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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Gazprom Sakhalin-2 Payout

28/12/2006 - RZD News - Gazprom will pay Shell and two Japanese companies $7.45 billion in cash by April for half of the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project off Russia's east coast, deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said Wednesday. The payments will be made by the end of the first quarter of 2007, Medvedev told a conference call with investors, reports The Moscow Times referring to Bloomberg.

Oil consortium agreement to come into effect

PetronasRBC, 28.12.2006, Moscow 11:32:28.Investor consortium participants Uzbekneftegaz, LUKoil Overseas, Petronas Carigali Overseas, CNPC International Ltd, and KNOC Aral Ltd have signed agreements on cooperation and on a single operator as part of the production-sharing agreement (PSA) on the Uzbek section of the Aral Sea, the press office of LUKoil Overseas reported today. The PSA is estimated to come into effect in late January 2007 after all preliminary requirements have been met and a protocol to this effect has been signed by Uzbek government and the consortium. The Articles of Association and other constitutive documents of the operating company should also be prepared, while the company itself should be registered by the Uzbek authorities. A tender for a seismic survey is projected to be closed in mid-February 2007, and seismic operations to start in March.

Gazprom warns Europe of possible gas supply problems

RBC, 28.12.2006, Moscow 09:58:06. Gazprom has officially notified its customers in Europe of possible problems in gas transit via Belarus, Gazprom's CEO Alexei Miller told the Vesti TV program. He added that Gazprom will nevertheless supply the full amount of gas under its contracts with European countries to the Belarusian border. As for gas supplies to Belarus in 2007, Miller said if the parties fail to reach an agreement by the end of this year, gas supplies to Belarus will be cut off at 10 a.m. on January 1, 2007.

Gazprom gets gas, oil-prospecting license in Tajikistan

tajikistanMOSCOW, December 29 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom [RTS: GAZP] has been granted two licenses by the government of Tajikistan for the geological prospecting of natural gas and oil fields in the Central Asian republic, the energy giant said Friday. The licenses were issued under a strategic cooperation agreement signed between Gazprom and the Tajik government May 15, 2003. The Rengan gas field is located 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of the republic's capital, Dushanbe, with probable natural gas reserves of 35 billion cubic meters. The Sargazon field is based in the Dangarin district of the Khatlon region, 150 (90 miles) kilometers southeast of Dushanbe, with probable gas reserves of 30 billion cubic meters. By now, 12 oil and gas fields have been discovered in Tajikistan, of which two gas and five oil deposits are being developed. The republic needs over 1.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year. In 2005, Tajikistan produced 29.4 million cubic meters of gas.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Russia Refuses to Break Up "Golden Egg-Laying" Gazprom

Dmitry Medvedev / Photo: Itar-Tass 11.12.2006 - MosNews - Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday, Dec. 8, that the country’s authorities will no break up energy giant Gazprom into smaller companies, because such a move would reduce its ability to compete on the world market and damage a key source of budget revenue. Medvedev was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying: “If it is divided into several parts, there will be many players, and they will be unable to compete with foreign companies.” “Why should the state kill the goose that lays golden eggs?” he said. “Gazprom is a unique mechanism that took a long time to evolve, and its destruction could have catastrophic consequences for our entire country.” Medvedev said every effort should be made to strengthen Gazprom, which could emerge as the world’s largest company in terms of capitalization, as well as a key player on energy markets all over the world. The company’s market capitalization has grown from $9 billion in 2000 to $270 billion in 2006, and could reach 280 billion by the start of 2007, he said. In early 2007, the EU is set to announce measures to make energy companies’ operations more competitive, and to weaken the dominant positions of monopolies, proposals which have met with criticism from state-run Gazprom, the EU’s largest natural gas supplier. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin gave reassurances last month that Gazprom and other state monopolies will not be separated into smaller companies. Speaking after a meeting with European Union Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso at the Russia-EU summit in Helsinki, Putin said: “As long as there remains a disparity in energy prices on the Russian and world markets, we will preserve the integrity of such companies as Gazprom.” Putin said any changes to Gazprom’s organizational structure are a matter for Russia alone to decide. The European Union has been trying to persuade Russia, to sign the Energy Charter Treaty, which would force the country to liberalize its oil and gas sector. Russia opposes the idea, saying that some of the document’s provisions — such as opening access for European companies to its pipelines — run counter to its interests.

Gazprom names customer of Shtokman gas deposit sea facilities

MOSCOW, December 12 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom [RTS: GAZP] announced Tuesday that the Sevmorneftegaz oil and gas company will be the sole customer for the design and construction of sea facilities at the Shtokman natural gas field off Russia's Arctic coast. Sevmorneftegaz is 100% owned by the Russian state-run gas monopoly. It holds a license for geological prospecting and gas production at Shtokman. "It was decided that Sevmorneftegaz will be the sole customer for the design and construction of Shtokman natural gas deposit sea facilities, which will include a production complex, a system of pipelines and a complex for liquefied natural gas [LNG] production," the company said in a statement. The company will decide on the concept for the project's management and the participation of foreign partners in the project's first stage in the spring of 2007, the statement said. The document rounds up a conference chaired by Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller. The Shtokman offshore deposit is the only source of natural gas for the ambitious Nord Stream gas pipeline that will soon link Russia to Germany along the Baltic seabed. Gazprom's announcement in October that it would develop the Shtokman deposit on its own was a move that stunned Norway's Statoil and Norsk Hydro, France's Total, and U.S. giants Chevron and ConocoPhillips, all companies previously short-listed as contenders for the project. Russia's Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko put Gazprom's decision Friday down to foreign companies' failure to make "satisfactory proposals on assets," but added that foreign companies would be able to participate in the massive gas project on different conditions. The giant Shtokman field holds an estimated 3.2 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and 31 million metric tons of gas condensate in the Barents Sea where Gazprom plans to build an LNG plant. Some $12-14 billion will be invested in the project's first phase, and production will start in 2011.

Gazprom wants to join Sakhalin-II, but not at all costs

MOSCOW, December 12 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom [RTS: GAZP] is interested in joining the Sakhalin II oil and gas project in Russia's Far East, but not at any price, the first Russian deputy prime minister said Tuesday. "Any business has its own price. Therefore, it is important to discuss the conditions of joining the company," said Dmitry Medvedev, who is also the board chairman of the Russian energy giant. He said Gazprom heads met with representatives of project operator Royal Dutch Shell and Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko earlier this week. Medvedev said the sides are close to reaching an agreement on Gazprom's possible participation in Sakhalin II soon. He said Gazprom is considering all ways of joining the project, including an exchange of assets or investments. Medvedev said the future business "should not be loss-making, should bring satisfaction to stockholders and should cause no environmental damage." Project operator Sakhalin Energy is accused of causing serious damage to Sakhalin Island's ecology, including deforestation, toxic waste dumping and soil erosion. In September the Russian Natural Resources Ministry canceled its 2003 approval of Sakhalin-II. Russia's environmental watchdog said Tuesday that court proceedings on compensation for environmental damage would most likely begin in March 2007. Following months of intense pressure on Shell from Russian authorities, it appears as if Gazprom is set to gain a large stake in Sakhalin-II, after brokering a deal with Royal Dutch Shell. Shell holds 55% in Sakhalin Energy, Japan's Mitsui controls 25%, and Mitsubishi 20%. Much of the liquefied natural gas from the project will be exported to Japan, which is seeking to diversify its energy imports. Khristenko said earlier Tuesday that Gazprom will face the same requirements as other investors should it join Sakhalin II. "If Gazprom joins other participants in the [Sakhalin II] project, then it will have to follow all the obligations of the [production-sharing] agreement [signed in 1994], including the requirements of environmental protection legislation, just like all other investors" he said. Sakhalin II comprises an oil field with associated gas, a natural gas field with associated condensate production, a pipeline, a liquefied natural gas plant, and an LNG export terminal.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Gazprom Seeks Electricity Assets in Greece, Bulgaria, Moldova

Image from www.gettyimages.com30.11.2006 - MosNews - Russia’s state controlled gas giant Gazprom is looking to acquire electricity assets in Greece, Bulgaria and Moldova, business daily Vedomosti reported on Wednesday, Nov. 29, citing a senior official at Gazprom subsidiary Gazpromenergo. Gazprom is looking to acquire electricity assets in Bulgaria and Greece through local joint ventures Overgas and Prometheus Gas respectively, said Yury Lukanin, head of foreign projects at Gazpromenergo, Gazprom’s electricity subsidiary, the paper reported. Gazprom’s interest in these countries has grown due to the South-European gas pipeline project, which will cross both countries, Lukanin said. Moldova has offered Gazprom interests in three of its electricity assets as part of efforts to clear some $1.4 billion of debt to the gas company, he said. Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin said on Tuesday, Nov. 28, that he discussed several investment projects involving Gazprom and other Russian companies with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a summit of ex-Soviet states in Minsk, the Interfax news agency reported. Putin told journalists after the meeting that he expected energy negotiations with Moldova to end successfully in the “nearest future”. “Relations will be built on a market basis, but within bounds that will satisfy both sides,” he said, quoted by the agency. In recent years Gazprom has stepped up efforts to develop its holdings in Russia’s electricity sector, a large consumer of its gas. It has also struck several deals to gain direct access to lucrative end-users in the European Union.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Kazakhs raise Gazprom's bill

kazakhstan30 November 2006 - Upstream staff - Kazakhstan is in talks with Russian gas monopoly Gazprom to raise its gas transit price to $1.60 per 1000 cubic metres per 100 kilometres from the current price of $1.10 per Mcm per 100 kilometres, the Kazakh Energy Minister Baktykozha Izmukhambetov said today. Gazprom buys gas from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan which is pumped via Kazakhstan for domestic consumption, freeing up more of its own gas to be sold to richer markets in Europe. "We are in talks to raise the price further," Izmukhambetov told Reuters. "We've always been in talks about this. We hold negotiations on this every year." State gas transport company Kaztransgaz said earlier this year it wanted to raise annual profits from Russian gas transit by at least a third to 18.6 billion tenge ($140 million). Gazprom was not immediately available for comment. Last year Gazprom signed a five-year contract with Kazakh state oil player KazMunaiGaz to raise transit of Uzbek and Turkmen gas via Kazakhstan to 55 billion cubic metres.

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