Posted by: russiaoilandgas | July 26, 2007

Baltic Nations and Poland Set to Miss Out on Nord Stream

Nord Stream Gazprom Baltic Poland Lithuania Latvia Estonia German Gas PipelineGazprom controlled natural gas pipeline company Nord Stream has rejected calls from the Baltic counties and Poland to take the project along a land route and instead will stick to its original plan to lay the pipeline on the bed of the Baltic, YLE Uutiset reported today.

Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have all sited environmental concerns in explaining their preference for a land route for the Nord Stream gas pipeline.  According to YLE Uutiset, they are planning to solicit help from the EU to get the route changed.

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Gazprom Shtokman LNG Liquified Natural Gas Norsk Hydro StatoilRegular readers of this blog will be aware that Oil and Gas Eurasia’s resident experts don’t think for one moment the Shtokman saga ended with Gazprom’s allocation of a 25% share in the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) project to French oil and gas firm, Total.  And today, two news stories have emerged that seem to confirm this.  First, various news agencies reported that Gazprom have made significant changes to their 2007 investment plan, including cutting the Shtokman Budget by more than half.

Second, Norsk Hydro, the Norwegian oil and gas company currently in the process of merging with Statoil, threw their hat back into the Shtokman ring, according to the Financial Times.
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Posted by: russiaoilandgas | July 26, 2007

Gasoline Rations Spark Violent Reaction in Iran

Iran Gasoline Protests RatioingIran has begun rationing gasoline, sparking an angry reaction from the residents of Tehran as gas stations were burned, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad openly criticized and huge traffic jams created, the Voice of America reports.  Iran is one of the world’s leading oil producers; however, its lack of infrastructure and refinery capacity combined with US led sanctions have forced it to limit each private driver to 100 litres of Gasoline per month.  According to the VOA, the announcement by the Iranian oil ministry led to traffic jams caused as drivers lined up to get gas, while protesters to burned gas stations and cars.

The VOA also points out that Iran’s economic woes are set to get worse still as the Germany, Britain, China, the US, France and Russia agreed to consult on a 3rd set UN resolution to impose more sanctions on Iran for its refusal to end its uranium enrichment program.

Lukashenko Putin Gazprom Belarus Oil Gas Crisis DebtBelarus President Alexander Lukashenko has fired the heads of the country’s oil and gas companies for failing to avert the seismic shock affects caused by Gazprom’s decision last year to suddenly double gas prices.  The office of the Belarusian president announced the decision as his representatives held crisis talks at Gazprom to negotiate with the Russian gas monopoly over a half billion dollar gas debt which Belarus has missed the deadline to pay.  Oil and Gas Eurasia’s Sergei Balashov reports.

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Statoil Snohvit Gazprom ShtokmanThe intrigue surrounding the Barents Sea Shtokman project just keeps rumbling on.  News that Gazprom awarded a 25% stake in the LNG project to French company Total was met by widespread surprise – not least because it was assumed Norwegian company Statoil was the favorite to land partnership status in the Shtokman project by virtue of its unique Arctic and deep water drilling experience.  As if to drive home the point, Statoil has reported it has successfully completed the drilling of an appraisal well in another Barents field, Snøhvit.

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Posted by: russiaoilandgas | July 25, 2007

Russian Oil and Gas Output Increases

Oil Gas Production Increase GazpromThe Russian Industry and Energy Ministry released a statement on Monday that Russian year on year oil and gas ourput increased by 3% and 0.1% respectively for the 6 month period between January and June 2007, RIA Novosti has reported.

Oil and Gas condensate production reached 242.94 million metric tons in the first half of 2007, and it also reported that Gazprom accounts for 281.2 out of 333.21 billion cubic meters of Natural Gas produced in Russia.

Posted by: russiaoilandgas | July 25, 2007

Chevron Facing $290 Million Pipeline Squeeze

Chevron Caspian Pipeline Consortium Tax Bill 290 million TransneftChevron’s Caspian Pipeline Consortium is fighting a $290 million tax claim levied by the Russian Federal Tax Service, Bloomberg reports.  Chevron owns a 15 percent stake in the consortium, which operates an oil pipeline link that transports crude from Kazakhstan through Russia to markets elsewhere.

However, Russian state owned pipeline monopoly Transneft assumed management of the government’s 24 percent stake in June, and Chevron has already had to fend off attempts by Transneft to make Russian government policy easier to implement on the pipeline, according to Bloomberg.

Posted by: russiaoilandgas | July 25, 2007

Estonia Frozen Out Of Oil Route as Icy Relations Continue

Igor Levitin Estonia Russia Relations Diplomacy Oil Pipeline TransportationRusso-Estonian relations showed little sign of improvement on Monday, as the Russian Transportation Minister Igor Levitin announced that Russia will no longer use Estonian ports to export its crude oil. Although Levitin cited increased capacity at ports such as St Petersburg for the decision, according to the Moscow Times, he openly admitted that political considerations had also played a major role.

To read a full and detailed report, click here ( )

Posted by: russiaoilandgas | July 23, 2007

Rosneft Grabs More Yukos Assets; Shareholders May Get Payout

Yukos Rosneft Oil Russia Russian Receivers Debt Tax PayoutAs Rosneft grabbed more Yukos assets in the latest round of sales designed to pay off the bankrupt company’s $26 billion dollars of debt, it emerged that Yukos shareholders may receive a payout following the liquidation of the company.

Although the Russian government has first call on any money raised from asset sales to pay off the back taxes it is owed by Yukos, a spokesman for the Yukos receiver, Nikolai Lashevich, has told the Moscow Times that shareholders in the former Russian oil giant may receive a payout.

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Posted by: russiaoilandgas | July 20, 2007

Energy Minister: No Pacific Pipeline Until at Least 2015

Andrei Dementyev Energy Minister Pipeline ChinaPlans to build an oil pipeline to the Pacific coast will most likely remain on hold until at least 2015, waiting for the development of east Siberian fields, Deputy Industry and Energy Minister Andrei Dementyev told a Cabinet meeting Thursday.

But Transneft is on track to complete the first leg of the eastbound pipeline — which starts near Irkutsk and ends at Skovorodino near the Chinese border — next year, company president Semyon Vainshtok told the meeting.

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