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Monday, January 28, 2008

Petrovietnam Eyeing Foreign Oil Fields

PV LogoJanuary 24, 2008 Rigzone News - Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) plans to buy two oil fields abroad this year, said general director Tran Ngoc Canh at a press conference in Hanoi on Monday. PetroVietnam has just submitted documents to purchase an oil field in Azerbaijan. If it won the bid, it would begin oil and gas exploitation this year, Canh said. The group is also in talks with Kazakhstan, Iran and Venezuela in hopes of buying one more oil field or gaining permission to access further oil and gas resources. "If the talks succeed, it may take the group and foreign partners 3-5 years to survey and explore the oil fields there," Canh said. The group also signed two contracts with Algeria and were appraising three wells there. In addition, it inked two deals with Cuba to exploit oil and gas along three blocks of coastline and four blocks offshore, Canh added. "PetroVietnam has just finished its negotiation with Peru and inked a deal to access oil and gas there," he said. Madagascar, Cameroon, Iran, and Iraq have also been targets of the groups interest. "PetroVietnam plans to import gas from Russia and the Middle East to satisfy rising demand on the local market," Canh said. Last year, PetroVietnam produced only 100,000 tonnes of crude oil from oil fields in Malaysia. The general director admitted that this figure fell far behind earlier expectations of one million tonnes of crude oil to be reaped from fields abroad. Dinh La Thang, chairman of the groups management board, attributed the lower-than-expected output from abroad to the failure to secure overseas deals. The failure arose because of government approval restrictions, he said. If rival bidders raised the price quickly, they were sure to win the contract. PetroVietnam had asked the government to grant the company autonomy in such matters, Thang said. "Promoting oil and gas exploitation abroad is key," stressed Canh.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Shahdeniz to produce 8 billion cubic meters of natural gas this year

09 January 2008 - Day.Az - According to the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, it is planned to produce 8 billion cubic meters of natural gas from the Shahdeniz field this year. It was also announced that the annual production will make up 20-22 billion cubic meters in 2020. Currently, the Shahdeniz field with its large gas reserves is the most important field not only in Azerbaijan but also in the world. By the recent estimates, the reserves of the field top 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas.

SOCAR declares forecasts on oil products for 2008

08 January 2008 - Day.Az - Baku oil refineries intend to deepen oil refining by 9% bringing it to 75.2% in 2008. According to the press service for SOCAR, production of gasoline will be brought to 1,372,000 tons with 910,000 tons for inner consumption, 462,000 tons for export. It should be noted that oil refineries produce 1,136,000 tons of gasoline in 2007 including 379,700 tons used on the domestic market and 756,300 tons exported. There is a plan to produce 2,583,000 tons of diesel fuel including 806,000 tons for inner consumption and 1,777,000 tons for export in 2008. To compare: production of diesel fuel totaled 2,117,800 tons in 2007, including 710,800 tons used on the domestic market and 1,407,000 tons exported. Production of liquid gas will be brought to the level of 214,000 tons from the last year 157,000 tons and oil coke to 175,000 tons from 79,200 tons.

State Oil Company of Azerbaijan hits oil production target of 2007

07 January 2008 - Day.Az - The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) produced a total of 8,800,880 tons of oil in 2007 (oil and gas producing department -7, 595,750 tons and joint ventures and operating companies-1,194,130 tons). According to sources from SOCAR, the company hit the target of 2007 which totaled 8,800,000 tons of oil. At the same time, the indicators of 2007 are 2.1% lower as compared to 2006, when 8,993,777 tons of oil were produced. The December oil production made up 722,120 tons, which is 3.4% lower than the forecast (620,310 tons produced by the oil and gas producing departments and 101,810 tons by joint ventures and operating companies). Last year the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan transferred 8,713,000 of crude to the state which is 0.1% lower than the forecast (7,512,170 tons transferred by the oil and gas producing departments and 1,181,160 tons by joint ventures and operating companies, including 437,060 tons to the SOCAR Department of Marketing and Economic Operations for domestic turnover and 456,800 from the Department of Marketing and Economic Operations). At the same time 755,180 tons of oil were transferred in December, which is 2% higher than the forecast.

Baku oil refineries fail to meet plan on oil products in 2007

07 January 2008 - Day.Az - In 2007 the oil refineries of Azerbaijan underfulfilled the production plan by 5.84%, producing only 7,504,170 tons of oil products in place of the planned 7,970,000 tons. According to the press service for SOCAR, of the said volume 4,179,590 tons were produced by the Baku oil refinery named after Heydar Aliyev 3,324,580 tons by Azerneftyag. Yet the total volume of production is 0.7% higher as compared to 2006. At the same time, in December the oil refineries produced 6,423,200 tons of oil products, which is 5.28% lower than the plan, with the Baku oil refinery named after Heydar Aliyev accounting for 81,210 tons and Azerneftyag for 561,110 tons. The structure of production is as follows:
• motor gasoline-94,026 tons-91.16% of the plan (1,129,040 tons-102.88% in 2007);
• virgin gasoline-18,250 tons -79.69% (280.640 tons-77.27%);
• kerosene KO-20-6,240 tons-46.22% (31,950 tons-26.19%);
• diesel fuel-183,570 tons-104.60% (2,100,000 tons-101.95%);
• common oven fuel-0 tons-0% (420 tons-0%);
• marketable oven fuel-169,740 tons-82.08% (2,203,900 tons-83.89%);
• oil bitumen-13,570 tons-83.77% (182,860 tons-101.59%);
• oil coke-11,620 tons (84,740 tons-no plan for production set);
• lubricants-5,050 tons-70.63% (53,500 tons-63.69%);
• butane-butylene-15,070 tons-106.13% (145,030 tons-102.57%);
• propane-propylene-0 tons;
• motor oil-7,710 tons-113.38% (66,540 tons-83.18%).

Turkey suspends resolution on sale of Petkim oil enterprise

28 December 2007 - APA - Execution of a resolution on the sale of Petkim (Perokimya Holding), one of the biggest enterprises of Turkey to a consortium, comprising SOCAR, Turcas and Infaz, has been suspended. The Turkish court instance Danishtay (acting as an Economic Court) considered the claim of Petrol Iş Sendicasi trade union. It passed a decision to suspend execution of a resolution of Turkey's supreme body for privatization dated February 8, 2007 on privatization of 51% in state-owned Petkim and terms of the due tender. The barrister of the trade union Gekkhan Djandogan noted that they had filed four claims on the sale of Petkim, with two of them granted. He also informed about the further steps: "We should wait for the completion of the trial. Materials on Petkim will be sent to the 13th circuit of Danishtay to adopt a final decision. If the decision is the same, the sale of Petkim will be annulled". It should be reminded that Petkim was sold to the SOCAR-Turcas-Injaz consortium for $2,04 billion.

Oil transportation accounting for greater share in Azerbaijan's export

26 December 2007 - Day.Az - Crude oil and oil products made up 80.6% of Azerbaijani export within 11 months of 2007. In line with the press-release of the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan, issued Wednesday, the share of crude oil in the overall volume of export made up 53.7% and the share of oil products nearly 27%. The share of oil and oil products has experienced a 2% decline through the reported period as compared to January-November of 2006. At the same time, the share of crude oil in the total export fell by 5.6% and share of oil products rose by 2.4%. Oil and oil products are followed by the following goods: fruits and vegetables-2.5% of export, chemical products-1.5%, aluminum and its products-1.5%, animal and vegetable oil -1.42%, ferrous metals and their products-1.2%, cotton-0.5%, alcohol and non-alcohol drinks-4.5%, tobacco and tobacco wares-0.1%. Other goods make up for 10.3% of export. Through the reported period Azerbaijani import comprised 30.2% mechanical and electrical device and spare parts, 15.2% transport means and spare parts, 11.8% foodstuffs, 11.2% ferrous metals and their products, 1.6% pharmaceutical wares, 1.3% timber and timber products, 1% oil gas and other gas hydrocarbons, 1% consumer goods. Other goods accounted for the rest 26% of import. The volume of external trade turnover of Azerbaijan made up $10.5 billion, including $5.5 billion of export and about $5 billion of import.

Societe Generale intending to acquire a bank in Azerbaijan

26 December 2007 - APA - France’s Société Générale has applied to the National Bank of Azerbaijan for acquisition or establishment of a bank in the country. Rufat Aslanli, Deputy Chair of the Directors' Board of the National Bank, said Société Générale has operated a representative office in Azerbaijan since 2004 and its main aim is to establish a bank. “Negotiations are ongoing with several banks in Azerbaijan. The target bank has not been specified yet,” he noted. Citibank and Commerzbank are also expected to open their representative offices in Azerbaijan soon.

Azerbaijan to produce 450 million barrels of oil in 2016

19 December 2007 - APA - The Center of Social and Economic Development held a presentation of a report on effective use of assets of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan in Baku Wednesday. The head of the center Vugar Bayramov, who delivered speech during the presentation, announced that the experience of foreign countries, in particular, Norway and Kazakhstan, as well as the activity of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, were analyzed during the research. He stressed the necessity to impose a limit on the volume of the Fund's transfers to the state budget. He cited Norway, where the transfers of the oil fund to the budget may not exceed 4% of the yearly revenues of the fund, as an example. Bayramov also noted that special criteria for effective use of oil revenues, as well as criteria for structures, which receive the assets of the State Oil Fund, had been developed. The said criteria are proposed to be applied in project financing. V.Bayramov also announced that oil sector will make up 56% of the GDP at the year-end. He forecasts Azerbaijan's oil production to reach 450 million barrels in 2008. He said the revenues of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan had made up $2.7 billion and expenses $ 1.1 billion in 2007. The assets of the fund were used at the construction of the Oguz-Gabala water pipeline, reconstruction of the Samur canal, creation of the state investment company and others. The report development engaged experts of the Washington University and the Minnesota University of the United States. The report has been worked out in the framework of the project of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

Ilham Aliyev receives BP Vice President

17 December 2007 - Day.Az - Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received the vice president of BP Andrew Inglis. The due information has been provided by the press service for the President of Azerbaijan. During the meeting, Andrew Inglis expressed satisfaction with an increased level of the Shah Deniz gas extraction and stressed confidence about the successful continuation of operation in this field. Ilham Aliyev noted, in turn, that the rise in the Shah Deniz gas extraction will strengthen the role of our country as a valuable producer and exporter of gas.

Azerbaijan interested in Nabucco pipeline

17 December 2007 [10:43] - AzerTAc - Azerbaijan is interested in Nabucco pipeline as it will open up additional opportunities for delivering gas from the Shahdeniz field to the European markets, the country`s Ministry of Industry and Energy said. Construction of the Nabucco pipeline, which will deliver the Caspian gas to Europe, is scheduled to end by 2011. The project is estimated to cost 5.8 billion dollars. The pipeline is planned to transport about 30 billion cubic meters of gas a year.

US Embassy to Azerbaijan said to be the most persistent tax defaulter

15 December 2007 - Day.Az – Several embassies, accredited in our country, evade taxes of their officials, who are the citizens of Azerbaijan, thus violating the country's legislation. The statement was made by the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan, Khazar Ibragim, during a traditional briefing. He said the countries which demand from zerbaijan to comply with the supremacy of law, do not comply with the legislation and evade taxes. "We have faced the problem long before. Yet, despite the progress in this issue, several embassies to Azerbaijan continue to refuse paying taxes for their officials, who are the citizens of Azerbaijan. Under the law of Azerbaijan, each embassy, accredited in our country, must pay taxes for its officials, who are the citizens of Azerbaijan", he said. At the same time, the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry refused to name the embassies, which evade taxes. Meanwhile, according to some diplomatic sources, the taxes are mostly evaded by three embassies and a representation of an international organization in Azerbaijan. By the said information, the US Embassy to Azerbaijan is the most persistent tax defaulter. The press service of the US Embassy reported that the Embassy will comment on the issue.

Shadow economy making up 15-16% in Azerbaijan

15 December 2007 - Day.Az - The shadow economy nears 15-16% in Azerbaijan, as reported by the chairman of the State Statistical Committee of Azerbaijan Arif Veliyev. According to him, the shadow economy previously stood at 18-20% but has lately fallen down to 15%. A.Veliyev said the share of shadow economy experiences decline with the rise in oil production.

Rise in oil and gas production observed in Azerbaijan

14 December 2007 - Day.Az –  Since the beginning of the year, Azerbaijan has produced 38,100,000 tons of oil, which is over 30% rise as compared to 2006. The information has been provided by the chairman of the State Statistical Committee of Azerbaijan Arif Veliyev. According to him, the country has produced 10,000,000,000 cubic meters of gas, which is a 61% rise. A.Veliyev considers that by the end of the year the country will produce nearly 42,000,000-43,000,000 tons of crude oil and 11,000,000,000 cubic meters of gas. At the same time, the chairman of the State Statistical Committee noted that the rise has been observed in the production of gasoline, white oil and bitumen.

Kazahstan to increase its oil export after Azerbaijan’s oil reserves go down

14 December 2007 - APA - Kazakhstan doesn’t rush to pump its oil through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev told a joint conference with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul. “Kazakhstan will be among top five exporters after 2012. By that time the volume of Azerbaijan's oil reserves will reduce signicantly. Construction of seaports on the Caspian Sea is currently under way under agreements with Azerbaijan. Kazakhstan will increase its oil export after Azerbaijan’s oil reserves go down. We are considering various routes of oil transportation”, he added.

World Bank to allocate $100,000,000 for reclamation of Absheron oil polluted lands

12 December 2007 - Day.Az - World Bank will assign $100,000,000 for the implementation of the first stage of the project of reclamation of oil polluted lands in Absheron, as reported by the WB vice president on Europe and Central Asia Shigeo Katsu. "This is a long-term program and the first stage envisions the exploration, selection of a diagnosing method, purchase of equipment and pilot reclamation. The reclamation of subsoil waters, utilization of housing wastes, purification of radioactive wastes, reclamation of oil polluted lands are envisioned. The first stage aims to create technical potential and carry out preliminary works", he said. According to Katsu, the credit will be partially financed at the cost of a credit from the WB departments, including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). The IDA assigns credits at 0.75% annually for a term of 35 years with a 10 year period of grace and the IBRD-at Libor+ annually (depending on the rate) for a term of 20 years with a 5 year period of grace. Notably, the total area of the polluted lands of Absheron are estimated at over 30,000 hectares.

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