Oil and Gas News from This Week
European Energy Consortium to Sign Turkmen Gas Deal
A consortium of two European energy companies and a financial institution are seeking to strike a major gas supply deal with Turkmenistan by the end of this month, to bring gas to Europe, bypassing Russia, which has recently experienced some disappointment in its dealings with Turkmenistan. If the deal goes through as planned, the first Turkmen gas would make its way to Europe by 2014. The information came from Turkmenistan's honorary consul to the EU, Koen Minne. "Our timeline is to get an agreement in principle during the month of November," he said. "The feasibility study was completed in the middle of September, and we've come to our conclusions on the commercial part." This is a historic deal that would cement indications that Turkmenistan has snubbed Russia and its pipeline plans and chosen instead to supply Western-backed pipelines. Among the energy companies are reportedly Italian oil group ENI.
China's CNPC Resumes Turkmen Gas Supplies
China's largest oil producer, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has resumed gas supplies from Turkmenistan to China through the China-Central Asia pipeline. The pipeline was undergoing an overhaul that finished earlier than expected, and in time to meet growing demands ahead of the winter season in China.
Gazprom Considers Eurobonds
Russia's state-run gas giant Gazprom is considering seeking foreign investors for its first bond sales in 16 months in a shift away from the ruble. Gazprom could begin issuing Eurobonds even by the end of this year and sell dollar debt to investors on more attractive terms.
French EDF Talks South Stream with Gazprom
Russia's Gazprom is currently in talks with French energy company EDF to determine the latter's possible role in the South Stream gas pipeline to Europe. EDF signed a memorandum of intent with Gazprom this summer, committing to joining the project by the end of the year with a stake of no less than 10%, UPI reported.
Russia, Poland Clinch New Gas Delivery Deal
After two years of back-and-forth negotiations, Russia and Poland have signed an agreement to increase Russian gas deliveries by as much as 38%. The deal will enable Poland to buy as much as 10.2 billion cubic meters a year from Gazprom, up from 7.45 bcm in the previous contract.
Iraq Will Meet Domestic Gas Needs Before Supplying Nabucco
Iraq's deputy oil minister told Reuters yesterday that the country would only be able to supply gas to the Nabucco pipeline once its domestic power needs are fulfilled, which could take as long as seven years. The pipeline consortium was planning on have its first gas supplies from Iraq, by the final quarter of 2014. However, Iraq is suffering from severe power shortages, and Reuters reports that its national grid only supplies a few hours of power each day.
Gazprom Founder Dies at 72
Former Russian prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, the founder of Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom, has died at the age of 72. The cause of death has not been made public. In 1996, he took over the presidency temporarily when Boris Yeltsin underwent heart surgery. A former mechanic, born in Siberia, Chernomyrdin rose through the ranks to become head of the Soviet oil and gas ministry and then on to create Gazprom.
Russian Gas Giant Makes Discovery in Algeria
Gazprom has made its first commercial gas discovery in Algeria, Bloomberg news agency reported earlier this week, saying that the find could allow the Russian state-owned gas giant to expand sales to Spain and Portugal - the only remaining European regions in which it does not have a presence. In March, Gazprom began drilling the onshore El Assel field in Algeria after obtaining rights in 2008.
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