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  • Guest 123
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    Boris Yaremenko:


    February 25, 2011 -- In March, Algeria will export gas to Europe via Medgaz pipeline laid beneath the Mediterranean Sea. The EU continues to reduce its dependence on Russian gas, and Algeria continues to strengthen its position as a natural gas distributor in Europe. At the moment this country is the third largest supplier to the EU. The construction of the pipeline started in March of 2008. The pipe from the field Hassi Rmel is laid to the Algerian port of Beni Saf (574 km), where it goes under water. Then it stretches for another 210 km beneath the Mediterranean Sea in the direction of Spain. The capacity of the pipeline is 8 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

    The Medgaz consortium that was involved in the construction of the gas pipeline includes the Algerian Sonatrach - 36%, Spanish CEPSA - 20%, Iberdrola - 20% and Endesa - 12% and Gaz de France - 12%. Interestingly enough, the construction of the underwater part of the line was conducted by the Italian company Saipem, that earlier has lost a tender for construction of the Russian Nord Stream in the Baltic Sea. 630 million euros was spent on the construction of the underwater area. The entire project is worth over 1 billion euros, against the planned 900 million. However, the EU is willing to pay for supply diversification. Three gas pipelines have already been laid from Algeria to the European continent. These are TransMed pipeline leading to Italy, the Maghreb-Europe pipeline and Medgaz carrying supplies to Spain.

    Algeria came in second in the world in terms of export of liquefied gas. This North African country is one of the largest suppliers of gas to the EU. It accounts for 20% of the EU gas. It is expected that by 2013-2014 gas exports from the country to Europe should amount to approximately 85 billion cubic meters. At the moment, Algeria officially exports 62 billion cubic meters of gas to the EU. However, the instability in the Maghreb countries could disrupt the supplies in the strategically important for the EU gas pipelines. In particular, TransMed line passes through the territory of Tunisia that has barely recovered from the riots. In addition, there may be problems with the operation of Greenstream pipeline which supplies gas to Europe from the troubled Libya.

    Nevertheless, the diversification of gas supply and marketing of large volumes of liquefied natural gas allows counteragents of Gazprom to intensify the pressure to reduce the contract price for the Russian natural gas. However, the EU's dependence on gas supplies from North Africa in the case of increasing chaos in the provider and transit countries can improve Gazprom's position in Europe and make South Stream project more popular. The uncertainty in the Arab East will bolster oil prices. On the world market the price of crude Brent oil exceeds $100 per barrel. This means that gas prices tied to oil quotations will soon crawl up and the Russian gas monopoly will be able to win back its price positions lost earlier. However, in strategic terms the position of Gazprom in the EU and the price of gas will largely depend on the interaction between the major gas suppliers to Europe.

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  • Guest 123
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    MILAN, February 24, 2011 (Reuters) -- Escalation of unrest in major gas producers Algeria and Tunisia would pose a far bigger threat to supplies into Italy and Europe than the current disruption caused by violent turmoil in Libya, analysts said on Thursday. Italy, which imported almost 70 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas in 2009, received over 21 bcm of gas from Algeria, via Tunisia, nearly three times what it used to get from Libya. In 2010 Algerian imports rose to 25-26 bcm. The Libyan gas disruption is far less serious than the Russian-Ukraine gas crisis in the frigid winter of 2006 which set alarm bells ringing across Europe and forced Italy to tap strategic reserves. "Libya is not a major problem because you can source gas from elsewhere. But if Algeria goes down we're in a different ballgame. It would be a real problem for next winter given that we replenish our gas stocks in the summer," said Paolo Ghislandi, secretary general of Italian association of energy traders and suppliers AIGET.

    Unrest has spiralled across north Africa and the Middle East since late last year, toppling the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt this year, sending many thousands of people onto the streets demanding political and economic change. On Tuesday Algeria's cabinet adopted an order to lift a 19-year-old state of emergency in a concession designed to dodge the tide of uprisings sweeping the Arab world, but protesters said it was not enough. Gas transmitter Snam Rete Gas, the biggest regulated gas business in continental Europe, has said Italy's strong pipeline links to north Africa and Russia as well as ample storage capacity make it a good candidate for becoming a Mediterranean gas hub for Europe. Russia is Italy's second-biggest gas supplier with imports in 2010 totaling 22-23 bcm.

    Analysts say now is not the worst time for a disruption crisis given that Italian consumption is still depressed after the economic crisis, there is a lot of spare capacity and the winter season is ending. "The Russian pipeline (TAG) is only 60 percent used and anyway stocks would see us through to the summer. But there would be a big impact on prices and a looming problem for next winter," said Stefano Casertano, senior fellow at German think-tank BIGS-Potsdam.org. Italy, which has no nuclear power and just two liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants, is dependent on gas imports to help fuel its power stations which are around 50 percent gas fired. Italy has 9 bcm of working gas storage capacity, over 95 percent controlled by Snam. There are also 5.1 bcm of strategic reserves which can only be tapped after government approval. Snam is over 50 percent owned by oil and gas giant Eni which controls key import pipelines carrying gas from Russia, North Europe, Libya and Algeria. Eni said earlier on Thursday its oil and gas output from Libya had more than halved to 120,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day. "If anything happens in Algeria there will be big moral suasion to build more LNG plants which lower security of supply risk," AIGET's Ghislandi said.

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  • Guest 123
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    February 24, 2011 -- Italian energy company Eni SpA, which accounts for most of the Libyan petrol sector, idled operations, driving crude oil prices to their highest levels in two and half years. Germany's Wintershall AG was the first petrol company to temporarily halt its operations in eastern Libya. In southwest Libya, Spain's Repsol-YPF and Austrian partner OMV also partially suspended operations, shutting down the 200,000 barrel/day Sahara field and evacuating workers. The ports of Benghazi, Tripoli and Misrata, which deal with cargo and container vessels, also suspended shipping operations. Arabian Gulf Oil Company and the Sirte Oil Company, which together produce up to 280,000 barrels/day in eastern Libyan fields, are "functioning under the control of pro-democracy rebels", MarketWatch reported Wednesday.

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  • Guest 123
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    February 24, 2011 -- As Canada and Brazil are to the U.S. oil markets, Russia is to the energy-hungry euro zone. This gives Gazprom all the cards. Libya was not a major piece of the European energy equation, but even now the prospect of a civil war over Tripoli has had an impact on the business of continental energy companies like Austrian refiner OMV and Italian oil and gas producer Eni. A disruption in Algeria - which produces 17% more oil than neighboring Libya, and where the government ironically just ended a 19-year state of "national emergency" to calm the crowds - could heap additional strain on these companies' supply lines. Between them, Algeria and Libya account for 4% of global oil production, most of it going to Europe across the Mediterranean. This makes Gazprom and its pipelines even more indispensable than ever when it comes to keeping Europe's lights on and homes heated. Solar and wind are coming along, but in the meantime, the Russians are the obvious beneficiaries: And do not glaze over the strategic story here. With Brent crude oil reaching toward $120, oil-rich Russia's fiscal position is gapping up by the day. Sooner or later, Wall Street is going to upgrade Moscow again, and when that happens, RSX is the obvious place to play.

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  • Guest 123
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    LONDON, February 24, 2011 (Dow Jones) -- The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will act if Libya's current crisis leads to significant disruptions in global oil markets, Algeria's energy minister was quoted as saying Thursday, adding it saw this as unlikely. In remarks quoted by official Algerian agency APS, Youcef Yousfi said: "I don't think there could be a notable disruption [on the market] because of what's happening in Libya. "But if a real disruption is observed, OPEC will take decisions to secure the market," he said. He was speaking after April Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange inched close to $120 a barrel Thursday morning, as evidence of oil shutdowns mounted in Libya amid widespread unrest. Libya's oil output has dropped 75%, Paolo Scaroni, chief executive of Italy's Eni SpA, said earlier Thursday.

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  • Guest 123
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    Jeudi 24 Février 2011 -- Le ministre de l'Energie et des Mines Youcef Yousfi a estimé jeudi que l'Organisation des pays exportateurs de pétrole (OPEP) agira pour sécuriser le marché pétrolier en cas de perturbation dans l'approvisionnement. «Je ne pense pas qu'il y aurait une perturbation notable (du marché) en raison de ce qui se passe en Libye», a‑t‑il estimé, lors d'une conférence de presse avec des journalistes algériens, dont l'APS, lors d'une visite à Illizi. «Mais si une perturbation réelle est constatée, l'Opep prendra des décisions pour sécuriser le marché», a‑t‑il également ajouté. Jeudi matin, le baril de pétrole Brent de la mer du Nord pour livraison en avril a frôlé les 120 dollars jeudi matin, à 119,79 dollars, avant de se replier. La Libye produit 3 % de la consommation mondiale d'or noir. «L'inquiétude va au-delà de la Libye, qui est un producteur relativement modeste, et concerne les plus gros producteurs qui pourraient aussi être affectés par le risque de contagion des révoltes», a estimé Victor Shum, analyste chez Purvin and Gertz à Singapour. La production d'hydrocarbures de l'italien ENI, premier producteur étranger en Libye, a été réduite de plus de 50% à 120.000 barils par jour dans ce pays à la suite de l'arrêt de certaines activités à cause des violences, a indiqué jeudi le directeur général qui a rapatrié une grande partie de son personnel. Le groupe a également interrompu les livraisons de gaz libyen à travers le gazoduc Greenstream, seul gazoduc reliant la Libye à l'Italie et donc à l'Europe. Plusieurs autres compagnies pétrolières opérant dans le pays ont annoncé un ralentissement, voire la suspension de leurs activités, à l'instar des groupes allemand Wintershall, français Total et espagnol Repsol.

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  • Guest 123
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    Mercredi 23 Février 2011 -- Le développement d'un vaste gisement d'hydrocarbures dans le Sahara algérien va coûter prés de 4,5 milliards de dollars, a annoncé mercredi le groupement algéro‑américain Berkine, cité par l'agence APS. Situé dans le bassin de Berkine, à 350 km au sud‑est de Hassi Messaoud, le gisement "El Merk" doit produite d'ici à fin 2013 plus de 160.000 barils d'hydrocarbures par jour, a précisé la même source. Ce gisement sera exploité en vertu d'un contrat de partage de production conclu entre Sonatrach et le groupe américain Anadarco. Le groupe algérien détient 51% du capital de ce groupement, Anadarco Petroleum Corporation 24,5%, l'Italien ENI et le danois Maersk (12,25% chacun). Le gisement contient des réserves prouvées de 1,2 milliard de barils de pétrole et de condensât, et devrait produire dès sa mise en service 127.000 barils jours de pétrole et de condensât et 30.000 bj de GPL (gaz propane liquéfié), selon la même source. Ce projet prévoit notamment la réalisation d'une usine de traitement de pétrole, de condensât et de GPL avec des systèmes de stockage, et des canalisations de transport d'hydrocarbures.

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  • Guest 123
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    Hakim Arous :


    Mercredi 23 Février 2011 -- Nouvelle étape dans le conflit qui oppose le groupe pétrolier amériain Anadarko à Sonatrach. Depuis 2006, les deux sociétés, associées dans l'exploitation de gisements d'hydrocarbures dans le Sud algérien, sont en désaccord sur le paiement de la taxe sur les superprofits, décidée par le gouvernement algérien dans le cadre de la nouvelle loi sur les hydrocarbures. L'audience d'arbitrage qui doit déterminer si la plainte d'Anadarko est recevable aura lieu en juin prochain, selon un rapport d'activités 2010 de la compagnie diffusé ce mercredi 23 février auprès des marchés financiers. L'origine du conflit remonte au vote par l'APN en juillet 2006 de la loi instaurant une taxe exceptionnelle sur les superprofits réalisés par les sociétés étrangères activant dans le domaine des hydrocarbures. Cette taxe prévoit d'imposer entre 5 et 50% sur la valeur de la production quotidienne moyenne pendant chaque mois durant lequel le prix du baril de brut dépasse les 30 dollars. Or, Anadarko pensait que le contrat de partenariat scellé avec Sonatrach lui procurait une certaine stabilité fiscale. Selon le groupe américain, ce contrat indique que c'est à Sonatrach de payer cette nouvelle taxe. Ce que le groupe algérien a refusé de faire. Une procédure de conciliation a été mise en place en octobre 2007 mais elle n'a pas abouti. Et en février 2009, Anadarko avait alors amorcé une procédure d'arbitrage contre Sonatrach, comme le prévoit le contrat de partenariat entre les deux sociétés. Anadarko est présente en Algérie depuis 1989. Elle active dans le cadre d'un partenariat avec Sonatrach et deux autres partenaires.

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  • Guest 123
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    February 23, 2011 -- Oil prices may surge to US$220 a barrel if political unrest in North Africa halts exports from Libya and Algeria, Nomura Holdings Inc. said. Crude futures rose to US$97.97 in New York today, the highest in more than two years, as the violence in Libya threatened to disrupt exports from Africa’s third-biggest supplier. Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi vowed yesterday to fight a growing rebellion until his “last drop of blood.” Protests in Algeria led to the ending of a 19-year state of emergency. “If Libya and Algeria were to halt oil production together, prices could peak above US$220 a barrel and OPEC spare capacity will be reduced to 2.1 million barrels a day, similar to levels seen during the Gulf war and when prices hit US$147 in 2008,” the Tokyo-based bank said in a note today.

    The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has spare production capacity of about 5 million barrels a day, according to the International Energy Agency. Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said yesterday that the organization will boost output if there is a shortage. Algeria produced 1.25 million barrels a day last month, while Libya pumped 1.59 million a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Crude for April delivery was at US$97.40 a barrel as of 10:30 a.m. local time on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest since October 2, 2008. Futures are up 24% from a year ago. Brent oil for April settlement climbed 4.3%, to US$110.35, on the ICE Futures Europe exchange. “The closest comparison is the 1990-1991 Gulf War,” during which OPEC’s spare capacity dropped to 1.8 million barrels a day and prices surged 130 percent in seven months, Nomura analysts led by Michael Lo in Hong Kong said.

    Nomura said the US$220 prediction may be an underestimate, as speculative investors trading crude oil who were not active in the early 1990s may amplify the price gain in the event of an export halt. Total SA and OMV AG followed Eni SpA, RWE AG and BASF SE’s Wintershall unit in scaling back their Libyan operations this week. The moves have reduced production by as much as 300,000 barrels a day, Vienna-based researcher JBC Energy GmbH said in a report today. Protests in Algeria, while not as violent as in Libya, led to the announcement yesterday of an end to the state of emergency. The measure was imposed after the cancellation of the country’s first multiparty elections that Islamists were set to win in 1992.

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  • Guest 123
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    MADRID, February 22, 2011 (Reuters) -- Spain's Gas Natural said on Tuesday it hopes its spat with major gas supplier Algeria's Sonatrach will be resolved in the first half, after provisions for possible settlement pushed fourth-quarter profit down 70 percent. The Spanish utility said it has provisioned 305 million euros ($416.9 million) in the fourth quarter, much of which is against a potential $1.97 billion back payment to the Algerian gas supplier, which is being debated in the courts. "The first half is a reasonable horizon, although we have to be flexible about this," a Gas Natural Executive said at a conference call after the group's fourth quarter results. Gas Natural declined to give details of how much it has provisioned for a possible settlement in Sonatrach's favour claiming this could affect current negotiations. It gave only rough estimates on how much its 2010 earnings would have grown without the gas spat. "2010 EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) would have been improved by 305 million euros at least," Chief Executive Rafael Villaseca said at a press conference. Gas Natural made full-year net profit of 1.2 billion euros, up just 0.5 percent, as higher financial costs and depreciation charges crimped a 14 percent rise in EBITDA to 4.477 billion euros. "Eliminating the (Sonatrach) provision, results would have been even a little above our forecasts. With the provision all risks associated to the arbitrage process for the retroactive period up to December 2010 are hedged," Caja Madrid said in a note to investors.

    Results were boosted by a recovery in Gas Natural's gas and electricity distribution activities both in Spain and Latin America, which offset ongoing poor performance in Spanish electricity generation due to low utilisation of gas-fired power plants. Spain's intense rollout of wind power capacity has relegated the role of gas fired power stations, which can fire up quickly when the wind stops blowing, to backup status, lowering the energy generated by gas plants. Eight analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast 2010 net profit growth of 18 percent to 1.41 billion euros and similar growth in EBITDA to 4.618 billion, excluding any provisioning for Sonatrach. Gas Natural said it will raise dividends by just 1 percent for 2010, offering shareholders a chunk of the dividend paymentin shares. The increase falls well short of its plan to raise dividends 10 percent per year to 2012, and possibly to 2014, but Villaseca said the company is sticking to its strategy of dividend hikes. The CEO said on a conference call that Gas Natural's 10 percent annual dividend growth targets is for the period as a whole, indicating that Gas Natural could offset the sluggish dividend before 2014. Gas Natural is forecasting a moderate growth of about 1 percent in gas and electricity demand in its core market of Spain in 2011.

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  • Guest 123
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    Abdellah Allab :


    Mardi 22 Février 2011 -- Sonatrach ne craint pas pour l'instant les événements en Libye malgré les menaces formulées par des tribus locales concernant un arrêt de la production pétrolière dans plusieurs champs du sud et de l’est du pays, a indiqué ce mardi 22 février à TSA une source autorisée au sein de la compagnie nationale des hydrocarbures. Selon la même source, les investissements de Sonatrach en Libye sont situés à proximité de la frontière algérienne, loin des zones touchées par les violentes manifestations qui secouent la Libye depuis plus d’une semaine. Sonatrach est présente en Libye via sa filiale Sonatrach International Petroleum, Exploration & Production (SIPEX). Notre source a ajouté que les activités de Sonatrach en Libye se limitent à la prospection et à l’exploration, exigeant une présence humaine peu importante. Les activités d’exploitation et de production n’ont pas encore commencé sur les puits de Sonatrach en Libye. Ces deux activités exigent la présence d’importantes équipes techniques et managériales. Dans ce contexte, notre source a exclu un rapatriement immédiat de ses 81 employés basés en Libye. En mai dernier, Sonatrach, via sa filiale SIPEX, avait annoncé avoir réalisé en partenariat avect la National Oil Corporation (NOC) libyenne une seconde découverte de pétrole dans le bassin de Ghadames (Libye), situé à 340 km au sud de Tripoli. Une première découverte a été réalisée dans le bloc 65, attribué à Sonatrach par la NOC en mars 2005.

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  • Guest 123
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    February 21, 2011 -- Brent oil prices soared above $105 per barrel on Monday, striking a fresh two-year peak as deadly violence in Libya fuelled concerns over spreading unrest in the Middle East and north Africa region. Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April surged to $105.15 per barrel, the highest level since late September 2008, before pulling back slightly to $105.02, up $2.50 from Friday's closing level. New York's main contract, light sweet crude for March, known as West Texas Intermediate, jumped to $90.52. It later stood at $90.35, up by a hefty $4.15 from Friday.

    Angry Libyan protesters ransacked the state broadcaster and set government buildings ablaze on Monday, as the son of leader Moamer Kadhafi warned the country faces civil war and "rivers of blood". With gunfire crackling in the streets of Tripoli, and Human Rights Watch putting the death toll at 233 since Thursday, Saif al-Islam Kadhafi vaguely promised reforms as he condemned the revolt as a foreign plot. Moamer Kadhafi, 68, the longest-serving leader in the Arab world, remained out of sight.

    "Brent crude oil hit a new high above $105 a barrel, following news of the strike at a Libyan oil field today, and the fear of oil field disruption looms large," said analyst Rebecca Seabury at UK energy consultancy Inenco. OPEC member Libya is Africa's fourth largest oil producer after Nigeria, Algeria and Angola, boasting production of 1.8 million barrels per day and estimated reserves of 42 billion barrels. Libya exports most of its oil to European countries, including Italy, Germany, Spain and France. "Violence in Libya is the main driver of the price rise," added Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch. "An influential tribal leader has threatened to cease oil shipments to the West within 24 hours if the violence against protesters does not end."

    The market had breached $104 last week on escalating tensions in the key oil-supplying Middle East and North Africa area, following the ousting of presidents in Egypt and Tunisia. Elsewhere on Monday, Bahrain's Sunni Muslim ruling family came under increased pressure to open in-depth negotiations with the Shi'ite-led opposition as protesters erected more tents on the capital's Pearl Square. Experts warned that oil prices could rocket to record levels beyond $147 per barrel - if the unrest spreads to Saudi Arabia. "The market will be most concerned over the protests spilling into Saudi Arabia. So far we have only seen low key, small scale protests there," added Seabury. "However, as Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil exporter, if the situation escalates this could take oil prices ... higher than the $147 a barrel we saw in 2008." On Tuesday, the International Energy Forum will meet in Saudi Arabia as the geopolitical tensions and economic recovery drive prices back to levels last seen before the 2008 global financial crisis. The IEF groups the world's top oil producing and consuming nations.

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  • Guest 123
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    Samedi 19 Février 2011 -- Sonatrach a lancé, samedi 19 février, un appel à manifestation d'intérêt pour préqualifier des cabinets d'audits externes. Les cabinets sélectionnés, rapporte l’agence APS, seront appelés à accompagner les filiales et structures du groupe dans les opérations d'audit, d'évaluation et de la formation du personnel. La direction de Sonatrach procédera pour chaque demande de prestation de service à la sélection des cabinets de la liste établie suite à l’appel à manifestation lancé aujourd’hui. Les bureaux choisis seront appelés à réaliser les prestations d'audit comptable et financier, d'audit opérationnel, de l'expertise et assainissement des comptes, de l'assistance et de l'évaluation des systèmes et procédures de gestion, précise la même source. Sonatrach veut renforcer son contrôle interne après avoir subi des préjudices financiers causés par de présumées malversations financières, précise l’APS.

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