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  • #31
    ALGIERS, May 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russian oil holding company RussNeft intends to complete the acquisition of new assets abroad before the end of 2006, the company's president said Sunday.

    Mikhail Gutseriyev said RussNeft planned to increase its oil output to 25 million metric tons (502,054 bbl/d) from the current 17 million metric tons (341,397 bbl/d) by the end of 2006.

    According to Gutseriyev, RussNeft intends to purchase oil assets in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Mauritania, and also to acquire new oil deposits in Russia's East and West Siberia - the traditional regions of its operations.

    Gutseriyev said the company also intended to invest $300 million in efforts to modernize and increase the yields of its existing oil fields in 2006.

    The company's president also said RussNeft would register a joint venture in Algeria next month to bid for the development of Algerian oil deposits. He said the joint venture would be registered on a parity basis with Algerian partners or RussNeft's stake in the joint undertaking could equal 75%.

    Gutseriyev said RussNeft was currently in partnership talks with some Algerian companies but did not give their names. He added that his company intended to bid for one large or two small oil fields in Algeria. Initial investment in the development of oil deposits is estimated at $100 million, Gutseriyev said.

    RussNeft is a vertically integrated oil holding company, and is among the country's top ten oil producers. Its recoverable oil reserves exceed 630 million metric tons (12.6 million bbl/d).

    Oil firm RussNeft to acquire new assets abroad before year-end


    • #32
      Algeria's Sonatrach signs gas supply deal with Endesa

      ALGIERS -(Dow Jones)- Algerian oil company Sonatrach Monday signed a gas supply contract with Spanish energy utility Endesa SA at Sonatrach's headquarters in Algiers.

      Under the contract, worth around $250 million a year, Sonatrach will deliver 960 million cubic meters of gas to Endesa each year for 20 years.

      "This contract is important as it is signed with one of the biggest electricity companies in Europe, which is present all over the world," Sonatrach CEO Mohammed Meziane said at the signing ceremony Monday.

      "It will help Sonatrach reach its target to produce 85 billion cubic meters of gas by the year 2010," Meziane added.

      The gas will be shipped via the Medgaz pipeline linking Algeria to Almeria in Spain which is due online by the end of 2008, beginning of 2009, the firms said.

      Endesa is a partner in the Medgaz project, together with BP PLC, Total SA and Cepsa.

      Endesa's CEO Rafael Miranda said: "The contract is of great importance for us as Sonatrach is a secure and big supplier and we are in need of bigger (gas) quantities in the near future." In total, some 8 billion cubic meters of gas, sourced predominantly from the In Salah gas field in the south-west of Algeria, will be supplied to Europe through the Medgaz pipeline during the first phase of production, Meziane said.

      He added that gas volumes through Medgaz to Europe are likely to double in a second phase of production to meet growing European gas demand.



      • #33
        &quot;What was the reason for a $12 billion present to Algeria?&quot;

        HEIGHTENED tension may be the goal of President Putin’s energy policy, a former top Kremlin economic adviser said yesterday as he gave warning that the Russian Government may be seeking to derail July’s G8 summit in St Petersburg even before the leaders gather in the historic city.

        Andrei Illarionov, in an interview with The Times, called the forthcoming privatisation of Rosneft, the state oil company, “a criminal act” and suggested that a new form of gas cartel was already being developed by Russia and Algeria.

        The escalating confrontation between Russia and the West over energy was part of a deliberate policy of raising tension, Mr Illarionov suggested.

        Recent statements from the Russian Government linking American participation in the Shtokman project to negotiations over Russian admission to the World Trade Organisation were part of a strategy of “chilly war” he said, which began with the cutting off of gas supplies in Ukraine in January. “It was clearly another demonstration of not so much business, but more politics,” Mr Illarionov said.

        A successful G8 summit requires friendly relations, rather than harsh words and threats, he said. “That is why it looks like the goal is quite different from having a successful G8 summit in the traditional sense of co-operation within the club. The aim could be a summit at which G7 leaders would bow to new energy tsars. Or not to have a summit at all.”

        Mr Illarionov was an economic adviser in the Putin administration for six years. He resigned in December in disagreement with the policy of price confrontation in Ukraine, which he said was designed to “prolong political pressure” on the former Soviet republic.

        Sources in Moscow yesterday reported that Gazprom will again raise the price of gas sold to Ukraine from $110 per 1,000 cubic metres to $130. The Russian utility has agreed to pay Kazakhstan an increased price for the gas in transit over the Russo-Kazakh border.

        Gazprom’s dominance in the European and Central Asian gas markets is creating a cartel in another form, said Mr Illarionov, who pointed to the growing relationship between Algeria and Russia in energy matters. It is a relationship that caused alarm bells to ring in Italy, where the chief executive of ENI, the Italian energy giant, told officials in Brussels that his country risked being caught in a pincer between two powerful gas exporters.

        Mr Illarionov yesterday questioned Russia’s sudden generosity towards Algeria. “In February 2006 . . . the Russian Government has cancelled all of Algeria’s debt — $8 billion. At the same time it has agreed deliveries of military equipment worth $4 billion. What was the reason for a $12 billion present to Algeria? It is a huge amount of money, it is 12 per cent of Algeria’s GDP in 2005. But Algeria produces gas and delivers it to Europe.”

        A gas cartel has not materialised so far, Mr Illarionov said. “It is appearing in another way......”

        Continue reading..... Putin’s goal on energy 'may be more tension'


        • #34
          AMBITIOUS plans have been announced for a €400 million liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage terminal at Tarbert in County Kerry [Ireland].

          The proposed project, still at a preliminary stage, offers a ray of hope to the region after several major projects promised over the past 25 years failed to reach fruition. Shannon Development has granted a purchase option to Shannon LNG on 261 acres of a 1,600-acre land bank, between Tarbert and Ballylongford, for the development of the proposed terminal.....

          ....The proposal is to bring liquefied natural gas to the terminal from countries such as Algeria, by tanker, and to store it in huge tanks. A 30-kilometre pipeline would transport the gas to the main grid.....

          Irish €400m gas terminal plan welcomed


          • #35
            Increased energy cooperation between Russia and Algeria, the two largest suppliers of natural gas to Europe, have raised fears in Europe that the two could form a gas cartel to control prices, the Washington Times reported on Thursday, May 25.

            As MosNews reported in March, Algeria granted Russian companies monopoly access to its oil and gas fields. Top natural gas executives from the two countries said they were preparing a memorandum of cooperation that would cover joint efforts in the exploration, production and marketing of Algerian gas. Industry reports also say the Russian gas giant Gazprom has undertaken a project with Algeria’s state-run gas company, Sonatrach, under which the latter would fulfill Russian contracts to deliver natural gas to France.

            In March, President Vladimir Putin offered to cancel Algeria’s $4.7 billion debt to Russia, while Algeria agreed to purchase advanced Russian jet fighters, air defense systems and other weapons in a deal worth $7.5 billion.

            The growing coziness is a concern to European leaders, who began looking to North Africa as an alternative gas source after Russia abruptly cut off supplies to parts of the continent during a midwinter price dispute with Ukraine.

            Algeria is the largest producer of natural gas in OPEC - the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries - and through Sonatrach is the most important supplier of gas and liquefied natural gas to southern Europe. Russia, through Gazprom, dominates sales to northern Europe.

            Paolo Scaroni, chief executive of the Italian energy giant Eni, recently told the European Parliament that he fears the formation of a natural gas cartel similar to OPEC. “We are increasingly dependent on a small number of suppliers,” he said.

            Andrei Illarionov, a longtime adviser to Mr. Putin who resigned to protest the gas cutoff to Ukraine, also raised the prospect of a gas cartel in a recent interview with the Times of London. Noting the debt-and-arms deal between Russia and Algeria, Mr. Illarionov said the value of the deal to Algeria was 12 percent of its gross domestic product. “It is a huge amount of money,” he said. “But Algeria produces gas and delivers it to Europe.” A gas cartel has not materialized, he said, but he added: “It is appearing in another way.”

            After a decade of internal strife, Algeria has thrown open the doors to foreign investment, having publicly announced a goal of doubling the number of foreign companies doing business there. The government hopes to direct much of that investment to its energy sector, where significant oil and gas discoveries have raised prospects for a major expansion in production, said Energy Minister Chekib Khalil. However, Western analysts fear that Russia will exploit the opening to increase its control over energy sales to Europe. The United States and others have accused Moscow of using energy sales to reward friends and punish former members of the Soviet bloc that stray from its fold.

            “Increasing our dependency on an authoritarian Russia that uses energy to regain control over its neighbors cannot be good policy, particularly when the Putin government continues to centralize control over energy resources in the Kremlin and when the business climate in Russia becomes less, rather than more, transparent,” said Keith C. Smith, a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.

            Algeria has an estimated 160.5 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves, the eighth largest in the world, and 11.4 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, according to the Oil & Gas Journal.

            Russian-Algerian gas agreement sparks cartel fears in Europe


            • #36
              LONDON (AFX) - Petroceltic International PLC said it has signed the contract awarded to Schlumberger for the drilling of two appraisal wells at its Algerian exploration acreage with drilling estimated to start by mid-August.

              The company said civil works to prepare the drill locations have started and will be completed by around July 15.

              Petroceltic also said it is opening a new office in Algiers to run its Algerian operations, headed up by the newly appointed Country Manager, Algeria Alf Scott....

              Petroceltic signs drilling contract; Algeria programme to start mid-August


              • #37
                NEW DELHI May 23rd, (Dow Jones) -- State-run GAIL (India) Ltd. said Tuesday it received a liquefied natural gas spot cargo from Algeria, equivalent to 135,000 cubic meters when regassified.

                The cargo is GAIL's first ever LNG import.

                Industry sources said GAIL paid close to $9 per million British thermal units for the LNG.

                In a statement, GAIL said the LNG was delivered to state-run Petronet LNG Ltd.'s Dahej import terminal located in the western state of Gujarat.

                GAIL plans to sell part of the LNG to companies facing a natural gas supply crunch.

                Power generation companies facing serious supply shortages in northern India, which is in the grip of a heat wave, will have the first chance to purchase the gas....

                India's GAIL gets 1st ever LNG import, from Algeria


                • #38
                  OPEC output:

                  The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which pumps 40 % of the world's oil, should continue pumping crude at near-record levels through the end of the year, Algerian Energy Minister Chakib Khelil said yesterday.

                  OPEC, which meets June 1 in Caracas to review third-quarter output, should maintain production targets, Khelil said. Indonesia has called for OPEC to keep the same output quotas. Officials from Iran and Qatar said the group is unlikely to reduce supplies.

                  "I think we're going to stick with the policy we've had up until now,'' Khelil said in Washington where he is attending a conference on African energy.

                  "I don't see any major changes in what makes the market behave the way it is. I don't see any major changes through the end of the year and beyond.''



                  • #39
                    Sonatrach plans $33bn energy investment

                    Algeria's state-owned energy group Sonatrach plans around $33 billion investment by 2010 on a range of activities including oil and gas exploration to boost the country's production capacity, its chief executive said.

                    Mohamed Meziane told a state radio programme that 30 per cent of the investment would come from foreign companies taking part in joint ventures with Sonatrach.

                    More than 15 foreign groups are interested in the programme, he said. 'The firms are from the US, Europe, Asia and the Arab world,' he added, without naming the companies.

                    The money will finance projects ranging from exploration, refining, and other downstream operations.

                    In April 2005, Algeria awarded nine licenses for oil and gas exploration, and it is expected to launch the seventh exploration licensing round by the end of this year.

                    Algeria's goal is to reach production of 1.5 million barrels per day of oil in 2006. It currently pumps 1.4 million bpd, and wants to reach 2 million bpd by 2010.

                    It also hopes to lift its gas output to 85 billion cubic feet per year by 2010 from the 60 billion cubic feet it currently produces.

                    Sonatrach has announced 11 oil and gas finds so far this year against 13 discoveries for the whole year of 2005.

                    'The success in exploration so far made us more optimist to achieve our objectives,' Meziane said.

                    Algeria is a top oil and gas supplier to Europe and one of the main exporters to the US.

                    It has started finalising deals for its second undersea pipeline bringing gas to Spain from Algeria through the so-called Medgaz pipeline, which will bring 8 billion cubic metres of gas a year to Spain, Portugal and France. It is expected to be completed in 2009.

                    The 630 million euro ($753 million) Medgaz pipeline will be built by a consortium led by Sonatrach and Spanish oil and gas group Cepsa, that is controlled by French energy giant Total.

                    Total itself has a 12 per cent stake, along with BP, Spanish power utilities Endesa and Iberdrola, and Gaz de France.

                    The North African country is also keen to complete a gas pipeline linking it to Nigeria, straddling the Sahara Desert and passing through Niger.

                    The 4,000 km Trans-Saharan Pipeline is being planned as a joint venture between Sonatrach and Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) to allow Nigeria to export its huge natural gas reserves more efficiently to European markets.

                    Meziane said Sonatrach's turnover rose more than 30 per cent to $17 billion in the first four months of 2006 versus the same period in 2005.

                    'Sonatrach's turnover was at around $17 billion during the first four months,' he added.

                    The company's turnover reached $13 billion in the January-April period of last year.

                    Oil and gas exports jumped to a record $45.6 billion in calendar 2005, up from $31 billion in the previous year.



                    • #40
                      Algeria, Jordan sign oil, gas deal:

                      ALGIERS, May 29 (KUNA) -- Jordan and Algeria signed an agreement here Monday to cooperate in oil exploration and production, as well as marketing of natural and liquefied gas.

                      The agreement, signed by the Algerian and Jordanian energy ministers, Chekib Khalil and Azmi Khuraisat respectively, also stipulates the marketing of oil derivatives in Jordan.

                      Khalil told the press after the signing ceremony the agreement aimed at cementing cooperating in energy fields.

                      He said bilateral cooperation with Jordan would further develop in future.

                      Khalil said he discussed with Khuraisat the bilateral energy partnership and possible production of energy production units in Jordan.

                      The Jordanian minister voiced relief for the "good outcome" of their talks and hoped the agreement would be a good beginning for other fields of collaboration.



                      • #41
                        NEW DELHI: State-owned GAIL has initiated talks for a long-term deal for sourcing up to 3 million tonnes of LNG (liquefied natural gas) from Algerian firm Sonatrach.

                        The Indian gas utility is trying to build upon its recent purchase of a spot cargo of gas from the Algerian flagship firm and the former French colony's efforts to reduce dependence on France as a market for its fuel.

                        GAIL last fortnight imported the Algerian cargo of about 136,000 cubic metres of gas, the first Indian purchase from the world spot markets, at Petronet LNG's Dahej terminal in Gujarat.

                        It is expecting two more cargoes of similar size in the next couple of months. The company paid $9.28 per mBtu (million British thermal unit) to the Algerian firm, making it the costliest gas import. It is likely to retail at $10-10.5 mBtu after adding taxes and sundry costs.

                        Having established a commercial relationship, GAIL is now trying to tap the Algerian capacity that is going to be available from 2008.

                        "Paying global prices for the spot purchase has established a firm commercial relationship with Sonatrach. We are building on that to secure long-term supplies," GAIL chairman Proshanto Banerjee said.

                        Banerjee's job could become easier due to the latest political winds blowing through Algeria. The country now wants to gradually diversify its market away from Europe, particularly France.

                        Most of Algeria's LNG exports at present go to western Europe, accounting for one-fifth of the consumption. The deals, however, suffer problems on account of EU laws on resale of gas. As part of the diversification, Algeria recently exported LNG cargoes to South Korea and Taiwan.

                        The price of long-term LNG supplies, however, cannot be at the high levels of spot purchases. "Spot purchase is only to meet immediate shortfall. Long-term deals will have a different formula for price.

                        But given the supply shortage and high demand in the LNG market, we must be ready to pay a realistic price that is beneficial for the buyer and the seller," Banerjee said.

                        Algeria produces about 20 million tonnes of LNG a year and is ramping up its capacity. For India, a long-term deal with Algeria could address the trade imbalance between the two countries.

                        India exports goods worth about $92 million, but imports nothing from Algeria. LNG can reverse the trend. For example, one cargo of LNG costs about $28 million. So GAIL's three spot cargoes will by themselves wipe out the trade imbalance.

                        GAIL begins talks with Algerian firm for LNG


                        • #42
                          Algerian oil revenues reach $US four billion per month

                          ALGIERS, May 30 (KUNA) -- Algerian Minister of Energy and Mining, Chekib Khalil, said Algerian oil sales have reached USD four billion per month since January.

                          Khalil told reporters, at this rate Algeria will no doubt exceed last year's annual USD 45 billion in oil revenues.

                          Algeria has increased its production of crude oil and gas exports to meet the world's increasing energy demands, Khalil added. New production capabilities are being developed to continue to increase output to meet the world's demands.

                          Algeria is considered the largest producer and exporter of oil and gas in the Mediterranean region. It also holds 50 percent of gas and oil reserves in that region.



                          • #43
                            Gazprom, Algeria mull joint hydrocarbon projects:

                            MOSCOW, May 31 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom and Algeria are considering joint projects in surveying, producing, delivering, processing and selling hydrocarbon resources, the Russian energy giant said Wednesday.

                            This issue, as well as cooperation in LNG production and supplies to the world markets, was on the agenda of a visit made by a Gazprom delegation to the North African country.

                            Algeria's natural gas reserves total 4.55 trillion cubic meters and the country produced 82 billion cu m of gas in 2004.



                            • #44
                              Wood Group buys SOMIAS of Algeria

                              LONDON (AFX) - Wood Group PLC, the energy services company, said its Engineering and Production Facilities unit had bought 55 pct of SOMIAS Spa, an Algerian petrochemicals support firm.

                              The price was not disclosed.

                              Groupe Asmidal of Algeria, SOMIAS' current parent, will retain 45 pct.

                              SOMIAS will keep its name and Zaghouane Khodja will continue as general manager.

                              'The acquisition of SOMIAS Spa marks a strategic move into North Africa,' said Les Thomas, head of Production Facilities at Wood Group.

                              The UK company recently won an engineering contract in Algeria from the In Amenas partnership, comprising BP, Statoil and Sonatrach.

                              SOMIAS generated sales of 11.8 mln usd in 2005 and employs around 450 people.

                              Wood Group makes annual sales of 2.8 bln usd and has more than 16,000 employees in 40 countries.



                              • #45
                                Ahead of the 141st extraordinary ministerial meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Caracas, Venezuela and three other OPEC members, namely Algeria, Qatar, and Iran, negotiated bilateral energy agreements.

                                Energy and Petroleum minister Rafael Ramírez said that Eulogio Del Pino, CEO of the Venezuelan Petroleum Corporation, an affiliate of state oil giant Pdvsa, Wednesday executed an instrument with Algerian state oil company Sonatrach for quantification and certification of reserves in Ensenada de Barcelona, east Venezuela......



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