revista presei pe energie 9 septembrie

2010/09/09

Adevarul: Hidrocentrale noi de trei miliarde de euro

Hidroenergetica, unul din cei doi viitori campioni energetici naţionali, va construi 47 de noi hidrocentrale în următorii cinci-şapte ani. Aceste proiecte necesită investiţii de peste trei miliarde de euro şi vor fi realizate în parteneriate public-private.

Viitorul campion energetic naţional Hidroenergetica are în plan realizarea în următorii cinci-şapte ani a 47 de noi hidrocentrale în valoare de peste trei miliarde de euro, în parteneriate cu firme private, a declarat Mihai David, directorul general al Hidroelectrica şi viitorul şef al Hidroenergetica.

Cel mai amplu proiect va fi hidrocentrala de la Tarniţa, evaluată la peste un miliard de euro, cu o capacitate de 1.000 de MW. Restul centralelor vor fi amplasate pe râurile Mureş, Buzău, Someş, Lotrioara, Arieş şi Siret şi vor produce aproape un TWh de energie anual, adică 6,5% din producţia companiei de anul trecut.

„Până la finele lunii vom trimite scrisori de invitaţie marilor corporaţii europene”, a spus David, dând drept exemplu grupuri precum RWE, E.ON sau GDF Suez.

David a explicat că modelul parteneriatelor public-private s-a înrădăcinat în cultura europeană în materie de proiecte energetice. „Am fi putut realiza aceste proiecte şi singuri, dar în 20 de ani. Sunt investiţii foarte mari. Vrem minimum 50% din fiecare proiect”, a arătat el. mai mult

Bursa: “Hidroelectrica” a vândut pe OPCOM 6% din producţie

Hidroelectrica a vândut, în primele şapte luni, pe piaţa centralizată de energie administrată de OPCOM, 659 GWh, reprezentând aproape 6% din producţia totală, de 11,4 TWh, şi în urcare cu 91% faţă de 345 GWh în perioada ianuarie-iulie 2009. “Producţia la şapte luni a fost de 11,4 TWh, în creştere cu 15% faţă de 9,9 TWh la la şapte luni în 2009”, a declarat, ieri, într-o conferinţă, directorul general al producătorului de electricitate deţinut de stat, Mihai David, potrivit Mediafax.
Cel mai mic preţ la care compania vinde în acest an energia este de 120 lei MWh, iar cel mai mare preţ este 160 lei pe MWh. Potrivit lui David, Hidroelectrica vinde energie la coş, din care 15-20% este ponderea cantităţilor pe care compania le cumpără de la termocentrale (2,5 TWh), 9% este ponderea energiei achiziţionată de la centrala nucleară de la Cernavodă (1 TWh), iar diferenţa este energia produsă de companie.

money.ro: Ioan Niculae ameninţă că va destabiliza sistemul naţional de gaze

Combinatele miliardarului vor renunţa la statutul de consumator întreruptibil de gaze şi nu vor mai lua nici gaze produse în ţară chiar cu riscul închiderii unora dintre ele. Ameninţarea este una destul de importantă, având în vedere că Grupul InterAgro, patronat de Niculae este cel mai mare consumator de gaze din România.

Omul de afaceri Ioan Niculae vrea să renunţe la statutul de întreruptibil al tuturor celor şase combinate chimice ale sale şi, totodată, la achiziţionarea de gaze de producţie internă. Niculae va apela la această măsură odată cu expirarea unei ordonanţe de urgenţă a Guvernului care facilita fabricilor cu statut de întreruptibil cumpărarea degaze doar din producţia internă de două ori mai ieftine decât cele din import.

Omul de afaceri îşi motivează decizia prin faptul că nu a beneficiat niciun moment de avantajele prevăzute prin lege. “Legea aceasta nu s-a respectat nici măcar o lună. Nici vorbă să iau gaze doar din intern. Ba din contra, am fost nevoit să şi import pentru că Romgaz-ul nu mi-a dat cantităţile de care aveam nevoie. A trebuit să cumpăr şi de la Petrom cu banii în avans. Dar gata! De luna viitoare renunţ la statutul de întreruptibil iau gaze din Bulgaria şi Rusia chiar şi mai scumpe şi cu banii în avans şi nu mai am nevoie de gaze româneşti. Să vedem ce se va întâmpla când va exista un surplus de 1,5-2 miliarde de metri cubi de gaze pe piaţă. Unde îşi vor mai vinde gazul Romgaz şi Petrom? Se va destabiliza toată piaţa românească a gazelor”, afirmă Niculae.

Omul de afaceri recunoaşte că, odată ce va plăti mult mai mult pe gaze nu va mai putea ţine în funcţiune toate combinatele însă afirmă că este dispus să-şi asume acest risc. mai mult

Bursa: Guvernul a aprobat fuziunea filialelor Electrica de furnizare a energiei

Filialele Electrica de furnizare a energiei Transilvania Nord, Transilvania Sud şi Muntenia Nord vor fuziona şi vor forma o societate denumită Electrica Furnizare, operaţiunea fiind aprobată prin hotărâre de guvern. Potrivit Mediafax, noua societate va avea ca obiect principal de activitate comercializarea de energie electrică, dar va putea des-făşura complementar şi alte activităţi conexe. Transilvania Nord, Transilvania Sud şi Muntenia Nord vor fi astfel dizolvate fără a intra în lichidare. Personalul angajat în cadrul filialelor care îşi încetează activitatea va fi preluat de către Electrica Furnizare, în baza Codului Muncii, iar contractul colectiv de muncă rămâne în vigoare până la încheierea unuia nou.

Hotnews: Vladimir Putin: South Stream va fi construit la fel de repede precum Nord Stream. Nabucco nu are sanse mari de succes

La intalnirea cu expertii asa numitului club de dezbateri „Valdai”, premierul Vladimir Putin a promis ca gazoductul South Stream va fi construit la fel de repede precum Nord Stream. In opinia lui Putin, conducta concurenta South Stream – magistrala de transport Nabucco, nu are sanse mari de succes, scrie bfm.ru.

„Principala problema a acestui proiect o constituie absenta unui volum garantat de carburanti pentru conducta. Nu exista o sursa ferma de alimentare a sistemului. Rusia nu are de gand sa furnizeze nimic in aceasta directie, iar in Iran aceste zacaminte nu au intrat inca in exploatare. Azerbaidjan dispune de rezerve relative de gaze. In plus, Baku a semnat un contract de livrare a gazelor in Rusia. Mai este Turkmenistan, dar nu este limpede ce cantitate de gaze poate oferi acest stat, avand in vedere conducta spre China, care transporta 30 mld. mc pe an”, a explicat Putin.

money.ro: Putin: Proiectul Nabucco are puţine şanse de reuşită pentru că nu are suficient gaz

Moscova îşi continuă “contrele” la adresa Nabucco. Proiectul are puţine şanse de reuşită, repetă premierul Vladimir Putin. “Principala problemă cu Nabucco este lipsa volumelor garantate de produs necesar în conductă”. Cu totul altul este însă viitorul South Stream, spune Putin: gazoductul va fi construit la fel de rapid ca Nord Stream.

Soci, Clubul de discuţii Valdai. Premierul Vladimir Putin îi spune directorului Centrului turc pentru relaţii internaţionale şi de analiză strategică: “Am început deja construirea gazoductului Nord Stream pe fundul mării Baltice, iar anul viitor, gazul va trece deja prin conductă. Facem totul repede şi vom construi South Stream la fel de repede”. South Streem este deja o poveste de succes, în viziunea şefului guvernului de la Moscova. Nu însă şi Nabucco.

Vladimir Putin crede că acest proiect are puţine şanse de reuşită, deoarece nu are suficient gaz. De ce? Rusia nu va furniza nimic, în Iran nu este pus nimic în valoaredeocamdată, iar în Azerbaidjan volumul este modest şi, în plus, Baku a semnat deja un contract de livrare de gaz în Rusia. “Mai este Turkmenistanul, dar nu se ştie încă volumul care ar putea proveni de acolo, ţinând cont că gazoductul are o capacitate de 30 de miliarde de metri cubi”, a adăugat Putin. Nabucco ar urma să aprovizioneze Uniunea Europeană cu gaz ocolind Rusia. South Stream ar urma să lege Rusia de Uniunea Europeană, ocolind Ucraina. Proiectul South Stream, în care Rusia, Bulgaria şi Grecia sunt partenere, prevede construirea unei conducte de 300 de kilometri de la Burgas, pe litoralul bulgar al Mării Negre, până la Alexandroupolis, pe coasta Mării Egee.

În iunie, Gazprom a anunţat însă că ar putea redirecţiona gazoductul prin România în loc de Bulgaria, după ce premierul bulgar a spus că ţara sa nu va mai participa la proiect din raţiuni ecologice. Ulterior, Boiko Borisov a revenit cu precizarea că executivul nu a luat o decizie finală, iar la 16 iulie Rusia şi Bulgaria au semnat o foaie de parcurs cu privire la caracterisitile tehnice şi economice ale secţiunii bulgare a conductei. Pentru secţiunea terestră a gazoductului au mai fost semnate acorduri interguvernamentale cu Serbia, Ungaria, Slovenia, Croaţia şi Austria.

Bursa: Putin, sceptic în privinţa Nabucco

Premierul rus Vladimir Putin s-a arătat încrezător că gazoductul South Stream, destinat să transporte gaze ruseşti în sudul Europei pe sub Marea Neagră, va fi construit la fel de repede ca Nord Stream, prin care Rusia intenţionează să pompeze gaze naturale pe sub Marea Baltică direct în Germania, relatează marţi ziarele financiare ruseşti Vedomosti şi Vzgliad. Potrivit Agerpres, Putin consideră că Nabucco are puţine şanse de succes: “Principala problemă a Nabucco este lipsa surselor de aprovizionare garantate, care să asigure funcţionarea neîntreruptă a conductei”, subliniind că Rusia nu intenţionează să participe cu vreun metru cub de gaze la acest proiect, care ar urma să ocolească teritoriul rus.
Declaraţiile lui Putin au fost făcute după anunţul de începere a evaluării Nabucco, în vederea obţinerii unei finanţări de 4 miliarde euro de la BEI, BERD şi IFC. Putin afirmă: “Iranul are rezerve, dar acestea se află încă în stadiu de prospectare, Azerbaidjanul nu are multe rezerve de gaze. În plus, Azerbaidjanul a semnat deja un contract privind furnizarea de gaze către Rusia. Mai sunt gaze şi în Turkmenistan, însă nu este încă foarte clar volumul de hidrocarburi disponibil pentru Nabucco, ştiindu-se că Turkmenistanul s-a angajat, prin contract, să livreze Chinei circa 30 miliarde metri cubi de gaze anual, printr-o conductă ce leagă cele două ţări”.

Vocea Ruisie: Construirea Nabucco, din nou sub semnul întrebării

Construirea gazoductului Nabucco, prin care gazul din regiunea caspică trebuie să ajungă în Europa, a fost din nou amânată, cu cel puţin un an. Începerea lucrărilor a fost planificată pentru 2012, iar darea în funcţiune a traseului de 3,3 mii de kilometri este planificată pentru sfârşitul anului 2014-începutul anului 2015.

Această informaţie a fost comunicată la Bruxelles de directorul executiv al companiei „Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH Managing”, Reichard Mitchek.

Principala problemă cu care se confruntă Nabucco este umplerea conductei. În pofida tuturor eforturilor întreprinse de conducerea companiei nu s-a reuşit să se convină asupra livrărilor sigure de gaz din cauza lipsei acestuia, consideră Ghennadi Şmal, preşedintele Asociaţiei Întreprinzătorilor şi Industriaşilor Ruşi.

„Într-un timp, ţara principală, care putea să livreze gaze pentru Nabucco, era Azerbaidjan. În prezent, Azerbaidjanul extrage în jur de 22.500 miliarde de metri cubi de gaz, dintre care în jur de 16 sunt pentru comerţ. Azerii trebuie să livreze gaze în Turcia şi Georgia. Există şi consumul intern. Şi chiar şi nouă ne-au promis câteva miliarde. De aceea, Azerbaidjanul nu are resurse pentru conducta Nabucco. A doua variantă a fost Turkmenistanul, care deţine resurse importante. În epoca sovietică acolo se extrăgeau peste 80 miliarde de metri cubi. În ultimul timp cantitatea este puţin mai mică. Dar turkmenii au construit un gazoduct spre China. Au construit o conductă spre Iran. Intenţionează să construiască o a doua ramificaţie spre Iran şi China. În total, 60 de miliarde pleacă în aceste direcţii. Plus 10 miliarde pe care le cumpărăm noi. Da, acolo există o serie întreagă de zăcăminte, dar ele trebuie puse în funcţiune. În acest scop este nevoie de timp”.

Mai există şi gazul iranian. Dar exploatarea sa abia începe. Iar Teheranul plănuieşte să-l livreze în Pakistan şi India. În plus, Iranul are relaţii tensionate cu SUA, care promovează Nabucco.

În lipsa clarităţii privind livrările de gaz, realizarea proiectului Nabucco este îndoielnică pentru investitori. Luni, Banca Mondială, Banca Europeană de Reconstrucţie şi Dezvoltare şi Banca Europeană de Investiţii au semnat un memorandum cu privire la posibila participare la finanţarea Nabucco cu 4 miliarde de euro, ceea ce reprezintă jumătate din costul gazoductului. Însă aceşti bani vor fi alocaţi doar în cazul în care conducerea companiei-operator va putea obţine cealaltă jumătate necesară de la business-ul privat. Însă, după toate probabilităţile, acesta nu este pregătit să rişte capitalul în condiţiile crizei economice care încă nu a fost depăşită.

Astfel, soarta Nabucco este incertă. Era şi de aşteptat, deoarece la baza proiectului se află considerente nu atât economice, cât politice, menite să slăbească poziţiile Rusiei pe piaţa europeană.

inforusia.ro: Kievul sugereaza Moscovei sa renunte la proiectul South Stream

Ucraina incearca sa convinga Rusia sa renunte la planurile privind constructia noului gazoduct South Stream, in cadrul negocierilor dintre autoritatile de la Kiev si compania rusa Gazprom, a declarat luni ministrul ucrainean de Externe, Konstantin Griscenko, scrie agentia Reuters.

Konstantin Griscenko a spus ca Ucraina propune ca alternativa la South Stream modernizarea retelelor sale de gazoducte, aceasta fiind cea mai scurta cale pentru transportul gazelor naturale rusesti spre Europa.

Gazprom a anuntat luna trecuta ca a demarat o noua runda de negocieri cu compania energetica de stat din Ucraina, Naftogaz, in vederea crearii unei societati mixte, care, in opinia grupului rus, ar putea fi un prim pas spre o fuziune completa a celor doua societati. O fuziune a Gazprom cu Naftogaz ar da Moscovei controlul asupra principalelor conducte de gaz care traverseaza Ucraina si fac legatura intre Rusia si Europa.

RIA Novosti: Russian gas market to become more attractive to suppliers says LUKoil

Selling gas to Russian companies on the local market will become more attractive than exporting it, LUKoil Vice President and co-owner Leonid Fedun said on Wednesday.

“For our colleagues in Gazprom, and ourselves as a company that produces a significant amount of gas, it will be more profitable to sell domestically rather than to export it,” Fedun told a business conference.

He added that in the near future gas prices in Europe would not be high.

“The continuous production of non-traditional gas and shipments of liquefied natural gas will lead to the fact that the spot price of gas in Europe will be quite low,” he said.

Taking into consideration transportation costs and export duties, selling gas on the domestic market would be more profitable for Russian companies, Fedun added. “What happened to oil products will happen to gas,” he said.

RIA Novosti: Iran attains ‘gasoline self-sufficiency’

Iran has achieved self-sufficiency in gasoline production, Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi said on Wednesday.

The country has raised gasoline production to 66.5 million liters a day, the ISNA news agency reported.

Iran started gasoline production 10 months ago.

It previously said 6.6 million liters of gasoline a day will be produced at the Borzouyeh petrochemical plant, 2.65 million liters at the Bou Ali petrochemical complex and 3.4 million liters at the Bandar Imam plant.

In January, Iran announced plans to build seven oil refineries in a bid to reduce exposure to foreign suppliers and meet domestic demand.

Iran has been sending its oil to southern Gulf countries to be refined and then re-imported, significantly raising gasoline prices.

ITAR TASS: Russia, Kazakhstan sign deal to develop Imashevskoye gas field

Russia and Kazakhstan have signed a package of agreements, including a document on the joint development of the Imashevskoye gas condensate field.

The parties signed the agreements as part of the 7th Russia-Kazakhstan Interregional Cooperation Forum in Ust-Kamenogorsk on Tuesday.

Russian Minister of Natural Resources Yuri Trutnev and Kazakhstani Minister of Oil and Gas Sauat Mynbayev put their signatures to the inter-governmental agreement on joint activities aimed at the geological surveys and development of trans-boundary gas condensate deposit Imashevskoye.

The agreements “will help strengthen the legal base of Russia and Kazakhstan in order to rationally use water resources”, the Ministry of Natural Resources said. “The agreement also expands the powers of the Rusisan-Kazakhstani commission on the joint use and protection of water resources,” the ministry said.

According to it, Russia and Kazakhstan also work on a series of documents to preserve biodiversity and develop specially protected areas.

Two more inter-governmental agreements include interregional and border cooperation, as well as joint use and protection of trans-boundary water resources.

Russian Railways head Vladimir Yakunin and chief of National “Kazakhstan Temir Zholy” Askar Mamin signed a memorandum on mutual understanding the in the field of efficient implementation of the Customs Union’s transit potential.

In addition, several agreements were signed by the heads of Russian and Kazakhstani regions. In particular, the Akimat (Executive Committee) of the East Kazakhstan Region signed agreements with three Russian regions, including Altai Territory, the Republic of Altai and the Novosibirsk region. The documents focus on trade, economic, social, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation.

Novinite: Sofia Unaware of Moscow Wed Meeting over Oil Pipeline

Bulgaria‘s finance ministry has denied their representatives are expected in Moscow on September 8 for talks on the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline.

“The economic plan for the construction of the pipeline will be presented in Moscow on Wednesday,” a representative of the project company Trans-Balkan Pipeline (TBP) told Dnevnik daily over the phone.

Asked for comment, representatives of the finance ministry, which is in charge of the project, said they know nothing about the negotiations in Moscow and will duly inform the media if “something happens”.

Construction of the line has been on ice even after Bulgaria‘s government balked at the potential environmental damage that the pipeline could inflict on its resort-dotted coastline. The cabinet has stated that its final decision on the country’s participation in the project will depend on its upcoming international environmental assessment.

Two months ago Bulgaria‘s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov unexpectedly said that his country was “giving up” on Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project.

In a dramatic twist that left all of Europe confused, Borisov retracted his statements shortly afterwards, saying that the Bulgarian government hasn’t made a final decision regarding the construction of the pipeline.

After it took office in July 2009, Bulgaria‘s new center-right government of the GERB party made it clear it was going to reconsider the country’s participation in the three large-scale energy projects – South Stream gas pipeline, Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, and Belene Nuclear Power Plant.

Three Bulgarian Black Sea municipalities – Burgas, Pomorie, and Sozopol – have voted against the pipe in local referendums over environmental concerns.

Municipalities neighboring Pomorie and nearby Burgas are also harboring fears that the pipeline could damage their lucrative tourism business, while environmental NGOs have branded the existing plans to build an oil terminal out at sea a disaster waiting to happen.

Bulgaria, Greece and Russia agreed to build the pipeline between Burgas and Alexandroupolis, taking Caspian oil to the Mediterranean skirting the congested Bosphorus, in 2007 after more than a decade of intermittent talks.

The agreement for the company which will construct the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil transit pipeline was signed by Bulgaria during Russian President Putin’s visit toBulgaria in 2008.

The 280-kilometer pipeline, with 166 kilometers passing through Bulgaria, would have an initial annual capacity of 35 million tonnes, which could be later expanded to 50 million tonnes. Its costs are estimated at up to USD 900 M.

Novinite: Bulgaria ‘Present’ at Russian Pipeline Meeting Unbeknownst to Govt

Bulgaria appeared to have been represented at a Wednesday’s meeting in Moscow on the fate of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline in spite of earlier denial by the Finance Ministry.

A representative of the international project company Trans-Balkan Pipeline told the Bulgarian press earlier on Wednesday that the economic plan for the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline would be presented in Moscow on Wednesday.

Asked for comment, representatives of the Finance Ministry, which is in charge of the project on part of the Bulgarian government, said they know nothing about the negotiations in Moscow and will duly inform the media if “something happens”.

Only in the late afternoon did the Finance Ministry send out a press statement explaining that such a meeting had in fact taken place in Moscow on Wednesday. The statement, however, made no mention of the confusion with the initial repudiation of the news.

The meeting on the Burgas-Alexanroupolis oil pipeline in Moscow on Wednesday included representatives of Russia and Bulgaria, the Finance Ministry press office announced citing one of the Bulgarian members of the Supervisory Board of Trans-Balkan PipelineRumen Porodzhanov.

It considered a funding proposal made by one of the Russian partners in the project, Transneft. According to Porodzhanov, the participants in the meeting agreed to have the TBB company elaborate the proposal further in order to demonstrate clearly the economic benefits for the shareholders from the potential construction and operation of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis project.

Porodzhanov made no mention of the presence of the Greek representatives at the Moscow meeting. This is not surprising given that in July 2010, the TBB CEOVladislav Emelyanov said a new Bulgarian-Russian meeting dedicated to the future of the stalled pipeline will take place in late September or early October, most likely in Moscow.

Bulgaria, Greece, and Russia signed the agreements for the so called “Eastern Orthodox pipeline”, which is supposed to bring Russian and Caspian oil to the Mediterranean by circumventing the Turkish straits, back in 2007.

The Trans-Balkan Pipeline company, which is in charge of the construction and subsequent operation of the future pipeline, and is headquartered in the Netherlands, was set up in 2008.

The Russian participant in the project, Pipeline Consortium Burgas-Alexandroupolis Ltd, has a share of 51%. It was founded jointly by three companies: AK Transneft (33.34%), NK Rosneft (33.33%), and Gazrpom Neft (33.33%).

The Bulgarian Joint stock company “Project Company Oil Pipeline Burgas-Alexandroupolis – BG” AD has a share of 24.5%. It was initially founded as jointly by two state companies, Bulgargaz (50%) and Technoexportstroy (50%) but was transferred in full to the Finance Ministry in February 2010.

The Greek participants are Helpe Thraki AE with 23.5% and the Greek government with 1%. The Helpe-Thraki AE was founded jointly by “Hellenic Petroleum” (25%) and “Thraki” (75%).

On July 16, 2010, the Bulgarian government completed the restructuring of its Project Company Oil Pipeline Burgas-Alexandroupolis – BG” AD, which sealed the transfer of the company under the responsibility of the Finance Minister.

Construction of the pipeline has been on ice even after Bulgaria’s government balked at the potential environmental damage that the pipeline could inflict on its resort-dotted coastline. The cabinet has stated that its final decision on the country’s participation in the project will depend on its upcoming international environmental assessment.

Two months ago Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov unexpectedly said that his country was “giving up” on Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project.

In a dramatic twist that left all of Europe confused, Borisov retracted his statements shortly afterwards, saying that the Bulgarian government hasn’t made a final decision regarding the construction of the pipeline.

After it took office in July 2009, Bulgaria’s new center-right government of the GERB party made it clear it was going to reconsider the country’s participation in the three large-scale energy projects – South Stream gas pipeline, Burgas-Alexandroupolisoil pipeline, and Belene Nuclear Power Plant.

Three Bulgarian Black Sea municipalities – Burgas, Pomorie, and Sozopol – have voted against the pipe in local referendums over environmental concerns.

Municipalities neighboring Pomorie and nearby Burgas are also harboring fears that the pipeline could damage their lucrative tourism business, while environmental NGOs have branded the existing plans to build an oil terminal out at sea a disaster waiting to happen.

Bulgaria, Greece and Russia agreed to build the pipeline between Burgas and Alexandroupolis, taking Caspian oil to the Mediterranean skirting the congested Bosphorus, in 2007 after more than a decade of intermittent talks.

The agreement for the company which will construct the Burgas-Alexandroupolisoil transit pipeline was signed by Bulgaria during Russian President Putin’s visit to Bulgaria in 2008.

The 280-kilometer pipeline, with 166 kilometers passing through Bulgaria, would have an initial annual capacity of 35 million tonnes, which could be later expanded to 50 million tonnes. Its costs are estimated at up to USD 1.5 B, up from initial estimates at USD 900 M.

Novinite: Bulgaria, Romania Mull Joint Hydropower, Nabucco Efforts

Bulgarian and Romanian government representatives met in Bucharest and reached agreements on a number of joint energy pursuits, reported Mediafax.ro quoting theRomaniaMinistry of Economy.

According to a release from the RomaniaMinistry of Economy, Trade and Business Environment, the meeting took place in Bucharest end of last week and included Romanian state secretary in the Ministry of Economy Constantin Claudiu Stafie and Bulgarian deputy Minister of Economy and Energy Mariy Kossev, as well as Bulgarian ambassador Vladimir Radomirski.

The two parties discussed “joint projects underway”, such as the opportunities for building hydroelectric power plants on the Danube river.

They also discussed the joining of the two neighbors’ electricity markets, as well as the interconnection of their natural gas and electricity networks.

In an important move, Romania and Bulgaria agreed that they need to come out with “a common position” regarding the implementation and development of theNabucco natural gas pipeline project.

The two countries also agreed to hold regular working groups in specific energy areas to give an effective impulse to bilateral and regional cooperation in those fields.

news.az: Azerbaijan supplies over 557m cubic meters of gas to Russia

Since start of year the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan exported 557,391,000 cubic meters of natural gas to Russia, according to sources in SOCAR.

Supplies to Russia in August were 62,743,000 cubic meters. Thus, the average daily gas supplies to Russia made up 2,211,000 cubic meters in January-August.

Azerbaijan started gas export to Russia on 1 January 2010.

Earlier it was planned that in 2010 Russia will receive 500m cubic meters of gas but this volume was further raised two times.

The agreement on supplies of Azerbaijani gas to Russia was signed during the visit of the Russian delegation headed by Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev to Baku on 29 June 2009. The document fixing main provisions of purchase of the Azerbaijani natural gas was signed by Gazprom president Alexey Miller and SOCAR president Rovnag Abdullayev by results of the negotiations between Russian and Azerbaijani Presidents Dmitriy Medvedev and Ilham Aliyev.

eurasianet.org: Medvedev Visit to Baku Produces Gas Export Agreement

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s September 2-3 visit to Azerbaijan yielded a big energy deal, as the Russian state-controlled conglomerate Gazprom secured an agreement to dramatically increase its purchases of Azerbaijani natural gas.

The pact between Gazprom and the Azerbaijani state entity SOCAR will double the amount of Russian gas purchases, from 1 billion cubic meters this year to 2 billion cubic meters in 2011. The deal also provides for an even greater level of imports in 2012 and beyond, with no set limit on Azerbaijani sales.

Such an arrangement raises questions about the future of some long-planned energy projects, namely the Nabucco pipeline. Azerbaijan is seen as a primary supplier of the Nabucco route. But this latest Russian deal stands to foster uncertainty over Azerbaijan’s desire to supply a sufficient volume of gas to make Nabucco financially tenable. Moscow has long opposed Nabucco, the completion of which would create a Caspian Basin export route that avoids Russian territory. [For background see the EurasiaNet’s archive].

The September 3 pact is the third gas purchase agreement signed in just the past year between the two countries. The first agreement, signed in October of last year, provided for Russian purchases of 500 million cubic meters of gas annually. [For background see EurasiaNet’s archive].
During a joint news conference on September 3, President Aliyev praised the gas deals as “open and sincere.” He also sought to reassure Azerbaijan’s Western energy partners that strengthening energy cooperation with Russia would not come at their expense. “We don’t see our work in the gas sector as an opportunity for unfounded competition. We are working not on the basis of political concerns, but economic practice,” Aliyev said.

Such sentiments were echoed by independent experts in Baku. Ilham Shaban, the head of Caspian Barrel, an energy-oriented think tank, suggested that Azerbaijan had enough gas to meet its Russian commitments and participate in Nabucco. “These agreements have so far nothing to do with gas from the Shah Deniz field,” Shaban told EurasiaNet.org. [For background see EurasiaNet’s archive].

Medvedev also downplayed the notion that the Russian deal posed a threat to Nabucco. “Russia and Azerbaijan are serious players, gas suppliers, so we should not create obstacles to each other,” he said. Medvedev added that the sides had agreed to hold a summit on energy issues soon.
Besides the energy deal, Russian and Azerbaijani officials signed two agreements covering border matters. There was no immediate public word on one of the most important topics of discussion between Aliyev and Medvedev – the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process.

“It is really important period for the Karabakh conflict’s resolution now. The OSCE summit in Astana in December will end either with progress on this issue or failure. The latter would mean collapse of all mediating efforts of the Minsk Group during last years. Therefore Medvedev’s visit is very important for Baku in order to understand Moscow’s current position,” said Rasim Musabekov, a Baku political analyst. [For background see EurasiaNet’s archive].

During their joint press conference, the two presidents were evasive on the substance of their Karabakh discussions. Medvedev merely said he is prepared to continue mediating. “I am ready to discuss the toughest questions that remain on the agenda. The intensity of talks should not decrease,” he said. Aliyev, meanwhile, thanked Medvedev for his mediating efforts. “Talks with his participation are the most efficient,” the Azerbaijani leader stated.

Medvedev also sought to reassure Azerbaijani leaders about Moscow’s recent base-lease extension deal reached with Armenia. [For background see EurasiaNet’s archive].

Tabib Huseynov, an analyst for the International Crisis Group in Baku, described the Russian-Armenian agreement, under which Russia will maintain troops at the Gyumri military base until 2044, as a source of concern for Baku. The presence of Russian troops, according to Huseynov, heightens the possibility of “Russian military involvement in the event of a resumption of hostilities over Nagorno-Karabakh.” He added that it was likely that Aliyev sought at least a verbal guarantee from Medvedev that assets at the Gyumri base would never be used against Azerbaijan.

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