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  • #76

    President of Italy's Eni company on Algerian gas: Italian market supply is not guaranteed


    • #77
      NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Crude oil output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries rose by 300,000 barrels a day on month in June on a jump in Iraq's production, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates in a report released Tuesday.

      OPEC output averaged 29.605 million b/d in June compared with 29.305 million b/d in May. This May figure was revised downward by 30,000 b/d due to less oil from Algeria than was originally forecast for the month.

      The EIA, the U.S. Department of Energy's statistical and analysis arm, said Iraq produced 2.2 million b/d of crude in June compared with 1.9 million b/d in May.

      "Cutbacks in production in Saudi Arabia and damage to production facilities in Nigeria have resulted in a decline in OPEC supplies during the first half of 2006 despite an increase in Iraqi production in June," the EIA said in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook. "Not surprisingly, this decline in OPEC supply has led to a counter-seasonal pattern in global oil inventories during the second quarter of 2006, with inventories building only slightly."



      • #78
        CALGARY, July 12 /CNW/ - First Calgary Petroleums Ltd is pleased to announce the appointment of Citigroup as sole financial advisor to the Company on the project debt for the development of the MLE gas and condensate field on Ledjmet Block 405b, Algeria.

        FCP is working towards approval for the development from the Algerian authorities later this year.



        • #79
          LONDON, July 12 (LONDON) - Multinationals operating in Algeria face a windfall tax under a new bill that seeks to slow the pace of exploration and preserve resources for the future, Algeria's energy and mines minister said on Wednesday.

          Chakib Khelil said it was possible the proposed change would deter foreign investors. International oil companies have regarded the OPEC member as a safe exploration prospect and have spent billions there to boost production.

          Asked whether he was worried the changes would deter international energy companies, Khelil said: "It's possible", but added "it's a political decision".

          Algeria's cabinet approved a bill earlier this month that would ensure state firm Sonatrach kept a major upstream role and is aimed at preserving national resources for future generations.

          "One of the amendments makes sure Sonatrach has a more important role," Khelil told a briefing at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London.

          The other main change would be to capture windfall profits, Khelil said.

          "Contracts that were signed under the old law did not really have a way to capture the windfall profits. The amendments include a clause that will correct for that."

          The amendments must be passed by parliament and approved by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to become law.

          Algeria's reformist hydrocarbons law, passed in 2005, was meant to overhaul the OPEC member's oil and gas industry radically, to make it more attractive for foreign investors.

          The 2005 legislation reduced the level of participation Sonatrach could claim in production sharing agreements and was meant to turn Sonatrach into a purely commercial entity.

          "It may be that we are the victims of our own success. People saw lots of money coming into the coffers of the state and some people said maybe we don't need that much money," Khelil said further.

          "The political debate was that we need to leave some reserves for future generations."

          Algeria has said it aims to expand oil output to two million barrels per day from around 1.4 million now.

          Khelil said there was no specific target for slowing down exploration and an upstream bidding round, expected later this year, should go ahead as planned.

          Gerry Peereboom, chief operating officer of BP in North Africa, said he was concerned, but was waiting for more information.

          "We don't know the details. We will have to see what the actual new amendments say," he said.

          Energy firms face windfall tax in Algeria

          Algeria is to retroactively implement a windfall tax on oil and gas contracts signed under the old energy law as part of amendments to the country's new hydrocarbon bill, Oil Minister Chakib Khelil said Wednesday.

          The windfall tax will be used as one method to preserve Algeria's oil and gas resources for future generations, Khelil told a briefing at London's Chatham House.

          "The contracts that were signed under the old law didn't have a way to capture windfall profits, and the new amendments include a clause that will correct that," Khelil said. He didn't elaborate on the rate of the tax and how the new taxation system would work.

          Last week, the Algerian cabinet approved a bill amending the new hydrocarbon law that was approved last year but not signed into law.
          The amendments need to be passed by parliament and approved by the president before they become law. But the fact that the amendments have already been approved by the cabinet is a signal there's already significant political support behind the bill, said one insider familiar with Algerian politics.

          Retroactive introduction of windfall taxes have dominated the news in many oil- and gas- producing countries this year as oil prices have soared higher than expectations at the time the contracts were signed.

          In Algeria, most of the contracts were signed while the oil price ranged from $10-$30 a barrel. But in the past two years, oil prices have skyrocketed. Last week, U.S. oil prices hit a record high of over $75 a barrel.

          As the budget is calculated on an assumed oil price of $19-$22/bbl, Algeria's coffers are flush with cash from the high prices, and its foreign reserves stand at a comfortable $66 billion.

          "It may be that we're the victims of our own success," said Khelil. "We have $66 billion in reserves, and there's been a big discussion and political debate to leave some of the resources for future generations," he added.

          However, analysts said the move was not a positive one for investors seeking to enter the country because it creates more uncertainty and confusion over investment conditions. Until the amendments were announced, the hydrocarbon sector in Algeria, an OPEC member, had long been viewed as one of the more transparent and stable within the group.

          Khelil himself said "it's possible" that some potential investors could be put off by the amendments but added that it was a political decision, not an economic one.

          Gerry Peereboom, president of BP Algeria said he was worried about the potential tax.

          "I'm worried, but we have to wait and see what the new amendments actually say," he said.

          Oil major BP PLC has invested over $4 billion on huge gas projects in Algeria's Sahara desert. Other oil companies investing in Algeria that could be affected by the retroactive windfall tax include Norway's Statoil ASA, U.S.-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Spain's Cepsa and Repsol YPF (REP).

          Companies will be looking to see what the rate of the tax would be, how it would be applied and which companies or contracts would fall under the new provision.

          Going forward, any contracts signed under the new 2005 hydrocarbon law will be governed by a tax royalty system which is relatively straightforward to increase if oil prices keep going up. So far, there have been no contracts signed under the new law.

          Algeria's current target to reach 2 million barrels a day of crude oil output by 2010 from around 1.4 million b/d now won't be affected by the amendments to the law, Khelil said.

          Algeria eyes retroactive oil, gas windfall tax


          • #80
            ALGIERS, July 12 (KUNA) -- British Petroleum (BP) Company has begun oil exploration activities in South Algeria, it was announced here on Wednesday.

            The British world leading petroleum company is investing 49 million USD in oil excavation activities in Algeria, BP officials said, noting that operations would last for 12 months.

            BP's operations in South Algeria are conducted in cooperation with the Algerian Sonatrach and the Norwegian oil company Statoil.

            In addition British Petroleum is to contribute in Algeria's sustained development programs including education and support to young Algerians wishing to start their own private businesses.

            British Petroleum starts oil exploration activities in South Algeria


            • #81
              PETROSA said yesterday that its gas commercialisation plans could see the state agency increasing revenues and profits threefold over the next five years.

              PetroSA is following in the footsteps of its much larger counterpart, Sasol, by setting up partnerships in other parts of the world with a view to establishing commercial gas-to-liquids plants for the production of fuel that is seen as a cheaper and cleaner alternative to oil.

              Apart from the financial upside for the state-owned enterprise, the expansion and commercialisation of its gas-to-liquids operations holds huge promise for the country’s balance of payments.

              South Africa currently spends about 15% of its total import bill on oil. If PetroSA increased its production it could constitute a considerable saving in foreign exchange outflows, said chief financial officer Nkosemnthu Nika.

              The gas-to-liquids expansion plans are in line with government policy to diversify its energy sources. Indications are the startup of the first large-scale gas-to-liquids plant could be as early as 2010.

              The commercialisation plans kicked off with a technology development programme in 2001. The initiative is related to low-temperature Fischer Tröpsch technology, which is a joint venture between PetroSA, Statoil and Swiss company Lurgi.

              A semicommercial plant was built in Mossel Bay, which proved successful. This will form the basis of future applications of the technology in large-scale gas-to-liquids projects.

              PetroSA is pursuing an aggressive growth strategy to remain sustainable. Its aim is to increase production output to 65 000 barrels a day by 2010.

              Current operations have gas feedstocks that will last only until 2008. The company has, however, undertaken the South Coast gas development project at a cost of $448,5m, which would secure feedstock until 2013.

              The project was on schedule, with May as the target for the first gas to reach the refinery, CE Sipho Mkhize said.

              PetroSA is pursuing a number of foreign opportunities for commercial gas-to-liquids developments.

              Of these, undertakings in Algeria and Egypt were the most advanced, with an announcement on a $4bn plant in Algeria expected between September and November, said the GM of the company’s gas-to-liquids refinery, Robert Nohamba. PetroSA would have a 25% stake in the project.

              “PetroSA is on the brink of a breakthrough. If we can clinch this it could have a huge potential upside for the country,” he said.

              In Egypt, prefeasibility studies on a prospective gas-to-liquids plant would commence next year, Nohamba said.

              Apart from prospects in Algeria and Egypt, PetroSA is exploring opportunities with countries in the Middle East, South America and Australia. It already has a stake in a proposed fuel-grade methanol project in Qatar, in line with the objective to commercialise its gas-to-liquids know-how.

              In the company’s corporate strategic plan, it is envisaged that the realisation of its gas commercialisation plans would see PetroSA trebling revenues to about R20bn over the next five years, from the current R6,5bn.

              Sasol’s groundbreaking gas-to-liquids plant in Qatar would be the first large-scale plant to produce liquid fuel from gas when production starts next month.

              Until then PetroSA still rules the roost with its Mossel Bay plant, once regarded as a white elephant, but which remains the largest of only three gas-to-liquids plants in the world.



              • #82
                CAIRO, Egypt -- Russia did not invite Algeria to the Group of Eight summit in St. Petersburg this weekend because the two countries are competing for natural gas clients in Europe, Liberte-Algerie newspaper said Thursday.

                President Vladimir Putin invited leaders from South Africa, Mexico, Brazil and India to attend the summit, and not Algerian President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the Algiers-based daily reported, without saying where it got the information.

                Putin is irritated that European states are seeking to increase imports of Algerian gas in order to reduce their dependency on Russia, Liberte said.

                Russia snubs Algeria


                • #83
                  Algeria, long seen as an energy investment hot spot, has taken a step toward resource nationalism with plans to take back some windfall profits from foreign operators.

                  But analysts predicted that foreign oil companies, which have steadily increased their share of Algerian production, would still consider the OPEC member attractive for want of better alternatives.

                  "My feeling is oil companies will make some noise, but it is not going to deter them," said Saad Rahim of PFC in Washington. "Algeria is a major resource holder. Reforms elsewhere are blocking foreign companies."

                  The biggest foreign operator is the U.S. company Anadarko Petroleum. Others include Royal Dutch Shell, BP, BHP Billiton, ENI and Hess.

                  Algeria's cabinet this month approved a bill that would give the state- run company Sonatrach a more central role and introduce a windfall tax on international oil companies.

                  If made law, it would reverse hydrocarbons legislation passed in 2005 that was meant to overhaul Algeria's oil and natural gas industry and to turn Sonatrach into a purely commercial entity.

                  "Clearly, it is a step back," Rahim said of the amendments.

                  Emboldened by record oil prices, South American countries, along with Russia, have led a wave of resource nationalism, or producer countries' seeking a greater share of their resource wealth.

                  One of the prime exponents of the trend, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, visited Algeria this year and met with its president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

                  Analysts said Bouteflika was playing to a domestic political agenda by announcing the changes on July 5, a national holiday commemorating independence from France.

                  "It points to a worrying new trend for investment," Valerie Marcel, an analyst at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, said of the Algerian amendments.

                  "Now what we see more and more is that really high prices are becoming a disincentive for investment. It's a perverse effect. There's a market signal to invest, but it's having the opposite effect."

                  The Algerian energy and mines minister, Chakib Khelil, who played a major part in getting the 2005 hydrocarbons law enacted, also said that the changes could deter international companies, adding that they were "a political decision."

                  "It may be that we are the victims of our own success," he said in London this week. "People saw lots of money coming into the coffers of the state, and some people said maybe we don't need that much money."

                  "The political debate was that we need to leave some reserves for future generations."

                  Some analysts dispute that slowing foreign investment will help conservation, and they say Sonatrach needs international expertise, even if it is considered a very successful national oil company.

                  They also say Algerian oil production might not be too far from its peak, although its gas reserves are healthy.

                  "This idea of leaving the oil in the ground is a bit of a concern to companies," said David Butter of the Economist Intelligence Unit.

                  "But, in any event, Algerian oil output is expected to start to peak around 2010," he said. "A slowdown could be recognition that it is going to get quite difficult to meet targets."

                  Butter said his understanding was that the proposed windfall tax would be effective retroactively, though oil companies said they hoped it would only affect future revenues.

                  BP and Shell said they were awaiting clarification of the details.

                  Algeria profits


                  • #84
                    Price of Algerian Sahari Blend reaches record level


                    • #85
                      SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. said on Monday it signed two contracts for a total of C$1.3 billion ($1.1 billion) to build, operate and maintain a 1,227 megawatt gas-fired thermal power plant in Algeria.

                      SNC said it signed the contracts with Shariket Kahraba Hadjret En Nouss S.p.A. (SKH) for the plant, which will be located in Algeria's Tipaza province, to the west of Algiers. Construction will begin immediately, with completion expected in 2008.

                      SNC will operate the plant and sell the electricity, which will amount to about 20 percent of Algeria's current supply, to Algeria government owned Sonelgaz under a 20-year contract.

                      SKH is a newly established company 51 percent owned by Algerian Utilities International Ltd, and 49 percent by three subsidiaries of the Government of Algeria.

                      SKH will be financed by an equity investment of C$300 million by the owners, and by non recourse debt financing by Algerian banks.

                      Algerian Utilities International is 51 percent owned by SNC and 49 percent by Mubadala Development Co., the investment and development company wholly-owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi, SNC said.

                      SNC to build, operate Algeria power plant


                      • #86
                        Head office of Sonatrach’s international branch transferred to Algeria


                        • #87
                          ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) - Soaring oil prices have sent Algeria's economy on a boom, allowing it to pay off debt, build up major reserves and draw interest from foreign oil companies. But the country, worried about its failure to diversify its economy beyond the energy sector, is moving to slow down foreign exploitation of its rich hydrocarbon deposits.

                          While amendments to a hydrocarbons law raised comparisons with oil and gas nationalizations in Venezuela and Bolivia, analysts and energy companies say they are unlikely to scare off international investors eager for any slice of Algeria's oil profits.

                          Earlier this month the Algerian government announced a windfall tax on profits generated by oil prices over US$30 a barrel, and a clause raising the stake that state energy company Sonatrach must take in new hydrocarbon exploration and transport projects from 20-30 percent to 51 percent. The level of the windfall tax has not yet been given.

                          The government said the moves were intended "to meet the needs of national development and to preserve our country's natural riches."

                          Experts said that while the Algerian measures were driven by pressure from unions and domestic political factors, the North African country will remain attractive to investors since oil prices are expected to stay high and the changes aren't as drastic as in South America.

                          "The circumstances have changed. The oil companies are desperate, they want to get more oil," said Robert Mabro, a former director of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. "The oil companies will scream a bit but in the end they will go and invest."

                          Oil was driven near US$80 a barrel last week as strong demand collided with supply worries caused by violence in the Middle East, pipeline disruptions in Iraq and unrest in Nigeria.

                          Algeria's economy has been soaring thanks to the surge in oil prices, allowing the North African country to accumulate US$66 billion (euro53 billion) in foreign exchange reserves and pay off large chunks of its debt.

                          Algeria, ranked eighth among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, produces about 1.4 million barrels of oil a day and exported 80 percent of its oil, gas and derivatives in 2005.

                          Hydrocarbon exports account for some 98 percent of Algeria's foreign currency revenues, and energy earnings make up around 40 percent of gross domestic product.

                          Despite a bloody conflict in the 1990s that pitted Islamic extremists against the Algerian state, the OPEC member has generally been seen as a safe bet for investment because things have since quieted down.

                          But the new amendments go against the liberalizing drive of the hydrocarbons law approved by parliament last year.

                          Explaining the changes at a news conference Saturday, Energy Minister Chakib Khelil acknowledged that "our current partners are not going to like the fact that we're going to extract a part of their super-profits." But, he said, "we will obtain our objective of safeguarding our natural resources for future generations."

                          Khelil said the tax on extraordinary profits would apply to contracts signed under a previous 1986 law, but would not be imposed on past income.

                          He said the measures - which do not need approval by parliament - would be signed into law before the next round of bids for energy contracts, expected by the end of this year. No contracts had been signed under the original version of the 2005 law.

                          Gerry Peereboom, chief operating officer of BP PLC in North Africa, said the new tax was cause for some uncertainty.

                          "Until we know exactly what the situation is, any investor feels less confident," he told The Associated Press. But he added: "We're going to wait and see. Once you know the rules of the game, I think we can live with almost any."

                          Italian oil and gas company Eni SpA also said it was waiting to see how the situation developed, but described the change as a "normal adjustment to the tax system."

                          "We do not think Algeria is trying to discourage foreign investment," the company said in an e-mail.

                          Other companies active in Algeria include Norway's Statoil ASA, Spanish-Argentine Repsol YPF, U.S.-based Hess Corp. and Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton Ltd.

                          Energy minister Khelil said the changes were prompted in part by Algeria's failure to diversify its economy beyond the energy sector.

                          He said enough hydrocarbons had been discovered to meet Algeria's production target of 2 million barrels a day in oil and 85 billion cubic meters a year in gas by 2010, and that boosting refining capacity would now be a priority.

                          Opponents of the original version of the 2005 law included Sonatrach managers, trade unionists, and the opposition Labor Party. They delayed its passage for years after it was first proposed in 2001, and had pushed for the amendments.

                          Hocine Malti, a former vice president at Sonatrach, said it was "a question of sovereignty, non negotiable."

                          Malti wrote in the newspaper Le Soir d'Algerie: "One should not hesitate, however, to proclaim high and loud, just like the Venezuelans and the Bolivians, that hydrocarbons are the property of the people."

                          But Amor Khelif, a hydrocarbons specialist who teaches at the universities of Algiers and Nice, said that the Algerian amendments were very different from the South American cases.

                          "It's completely incomparable," he said. "It looks very favorable for exploration and production investments in Algeria."

                          Algeria seeks limits for foreign investors


                          • #88
                            NEW DELHI: Gas utility GAIL (India) Ltd has said a term-sheet on the liquefied natural gas import from Algeria will be signed by next month. "We are confident that a decision will be taken in a months' time," a senior GAIL official said.

                            GAIL is in talks with an Algerian company to import long term LNG to fire the 2,184 MW Dabhol power plant, which is currently generating expensive electricity owing to the use of naphtha.

                            GAIL, which was mandated by the government to meet the LNG requirement of the Dabhol power plant, is currently negotiating supply terms and pricing and a term sheet is expected to be signed soon.

                            The state-run company is a 50% owner of the $3 billion Dabhol power plant. The Algerian company has indicated the possibility of supplying of 1.2 million tonne per annum (tpa) LNG for 25 years starting from mid-2009.

                            "We have shown urgency, but as far as the suppliers are concerned they have not shown any," the official said.

                            GAIL to ink LNG deal with Algeria soon


                            • #89
                              Investigation into the most important oil company in Algeria

                              Brown & Root Condor file handed over to Bouteflika


                              • #90
                                Boots & Coots International Well Control, Inc. said it significantly expanded one of its two five-year SafeGuard contracts in Algeria with the signing of a new amendment worth $12.3 million in additional revenues. The amendment agreement raises the total value of services contract in Algeria to $35.2 million. The services included in the safe-guard contracts are risk management and analyses of comprehensive range of engineering services.

                                Under the terms of SafeGuard contracts, the company would provide training, risk analyses, contingency planning and well inspections, prevention and control of blowouts and the prevention of risks related to installations.

                                Boots & Coots signs amendment worth $12.3 Mln to increase total value of contracts in Algeria to $35.2 Mln


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