of issues that had hindered bilateral ties under the previous president, Viktor Yushchenko, had been resolved at the meeting.

He also said a strategic road map of bilateral relations was agreed on in connection with the deal signed by the countries’ leaders in late April on extending Russia’s use of a naval base in Crimea and giving Kiev a 30% discount on Russian natural gas.

The Ukrainian premier said earlier the agreement opened a new page in mutually beneficial cooperation between Kiev and Moscow and left behind an era of hostility.

In particular, the Russian government signed a decision on abolishing customs duties on gas, which will have a positive effect on Ukraine’s economy, he said.

The Ukrainian premier said the gas discount (worth some $40 billion) has allowed the approval of the 2010 budget and the increase of salaries and pensions in Ukraine, and also avoided a rise in gas prices for Ukrainian consumers.

Azarov also said Ukraine and Russia were ready for joint cooperation in the nuclear energy sphere. “We will together build a plant producing nuclear fuel in Ukraine,” he said.

The Ukrainian premier said Kiev will receive a Russian loan for the construction of two nuclear reactors.

apa.az: RWE Nabucco Gas Agreement With Turkmenistan Delayed To Year’s End ‎

Nabucco shareholder RWE now expects to sign a supply agreement with Turkmenistan by the end of this year, later than expected, as political talks delay progress of the gas pipeline project, Reuters India reported.

“As soon as the political framework has been created, Turkmenistan will be ready to sign a supply contract. The timing depends on the speed of political decision processes,” Stefan Judisch, chief executive of RWE Supply & Trading, told reporters in a conference call on Tuesday.

RWE had previously said it expected to sign a supply agreement in the first six months of this year.

The 7.9 billion euro ($10.52 billion) Nabucco project has been hit by delays and analysts have questioned whether it will materialize on time or at all, but they have said the signing of a supply agreement would be a major step forward.

news.az: Azerbaijan confirms gas talks with Turkey complete

Talks between Turkey and Azerbaijan on gas prices and supplies have been completed, Azerbaijan’s energy and industry minister, Natiq Aliyev, has said.

He said yesterday that Azerbaijan would supply natural gas to Turkey after a purchase agreement had been signed.

Speaking at the Eurasia Economy Summit in Istanbul, Aliyev said that Azerbaijan’s oil and gas production was at a record level.

Aliyev said that more than 500 Azerbaijani companies invested some $500 billion in Turkey. He said that of the Caucasian and Cental Asian countries Azerbaijan was one of the biggest investors in Turkey.

He recalled that Azerbaijan’s petrochemical company had a 51-percent partnership with Turkey’s petrochemical company Petkim.

Aliyev said that investments of $3-5bn would be used to boost Petkim’s capacity.

today.az: Gas price talks between Azerbaijan and Turkey are done

According to the Minister of Industry and Energy Natiq Aliyev, the talks on gas prices between Azerbaijan and Turkey has been completed.

Aliyev pointed out that an agreement between the countries will be signed in no time. The minister said that Azerbaijani companies increased their investments into Turkey’s economy, which is nearly 500 azerbaijani companies.

apa.az: Natig Aliyev: Azerbaijan and Turkey end gas negotiations and will sign contract soon

Baku – APA. The collaboration on energy sphere between AZerbaijan and Turkey is in high level, said the minister of industry and energy Natig Aliyev in The 13th economic summit of Eurasian states which organized by The Marmara Group Strategic and Social Research Foundation.

According to him, Azerbaijan and Turkey ended the gas negotiations and would sign a contract soon. Azerbaijan companies increased the investment in Turkish Economy. Now, SOCAR plan to invest more $3-5 bln in economy.

trend.az: Minister: Gas talks end between Azerbaijan and Turkey

Minister: Gas talks end between Azerbaijan and Turkey

Gas negotiations between Azerbaijan and Turkey have ended, Industry and Energy Minister Natik Aliyev said at the Thirteenth Eurasian Economic Summit in Istanbul, the Azertaj state news agency reported.

According to the minister, agreements will be signed between Turkey and Azerbaijan in the near future.

Aliyev said Azerbaijani companies have increased their investments in the Turkish economy.

According to the official, over 500 Azerbaijani firms have invested in different spheres of the Turkish economy.

Aliyev said the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic continues to invest in the Petkim after acquiring 51 percent shares of Turkish petrochemicals giant, and plans to invest an additional $3.5 billion.

trend.az: Project participants: Postponing agreement with Turkmenistan to have no impact on dates of final investment decision on Nabucco

Postponing the signing of a long-term agreement to supply Turkmen gas to Europe via the planned Nabucco pipeline will have no impact on the dates of the final investment decision on the project, the project participants said.

“Postponing the agreement between RWE and Turkmenistan has no impact on our project or our planning schedule,” Christian Dolezal, Spokesperson of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH, wrote in an e-mail to Trend on May 5.

This week, the German RWE Energy Group said that signing an agreement on supply of Turkmen gas via Nabucco pipeline was postponed to the end of 2010. The 30 years contract for the annual supply of 10 billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas was initially planned to be signed in April. That would be the first agreement on gas supplies within the Nabucco project.

Stefan Judisch, chief executive of RWE Supply & Trading, said that the company expects to sign an agreement with Turkmenistan by the end of 2010. He linked the reasons for postponing signing this agreement with the delay in the process of political negotiations.

“As soon as the political framework has been created, Turkmenistan will be ready to sign a supply contract,” Judisch said.

According to Dolezal, the Nabucco consortium appreciates and attaches importance to the activities of RWE, which is one of the shareholders of the project, to facilitate its implementation. Last year, RWE signed an agreement to develop Block 23 in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea. Last month, the company stated that would spend $60-80 million to develop an offshore gas block in Turkmenistan over the next four years.

Michael Rosen, spokesperson of RWE Supply & Trading, express confident to reach such agreements within the next couple of months. “As a consequence, RWE is also talking intensively and constructively with Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan to agree upon results that would lead to gas supplies via the Nabucco pipeline,” Rosen wrote to Trend in an e-mail.

According to him, recently, the government of Turkmenistan has again confirmed its willingness and commitment to make significant volumes of gas available for export westbound. The spokesperson of the company said that there is no reason to change the current timeline for a Final Investment Decision on the project Nabucco that is scheduled to take place by the end of this year.

In terms of implementing the Nabucco project, great importance has always been attached to signing an agreement on gas supplies from Turkmenistan. In particular, the EU linked the fate of the project with it – or will begin construction of the pipeline, or the project will be closed.

The importance of an agreement with Turkmenistan is associated with the fact that the country is regarded as one of the key suppliers of gas for the Nabucco project, especially in the later stage of its implementation. Turkmen gas has to be an important source of loading the capacity of the pipeline, the maximum capacity of which is 31 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

Moreover, signing an agreement on deliveries of Turkmen gas would be a significant impetus for a final investment decision on the project, which is also scheduled for the end of 2010. Exactly the absence of any agreements on gas supplies, which would become a sort of guarantee for the completion of the pipeline, may be a deterrent factor for the creditors of the project.
Nabucco is worth 7.9 billion euro. Participants are Austrian OMV, Hungarian MOL, Bulgarian Bulgargaz, Romanian Transgaz, Turkish Botas and German RWE companies. Each of participants has equal share of 16.67 percent. Construction of the pipeline is planned for 2011 and first supplies for 2014. The pipeline’s maximum capacity will hit 31 billion cubic meters per year.  Nabucco Gas Pipeline International shareholders will invest 30 percent of the total cost, and the remaining 70 percent will be paid owing to loans. Azerbaijan, Iraq and Turkmenistan are considered as key gas suppliers for the project.

According to BP’s data, the proven gas reserves of Turkmenistan as of the beginning of 2009 amounted to 7.94 trillion cubic meters, Azerbaijan – 1.2 trillion cubic meters, Iraq, 3.17 trillion cubic meters.

news.az: BP-led consortium misses oil production targets for Q1

Oil production from Azerbaijan’s major fields, the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli offshore bloc, did not quite meet forecasts in the first quarter.

ACG produced 9.7m tonnes in January to March, an average of 797,300 barrels per day, rather than BP’s forecast of 854,000 bpd or 42.1m tonnes in the year as whole.

The average daily oil production from the Chirag platform was 106,700 barrels, from Central Azeri 190,400 barrels, from Western Azeri 253,700 barrels, from Eastern Azeri 127,900 barrels and from deepwater Gunashli 118,600 barrels.

Production from Chirag and Central Azeri was higher than forecast, but lower from the other three platforms.

The forecast for Chirag is 90,900 bpd, Central Azeri 184,200 bpd, Western Azeri 285,700 bpd, Eastern Azeri 158,100 and deepwater Gunashli 135,000 bpd.

In 2009, overall oil production from ACG was 298m barrels or 40.3m tonnes, an average of 817,700 bpd.

Gas beats targets

The Shah Deniz gas field, by contrast, slightly exceeded its targets, producing 2bn cubic metres of gas and 540,000 tonnes of condensate in the first quarter.

The BP-led Shah Deniz consortium is planning to produce 7.6bn cu.m of gas and 2m tonnes of condensate from the field in 2010 as a whole.

In 2009, Shah Deniz produced 6.2 bn cu.m of gas and 1.7m tonnes of condensate, below the planned production of 7.5bn cu.m of gas and 1.9m tonnes of condensate.

Production will increase with the launch of new wells drilled from the platform. During Stage 1 of the project production is expected to peak at 8.6bn cu.m of gas per year and about 45,000 barrels of condensate daily.

Costs down, outlay up

In the first quarter of 2010 the capital outlay on the BP-operated Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli, South Caucasus Pipeline, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Shah Deniz projects was $422.6m, according to figures released by BP-Azerbaijan.

Capital outlay on the ACG project was $341m in the first quarter, almost $100m more than in the equivalent period last year ($243m). ACG’s operating costs were $155.3m, less than the $175m costs in the first quarter of 2009.

Capital outlay on the BTC pipeline was $3.4m in the first quarter, on the South Caucasus pipeline $3.2m and on Shah Deniz $75m.

Novinite: Romania Snubbed Bulgaria over N-Plant Offer

Bulgaria: Romania Snubbed Bulgaria over N-Plant Offer
Bulgaria has stopped construction of its second nuclear power plant until it finds a new investor and funds to complete the project. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria has reportedly unsuccessfully courted Romania as it angles for a new chief investor in its second nuclear power plant Belene to replace the German energy company RWE, which withdrew last autumn.

“Bulgaria invited us to take part in the project to replace RWE but we refused them politely, as we have our own projects,” the state secretary in the ministry of economy Tudor Serban said, as cited by NewsIn.

Bulgaria has stopped construction of its second nuclear power plant until it finds a new investor and funds to complete the project.

The government has earmarked EUR 7 M to conserve the construction site at Belene, on the Danube, 180 kilometres northeast of the capital Sofia.

The plant was originally to be built by Russian company Atomstroiexport for EUR 4 B. The firm had signed a contract with the previous, Socialist-led government, swept from power by Borisov’s conservative GERB party swept in last year’s July elections.

Borisov last week turned down a 2-billion-euro offer made by Moscow for a stake in the plant, which would have kept the construction work going.

Instead, Bulgaria plans to seek a full investor to finish its second nuclear plant.

Romania has one nuclear power station in Cernavoda, with two reactors, each with installed power of 700 MW. Other two reactors are to be built and become operational after 2017, with a similar installed power. The two nuclear units cover almost 20% of the electricity production in Romania.

Authorities also plan to build a second nuclear power station, which could be put into operation in 2030 with an installed power of 1,000 MW.

energia.gr: EU:No Role To Play In Possible Russia-Ukraine Gas Tie

The European Commission has no role to play at the moment in a possible combination of Russia ‘s and Ukraine ‘s gas companies, European Commissioner for Energy Guenther Oettinger said Thursday.

“The decision has to come from Kiev and Moscow, and not from Brussels,” Oettinger said after meeting Ukraine’s Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko in Brussels, commenting on Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s surprise idea of merging Russia’s energy giant OAO Gazprom (GAZP.RS) with Naftogaz, Ukraine’s national gas company.

“It’s too early, for today there is no reason for any activity of the European Commission,” he said, explaining the European Union would only check if the operation is in line with EU energy laws if it happened.

Kiev is drawing closer to Moscow under new President Viktor Yanukovych, and Putin caught the world by surprise Friday by suggesting the combination.

Ukraine ‘s response will be made public after we estimate everything based on our national interests,” Yanukovych said late Wednesday. “If we decide to start such negotiations, we should certainly invite the EU [European Union] to them at some stage, as it remains the main consumer of gas and main partner.”

Analysts have said a direct tie-up of Gazprom and Naftogaz is extremely unlikely because Kiev, even with the new government, would be unlikely to let the much larger Russian gas company dominate its smaller, debt-ridden Ukrainian partner and its strategic pipelines to European gas consumers.

“Prime Minister Putin was most likely ‘flying a kite’ with the suggestion of a full merger, to gauge the reaction in Kiev and Brussels and as a distraction in order to make ‘Plan B,’ a joint venture that holds an equity interest in the Ukraine pipeline system, more palatable,” said Chris Weafer, chief strategist at UralSib Capital in Moscow.

A cash-rich joint venture, perhaps including European gas consumers, could upgrade Ukraine ‘s pipelines and boost transmission from the Caspian Searegion, sounding a “death knell” for the EU-backed Nabucco gas pipeline, Weafer said.

In any case, greater co-operation between Gazprom and Ukraine would minimize the risk of contract disputes and gas disruptions to central and western Europe.

energia.gr: Iran Foreign Minister To Visit Turkey After NPT Event – Report

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki will visit Turkey for talks on his return from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review in New York, reports PressTV on its website Thursday, citing diplomatic sources.

On his way back to Tehran, Mottaki plans a one-day stopover in Ankara Friday for a brief visit and talks with Turkish officials, and is scheduled to meet his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu to discuss regional and international issues.

energia.gr: Hungary Energy Sector Needs Interconnectivity Focus – Industry

Hungary ‘s energy sector need to focus more on gas and electricity interconnection with its neighbors and on the development of its transmission infrastructure, figures from industry said Thursday.

Hungary is in a remarkable location to become a regional [energy] hub, but further transit capacities are essential,” Philippe Bourguignon, chief executive officer of Gaz de France-Suez Magyarorszag Zrt., the Hungarian arm of GDF Suez S.A. (GSZ.FR), said at a conference organized by the Central European Business Center .

Although Hungarian regulation of electricity and gas exports and imports isn’t restrictive, in practice, the free flow of energy across borders is still a long way off, Bourguignon told Dow Jones Newswires on the sidelines of the conference.

Hungary is currently an island,” Bourguignon said.

Interconnectivity would be essential for the country’s energy security, as interconnected countries in central and Eastern Europe would become a major regional presence, even when compared to Russia , said Vladimir Socor, senior fellow at research institute Jamestown Foundation.

“Creating a regional gas market is top priority,” Socor said.

energia.gr: Poland To Renegotiate Russian Gas Deal On EU Concerns

Poland is going to delay signing a gas agreement it has reached with Russia and is willing to renegotiate it, taking into account the European Commission’s concerns that it may not comply with European Union rules, a spokeswoman for the commission said Thursday.

The Poles “have clearly said that they will delay the agreement and they will talk to us first and they will explain to us what is in the agreement,” the spokeswoman said during a regular press briefing.

“We also got signs, and it was also told us by the Poles, that they are happy to renegotiate the agreement in line with our concerns,” she added.

Poland has been negotiating with Russia for more than a year and finally reached an agreement in December, although it hasn’t yet been signed, with unconfirmed press reports in Poland saying the government wants to make sure the agreement conforms with the EU law before signing it.

The new government-level gas agreement was initialed last year. PGNiG and Russian gas company OAO Gazprom (GAZP.RS) earlier this year reached a new corporate agreement on higher gas deliveries to Poland that corresponds with the governmental deal.

Poland ‘s government in February cleared a January deal between local gas monopoly PGNiG (PGN.WA) and the Russian gas firm OAO Gazprom (GAZP.RS) to boost natural gas deliveries to Poland .

Under what is known as the Yamal deal, Gazprom agreed to boost gas supplies to Poland to the maximum of 10.2 billion cubic meters a year, measured in accordance with Polish norms, and 11 billion cubic meters, measured according to Russian norms.

Signed in 1996, the Yamal contract was extended to 2037 from 2022 agreed earlier. The parties also agreed to extend an earlier agreement for gas transit using the Yamal-Europe pipeline to Germany until 2045.

The agreement also settles the dispute over overdue transit fees that Gazprom owed to the local company operating the Polish strand of the Yamal pipeline. The Russian firm and PGNiG jointly own the pipeline operator.

Instead of paying the arrears directly to the operator, Gazprom offered a discount for gas PGNiG buys from the Russian firm.

Eurasia Daily Monitor: Putin Calls For Naftohaz Ukrainy-Gazprom Gas Merger

Prime Minister of Ukraine Nikolai Azarov (L) walks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller (background) following a meeting in Sochi on April 30, 2010

Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, has proposed a “merger“of Ukraine’s national energy company Naftohaz Ukrainy with Russia’s Gazprom. The proposal emerged during Putin’s April 30 meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister, Nikolai Azarov, in Sochi (ITAR-TASS, April 30). It was the seventh meeting, by most counts, at the level of Russian and Ukrainian presidents and prime ministers, since the new authorities took office in Kyiv in early March. While Russia’s “integration” of Ukraine is proceeding apace, Western reaction seem to display little alertness or interest.

Responding on May 3, the European Energy Commissioner’s Spokesperson, Marlene Holzner, characterized the Gazprom-Naftohaz merger proposal as “an internal matter involving the two governments. What is important to us and the European Union is that Ukraine continues the reforms to modernize the internal gas market and increase transparency” (Interfax-Ukraine, May 3).

Such a response is true to EU form. Putin had struck at the weekend (favorite timing of Russian coups de theatre in Europe), blindsiding the EU. As officials in Brussels returned to work on Monday, unprepared for such contingencies and lacking a clear policy, they had to improvise a lowest-common-denominator response. This implies leaving Ukraine to its own devices and Moscow free to deal with Ukraine through Gazprom. It even fails to note the inherent contradiction between a Russian takeover and the EU’s own stated wish for transparency in Ukraine’s energy sector.

The EU-Ukraine agreement on reform and modernization of the gas transit system, signed in March 2009 (meant to be implemented from 2010 onward) provides Ukraine with an incomparably more attractive alternative than Gazprom’s. By the same token, Western-assisted reform of Ukraine’s gas transit system gives the EU a far better option, compared with Gazprom’s capture of that system. Failure to invoke the European alternative in Brussels would convey the impression that the EU has taken it off the table, thus undermining Ukrainian opposition to a Gazprom takeover. Conversely, the EU could make clear that the March 2009 agreement remains available to Ukraine as a key element in EU-Ukraine relations. Clarifying this for Ukraine’s political forces and public can forestall attempts to change the 2007 Ukrainian law that bans alienation of the country’s energy infrastructure assets.

The 2007 law and the 2009 agreement are two major tools for avoiding a Gazprom takeover in Ukraine. Failure to uphold the 2009 offer by Brussels could fatally weaken the defense of the 2007 law by political parties in Kyiv. It is by no means a foregone conclusion that the Party of Regions would unanimously support changing the 2007 law. A large part of the then-governing Party of Regions had actually voted in favor of that law, which Yulia Tymoshenko authored as opposition leader at that time. That move in the Verkhovna Rada came in response to then-president Putin’s public proposal for shared control of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

The ramifications of Putin’s proposal extend beyond natural gas, to Ukraine’s oil industry and its transit to European Union consumer countries. The proposal also seems to imply strengthening Gazprom as an international player in the oil sector. Along with these novel elements, however, Moscow’s paramount interest remains focused on gaining control of Ukraine’s gas transit system.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, threatened on May 3 that Russia would shift the gas transit flow, from the Ukrainian system into the planned South Stream pipeline, bypassing Ukraine, unless Ukraine agrees to merge Naftohaz with Gazprom: “Implementation of the South Stream project is about to begin. This would result in severe losses to Ukraine’s gas transport system and to its valuation. Ukraine [should be] interested in having Gazprom as co-owner of Naftohaz, so as to ensure that Ukraine’s gas transport system continues to operate in working condition, is steadily modernized, and is supplied with gas” (Interfax, May 3).

Moscow has invoked this scenario for some time to intimidate Kyiv; but Putin’s and Peskov’s statements mark an unprecedented escalation of Moscow’s ambitions: no longer a “gas consortium” with some cosmetic third-party involvement, but a union of Ukraine’s gas and oil sectors with Russia’s, via a Gazprom-Naftohaz merger. Moscow has apparently decided to drive the process into an end-game phase on its terms.

Ukraine’s new leaders are apparently taking the threat potential of South Stream at face value. During the presidential election campaign as well as since taking office President, Viktor Yanukovych, and Premier Azarov have been telling the country that it would lose its transit role in favor of South Stream, unless the Ukrainian system is ceded to Russia through some “consortium.” With this, Yanukovych and Azarov have simply echoed Moscow’s rhetoric from their Ukrainian state offices, instead of educating the Ukrainian public to South Stream’s lack of prospects (EDM, March 17, April 30).

PGNiG Chief Executive Michal Szubski said earlier this year PGNiG’s discount agreed in the new contract could give the company more than $200 million in savings over the next five years.
Another important factor to boost energy security would be increasing market transparency, said CEZ Magyarorszag Zrt. Chief Executive Officer Gabor Hornai. CEZ Magyarorszag is a subsidiary of Czech power firm CEZ AS (BAACEZ.PR).