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  • Originally posted by Al-khiyal View Post
    ROME, March 27 (Reuters) - Algerian state oil firm Sonatrach will be looking to sell 4 billion cubic metres of gas to Italy via small- and medium-sized Italian distributors from 2011, Algerian Energy and Mines Minister Chakib Khelil said on Tuesday.

    "Unlike Spain, Italian authorities have set no restrictions" on the amounts of gas Sonatarch can sell in Italy, he said.

    Spain's Industry Ministry has given Algeria clearance to sell up to 1 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year directly from 2007 and said the time and volume can be extended.


    • ROME, March 27 (Reuters) - Algerian Energy Minister Chakib Khelil said on Tuesday he saw no reason to increase oil production cuts, saying current prices are reasonable.

      "There is no reason to increase production cuts. Prices are reasonable, stable," Chakib said in response to a question if more cuts were needed following agreements in Nigeria and Doha on cuts.


      • Algerian state oil company Sonatrach will be looking to sell 4 billion cubic metres of gas per year to Italy via small- and medium-sized Italian distributors from 2011, the Algerian energy and mines minister said today.

        Energy and Mines Minister Chakib Khelil, on a visit to Rome to finalise an agreement on the new Galsi pipeline, said that, unlike Spain, Italy had set no limits on the amount of gas Sonatrach could sell in the country.

        Italy already receives about 33% of its gas from Algeria, and about the same amount from Russia. It has been seeking to diversify its supplies after being hit by shortfalls from Russia in the winter of 2005-2006.

        "Sonatrach faces discrimination in Spain," Khelil said, referring to the ceiling of 1 billion cubic metres a year of gas Sonatrach has been cleared to sell directly there from 2007. Spain's industry ministry has said the time and volume can be extended.

        "Sonatrach is the only company for which Spain has set a limit. Here in Italy nobody spoke about restrictions," Khelil said, Reuters reported.

        Sonatrach will reach the 4 Bcm of gas per year amount in Italy after expansion of the existing Transmed pipeline, which will raise capacity by 6.5 Bcm per year by 2008, and completion of the new Galsi one, expected by early 2011.

        The Galsi pipeline, which is expected to bring 8 Bcm a year of Algerian gas to Italy through Sardinia, will cost more than €2 billion ($2.7 billion), Khelil said.

        He said that he expected to finalise the agreement with Rome within a month and that during his visit to Italy he had met around 90 small and medium distribution companies to which Sontrach plans to sell the gas via its Italian unit.

        "Sonatrach Gas Italia aims to improve the stability and security of supplies to the market, and also give smaller operators access to Algerian gas," he said.

        He added that by 2015 Sonatrach's Italian subsidiary would account for 3% of Italian gas consumption.

        Seeking to allay concerns that Algeria and Russia may team up in a cartel that could hurt European consumers, Khelil said Algeria was a "reliable" supplier and noted gas contracts were usually long-term, with set prices and volumes - even though these could be renegotiated in line with market fluctuations.

        He said the idea of creating a gas producers' group like Opec was not on the agenda of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum in Doha next month, although he added that participating countries could still bring that up.

        Iran in January suggested forming a cartel with Russia, Qatar, and Algeria.

        "It's just an idea," Khelil said, adding such a system may not be feasible because gas lacked a liquid spot market.


        • PARIS (AFX) - Gaz de France and Algerian state-owned energy company Sonatrach are in talks over the operation of the Touat gas field, for which they share the operating rights, with options including the creation of a joint venture, La Tribune reported.

          The business daily quoted an unnamed Alegerian source as saying that the discussions 'are moving towards the creation of a unit to be controlled 75 pct by GDF and 25 pct by Sonatrach'.

          The talks follow the completion of the exploration phase for the Touat field in southern Algeria, La Tribune explained.

          The newspaper also quoted Jean-Marie Dauger, GDF's managing director , as saying that the the Touat project is worth 'several billion euros' for the French group.

          GDF announced in December the renewal of its contract to buy natural gas from Sonatrach, agreeing to purchase 1 bln cubic metres annually over 20 years.

          As part of the agreement, the gas will be transported through the Medgaz pipeline linking Algeria with Spain due to enter service in 2009.

          In another development, an advisor to Nicolas Sarkozy said recently that the presidential candidate would prefer a tie-up between GDF and Sonatrach over the planned GDF-Suez merger, but GDF CEO Jean-Francois Cirelli subsequently said his group has 'no plans' to tie up with another gas supplier.


          • First Calgary Petroleums Ltd. 2006 Year End Results

            CALGARY, March 28 /CNW/ - First Calgary Petroleums Ltd. (FCP or the Company) announces its results for the year ended December 31, 2006.


            - Approval by Government of Algeria for MLE field development

            - Gas plant of up to 400 MMcf/d on track for late 2009 startup.

            - Gas marketing agreement for Block 405b secured at competitive price

            - Tendering of engineering and design contract underway - award planned for second quarter 2007

            - Progressing financing plan including project debt for MLE development

            - 2006 drilling programme confirms a second and significant reserves area (the central area field complex), which is nearly double the size of the MLE proved and probable reserves

            - Two year extension of the PSC granted for appraisal of the central area and to submit commerciality reports

            - $90 million exploration and appraisal drilling programme scheduled for 2007

            continue reading..... First Calgary Petroleums Ltd. - Final Results


            • Madrid, March 28 (NNN-APS) Algerian Energy and Mining Minister Chakib Khelil has stressed that the amendment to the country’s hydrocarbons law is aimed at defending Algeria’s interests and that negotiations now underway with Spanish companies also fall under the amendments.

              In an interview with the El Pais Spanish daily here on Monday, he added that the renegotiations on the gas sale contracts between the Algerian state-owned oil and gas compny, Sonatrach, and the Spanish company, Gas Natural, which began two years ago, were aimed at adjusting the price of the Algerian gas which was set at a “very low” level compared with the current market price.

              He stressed that this renegotiation concerns a third of the gas exported towards Spain. "We want to increase the price by 20 per cent in two stages over one year.

              “The increase for the consumer would be 6.0 per cent. Eleven months ago, we were about to reach an agreement, but Gas Natural backtracked, having had to think that it had a bigger capacity in the negotiations," he said.

              Asked whether the hydrocarbons law amendment means that Algeria has "returned to energy nationalism," Khelil, giving examples of Western countries which took measures to protect their economic interests, replied by saying that "this should not, therefore, be surprising that Algeria intends to defend its interests".

              Meanwhile, speaking at a meeting with Italian partners of Sonatrach in Rome on Monday, Khelil said the Galsi gas pipeline project linking the two countries has "strategic" importance for Italy and for Europe, and today it is a "reality".

              Khelil urged the Italian companies to get more involved in the project which will constitute a crossroads in world energy market.

              The minister indicated that all the technical, legal and tax and economic studies have been finalized and that Algeria is determined to put Galsi into operation by late 2010 or by early 2011.

              Khelil, who welcomed the ever increasing interest shown by the Italian companies in this project, as shown by the big presence of their representatives at the meeting, urged the small and medium enterprises, the ones that are not served by traditional suppliers, to stand for gas marketing, notably for the share assigned to Sonatrach (four billion cubic metres), as part of the Galsi project and the extension of Mattei Gas Pipeline.


              • CALGARY (CP) - First Calgary Petroleums Ltd., (TSX.FCP) said Wednesday a new tax on windfall profits proposed by the Algerian government likely won't have a material impact on future natural gas and liquids production.

                The company, which has operated solely out of the North African country since 2001, said it expects to gain more clarity about the proposed tax by June, but believes it will impact larger, oil-weighted producers. The tax will essentially increase out-dated royalties via a tiered system, the company said during a teleconference.

                The Calgary-headquartered company has Algerian government approval to develop its anchor MLE natural gas field, and a natural gas marketing agreement with state-run Sontrach, Richard Anderson, president and CEO told analysts.

                The agreement, and indications of vast natural gas reserves in the region, support plans to build a natural gas and liquids processing facility of up to 400 million cubic feet per day.

                First Calgary should have an idea of the tax impact before launching financing for its $1-billion gas plant later this year.

                "Raising that much capital isn't an easy proposition for a small company like First Calgary without dilution," UBS analyst Memet Kont said. "The question is how much dilution."

                First Calgary's MLE field has proved and probable reserves of 1.3 trillion cubic feet of gas equivalent, or approximately 223 million barrels of oil equivalent.

                Kont likened the company's investment and lengthy timelines to production - approximately in 2009 - to Alberta's oil sands.

                First Calgary reported a 2006 loss of $14.7 million, almost double the 2005 loss, as the company took a charge for future income taxes on its books.

                The loss for the year ended December 31 amounted to seven cents a share and compared with a 2005 loss of $7.6 million or four cents a share. The company booked a charge of $18.2 million for future income taxes.

                Revenues, consisting of interest income, rose to $6.5 million from $3 million, while expenses and taxes increased to $21.2 million from $10.6 million.

                First Calgary earned net income before taxes of $3.5 million in 2006, compared with losses the previous years, as the company benefited from a foreign exchange gain, lower stock-based compensation expenses and higher interest income, offset by higher general and administrative costs.

                The company took a future income tax provision in the fourth quarter after it determined the tax basis of its costs for developing one of its properties - Block 406A - had been impaired.

                Capital spending in 2006 rose to $162.3 million from $64.1 million in 2005 as the company worked to develop its Ledjmet Block 405b gas reserves through to commercial production.

                Costs of developing the Algerian field range between US$1 billion to US$1.3 billion, with First Calgary required to pay for 75 per cent of the charges. The company is looking for partners on the field development and has hired Citigroup to help with project financing.


                • Jeudi 29 mars 2007 -- La visite du ministre de l’Energie et des Mines à Rome, consacrée à la clarification de certains points relatifs à la réalisation du projet de gazoduc Galsi, devant relier l’Algérie directement à l’Italie (via la Sardaigne), a été «fructueuse».

                  Dans une conférence de presse animée avant-hier en fin de journée, à l’issue de ses deux jours de visite, M. Chakib Khelil a déclaré que les deux parties ont «bien avancé» dans leurs discussions et «l’accord intergouvernemental relatif au projet du gazoduc Galsi sera signé dans un mois environ».

                  Le ministre a qualifié sa visite de «fructueuse» puisqu’elle lui a permis de clarifier avec ses interlocuteurs italiens un certain nombre de points non encore élucidés avant la signature de l’accord intergouvernemental entre les deux pays pour la construction de cet imposant ouvrage.

                  L’accord intergouvernemental a pour objet, notamment, d’identifier le statut juridique des différents tronçons du gazoduc, d’harmoniser les délais de réalisation des différents tronçons et de déterminer le régime fiscal applicable à chaque tronçon du gazoduc afin d’éviter la double imposition.

                  Entre autres points soulevés avec ses interlocuteurs, la question des autorisations et des permis pour un bon fonctionnement de la société Sonatrach Gas Italia, qui devra commercialiser directement sur le sol italien le gaz algérien, ainsi que des points relatifs aux droits d’expropriation et des lois nationales et régionales italiennes.

                  «Nous avions besoin de clarifier ces points et des groupes de travail ont été dégagés au niveau des experts pour étudier toutes ces questions», a révélé M. Khelil. Le ministre a, lors de sa conférence de presse, assuré «l’engagement des autorités des deux pays à réaliser cet important projet, qui devrait donner de nouvelles dimensions aux relations de coopération, notamment dans le domaine énergétique».

                  «Tous les responsables que j’ai eu à rencontrer sont unanimes pour assurer la concrétisation de ce projet dans les délais fixés et selon les engagements pris par les autorités politiques des deux pays», a souligné M. Khelil. Le ministre a par ailleurs répondu à plusieurs questions de la presse italienne, relatives notamment à la sécurité de l’approvisionnement et au récent accord entre la Sonatrach et le géant russe Gazprom, sachant que le gaz acheminé par ces deux pays représente plus de 60 % des importations italiennes.

                  «Nous n’avons jamais failli à nos engagements et l’Algérie est un partenaire fiable», a soutenu M. Khelil, rappelant que même durant la période difficile qu’elle a vécue, l’Algérie n’a jamais interrompu, ne serait-ce qu’un jour, ses livraisons de gaz à ses clients.

                  «Le système de sécurité des approvisionnements de l’Algérie est inégalé dans le monde.» La meilleure preuve de cette régularité est que l’Algérie a dû approvisionner l’Espagne durant l’hiver 2005, au moment où aucun fournisseur n’a répondu aux sollicitations de Madrid, a tenu à rappeler M. Khelil.

                  Interrogé par la presse au sujet de l’accord avec Gazprom qui viserait, selon elle, la constitution d’un «véritable cartel», le ministre a répondu : «Il n’y a aucun accord entre Sonatrach et Gazprom pour contrôler quoi que ce soit, ni dans le marché, ni dans la fourniture», a affirmé le ministre, précisant que c’est un accord standard ayant le même contenu que ceux signés avec Stat-Oil, Shell ou British Gaz, sociétés avec lesquelles, a-t-il précisé, Sonatrach entretient une excellente coopération.»


                  • ROME, March 29 (KUNA) -- Algeria is considering trade in electric power in the European and Mediterranean markets, visiting Algerian Minister of Energy Chakib Khelil said on Thursday.

                    The Algerian official, speaking to journalists, said that Algeria would use its gas resources to build and operate power stations.

                    He denied western press reports that Algiers planned to establish a cartel for gas producers, identical to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), indicating that supplies on the market were insufficient to set up such an organization.

                    Chekib also indicated that his country would be able to sell four billion cubic feet of gas to Italy by 2011.


                    • CALGARY (CP) - First Calgary Petroleums Ltd. has made a $152.4-million bought-deal financing arrangement, mainly to fund an independent exploration and appraisal strategy for its Algerian holdings.

                      The financing, also to provide working capital, involves the sale of 30 million common shares at $5.08 each, the Calgary-based oil and gas company said Thursday. The syndicate of underwriters handling resales to the public is led by UBS Securities Canada Inc. and includes Canaccord Capital.

                      On the Toronto stock market Wednesday, the firm's shares closed at $5.18.

                      On Wednesday, First Calgary said a new tax on windfall profits proposed by the Algerian government likely won't have a material impact on future natural gas and liquids production.

                      The company, which has operated solely out of the North African country since 2001, said it expects to gain more clarity about the proposed tax by June, but believes it will affect larger, oil-weighted producers.

                      First Calgary also reported Wednesday a 2006 loss of $14.7 million, almost double the 2005 loss, as the company took a charge for future income taxes on its books.


                      • LIMA, mar 29 (Reuters) - La petrolera estatal argelina Sonatrach está interesada en instalar gasoductos en la costa de Perú, para asegurar el suministro en la capital del país y el desarrollo de un polo petroquímico en el sur, dijo el jueves el presidente Alan García.

                        Sonatrach ya tiene presencia en Perú con una participación en un consorcio que desarrolla los campos de Camisea y en otro grupo que tiene el proyecto de exportación de gas a México.

                        "Sonatrach desea participar primero en una tubería, un gasoducto desde Pisco a Lima para traer licuado de petróleo que tendría gran importancia para la provisión de Lima", dijo García antes de reunirse con ejecutivos de esa compañía.

                        El presidente de Sonatrach, Mohamed Méziane, se encuentra en Lima para hablar sobre posibilidades de inversión en el país, como una posible asociación con la estatal Petroperú.

                        "En segundo lugar tiene interés en el proyecto para hacer un gran gasoducto desde Pisco hasta el sur de nuestro país, posiblemente en (el puerto de) Ilo, para dar utilidad a nuestro gas y de esa manera asegurar que pueda haber un gran polo petroquímico", dijo García a periodistas.

                        Sonatrach es la compañía de petróleo y gas de mayores ingresos en Africa y es el tercer mayor abastecedor de gas a la Unión Europea.

                        El mandatario peruano también afirmó que Sonatrach "tiene mucho interés en participar y en estudiar su posible participación en la modernización de la refinería de Talara" de Petroperú.


                        • Viernes, 30 Marzo, 2007 -- La empresa petrolera Sonatrach de Argelia está interesada en participar en las inversiones que se realizarán para modernizar la refinería de Talara de Petroperú, informó ayer el presidente Alan García Pérez.

                          “Los señores de Sonatrach tienen mucho interés en invertir y estudiar su posible participación en la modernización de la refinería de Talara, que es uno de los grandes objetivos que se plantea este gobierno”, indicó.

                          Agregó que el objetivo del Gobierno es hacer que la refinería pueda procesar el crudo pesado que se ha encontrado en el norte de la Amazonía peruana, específicamente en el lote 67 de Barrett Resources.

                          “Sonatrach es una empresa petrolera y de gas de África, pero además es la gran proveedora de España, Portugal e Italia y constituye, sin lugar a dudas, una de las empresas más importantes y experimentadas del mundo.”

                          El Dignatario manifestó, asimismo, que la empresa argelina está interesada en construir un gasoducto para transportar gas licuado de petróleo (GLP) desde la planta de fraccionamiento de Pluspetrol, en Pisco, hasta la ciudad de Lima.

                          Estoy convencido de que Sonatrach tendrá una presencia permanente en el Perú.


                          • NEW YORK, March 30 ( - Analysts at UBS maintain their "buy" rating on First Calgary Petroleums Ltd. The target price has been reduced from C$13 to C$10.

                            In a research note published yesterday, the analysts mention that the company’s 2006 results indicate the de-risking of future production and reserves, and a positive gas marketing agreement. The downward revision in the target price reflects a comparatively weak report for First Calgary Petroleums’ 2P and 3P reserves, the analysts add.


                            • 31-3-2007 -- El presidente de la empresa argelina Sonatrach, Mohamed Meziane, rechazó ayer que la restricción dictada por el Gobierno español para la compra de gas natural a esa firma estatal responda a la posibilidad de la formación de una "OPEP del gas". Meziane explicó que el gasoducto submarino que construirá Sonatrach entre España y Argelia "es producto de miles de millones de dólares", pero que se les ha limitado a la venta de sólo mil millones de pies cúbicos, "mientras que la demanda es de 3.000 millones de pies cúbicos".

                              "Este proyecto evolucionó apoyado por Sonatrach para garantizar y asegurar el mercado español" del gas natural, precisó Meziane sobre el gasoducto en el que comparte capital con Cepsa Iberdrola, Endesa y Gaz de France.

                              Sin embargo, el funcionario agregó que "esta restricción no quisiera vincularla a la (anunciada formación de una) OPEP del gas", en alusión a la organización que reúne a los productores mundiales de petróleo.

                              Meziane aclaró que Sonatrach "es una empresa nacional de carácter privado, que no tiene miedo a la competencia". En tal sentido, el presidente de la gigante gasífera argelina se preguntó "¿por qué habría que limitar a un país que es competitivo?", cuando la compañía se interesó en un proyecto a favor del mercado español y europeo.

                              "No es Sonatrach quien tiene miedo de la competencia ni la transparencia", acotó.

                              Durante su visita de tres días a Perú, Meziane se entrevistó con el presidente de Perú, Alan García, y con los directivos de la estatal Petroperú para evaluar una futura participación en el gasoducto de 1.200 kilómetros que se planea tender hacia el sur peruano, entre otros proyectos energéticos.

                              El referido ducto suministraría de 200 millones de pies cúbicos al día de gas natural para un futuro complejo petroquímico y para la generación eléctrica en el sur de Perú.

                              En la actualidad, Sonatrach tiene un 10 por ciento de participación en la explotación de dos lotes de gas natural en la reserva de Camisea, así como el 20 por ciento en el gasoducto que transporta el gas hacia Lima.

                              Meziane, que hoy viernes, visitará la planta, en construcción, de licuefacción de Pampa Melchorita, al sur de Lima, dijo que deben evaluar toda la información recogida antes de tomar una decisión de inversión.

                              El alto directivo de Sonatrach visitará Venezuela la próxima semana y "muy probablemente" Brasil, tal como informó en la reunión con la prensa.


                              • ALGIERS, April 1 (KUNA) -- Algerian oil revenues are expected to decrease five percent at the end of 2007, reaching USD 50-51 billion when compared to USD 54 billion in 2006, Algerian Minister of Energy and Mining Chakib Khelil said Sunday.

                                Khelil was quoted by Algerian national radio as saying this reduction will not effect the overall income of oil revenues when taking into consideration the implantation of taxes on Algerian oil companies effective since last August.

                                The Algerian Minister said oil prices will continue at current levels which reached in the last couple of days USD 68 per barrel.

                                The main effective elements on the oil market including supply and demand goes back to Oil Production Exporting Countries' (OPEC) capabilities and contribution which will help boost the oil market, Khelil said.


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