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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

OMV and Gazprom seal new deal

24 May 2007 - Upstream OnLine - Austria's OMV has signed a memorandum of understanding with Gazprom which will see the Russian gas giant take a stake in OMV's gas hub and start work on joint storage projects. OMV's central European gas hub, in Baumgarten at the border to Slovakia and among Europe's top three hubs, is set to handle 1.3 billion cubic metres per month in 2007, the group said. "Our intention is jointly to develop this gas hub into the most important one in Europe," OMV quoted Gazprom boss Alexei Miller as saying in a statement, published late last night. It did not give any details on the size of the stake earmarked for Gazprom. OMV also said it planned to co-operate with Gazprom on gas storage facilities located next to its Baumgarten hub as well as in neighbouring countries. The memorandum was signed during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Austria.

Gazprom Completes First Section of Gas Facility in Austria

25.05.2007 - [] - Russian gas monopoly Gazprom said Thursday it had completed the construction of the first section of the Haidach underground gas storage facility in Salzburg, Austria, together with Austria's RAG and Russian-German joint venture WINGAS. The construction of the second section is planned to be launched on late 2008 and to finish it in April 2011. Haidach will be the largest underground gas storage in Austria and the second-largest in Central Europe.

Friday, May 25, 2007

E.ON shrugs off Yuzhno-Russkoye claim

Burckhard Bergmann23 May 2007 - Upstream OnLine - E.ON Ruhrgas has dismissed claims that problems have emerged during talks with Russian partner Gazprom about joint development of the Yuzhno-Russkoye gas field, in Siberia. E.ON has a 25% stake in the field. "There is nothing new, especially nothing new that would be negative," chief executive Burckhard Bergmann was quoted as saying by Reuters. He would not be drawn on a likely conclusion of the talks. Bergmann said there had been some procedural delays but they had not affected the essence of the talks. Yesterday, German daily newspaper Die Welt reported that Gazprom that Gazprom wanted to charge E.ON more for the stake. Last year, E.ON agreed to pay Gazprom €1.2 billion ($1.62 billion) and give Gazprom just under 50% of its Hungarian gas trading and storage units, as part of its strategy to produce as much as 20% of the gas it needs from its own sources.

Gazprom, Norway in talks on Shtokman gas project

norwayMOSCOW, May 21 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom [RTS: GAZP] said Monday it was in talks with Norway on prospects for cooperation in developing hydrocarbons in the Arctic region, in particular the vast Shtokman gas field. Alexei Miller, the head of the Russian energy giant, and Norwegian Petroleum and Energy Minister Odd Roger Enoksen, met Monday in Moscow to discuss cooperation in the development of offshore oil and gas fields and the participation of Norwegian companies in major Arctic hydrocarbon production schemes. "The sides discussed the possibility of joint work on prospecting oil and gas in the Arctic region, and the development of technologies for the exploration of offshore fields in the area, including the Shtokman field," Gazprom said in a statement. The un-tapped Shtokman field in the Barents Sea is one of the world's largest offshore natural gas deposits, with reservoirs 2 km below the seabed holding an estimated 3.2 trillion cubic meters of gas and 31 million metric tons of gas condensate. Gazprom plans to build a liquefied natural gas plant near the site. Some $12-14 billion will be invested in the project's first phase, and production will begin in 2011. Norway's Statoil and Norsk Hydro, U.S. oil majors Chevron and ConocoPhillips, and France's Total, had been short-listed to develop the Shtokman field, but Gazprom announced last October it would develop the deposit on its own. However, Gazprom said it could attract partners with expertise in liquefying natural gas and work in "severe weather conditions," as contractors. ConocoPhillips, a major player on the market of liquefied natural gas (LNG), has confirmed its readiness to continue talks under new conditions of cooperation, while Chevron has decided against joining the Shtokman project. The deposit will be the only source of natural gas for the ambitious Nord Stream gas pipeline that will link Russia to Germany along the Baltic seabed. Norway is the second largest exporter of natural gas to Europe after Russia. In 2005, the country supplied European consumers with 80.9 billion cubic meters of gas. Norway's gas reserves are located in the North Sea and total about 3.1 trillion cubic meters.

Gazprom clinches Turkey sales deal

22 May 2007 - Upstream OnLine - Gazprom has signed a contract to supply Turkey's Bosphorus Gas with 750 million cubic metres of gas per year until 2021, the Russian gas monopoly said today. Gazprom said the contract was signed after Bosphorus won a tender to take over part of the Russian gas supplies to Turkey under the liberalisation of Turkey's gas market.

Pair silent over Yuzhno-Russkoye claim

21 May 2007 - Upstream OnLine - Russian gas giant Gazprom and German utility E.ON have declined to comment on media reports the Russian company wants to charge E.ON more for a stake in the Yuzhno-Russkoye gas field. A spokesman for Gazprom said the two companies had signed a preliminary contract giving E.ON a stake in Yuzhno-Russkoye, but the details still have to be finalised. E.ON said in an emailed statement both sides want to reach an agreement but did not elaborate. In a report published this morning, German newspaper Die Welt cited unnamed people within E.ON and Gazprom as saying that Gazprom wants to increase the price for the 25% stake, changing the company's preliminary agreement from last year. The Russian company wants stakes in E.ON power stations, unnamed people within E.ON said, according to the paper. Gazprom argues that higher natural gas prices have increased the value of the field, Die Welt reported. Last year, E.ON agreed to pay Gazprom €1.2 billion ($1.62 billion) and give Gazprom just under 50% of its Hungarian gas trading and storage units, as part of its strategy to produce as much as 20% of the gas it needs from its own sources. E.ON, which has an agreement to acquire a stake of almost 35% in the field, had agreed to all major points of the deal, a spokesman said today.

Gazprom signs deal to buy 50% stake in Beltransgaz for $2.5 bln

MOSCOW, May 18 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom [RTS: GAZP] signed a deal Friday to purchase a 50% stake in Belarusian pipeline operator Beltransgaz for $2.5 billion, the Russian energy giant said. Gazprom will make equal payments in four stages from 2007 to 2010, acquiring a 12.5% stake in Beltransgaz at each stage, which will ensure stable gas supplies to Central and Western European consumers. The energy giant said earlier that the Belarusian pipeline was worth $3.3 billion, well below the $5 billion valuation quoted by Belarus. Gazprom transports gas to the European Union via the Belarusian branch of the Gazprom-controlled Yamal-Europe pipeline, with an annual capacity of 24.8 billion cubic meters, and also through gas pipelines owned by Beltransgaz, the Belarusian pipeline monopoly, which has a capacity of 51 billion cubic meters. Earlier this year, Russia and Belarus were embroiled in an oil and gas dispute after Gazprom doubled the natural gas price to $100 per 1,000 cubic meters as part of a process of gradually bringing former Soviet republics in line with market rates for energy supplies. Minsk responded by introducing a transit levy of $45 per metric ton for Russian oil pumped to Europe via Belarus. Russia then briefly halted gas supplies to Europe, accusing Belarus of tapping its crude while in transit. The ex-Soviet neighbors eventually signed a contract on Russian natural gas deliveries to Belarus and on gas transit via its territory to Europe two minutes before New Year, ending a long-running dispute over natural gas prices. The dispute recalled a gas spat with Ukraine early in 2006, when Russia briefly suspended gas supplies, affecting consumers in Europe after Ukraine started siphoning Russian gas transited through its territory, intended for European countries.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Gazprom keen on Iran-India pipe role

06 May 2007 - Upstream OnLine - Gazprom is interested in taking part in building and managing a proposed $7 billion gas pipeline from Iran to India via Pakistan, an official from the Russian energy giant has been quoted as saying. Iran, India and Pakistan are expected to sign a key agreement on pricing next month that will help the pipeline project take off. But an Indian official said in April New Delhi had yet to take a final decision on the pipeline from Iran via Pakistan, which has been opposed by the US. " ... (One) of the big projects Russia can play a role in is the pipeline that transfers Iranian gas to Pakistan and India," the head of Gazprom's office in Tehran, Abubakir Shamuzov told Shana, the Iranian Oil Ministry's website. "This pipeline can even go as far as to China because this region has a big population and is a big market," he said. "I believe this pipeline should be constructed and Gazprom will most likely be a partner of this project." Last month, a senior Iranian official suggested it would welcome any Gazprom involvement in the planned gas link, saying it would speed progress. Gholamhossein Nozari, managing director of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), did not say whether Iran had been in contact with the Russian firm on the issue or give details on what kind of participation he had in mind, Reuters said. The pipeline project has made slow progress in part due to political tensions between India and Pakistan. Washington, which accuses Tehran of developing a covert nuclear weapons programme, has repeatedly sought to discourage India from the project. Russia is Iran's closest big power ally and has helped to water down United Nations sanctions against Tehran. Apart from the pipeline, New Delhi is also negotiating with Iran to secure a deal that would see Tehran supply 5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas a year over a 25-year period from 2009, a Reuters report added.

Gazprom to Send Gas through Nabucco Pipeline

May 09, 2007 - - Russian gas monopolist Gazprom will be able to send its gas via the Nabucco pipeline from Turkey to Austria, Reuters reported late Tuesday, quoting a source in the Turkish government. “Russia may also become part of this project,” the news agency quoted a high-placed source in the Turkish Energy Ministry as saying. “If we take into account balance in the region and an expected level of demand and gas consumption, Turkey and its partners may decide to endorse the supply of Russian energy.” The source said that the United States and the European Union are not likely to oppose Gazprom’s plans to acquire a share in the pipeline which runs from Turkey to Austria, bypassing Russia. Earlier reports said that Nabucco was in talks with Gaz de France on its participation in the project after Nabucco’s five major shareholders had decided to find a sixth partner. German RWE and French Total are also considered as possible shareholders. The 4,000-km-long Nabucco pipeline will send gas from the Central Asia and the Caspian Sea via Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania to Austria. The pipeline is to be put into operation in 2011. The €5 billion project is developed by Austria’s OMV, Hungary’s MOL, Turkey’s Botas, Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz and Romania’s Transgaz.

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