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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Azerbaijan to start building $4-bln refinery in Turkey in 2008

BAKU, September 27 (RIA Novosti) - The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan will start building a $4 billion oil refinery in Turkey in 2008, company president Rovnag Abdullayev said Thursday. The refinery, expected to have capacity of 15 million tons annually and to consist of an oil refining unit and a petrochemicals unit, will be built close to the Ceyhan port on the Mediterranean, to which oil is pumped via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. Abdullayev also said the Turkish government had allocated 1,000 hectares of land for the refinery, and that a feasibility study is underway. The 1,700-kilometer (1,000-mile) Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, expected to start operating at full export capacity (1 million bbl/d) in 2008, pumps crude from Azerbaijan's oil fields off the Caspian coast via Georgia to Turkey, and onto Western markets.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Azerbaijan decreases oil exports via Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline

09.20.2007 - Regnum News - State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) plans to further decrease its oil exports via the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline, SOCAR Vice President Elshad Nasirov told reporters today in Baku. According to him, in 2008, 1mn tons of Azerbaijani oil is expected to be transferred through Novorossiysk. The Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline has been involved in exporting the Azerbaijani oil since 1998 having contracted amount of annual transfer equal to 5mn tons. Within eight months of the year, 1.51mn tons of Azerbaijani oil have been exported, 817,000 tons of them are exported by the SOCAR, 69,000 tons by the Azerbaijani International Operator Company, which stopped using the pipeline on April 1 this year.

Poland ‘wins Azeri pipeline pledge’

Azerbaijanpoland21 September 2007 - Upstream Online - Polish Economy Minister Piotr Wozniak said today he had an initial declaration from Azeri officials that oil from Azerbaijan would flow to Poland via the Odessa-Brody-Plock pipeline. The Odessa-Brody-Plock project envisages reversing the flow of a Ukrainian pipeline that brings Russian crude to the Black Sea port of Odessa. It would instead bring Caspian oil through Ukraine to Poland and the Baltic Sea. "We have tentative declarations on the political level and on the level of the (new) company," Economy Minister Piotr Wozniak told reporters. He said that Azerbaijan, Georgia, Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania, would create a joint venture on 26 September to build the pipeline, Reuters reported. Poland and Ukraine rely almost entirely on Russia for their energy needs and want to get access to alternative sources. They have stepped up efforts to diversify away from their eastern neighbour ever since pricing disputes interrupted deliveries. The Odessa-Brody extension project has been plagued for years by lack of funding, supplies and political bickering between Russia and the EU over control of new oil routes.

Azerbaijan raises $1bn for power plant construction

RBC, 24.09.2007, Moscow 15:58:48.Some $1bn is planned to go towards the construction of a 700MW private electric power station in Azerbaijan. A corresponding agreement was signed by the South Korean company Kepko & Moet and Azerbaijan's Economy Ministry in Baku today, the Azeri news agency Trend reported. Construction is projected to start in a Baku suburb by July 2008. According to the statement, such power stations will enable Azerbaijan to create competition on the electricity market and lower tariffs.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fewer Azeri Oil Imports

09-21-2007 Reuters – BAKU, Azerbaijan - Azerbaijan plans to pump considerably less oil through Russia next year as it uses cheaper, alternative export routes, the country's state oil firm said Thursday. Next year will see around 1 million tons of oil pass through Russia from Azerbaijan -- most of which is then sold on to Europe -- down from almost 4 million tons in 2006. From January through August, Azerbaijan sent 1.5 million tons of oil through Russia.

Azerbaijan signs up for Nabucco

AzerbaijanAustria20 September 2007 - Upstream OnLine - Austria has signed a memorandum of understanding with Azerbaijan to start talks about possible gas supplies to the planned Nabucco pipeline, Austrian producer OMV said today. Under the deal, signed by Austrian Economy Minister Martin Bartenstein and Azerbaijan's Energy Minister Natik Aliyev in Baku today, OMV and state oil company Socar will begin talks Nabucco, OMV said in a statement. OMV leads the 3300 kilometre, €4.6 billion ($6.43 billion) pipeline project aimed at carrying Caspian and Middle Eastern gas to Europe to reduce its dependency on Russian supplies. Aliyev had told a conference in Budapest last week that Azerbaijan could also supply gas to a Gazprom-sponsored alternative pipeline called South Stream.

Trio float out Gunashli topsides

19 September 2007 - Upstream OnLine - A trio of companies led by UK engineering and management services group Amec has completed the 12,700-tonne topsides for the BP-operated Gunashli field in the Azeri Caspian Sea. Amec said today that the process, compression, water injection and utilities (PCWU) topsides built for the Azerbaijan International Oil Company (AIOC) had been completed two weeks ahead of schedule and floated out from the consortium’s facilities in the Azeri capital, Baku. Amec is partnering with local players Tekfen and Azfen in the ATA consortium. The topsides will be installed in about 175 metres of water 120 kilometres off the Azeri coast. Work on the project began in 2005. The facility is part of the Azeri, Chirag and Gunashli development which BP is operating for AIOC.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Aliyev pushes Polish-Azeri pipe

13 September 2007 - Upstream OnLine - A plan to extend an existing pipeline to bring Caspian oil to Poland and Western Europe has strong political backing but would need very positive economic conditions to proceed, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev said. Aliyev said today that Azerbaijan could produce the necessary extra crude to feed the extended pipeline. "We are planning to increase our output ... and we have a huge potential, but we can increase only if we have way to transport," Reuters reported Aliyev told a news conference in Vilnius after meeting Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus. The leaders discussed energy co-operation, including the project to extend the Odessa-Brody pipeline to Poland to transport Caspian crude. The flow of the pipeline, which now carries Russian crude to the Black Sea, would be reversed under the scheme. "Polish and Baltic markets are very attractive to us, and there is a very strong political support to this project, but it needs to have very favourable economic conditions to be feasible," Aliyev said. He said Azerbaijan currently produces around 1 million barrels of crude per day, but could increase output if more transport routes were available. He declined to speculate on the volumes of Azeri crude that would be transported via an Odessa-Brody-Gdansk pipeline. In May, the leaders of Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Lithuania, Georgia and Poland agreed to establish a joint company to work on the pipeline. Leaders of the countries involved are scheduled to meet again in October in Vilnius. The Azeri president said he expected experts to provide more details on the feasibility of the project by that time.

C&C AUV surfaces in Caspian

12 September 2007 - Upstream OnLine - Louisiana-based C&C Technologies has wrapped up a seabed survey using its autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) for UK supermajor BP in the Caspian Sea, it said today. C& C said it had finished the survey of 5500 kilometres of seabed data in water depths between 100 and 700 metres in July. The company said it used its C-Surveyor II unit on the project, deployed from the survey vessel Neftegaz 64. The equipment was flown to the region aboard a specially chartered Antonov transport to allow the project to keep to schedule. The C-Surveyor II cruises untethered underwater for up to two days at a time, surveying the seabed and sending information back to the survey ship by acoustic link.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

ATR makes Baku move

04 September 2007 - Upstream OnLine - Aberdeen-based offshore equipment provider ATR Group said today it has bought Bridon International's wire rope and lifting operations in Baku, Azerbaijan. ATR said it will invest $2 million in the Baku business over the next 12 months. "With Bridon refocusing its business in manufacture rather than distribution, we saw an opportunity to fast-track our plans for the Caspian region with the acquisition of an established business,” ATR director Robert Skidmore said. "This will be our first overseas operation and once we have cut our teeth in the Caspian we will be pressing ahead with plans for other locations which include North Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia," he added. All of the Bridon Baku workforce will transfer to ATR, the company said.

Azeris eye new Caspian terminal

27 August 2007 - Upstream OnLine - A private Azeri company and a state investment body plan to build a 1-million-barrel-per-day oil terminal on the Caspian Sea, which could help Azerbaijan double its oil export capacity. Executive director of the Azerbaijan State Investment Company (Asic) Anar Akhundov said today that Asic and KavkazTransService would build a terminal in Baku with an annual capacity of over 370 barrels of oil and oil products, Reuters reported. Azerbaijan currently exports a similar amount of oil and refined products a year, including its own crude and transit oil and refined products from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Akhundov said the cost of the project would amount to $150 million. He said talks with foreign investors would start next week. "Islamic Development Bank has already shown interest in this project. There will be other international financial institutions and private banks," Akhundov told reporters. KavkazTransService is a subsidiary of Azeri private holding company Azersun, which already owns two terminals on the Azeri Caspian Sea coast via a trader, Middle East Petrol. The outlets ship between 3.0 million and 3.9 million tonnes of oil and oil products a year from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. The volumes are shipped across the Caspian Sea in small tankers, unloaded in the port of Baku and then sent by rail to the Black Sea port of Batumi in Georgia for re-export to the Mediterranean. The new terminal will work under the same scheme and could be also linked up to the BP-led Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, launched last year. Azersun president Abdolbari Guzal has said the first stage of the new outlet could be launched in 2008. Azerbaijan wants to increase its trans-shipment capacity as it counts on rising production in Kazakhstan. But the top Kazakh Caspian Sea project, the giant Kashagan field, has been bogged down by delays and disputes between Astana and the project's leader Italy's Eni.

Azerbaijan's oil production down 1.3%, y-o-y, in January-July

BAKU, August 17 (RIA Novosti) - Azerbaijan's State Oil Company said Friday it produced 5.136 million tons (37.75 million bbl) of oil in January-July of this year, or 1.3% less than in the same period last year. The company said in a statement that the country's oil refineries processed in the same period over 4.463 million tons (32.8 million bbl) of crude, or 2.9% less than in the same period last year. The statement said that natural gas production over the January-July period increased by 45.4% over last year, totaling 5.647 billion cubic meters.

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