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Friday, October 10, 2008

Tengizchevroil eyes BTC flow

10 October 2008 - Upstream OnLine - The Chevron-led Tengizchevroil consortium plans to start oil shipments via the BP-run Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline in the second half of this month, BP Azerbaijan said today. "We expect to start pumping some volumes of Tengizchevroil's crude via the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline in the second half of October," company spokesman Tamam Bayatly told Reuters. She did not say how much oil was expected to be delivered. Tengizchevroil, struggling to expand its key pipeline export route, the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC), had hoped to start alternative exports via Baku in the middle of last year. A source at Azeri state oil company Socar told Reuters last month Tengizchevroil could start delivering 20,000 to 60,000 barrels per day via Azerbaijan. The crude was supposed to be shipped by both BTC and railways. The BTC pipeline, which runs from large Azeri fields on the Caspian Sea to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, can pump more than 1 million barrels per day, but currently works under its design capacity.

BP brings Azeri back on line

10 October 2008 - Upstream OnLine - A BP-led group resumed oil production at one of its two Azeri offshore platforms shut after a gas leak in September, BP Azerbaijan said today. "Oil production at Western Azeri was resumed late Thursday," a company spokeswoman Tamam Bayatly told Reuters. A source in the consortium told Reuters earlier this month that resumption of oil production at Western Azeri would double production at the Azeri-Chirag-Gyuneshli (ACG) offshore group of fields to around 600,000 barrels per day, down from the usual 900,000 bpd. BP in September suspended oil production at two ACG platforms, Western and Central Azeri, of the giant Caspian Sea deposit due to a gas leak. ACG is the main source of oil for the BP-operated Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, which runs from the fields in the Azeri sector of the Caspian Sea to the Turkish Mediterranean coast.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Gas leak forces shut ins at ACG fields

17 September, 2008 - Upstream OnLine - BP has shut in oil output at the Western Azeri field - part of the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) complex in the Caspian Sea - after shutting in the Central Azeri field earlier today because of a gas leak at the platform. "We halted production at the Western Azeri as a preventive safety measure. There is no need to halt production at other fields," a company spokeswoman told Reuters. Staff were evacuated from the Central Azeri platform after the leak was discovered. The spokeswoman said that works would continue as normal at other fields in the deposit and exports would not be affected. "There are sufficient volumes of oil in onshore storage at Sangachaly (near Baku) as well as in Ceyhan. Loading of Azeri Light crude in Ceyhan is continuing according to schedule," she added. She could not say when the company planned to resume production. The ACG group produces about 900,000 barrels per day in total, with output from the Central and Western Azeri fields amounting to about 470,000 bpd of that. ACG is the main source of oil for the BP-operated Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which runs from the fields in the Azeri sector of the Caspian Sea to the Turkish Mediterranean coast. Flows along the pipeline were halted for 20 days last month after a fire damaged a section in eastern Turkey. The ACG fields are being developed by the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC). The deep-water Guneshli fields were brought on stream earlier this year. At plateau production, the Guneshli complex will produce 320,000 bpd, bringing total ACG oil production, including Chirag, East Azeri, West Azeri and Central Azeri, to over 1 million barrels per day. Other AIOC partners include ExxonMobil, Chevron and Devon Energy. Operator BP has a 34% stake in the fields.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Russia Seeks Fellowship

Dmitry Medvedev and Ilham Aliev // Moscow tries to restore its peacekeeping reputation in the region
Sep. 16, 2008 - Kommersant by Nikolay Filchenko - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will hold talks today with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in the Meindorf residence outside Moscow. Moscow was the initiator of this summit meeting. Kommersant has learned that Russia will propose a package of peace initiatives for a settlement of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict to Aliyev and try at the same time to guarantee that Baku will steer clear of Western political and energy games. Divide and Conquer The meeting between the presidents had been discussed since the beginning of the month. On September 3, they spoke by telephone, also at Russia’s initiative. Natalia Timakova, the Russian president’s press secretary, told Kommersant then that the two leaders had reached an agreement in principle on high-level negotiations. Last week, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mamedyarov visited Moscow and Medvedev and Aliyev spoke again on Sunday to agree on the agenda for today’s meeting. A Kremlin source called the close contact between the countries logical, considering Azerbaijan’s role in the region. Sources in the presidential administration say that the time for negotiations between Medvedev and Aliyev had come even earlier. Medvedev has met with Armenian President Serge Sargsyan twice this month, on September 2 at presidential residence in Sochi and three days later at the Moscow summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which Azerbaijan is not a member of. Relations between Baku and Erevan will receive particular attention in today’s Russian-Azerbaijani talks, and specifically within the context of a settlement in the Nagorny Karabakh conflict. In the final declaration of the CSTO summit, it is noted that the allies are “concerned with the growing military potential and escalation of tensions in the Caucasus region.” Many observers, including those in Baku, think that phrase should be interpreted as a warning to Azerbaijan, where the need to retake “territories occupied by Armenia” is voiced from time to time. Source in the Russian Foreign Ministry close to today’s negotiations say openly that Moscow would like a firm guarantee from Baku that it will not consider military means to solve the Karabakh problem either before or after the October presidential elections there. Moscow, which, along with France and the United States, took part in searching for a settlement to the Karabakh conflict as part of the OSCE Minsk group, plans to propose its own plan to Azerbaijan and Armenia. The first point of that plan is the organization of a meeting between Aliyev and Sargsyan in Russia with the participation of Medvedev. Kommersant has learned from sources near the Armenian president that Sargsyan has already approved that idea. Today Medvedev has to obtain Aliyev’s consent. To interest the Azerbaijani president in a meeting with the other two presidents, Moscow will propose a discussion of a sensitive question for Baku, that is, jurisdiction over the Lacha corridor, which connects Nagorny Karabakh with Armenia. Specifically, they are to conciliate a operation along the route to allow the safe movement of people and cargo along it without transferring it to the jurisdiction of Erevan or Stepanakert. A Weak Link – Besides peacekeeping initiatives, Medvedev has other important topics that demand urgent discussion with Aliyev. After Russia’s military operations against Georgia, Azerbaijan has been the subject of increased attention from the West. High-ranking guests from Washington are becoming common in Baku, and Aliyev even received U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney this month. Baku was the energy capital of the region last week when it hosted the international business forum “The Gas and Oil Potential of Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan: Energy, Economy, Ecology. Partnership Strategy.” First Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Yagub Eyubov assured attendees there that his country is prepared to offer its infrastructure for deliveries of Central Asian hydrocarbons to the West. Bypassing Russia, of course. Immediately after Aliyev’s Moscow talks, U.S. Assistant Deputy Secretary of State Matthew Bryza, who is cochairman of the OSCE Minsk group, will visit the Azerbaijani capital. The West’s intensive attention to Azerbaijan does not make Russia happy, and even more so since Azerbaijan is allied with Georgia, which has severed diplomatic relations with Russia, through the GUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova) organization. Therefore, Russia is extremely interested in seeing to it that Azerbaijan follow through on any impulses to strengthen military ties with the West. The U.S. already offered last year to create a training camp on the Caspian like the ones in Georgia. A Kommersant source who manages Azerbaijani affairs at the Russian Foreign Ministry said that one of the key topics in today’s talks between the two presidents will be a written ban on the presence in the Caspian region of outside armed forces. Ideally, Moscow would like principles for activities in the Caspian to be outlined in a convention. That convention is already being drafted. Russia is prepared to expand its military partnership with Azerbaijan as compensation and to fulfill its obligations to deliver armored military equipment, parts for it and firearms. Energy partnership is a traditional topic of talks between the Russian and Azerbaijani presidents. A source in the Kremlin mentioned with satisfaction that, after operational lapses in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline during the conflict in Georgia, Azerbaijan has applied to increase the transport of its oil through the Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline. An unsettled question is the volume of Gazprom’s maximum gas purchases during the development of the second line at the Shah Deniz gas field. That is sure to be a difficult conversation, considering that Baku quite willingly responded to the West’s proposal that it participate in the Nabucco project, the implementation of which has taken on new impetus since the Russian-Georgian war.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Azerbaijan is ready to direct gas output to EU

15.09.2008 - [Neftegaz.RU] - Christos Folias, Greek Minister of Development, said that Athens and Baku cooperation can become a first step to Azerbaijan and EU partnership. In the near future a quadripartite contract about Caspian gas transportation between Azerbaijan, Turkey, Greece and Italy will be signed. Azerbaijan possesses a 1,2 bln. cubic metre gas deposit in Shakhdeniz. Gas will be transported to Greece through Turkey by South Caucasian pipe-line (Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum) and then by Karajabei-Komotini pipeline (it connects Turkish and Greek gas transportation systems). By 2011, when the Poseidon gas pipeline starts to function, azebaijanian gaz will be transported to Italy. As for now the main gas exporter to Greece and Italy is Gazprom (its market share is 80 and 25 per cent respectively). However, Azerbaijan is confident that it will become a worthy rival to the Russians. But the experts say that Rome got used to Russian gas and probably won’t change its supplier, besides Azerbaijan is not ready yet for big gas output, that’s why it won’t be a great competitor for Gazprom. Though the Russian company loses its status of monopoly.

Nabucco Gets A Boost In Baku

September 10, 2008 RFE RL by Bruce Pannier - Western hopes for Caspian gas that doesn't arrive via Russia are alive and well. The future of the Nabucco natural-gas pipeline project have appeared to be in serious jeopardy since war broke out between Russia and Georgia. Some export routes leading to the planned pipeline would run through Georgia, where Russian forces remain entrenched in unilaterally declared buffer zones nearly a month after an EU-brokered cease-fire. Of course, Nabucco's viability also hinges to some extent on gas supplies from Caspian countries Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan, all of whom have been courted by Russia's Gazprom, which recently offered to purchase all of the three countries' gas. But at a "strategic-cooperation conference" in Baku this week, there was broad support for participation in the Nabucco project. "Azerbaijan is not giving up on the Nabucco project," Azerbaijani Industry and Energy Minister Natiq Aliyev vowed. "This is a project that has a future." Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler also seized on the opportunity to pledge his country's support for Nabucco. "Nabucco will work. We will implement it," he said. "The Nabucco project will strengthen not only Turkey's energy security, but Europe's too. No one should doubt it." The Nabucco plan calls for a 3,300-kilometer pipeline that will transport 31 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe every year once it is fully operational. Crucially for Western backers like the European Union and the United States, Nabucco's route avoids both Russian and Iranian territory entirely. Importance Of Diversity - "The cooperation between these two countries [Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan] and others such as Kazakhstan to create a diversity of export possibilities helps ensure each country's independence and economic strength," said U.S. special representative to the EU Boyden Gray, who was at the Baku conference. "In addition, there is strength in numbers and in cooperation. These countries in this region are stronger and more influential acting in concert than individually," he added. "This is especially the case given the closed nature of the Caspian. If they are united on energy issues, these countries can better promote diversification and competition for their exports and, also, over the long haul promote the diversification of their economies through expanded regional and world trade." Gray noted that the United States will not benefit directly from Nabucco but that Washington hoped "that the [Caspian] region and Europe both benefit and that we, as a trading nation, will also indirectly benefit and we very much want for [Europe] to have a strong independent existence to promote your own economies to their fullest potential." Despite having no "direct" interest in the Nabucco project, the United States has been engaged in substantial lobbying for the project in the Caspian region. U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney was in Azerbaijan last week to promote diversification of energy export routes. The Nabucco pipeline itself would start from the Georgian-Turkish and/or Turkish-Iranian borders and run to Austria. Nabucco project head Reinhard Mitschek told RFE/RL earlier this year that Nabucco does not contract for gas supplies, it is only an energy import route for Europe. It is up to shareholders in the project and other companies to arrange the purchase of gas and feed it into the Nabucco pipeline. But without gas from Caspian countries such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan it could be difficult to fill the pipeline, so the participation of those countries in Nabucco is vital. Enough Gas? - The progress in Baku does not yet mean that Nabucco's problems are all settled. Charles Esser, an energy analyst with the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, points out that Azerbaijan's participation alone does not remove all the obstacles to Nabucco. "The Azeri minister was tentative in his support because he said certainly Nabucco is still on track, he said, though, that 'we in Azerbaijan don't have enough gas to, by ourselves, supply [Nabucco] so it will require other sources.' [Without other sources] he was doubtful that [Nabucco] would happen," Esser says. Turkmen officials at the Baku conference have not yet said what level of participation, if any, Turkmenistan would have in Nabucco. Furthermore, Turkmenistan has committed itself to pumping more gas to Russia and China in recent weeks. And Esser notes that the Russia-Georgia conflict is still fresh in the minds of many and will play a role in how Nabucco fares in the coming weeks. "I think there's a renewed political push for Nabucco; however, at the same time I think commercial risk has increased," Esser says. "There is no way around it and because of that risk investors will want guarantees. I think we'll have to see whether the increased political will for Nabucco translates into guarantees and perhaps subsidies." Nabucco is planning to hold a meeting of shareholders, potential investors, and potential suppliers in Budapest next month to discuss the pipeline project's future.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cheney Thwarted in Quest for Support Over Nabucco

09-09-2008 - The St.Petersburg Times - Bloomberg - MOSCOW — U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney has failed to win Azerbaijan’s support for the construction of a new gas pipeline from the Caspian that would bypass Russia. Azeri President Ilham Aliyev indicated to Cheney during talks in Baku on Wednesday that he did not want to anger Russia in the wake of its invasion of neighboring Georgia, Kommersant reported, citing an official in Aliyev’s administration. Cheney was so disappointed that he did not attend an official dinner in his honor, the report said. Azerbaijan has also increased flows of oil through a pipeline to the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, the newspaper reported, citing a Russian energy official. Azerbaijan is the starting point for the flow of Caspian oil and gas westward to Europe, bypassing Russia. The planned Nabucco pipeline, backed by the European Union, will bring gas from the Caspian region via Turkey to Austria and Western Europe by 2013. BP’s Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline can carry as much as 1 million barrels of Azeri crude a day through Georgia to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Another BP-led pipeline, the Baku-Supsa, moves crude from Azerbaijan to Georgia’s Black Sea coast. Kazakhstan, the holder of 3.2 percent of the world’s oil, is currently in talks with Azerbaijan and Georgia about the possible construction of a pipeline to send its oil across the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea port of Batumi, Timur Kulibayev, head of Kazenergy Association, said Friday. The new pipeline from Baku to Batumi, an oil terminal in which KazMunaiGaz has bought a stake, may carry 10 million tons of crude per year, said Kulibayev, who the Astana-based private association, which includes Chevron and BG Group as members. If Kazakhstan does not get access to Baku-Supsa, a new pipeline can be built “quite fast,” he said.

Energy - Brussels told to pursue Azerbaijan pipe dream

// Commissioner pushes for route through Georgia
// Line would reduce energy dependency on Russia

09-05-2008 - The Guardian by David Gow - The EU must redouble its efforts to build the $12bn Nabucco gas pipeline and reduce its dependence on imports from Russia in the wake of the Georgian crisis, its energy commissioner said yesterday. The conflict in the Caucasus has led many experts to dismiss Nabucco, the planned 3,300km pipeline from Azerbaijan to Europe via Georgia and Turkey. But Andris Piebalgs said the aim of diversifying energy sources and routes was even more important now. "We need more political engagement to remove all the political obstacles to Nabucco to bring gas from the Caspian basin to the EU," he said in the face of evidence that the ambitious project to bypass Russia is foundering. Gazprom, the Russian gas monopoly, has already offered to buy Azeri gas at world prices and has put its weight behind two alternative pipelines, Nord Stream and South Stream, to Europe. Piebalgs won backing from Nabuo Tanaka, executive director of the International Energy Agency, who said alternative import routes would enhance the EU's energy security and reduce its dependence on Russia. Russia provides 42% of the EU's overall gas imports and 30% of its oil but accounts for up to 80% of energy imports in some countries. Moscow and Gazprom have succeeded in dividing the EU by signing bilateral supply deals, notably with Germany, Italy and Austria, and by persuading member states to take part in its own sponsored transnational pipelines even when they are already involved with Nabucco. But Tanaka, presenting the IEA's first review of EU energy policies, said Russia's dependence on Europe was much higher, with the EU taking 70% of its oil and gas exports. "It's more and more important to have a single European energy market and a single EU voice," he said. "In the long run countries conducting relations on a bilateral basis will lose out." The 220-page IEA report adds: "Speaking with one voice and acting in a consistent and unified manner will be crucial to moving towards closer relationships between the EU and the external suppliers on which it will increasingly depend in the future." The ultimate aim of the six partners in the Nabucco project and the EC is to import gas from the Middle East, including Iraq, via the pipeline. The IEA also urges the EU to step up its efforts to promote renewable sources of energy if it is to reach its 20% target of consumption by 2020 and combat climate change. Tanaka said that an extra $45tn (£25tn) of investment in renewables and other green technologies would be required globally by 2050 if the world were to cut carbon emissions by a half - the EU's own long-term goal. This would be on top of the $22tn required globally to reach interim targets.

Russia gains the upper hand on Central Asian gas

Russia gains the upper hand on Central Asian gas4 Septermber 2008 - Russia Today - During his trip to the Caucasus, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney received a cool reception in Azerbaijan. President Ilham Aliev indicated Baku would not support redirecting oil and gas flows to bypass Russia. Russia is making headway in securing Central Asian gas. It offered higher prices for Uzbek gas on Tuesday and reached agreement to build a new pipeline transporting gas from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The moves could threaten Western-backed projects in the region. Burdened by its growing dependence on Russia's energy supplies, the European Union was counting on Nabucco. That's a planned pipeline that would bring Azerbaijani, Turkmen and Kazakh gas to Europe. But the plan looks shaky, after Russia agreed not only to pay European prices for Uzbek gas but also to build a new pipeline that would transport up to 30 billion cubic metres annually from Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Victor Mishnyakov, Senior Analyst, at Uralsib believes that with Russia now paying European prices for gas, there is little motivation for central Asian producers to look at other conduits to European markets. “When Russia is willing to pay a proper price for the Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan gas, as well as Azerbaijani gas, obviously all of these three countries would be equally willing to sell oil to Russia, to be pumped over to the western or eastern European countries via Russian territories, rather than use other territories to supply the gas to the same very markets.” Russia's Gazprom has a rival project that targets the same markets as Nabucco. South Stream would run from Russia's Black Sea coast to Bulgaria, avoiding Georgia as a transit route. Lev Snykov, Analyst at VTB Capital, says that's a major advantage. “The gas which this pipeline should be filled with, is running through the Baku –Tbilisi –Erzurum pipeline, therefore indirectly Nabucco is exposed to Georgian risk. Consequently, with the current situation, Europe would be thinking whether it makes sense to stick to Gazprom’s South Stream project, or still go ahead with Nabucco and running the Georgian risk.” There are also doubts about Europe's political will to pursue the Nabucco project - with some EU members keen to avoid compromising current supply contracts with Russia. But Snykov says its still possible the two pipelines can profitably co-exist. “If Europe does need really more gas and if Central Asia can supply more gas then I think Gazprom can go ahead with the South Stream project and at the same time the Nabucco consortium, which is dominated by Germany Austria and Hungary can go ahead with the Nabucco project and they can exist together.” While the future of the Nabucco pipeline is still uncertain, one thing is clear: Russia has already struck supply agreements with major producing countries in the region. And that could mean western companies - and politicians - looking for deals in Central Asia are late to the game.

Gaz de France bags Yalama stake

03 September, 2008 - Upstream OnLine - Russian oil company Lukoil has sold Gaz de France a 15% stake in the Yalama exploration project in Azerbaijan's sector of the Caspian Sea. The deal has been approved by the project's other shareholder, Azeri national oil company Socar, Lukoil said in a statement. The contract area covers 3037 square kilometres on the D-222 block where a production sharing contract was signed by Lukoil and Socar in July 1997. The exploration period on the licence will expire at the end of 2011. The duration of the development and production period will be 25 years with a possibility to extend that by five years. The minimal exploration programme for D-222 includes 2D and 3D seismic and the drilling of two exploration wells. A seismic survey was completed in 2004 and the first well was drilled using the ‘Heydar Aliyev’ drilling rig in 2005. The well, which was drilled to a depth of 4500 meters showed some signs of gas but no commercial hydrocarbon reserves were discovered. Drilling of the second exploration well is scheduled for November this year.

LUKoil, Gaz de France sign deal on 15% stake in Caspian project

MOSCOW, September 3 (RIA Novosti) - LUKoil and Gaz de France have signed a deal on the transfer of a 15% stake in an offshore prospecting project in Azerbaijan's Caspian Sea, the Russian oil company said on Wednesday. The deal, which is still to be approved by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), will see LUKoil hold 65%, SOCAR 20% and Gaz de France 15%. The exploration project on the D-222 block, part of a production sharing agreement, was signed in Moscow, July 1997, when Geidar Aliev, then Azeri President, was on an official visit to Russia. The Milli Majlis, Azerbaijan's parliament, ratified the contract in December the same year. The D-222 is part of the Yalama, the northeast Caspian's largest potential oil and gas field, 30 kilometers offshore. Its Azeri and Russian sectors are approximately the same size. Its petroleum reserves are estimated at 800 million barrels with gas reserves at 50 billion cubic meters.

Azerbaijan starts transporting oil via Iran

27 August 2008 - Russ Energy - Iran has become a new transit route for exportation of energy sources from Azerbaijan. Iran News reports with reference to Press-TV that Azerbaijan has sent the first oil shipment for transit supplies to Iran. It should be reminded that oil supplies via Azerbaijan to western markets by BTC pipeline were suspended due to the pipeline explosion in Turkey and military actions in Georgia. For this reason Azerbaijan has appealed to Iran for transit of its energy sources.

BTC pipeline back in service

26 August 2008 - AFP - A major fire-damaged oil pipeline carrying crude from Azerbaijan to Turkey was up and running again Monday after repairs, industry sources told AFP.
BP said exports of Azeri oil to Turkey via Georgia has been brought to full operation after repairs to the $4 billion Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline damaged by a fire a few weeks ago. BP-Azerbaijan spokeswoman Tamam Bayatly told APA-ECONOMICS that oil is being pumped through the pipeline at the regular capacity at present. "We tested the repaired pipeline. This was some limited and intermittent flow of oil through the pipeline before a move to full operation. At the same time, oil output in the country is being increased gradually to the regular level," she added. Due to the disruption, the BP-led Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli oilfields in the Caspian Sea had cut output to about 250,000 bpd from about 850,000 bpd before the BTC link was damaged. The BTC line has been out of action following the explosion and fire that occurred on August 6 in the line’s Turkish sector. The export rate through Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is in the capacity of delivering one million barrels per day (approx. 50 million tonnes per year). At its peak the Ceyhan Terminal is able to fill 1-2 tankers per day. BTC Co. shareholders are BP (30.1%), AzBTC (25.00%), Chevron (8.90%), Statoil (8.71%), TPAO (6.53%), ENI (5.00%), Total (5.00%), Itochu (3.40%), INPEX (2.50%), ConocoPhillips (2.50%) and Hess (2.36%).

Ten wells to be launched at Bibi-Eybat field later this year

23 August 2008 - Day.Az - According to the press service for the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, currently, the operation fund of the Bibi-Eybatneft oil and gas producing department makes 785 wells. Of them 630 are operating. In January-July of this year 14 idle wells were launched into operation. 70,228 tons of oil were produced instead of the predicted 66,950 tons. The average daily production at the field makes 291 tons of oil. 7 wells have been launched through this period. 3 wells are currently being drilled.

Turkmen oil and gas minister to visit Azerbaijan

22 August 2008 - Today.Az - Minister of Oil and Gas industry of Turkmenistan Baymurad Khojamuradov will lead a delegation to arrive in Azerbaijan in the first decade of September. The delegation will take part in an international conference "Oil and gas potential of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan: energy, economics, ecology. Strategy of Cooperation", reports the press service for the Azerbaijani embassy to Turkmenistan, according to Novosti-Azerbaijan. The arrangement is planned to be held at Gulustan palace in Baku on September 9-10. President Ilham Aliyev, considering the importance of strengthening the bilateral cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, more rational use of energy resources in both countries, mutually profitable implementation of regional and international projects in this sphere, signed the due resolution on conduction of an international conference in Baku on June 17 of 2008. In line with the regulation, a steering committee presided by first deputy Prime minister Yaqub Eyubov is created for preparations and conduction of the event. According to the source from the embassy, the delegation will comprise heads of state establishments, engaged in projection, production, transportation of energy resources, as well as representatives of the Turkmenistan academy of sciences. Delegations from the Eurasian states, as well as other countries, heads of international energy and financial organizations, big oil and gas companies, scientists and specialists are invited to the conference. 275 representatives from 31 countries expressed willingness to take part in the conference. Special attention at the conference will be attached to the directions of mutually profitable cooperation in the sphere of joint activity in the fuel and energy complex, including during the explosion and survey of oil and gas fields, development of fields, processing of oil and gas, application of new technologies, implementation of international and regional investment projects, as well as cooperation in the sphere of science, technique, education and ecology. At the conference, the leading companies of energy sectors of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan will present their projects.

BP shuts Baku-Supsa pipeline due to Georgia conflict

12 August 2008 - Reuters - BP has shut an oil pipeline to the Georgian Black Sea port of Supsa on security concerns due to a military conflict in the country, BP said on Tuesday, further limiting export options from the landlocked Caspian Sea. "We have decided to temporarily suspend Baku-Supsa as a precautionary measure. We are monitoring the situation in Georgia and will restart the pipeline when it becomes clear it can work safely," BP-Azerbaijan spokeswoman Tamam Bayatly said.

Fire burns 20,000 tons of oil at Turkish section of BTC pipeline

11 August 2008 - Day.Az – The damage from fire at the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline will be neutralized by insurance. Fire at the Turkish section of the BTC pipeline has burnt 20,000 tons of oil, said SOCAR president Rovnaq Abdullayev, Day.Az reports with reference to ANS. He said it will not cause damage to Azerbaijan, as it will be compensated by insurance. Moreover, he said due to the failure at BTC pipeline, 11,000-12,000 tons of oil per day are exported by Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline and 20,000 tons to Georgia by railroad, though earlier BTC transported nearly 800,000 barrels per day. Abdullayev noted that the repaired Baku-Supsa pipeline does not allow exporting the previous volumes, compensating only 50% of volumes, transported before the failure. He said BP has cut oil production from Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli fields and condensate from Shah Deniz field to minimum due to transportation problems. Abdullayev also said that due to the events in Georgia, oil tankers do not enter the ports of Batumi and Kulevi and if it also occurs in Sunday, export will be reduced to minimum.

Oil transportation by Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline fully stopped

07 August 2008 - Today.Az - Oil transportation by Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline has been fully stopped due to the fire, which occurred in Turkey, reports Day.Az with reference to ANS TV. According to a source from BP-Azerbaijan, oil export started by alternative routes instead. It included Baku-Supsa and Baku-Novorossiysk pipelines as well as railway transportations. Additional variants for storing of extracted oil are being checked at the moment. It is unclear when the pipeline will be repaired.

BP-Azerbaijan reduces offshore oil production

07 August 2008 - Today.Az - BP-Azerbaijan has cut production of oil from the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli fields in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, said spokesman for the company Tamam Bayatli, according to Interfax-Azerbaijan. "Yesterday we reduced oil production from our offshore fields for security purposes", said Bayatli. She noted that the company has already initiated oil export from the fields by alternative routes. "We are studying free capacities at the Sangachal terminal near Baku and possible rise in the volume of export by alternative routes. Oil accumulation for export started yesterday at Supsa terminal in Georgia following Baku-Supsa pipeline filling. We have also initiated oil export by Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline and by Baku-Batumi railroad", said Bayatli. The spokesman for the company noted that tankers shipment from the Turkish Ceyhan port is going on, as the terminal still has oil. According to her, Turkish Botas company continues work for fixing failure on the BTC pipeline.

Explosion hits Turkish section of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline

08–06–2008 – Day.Az, Gruziya Online, NewsRuFire hit the Erzindjan-Rafahiya section of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in Turkey.
15:55"Botas International Limited, the operator of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in Turkey, told us that fire occurred at wedge valve No 30 of the pipeline in Rafahiya, in Erzindjan province in eastern Turkey. No casualties were reported. The pipeline stopped operating from the central control station. Botas International Limited currently coordinates works to react on the situation and takes measures for extinguishing fire. We have offered any necessary aid to the company. Production works are currently being continued. A part of production is stored at the Sangachal terminal and another part is transported by alternative ways. Export from the Ceyhan pipeline is also continuing...", said Tamam Bayatli, spokesman for BP-Azerbaijan, BTC operator at the Azerbaijani section.
12:30According to ITAR-TASS, Turkish officials ruled out any purposeful blowing out of the pipeline. The pump explosion has become the reason of the accident.According to Mehmed Makas, head of the Rafahiya administration, where the incident occurred, before the explosion they received information about failure on the pipeline."The pipeline is being guarded reliably and I rule out any version of a terrorist act. Perhaps, explosion was caused by technical failure. Related bodies, investigating the case, are currently on the spot", said Makas. Firemen have taken all possible measures to avert fire expansion. Fire at the pumping station has not been stopped yet. Gas pipelines, laid in proximity to the BTC section, have also been blocked for security purposes.
11:16According to Turkish CNN, fire occurred at 23.30 of August 5 at the Erzindjan-Rafahiya section of the BTC pipeline. Oil transportation by pipes No 29 and 31 was stopped after the explosion. Reasons of explosion on the line of BOTAS company are unclear yet. As is reported, oil started to burn after explosion. The flame topped 50 meters in height. Strong wind spread the fire beyond the area of explosion. Firemen, ambulances, officials of local municipality, police and BOTAS company arrived to the spot. Local news agencies report that firemen are waiting for oil to burn completely as new explosion is possible anytime.

Azerbaijani government takes serious steps to ensure alternative transportations of energy sources to the world markets

24 July 2008 - Day.Az – SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev received French ambassador to Azerbaijan Gabriel Keller, said the press service for SOCAR. The meeting participants stressed SOCAR's role in strengthening of Azerbaijani-French relations. Keller reminded that last year SOCAR and French Total reached an agreement on main paragraphs and commercial principles of the Contract on exploration, development and production at the Absheron offshore unit. He voiced hope that the contract will be signed soon and the sides will initiate successful cooperation. Abdullayev informed the visitor about the energy projects, implemented in the region. He said Azerbaijan has good potential on transportation of Middle Asian energy sources. Infrastructure is being improved for the purpose. SOCAR President noted that the Azerbaijani government undertakes serious steps for ensuring alternative transportations of energy sources to the world markets.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Gazprom to Pump Gas of Other Nations to Spain

July 22, 2008 - Kommersant - Britain’s division of Gazprom, Gazprom Marketing & Trading, and Spain’s Gas Natural SDG have clinched a deal for the LNG supplies to Spain. People in Gazprom said this move will help build up a flexible system for supplying the gas acquired, for instance, in Libya or Azerbaijan. GM&T and Gas Natural SDG inked July 2 a framework agreement on the terms for LNG supplies to Spain, GM&T reported in its press release yesterday. According to Frederic Barnaud, GM&T's LNG director , the project is a good chance to widen the LNG sales before the launch of Shtokman in April 2013. The plans are that the Shtokman gas will be delivered via pipelines and by tankers to the United States and the EU. The framework agreement also promotes the strategic cooperation in part of the energy sales and quotas on greenhouse gas. In GM&T, they didn’t specify the exact amount of deliveries yesterday. Of interest is that so far, the laws of Spain had prevented Gazprom from entering the country’s market on fears of the price collision with Algerian Sonatrack. Under the EuroGas report, Spain consumed 37.7 billion cu meters of gas in 2007, and LNG covered two thirds of it. Algeria (37 percent) is the key supplier of gas to Spain. But unlike Sonatrack, Gas Natural SDG is the main division of Spain’s Gas Natural. The biggest holders of GN are La Caixa Bank (35.5 percent in the company) and Repsol YPF (30.5 percent).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Azerbaijan to join Nabucco summit in Hungary

July 11, 2008 - APA.ECONOMICS - An international summit will take place in Budapest on the initiative of the Hungarian government to give new momentum to the slow-moving Nabucco pipeline project, which will deliver gas to Europe bypassing Russia. “The Hungarian Prime Minister initiated a summit meeting with the participation of all the players in the Nabucco project: its shareholders, the transit countries and the supply countries,” government spokesman David Daroczi said. Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany during his visit to Azerbaijan called for a summit for countries involved in the Nabucco pipeline project and others who could potentially supply gas to Europe through the pipeline.

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