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Monday, October 29, 2007

Nabucco trans-Caspian gas pipe project unrealistic - EU official

ANKARA, October 29 (RIA Novosti) - The Nabucco project to build a trans-Caspian natural gas pipeline to Europe bypassing Russia is impracticable, the general secretary of the EU Energy Charter Secretariat said on Monday. The $6 billion pipeline project is expected to link energy-rich Central Asia to Europe through Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2009, so that the pipeline could go on stream in 2012. "The project's implementation in uncertain circumstances in areas close to the Black Sea region is extremely difficult," Andre Mernier said in an interview with the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet. The European Union wants the project to diversify its supply routes away from Russia and to boost European energy security. However, Mernier said it would be difficult to find investors for the project due to the high costs and enhanced risks as it was uncertain whether the problems in Iran and Iraq would be solved. In addition, the Caspian Sea region has insufficient gas reserves to implement the Nabucco project, he said. Nabucco, planned as an arm of the South Caucasus pipeline, is seen as a rival to the gas pipeline deal clinched by Russia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, the region's major gas producers, in May. The three former Soviet allies agreed 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.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Russian oil transporter Transneft gets new chief

Nikolai TokarevMOSCOW, October 15 (RIA Novosti) - Nikolai Tokarev, formerly head of a state-owned oil company, has been elected president of Transneft [RTS: TRNF], the state-controlled pipeline monopoly said on Monday. Tokarev, 56, has been the head of Zarubezhneft since 2000, when he quit as Transneft's vice president. Before receiving approval by the shareholders, his candidacy should have been endorsed by the government, which holds a 75% stake in the transport monopoly. Former Transneft CEO Semyon Vainshtok will head the state-run corporation overseeing the construction of venues and infrastructure for the Winter Olympics, which Russia's Black Sea resort city of Sochi will host in 2014. Experts have described Tokarev, who has a background in security services, as a diligent figure to oversee ambitious company projects, in particular a multi-billion-dollar pipeline to carry oil and gas from vast East Siberian fields to Pacific Rim countries. Vainshtok left Transneft on September 11, a day before President Vladimir Putin dismissed the prime minister and the Cabinet, an event that overshadowed reshuffles in the pipeline monopoly.

Friday, October 05, 2007

CPC volumes take a tumble

02 October 2007 - Upstream OnLine - Kazakh and Russian oil exports via the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) to the Black Sea fell by 9.9% in September to 644,100 barrels per day from 715,100 bpd in August, the consortium said today. The pipeline group is led by US supermajor Chevron and includes Russian pipeline company Transneft, ExxonMobil, Shell, Lukoil and BP. The group exports oil from a terminal near the Russian port of Novorossiisk. Russian companies such as Rosneft, Surgutneftegaz and TNK-BP also ship crude via CPC.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Hitch halts Baku-Ceyhan flows

28 September 2007 - Upstream OnLine - UK supermajor BP's Baku-Ceyhan pipeline has halted shipments of crude to Turkey from the Azeri Caspian Sea due to technical problems, a company spokeswoman said today. "Shipments of oil from the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli fields have stopped for several days. Output will fall to 160,000 barrels per day," Tamam Bayatly, a spokeswoman for BP's Azeri operations, told Reuters. The pipeline, which takes Azeri oil to Turkey via Georgia, opened in June 2006.

Russia and China to sign oil pipeline agreement

RBC, 01.10.2007, Moscow 09:49:56. – Russia and China may sign an agreement on an oil pipeline next month, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov told journalists today. He explained that the document would provide for construction of the pipeline, but would not deal with oil supplies. The document is likely to be signed during a meeting between Russia and China's Prime Ministers scheduled for November 5, 2007. Zhukov also pointed out that Rosneft was not fully satisfied with the price of oil supplies to China. Therefore, the company is in talks with Chinese government on the matter, aimed at making oil supplies profitable for both countries, as well as at bringing the price up to the level comparable with that of oil supplies to the West. However, Zhukov noted that China was not willing to accept Russia's conditions.

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