WORLD ENERGY WATCH
The World Energy Watch presents recent news and analysis highlighting the activities of the players involved in the power struggle for the world's remaining energy resources.
Turkmenistan has insisted it cut gas to Iran 12 days ago because of a technical fault with the export pipeline and Iran's failure to pay for supplies. The Turkmen foreign ministry said Tehran's failure to make the payments had been "holding back the completion of repair and maintenance work". Iranian media reports earlier said Turkmenistan had wanted to double the price for the gas it exports to Iran. The cut has been blamed for serious gas shortages in northern and western Iran. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Friday that Turkmenistan had hampered his country's ability to cope with the recent severe cold and heavy snow that has caused at least 28 deaths, including eight from the cold. In a statement, the Turkmen foreign ministry reiterated that natural gas shipments to Iran had been suspended since 1 January because of the need to perform repairs on the 200km (125 mile) export pipeline. "Iran's failure to fulfil its obligations on payments for the previous natural gas shipments from Turkmenistan is holding back the completion of repair and maintenance work," it added. Earlier on Sunday, the Iranian state-owned Press TV station had reported that one of the reasons for the cut was a dispute between the two countries on the price of gas. It said Turkmenistan had proposed almost doubling the price agreed last year, from $75 (£38) per 1,000 cubic metres of gas to $140 (£71) per 1,000 cubic metres.
(Spain-based global utility company that plans to acquire Energy East)
Iberdrola, the Spain-based global utility company that plans to acquire New York State Electric & Gas parent Energy East, on Wednesday stressed the benefits of the $4.5 billion deal for various stakeholders, including consumers, workers and New York state. Cost-cutting to reap huge profits on the deal is not the focus of Iberdrola's plan, said Pedro Azagra, the company's director of corporate development, in a meeting with the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin. Instead, Iberdrola's goal is to invest and expand in New York, using the acquisition as an entry into the U.S. market, as opposed to a "transforming transaction" for the company, he said. "We have committed to not firing anyone because of the transaction," Azagra said. He noted that Iberdrola likes to keep local people running local operations. ... In addition, Iberdrola's plans include launching renewable energy projects, including wind power, in the "areas of worst economic development" in New York. Azagra noted that as the state continues to lose population and businesses, and works to attract investment, the projects could serve as a valuable tool for New York's use in marketing the area for additional economic development. But it will be up to the state and communities to approve the projects. ... Energy East serves about 3 million customers in Upstate New York and New England.
As crude oil sits at record high prices and economists remain concerned about its economic impact, one group has proposed the war-time measure of rationing. The Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO), a group that lobbies for sustainable transport options, is calling for the return of the petrol allocation system used in Australia during World War II. Bruce Robinson, ASPO's national convener, said the idea was becoming "increasingly essential" with petrol prices hovering around $1.50 a litre and rising interest rates already hurting households. The impact on the economy of inaction would be "dire", he said. But a leading economist labelled the proposal "ridiculous". AMP Capital Investors chief economist Shane Oliver said the market should be allowed to determine the price as the supply and demand curves drew closer together. Mr Robinson has written to the Federal Government calling for an oil vulnerability taskforce that would determine the allocation of petrol rations. ASPO proposes that those with greatest need be given priority.
The Russian president's visit to Bulgaria this week will bring a package of deals, including on an ambitious oil pipeline project and a nuclear power plant, the foreign minister said on Monday.
"As to documents [to be signed], I would highlight an agreement to set up a company to oversee the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline, which would involve the two countries and Greece, and a contract to build the Belene NPP," Sergei Lavrov said. On March 15, 2007, Russia, Bulgaria, and Greece signed a deal on a pipeline to carry Russian oil via the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas and Greece's Alexandroupolis on the Aegean, as an alternative route to bypass the congested Bosporus. Once completed, the pipeline will pump 35 million metric tons of oil a year (257.25 million bbl), a volume that could eventually be increased to 50 million metric tons (367.5 million bbl). Russia was reported to have a 51% stake in the company. ... Russia's energy deals with Bulgaria and other south European states - including a natural gas pipeline South Stream to be build under the Black Sea to supply 30 billion cubic meters of gas to the EU annually - have triggered concern in Europe about its growing energy dependence on Moscow.
Kazakhstan's national oil company said Monday it has won an agreement from an international consortium led by Italy's Eni SpA to increase its share in the project to develop the vast Kashagan oil field. Under the agreement, KazMunaiGaz will now hold a 16.8-percent share in the project, equivalent to the shares held by Eni, Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and France's Total SA, said company spokesman Arzhan Takachakov. Kazakhstan had sought to renegotiate the contract to develop the field, which has an estimated 4.8 billion metric tons (37 billion barrels) of oil, due to the buildup of costs and delays in the startup and production. Under the previous development agreement, each of the four major Western companies in the project held stakes of 18.52 percent, while U.S.-based ConocoPhillips had 9.26 percent and KazMunaiGaz and Japan's Inpex had 8.33 percent each. Takachakov said he did not have information on how the stakes of ConocoPhillips and Inpex would change under the new agreement. The Kashagan field, discovered in 2000, lies beneath the northern part of the Caspian Sea. ... Eni estimates Kashagan, one of the biggest oil discoveries of the past 30 years, will produce 1.5 million barrels of oil a day at its peak output.
Copyright 2008, Gloria R. Lalumia
WORLD ENERGY WATCH