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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Turkish Minister Vows to Implement Gas Project Bypassing Russia

29.05.2007 - RZD News - The Turkish energy minister said Tuesday the ambitious gas pipeline project linking the energy-rich Caspian Sea to Europe, bypassing Russia, will definitely be implemented. The $6 billion pipeline project, referred to as Nabucco, is expected to run through Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2008, so that the pipeline could go on stream in 2011. The European Union expects the project to diversify its supply routes away from Russia and boost European energy security. "We will definitely implement the Nabucco project providing for the export of natural gas from the Caspian Sea basin to Europe across Turkey. Nothing will affect its implementation," Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler told an international oil and gas international congress in Ankara. The Nabucco gas pipeline project is seen as a rival to the gas pipeline deal recently clinched by Russia and Central Asian states. Russia's President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, which are the region's major gas producers, agreed May 12 to build a pipeline along the Caspian Sea coast to pump billions of cubic meters of natural gas from Turkmenistan to Kazakhstan into Russia's network of pipelines running to Europe. Necdet Pamir, chief coordinator of Turkey's Center for Eurasia Strategic Studies (ASAM) said the accords between the Russian, Turkmen and Kazakh presidents would negatively affect the Nabucco project. "So far, there have been no concrete decisions on the Caspian gas pipeline. The presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan only announced their intention to supply energy products through Russian territory. But if their accords are implemented, the Nabucco project will not have a future," the expert said. Pamir also said the Nabucco project would be unprofitable without Russian and Turkmen gas. "Iranian and Azerbaijani gas is obviously not enough for the [Nabucco] project," he said, reports RIA Novosti.

Agreement on Construction of Near-Caspian Gas Mainline to Be Signed in September

29.05.2007 - RZD News - The President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov considers that the agreement on construction of the Near-Caspian gas mainline can be signed in September of 2007. The Turkmenistan President said that on Monday at the press conference after the negotiations with the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. "I think we will sign the agreement on constructing gas pipe-line in September," Berdymukhammedov noted. As it was informed earlier, according to the signed on May 12, 2007 in Turkmenbashi the joint declarations by the Presidents of Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan, the governments of these countries should prepare and sign the tripartite cooperation agreement in construction of the Near-Caspian gas mainline and quadrilateral (including Uzbekistan) cooperation agreement on reconstruction of existing gas-transport system and creation of new capacities for transportation of natural gas region till September 1, reports Kazakhstan Today.

Transneft to up spending on pipeline

RBC, 29.05.2007, Moscow 16:20:15.The Board of Directors of Transneft has made a decision to allocate an additional RUR6.8bn (approx. USD263m) for the implementation of the first phase of the construction of the Eastern Siberia - Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline, the Russian oil transportation giant said in a statement. The company's Board of Directors today approved the corresponding amendments to the investment program for the construction of the pipeline's first phase.

Friday, May 25, 2007

$1bn deal in TMK pipeline

18 May 2007 - Upstream OnLine - Russia's TMK has signed a $1 billion, three-year agreement to supply steel pipes to Russian oil producer Surgutneftegaz. "The volume of tubular goods shipped within the frames of this agreement is valued at $1 billion," TMK said in a statement.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Bodman bags Caspian pipe plan

14 May 2007 - By Upstream staff - US Energy Secretary Sam Bodman has hit out at an agreement to build a new Caspian pipeline to carry Central Asian gas via Russia, claiming it would not be good for Europe. On Saturday, Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan agreed to build the natural gas pipeline around the Caspian Sea, a move that bolsters Russia's dominance over the region's gas exports. "That would not be good for Europe," Reuters quoted Bodman as saying. "It would fly in the face of what is needed, which is the diversity of suppliers," he said adding that Europeans should adjust their response accordingly.

Transneft hunts for China pipe cash

14 May 2007 - Upstream OnLine - Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft has announced a tender to raise at least 10 billion roubles ($388 million) to fund construction of Russia's first pipeline to China. The company said in a statement it would borrow the money for at least five years and would also use it to finance other projects approved by the government. The results of the tender are expected on 13 June. Transneft is building an $11 billion pipeline from eastern Siberia to the Chinese border, and may extend it to the Pacific Ocean if enough oil is found in the relatively unexplored Siberian region. The first leg of the pipeline is due to be completed by the end of next year. In February, Transneft raised $1.3 billion via loan participation notes. Interfax news agency reported in February the company would borrow another $6.7 billion for the pipeline within 18 months.

Gas deal gives Russia upper hand

13 May 2007 - Upstream OnLine - The leaders of Russia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan have agreed to build a new natural gas pipeline around the Caspian Sea, a move that bolsters Russia's dominance over the region's gas exports. The new pipeline will link supplies in Turkmenistan to existing infrastructure via a new pipeline running through Kazakhstan. The deal, struck on Saturday, also includes an undertaking by Russia to upgrade existing Soviet-era infrastructure. The move delivers a blow to US, European and Chinese hopes of prising the flow of Central Asian gas out of Russian hands. Although all three former Soviet republics sought to play down the diplomatic implications of the pipeline, it comes at a time of increased Western anxiety about Russia's use of its vast energy resources for political ends, a charge Moscow denies. The agreement was reached at a summit of the three states in the Turkmen Caspian port of Turkmenbashi. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the deal meant "more supplies of energy resources to Europe and the world's markets". In its first stage, the pipeline will deliver 10 billion cubic metres of gas per year by 2009-2010, Russian Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko told reporters. Including the infrastructure upgrade, deliveries to the Russian border will rise to 90 Bcm. While Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said plans for a rival US-backed trans-Caspian pipeline that bypasses Russia had "not been completely dropped", Khristenko said he believed there was now little chance of it going ahead. "Technological, legal and ecological risks are so big that it will be impossible to find an investor unless it is a political investor who does not care how much gas there is to pump through," he said. The three states issued joint declarations saying they would sign a treaty by September on building the new pipeline and would work with Uzbekistan to improve existing Soviet-era Central Asia pipelines. New gas finds in Turkmenistan and a new Turkmen leader following the death in December of president Saparmurat Niyazov had raised the possibility that the country, the largest gas producer in Central Asia, might seek new export routes. Berdymukhamedov said Turkmenistan still had a long-term interest in diversifying pipelines and listed possible projects with Iran, China, Afghanistan and India. The country has not published independent audits of its gas reserves, and asked if Turkmenistan had enough gas for new pipelines to Iran, Afghanistan and China, he said: "Do not worry, there is enough." Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who this week pledged to keep most of his country's oil flowing through Russian pipelines, said ahead of the signing: "This is a purely pragmatic commercial project... There is no politics there." Russian gas monopoly Gazprom pays Turkmenistan $100 per 1000 cubic metres of gas that it buys, well below the $250 per Mcm it charges its European customers. It needs gas from Central Asia to maintain cheap domestic supplies without cutting exports as its own fields mature. Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of the journal Russia in Global Affairs, told Reuters ahead of Saturday's summit that a pipeline agreement would represent a major diplomatic victory for Putin. "I think the Americans are at the moment following Putin's visit to Central Asia with attention, envy and unhappiness," he said. "If he is able to ensure Kazakh and Turkmen loyalty then the question of alternatives for energy supply to Europe, which is already fairly murky, will just be put on hold."

Lock, Stock, and Two Pipelines

// No Results Yet from Nine-President Talks in Three Countries
May 14, 2007 - Kommersant.ru - by Dmitry Butrin -
Last week's two summits, in Turkmenistan and Poland, yielded far more modest dividends for business than for politics. In Krakow, the presidents of five countries managed to come to an agreement on the start of the Odessa-Gdansk pipeline project, but they made no progress on setting a guaranteed oil flow-through volume. Meanwhile, in the Turkmen port of Turkmenbashi Russian President Vladimir Putin convinced his Kazakh and Turkmen partners to begin work on a Caspian shore gas pipeline, but he failed to get them to entirely reject the idea of a trans-Caspian pipeline. "The pipeline war" will continue to occupy the agenda at a minimum of two upcoming summits: in Turkmenistan in September and in Lithuania in October. The political outcome of the proceedings of these two energy summits will become apparent only after the EU-Russia summit on May 17-18 in Samara, where the European Union will choose which of the two energy policies in the region to support. But the talks last week also had a commercial angle as well, and it was in these waters that the summits foundered. Of the three main questions concerning pipelines – both a Caspian shoreline and trans-Caspian pipeline, as well as a capacity boost for the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (KTK) – that were featured on the business agenda for the summit in Central Asia, Vladimir Putin, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov succeeded in laying to rest only one. In the final drafts of documents from the meeting, the three leaders agreed to prepare a multilateral agreement and commercial contract for the creation of a consortium to manage the Caspian shoreline pipeline before the next summit in Turkmenistan in September 2007. According to Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko, the three sides will draw up documents for a larger-scale project than was earlier planned: the Caspian shoreline project (currently named the Central Asia–Center 4 gas pipeline) is slated to be expanded from its current carrying capacity of 1-2 billion cubic meters a year to 10 billion cubic meters within the next five to seven years. In addition, the existing Central Asia–Center 3 (SATs-3) pipeline, which delivers gas from Turkmenistan to Russia via Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, will have its yearly capacity boosted by 20 billion cubic meters. By 2014, Russia can count on an increase in the flow of gas from Central Asia to Russia to the tune of 60-90 billion cubic meters per year. However, none of the sides have commented yet on how and who will be selling an additional 30 billion cubic meters of gas produced by Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan (Uzbek President Islom Karimov signed the declaration from the Turkmenistan summit ahead of time, during his May 9 meeting with Mr. Khristenko). Gazprom has not guaranteed that volume. During the first meeting of the summit, which took place between Vladimir Putin and Nursultan Nazarbayev in Kazakhstan, it was agreed that the 15 billion cubic meters of gas that will be refined by Kazakhstan's Orenburg gas refinery annually from gas condensate extracted from the Karachagansky gas reserves in Kazakhstan will be sold in Europe by Kazrosgas, a joint partnership between Gazprom and Kazmunaigaz. It is possible that the September meeting in Turkmenistan will see demands from Berdymukhammedov and Nazarbayev that Putin create a joint company to operate the new pipeline. With regard to the expansion of SATs-3, Gazprom has so far managed only to confirm plans to renovate the system of gas pipelines in Central Asia. A similar project was signed off on in 2004 by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, but problems with Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have meant that the project hardly got off the ground. Given Gazprom's monopoly on the export of gas to the EU, Russia's partners will clearly have some concessions to demand from the Russian gas giant in September. Compounding these difficulties, Vladimir Putin failed in Turkmenistan to get his partners to reject a possible trans-Caspian pipeline project. On Saturday, the presidents of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan clearly stated that the project, which is loudly opposed by Gazprom (since the pipeline will bypass Russia and could come under the control of the European-controlled Nabucco project, which carries gas from Azerbaijan and possibly from Turkmenistan and Iran in the future), is still on the table for discussion. In addition, the Turkmen and Kazakh portions of the Caspian shoreline pipeline could end up being incorporated into a trans-Caspian pipeline. Finally, the participants in the Central Asian summit were unable to decide whether the current carrying capacity of the KTK pipelines will be increased from 32 million tons to 67 million tons. Nursultan Nazabayev has previously suggested that Russia, which owns a 24% stake in the consortium, should support the expansion, but the answer from Vladimir Putin was noncommittal. Kazakhstan has also de facto made its approval of the project conditional on its inclusion in the Russian Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline project, threatening that otherwise Kazakh oil will flow through the Odessa-Gdansk pipeline to Poland, bypassing Russia. The outcome of the Krakow summit was also a letdown for the majority of its participants. Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan agreed in Krakow to participate only in a working group on the completion of the existing Odessa-Brody pipeline from Ukraine to a Polish refinery in Plotsk and onward to the Rafineria Gdanska refinery. But the Odessa-Gdansk consortium will not become a reality until at least October 2007, when it will be discussed at the summit in Vilnius. Before then, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan could promise their oil to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Burgas-Alexandropoulis, Odessa-Brody, or KTK pipelines, meaning that the participation of these countries in the Odessa-Gdansk pipeline project is not a foregone conclusion. Nevertheless, the meetings last week in Ashgabat, Astana, Krakow, and Turkmenbashi, which together featured in one way or another the participation of nine countries, did produce some winners. Negotiations concerning which projects will be supported by transnational oil companies will be carried out chiefly by Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. Unlike Vladimir Putin, Islom Karimov, and four out of the five participants in the Krakow summit, who only managed to hold their positions, new prospects for talks with Chevron, Exxon Mobil, BP, and Eni have opened up for Messrs Nazabayev and Berdymukhammedov on the hot topic of who will win the right to extract the oil and gas from the Caspian region.

Russia's pipeline monopoly takes over oil product transit firm

MOSCOW, May 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov has signed a resolution on merging the state-controlled crude pipeline operator Transneft with the state-run oil product transit company Transnefteprodukt, the government's press office said Tuesday. Analysts say the merger is likely to raise the companies' efficiency and cut independent producers' expenses on oil and petroleum product transportation. Under the resolution, the government has contributed 100% of Transnefteprodukt's stock to Transneft's charter capital as payment for the pipeline monopoly's newly-issued shares, the press office said. After the merger, expected to take five months, the government will hold at least 75% plus one share in the united company.

Transneft to attract $380-mln loan on Siberian pipeline project

MOSCOW, May 14 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's state-run oil pipeline operator Transneft said Monday it is planning to attract a loan worth at least 10 billion rubles ($386 million) to finance the construction of a pipeline in East Siberia. Transneft said in a statement that it is holding an open bidding to select a financial institution that would provide a revolving loan facility for a term of five to seven years to finance the construction of the ambitious East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline, managed by the company. The ESPO pipeline is slated to pump up to 1.6 million barrels per day of crude from Siberia to Russia's Far East, which will then be sent on to China and the Asia-Pacific region. The ESPO project was launched in April 2006 and the first leg of the pipeline, 2,700 km (1,677mile) long and estimated at $11 billion, will be commissioned in December 2008. It will link Taishet, in the Eastern Siberian region of Irkutsk, to Skovorodino, in the Amur region, in Russia's Far East. The initial project plans have been revised as the pipeline's first stage was rerouted for ecological reasons about 400 kilometers (250 miles) away from Lake Baikal, the world's largest freshwater body, and divided into three segments following a series of discussions and a presidential order. The second stage will involve the construction of a Skovorodino-Kozmino pipeline, to pump 367.5 million barrels per year, and an increase in the Taishet-Skovorodino pipeline's capacity to 588 million barrels. Andrei Dementyev, deputy industry and energy minister, said in March that Russia will be able to claim 6-6.5% of the Asian crude market once the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline is fully operational.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Energy summit agrees to extend Ukrainian-Polish pipeline to bypass Russia

12 May 2007 - RIA Novosti - The informal energy meeting of developing countries in Krakow agreed Friday to extend the existing Odessa-Brody pipeline to Polish terminals and refining centers and create a corridor to bring Central Asian energy to Europe bypassing Russia. The presidents of Poland Lech Kaczynski, Azerbaijan's Ilham Aliyev, Georgia's Mikheil Saakaashvili, Lithuania's Valdas Adamkus, and Ukraine's Viktor Yushchenko, as well as Kazakh Deputy Energy Minister Lyazzat Kiinov, signed a resolution highlighting the importance of energy security and endorsing the extension of the Ukrainian-Polish Odessa-Brody oil pipeline to the Polish port of Gdansk and refining center of Plock. The countries also agreed to set up a joint venture to implement joint projects, such as an energy corridor from Central Asia to Central Europe through the South Caucasus. Kaczynski said the next such summit would take place in October in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. "The energy summit was a great idea," Saakaashvili said, describing the result as "a promising start, a first step." Yushchenko highlighted that the forum was not directed against third countries and that the developing countries had finally "started to coordinate their energy efforts." He expressed satisfaction over the "political decision to extend" the Odessa-Brody pipeline which, for want of supplies and access to a refining capacity, currently mainly transports Russian oil to the Black Sea port of Odessa. Aliyev described the summit as a sign of "the growing role of regional cooperation." He said Azerbaijan was interested in the prospect of selling its huge oil and gas reserves to Europe.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Russia clinches gas pipeline deal

12 May 2007 - BBC News - Russia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan have agreed to build a new natural gas pipeline north from the Caspian Sea. Russia's President Vladimir Putin announced the deal at a summit with Central Asian leaders in Turkmenistan. The agreement ensures Russia's access to Turkmenistan's gas, and is a setback to rival US and European Union plans. They had hoped to pipe Turkmen gas across the Caspian sea via Turkey, in order to reduce the EU's dependence on Russian-controlled energy. Following two days of negotiations the presidents of the three countries, meeting in the Turkmen port city of Turkmenbashi, announced they would sign a treaty on the planned pipeline by September. The deal represents a victory for Russia, which buys Turkmen gas at below-market prices. The BBC's Natalia Antelava says the agreement is a huge blow to Washington, Brussels and Beijing, who have all been vying for direct access to Turkmenistan's gas. They have lobbied strongly for a route under the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan and Turkey, bypassing Russia. Turkmenistan's massive gas reserves are effectively controlled by Moscow, since it relies on Russian energy giant Gazprom's Soviet-era pipelines for distribution. For two decades, the isolationist policy of Turkmenistan's late leader Saparmurat Niyazov made additional access impossible. But his death last year opened a window of opportunity and it was hoped that new President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov would give the go-ahead to a trans-Caspian pipeline that would ease Europe's dependence on Kremlin-controlled energy. President Putin said the deal would mean increased energy supplies to Europe.
'Huge blow'
The new pipeline will carry gas from Turkmenistan, one of the world's largest sources of gas, through Kazakhstan to Russia. "We will reconstruct the Caspian shore gas pipeline with a capacity of 10 billion cubic metres (per year) and build a parallel gas pipeline." Mr Putin said.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Putin starts Central Asia energy tour

Oil pipeline being built9 May 2007 - BBC News - Russian President Vladimir Putin has started a week-long trip to Central Asia's two prime gas and oil exporters, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. He is due to meet the presidents of both countries on Thursday for tripartite talks on energy supplies. Kazakhstan has always remained quite close to Russia in its foreign policy. The recent death of Turkmenistan's idiosyncratic president has also seemed to open the way for a return to closer relations with Russia. Yet each of the three presidents will have different aims. For President Putin, the meeting is a chance to reinforce Russia's argument that it is the natural friend of Central Asia, not the newcomers on the scene - the West and China.
Caspian energy
Russia's is pushing the idea of a new pipeline which will carry Turkmen gas across Kazakh and Russian territory to Europe. That would enhance Russia's already dominant position as the main route for Caspian energy supplies to the West. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has long lived with the need to stay close to Russia diplomatically, to keep Kazakh oil and gas flowing westward. And he seems relaxed about continuing that way, though not averse to exploring other possibilities. Kazakhstan already sends a significant amount of oil by ship across the Caspian, for transportation along the one major route that bypasses Russia, the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. Azerbaijan would like to expand that route further and build an under-water pipeline across the Caspian, but Kazakhstan, aware that this might seriously annoy its Russian partners, has refused to give its full support. The real unknown in the tripartite meeting is the position of Turkmenistan's new leader, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. Some think he is willing to revive co-operation with Russia, and go along with the pipeline through Kazakhstan. And yet only last week, the Turkmen leader granted US oil giant Chevron access to the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea. President Putin will want to know just what that move could mean.

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.

CPC pumps up the volume

02 May 2007 - Upstream OnLine - The Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) said its exports of Kazakh oil to the Black Sea rose to 759,000 barrels per day in April, up 7% from March. The Chevron-led pipeline group said it exported 22.78 million barrels in April, compared with 22.01 million barrels, or 710,000 barrels per day, in March. The pipeline is running well above its official capacity of 31.1 million tonnes per year, or 666,000 bpd. Russian shippers exported 90,000 bpd via CPC in April, up from 84,000 bpd in March.

Uzbeks eye China pipe

30 April 2007 - Upstream OnLine - Uzbekistan plans to build a gas pipeline to China with a capacity of 30 billion cubic metres per year, equivalent to half the Central Asian state's gas production, the Uzbek government said today. A Reuters report quoted the statement as saying Ma Kai, the head of China's top state planning body, and Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Azimov signed an agreement in Tashkent today about the principles of building and running a pipeline along the 530-kilometre route. "It would be 530 kilometres long and have a throughput capacity of 30 billion cubic metres per year. The project includes a plan to bring two compressor stations on stream," Reuters quoted the statement as saying. The statement did not give a time frame or name participants in the project. Earlier this month an Uzbek government source said China's Sinopec had pulled out of a project to explore new Uzbek projects and revitalise stalled projects with state energy firm Uzbekneftegas. A source told the news agency that Uzbekistan would focus instead on co-operation with another Chinese oil major, China National Petroleum Corporation. Uzbekistan has traditionally supplied gas not to China but to Russia, where pipeline monopoly Gazprom controls pipeline networks threading into the lucrative European market. Gazprom is itself keen to buy the region's gas to shore up its own reserves. Last year Uzbekistan produced 62 Bcm of gas and exported 12.6 Bcm. Gazprom bought 9 Bcm, with the remainder going to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The bulk of Uzbekistan's production is consumed by its population of 26 million. It was not immediately clear how the country plans to free up enough gas to fill a 30 Bcm pipeline.

Gazprom to Send Gas through Nabucco Pipeline

May 09, 2007 - kommersant.com - 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.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Russian Gas Won't Reach Europe

[Neftegaz.ru] - 08.05.2007 - An explosion destroyed a section of a pipeline in Ukraine carrying Russian natural gas to Europe. No injuries were reported, and technicians quickly rerouted the gas to other pipelines, NY Times reported. In a telephone interview, a spokesman for the Ministry of Emergency Situations, played down the possibility of sabotage. But later in the day, the minister for transport, Mykola Rudkovsky, said on Ukrainian television that the pipe might have been sabotaged as “part of a planned attempt to destabilize” the country, the Interfax news agency in Russia reported. Russia provides about a quarter of Europe’s natural gas, 80 percent of which is pumped through aging pipes on Ukraine’s territory. Gazprom, the Russian natural gas company, said its customers in Europe would not be affected.

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