VENEZUELA: Chávez no descarta plan nuclear

"Quizá un día iremos en esa dirección", dijo el presidente venezolano, Hugo Chávez, al defender el derecho de Irán y de Brasil a desarrollar un programa de energía nuclear.

Sus declaraciones subrayan, según analistas, los tintes de antagonismo frente a Estados Unidos que tiene la visita de Chávez a Rusia.

Este viernes, la exportadora rusa de armas Rosoboronexport confirmó que Venezuela está negociando la compra de cinco submarinos diesel.

Chávez había señalado con anterioridad que estaba interesado en los submarinos para ayudar a proteger sus campos de producción energética en mar abierto.





Refuerzo de vínculos
Un funcionario de Rosoboronexport dijo que también había discusiones sobre suministros militares para el ejército y la fuerza aérea venezolana.

Venezuela le ha comprado equipo militar a Rusia que incluye aviones de combate, helicópteros, vehículos y rifles Kalashnikov por unos US$3.000 millones de dólares.

En su visita, Chávez ha sostenido conversaciones con funcionarios rusos sobre cooperación bilateral en energía. También se reunió con el presidente ruso Vladimir Putin.

Este viernes, el mandatario venezolano viajará a Bielorrusia y después volará a Irán, países con los que busca reforzar lazos económicos y políticos.

Ahí culminará esta gira que, los observadores coinciden, sólo irritará más las ya deterioradas relaciones de Caracas con Washington.

MEXICO: The President Felipe Calderon sees oil exports falling further

President Felipe Calderon said on Friday he expected Mexico's crude oil exports to slip further this year and next, underscoring the need for a fiscal reform to make the country less dependent on oil revenues.

"Starting in 2006, the volume of our oil exports has been falling at an alarming rate and from what we have observed up until now, this year and the next will be no exception," Calderon told a banking event.


Mexico's oil exports slipped 1.3 percent in 2006 to an average of 1.793 million barrels per day (bpd) as state oil monopoly Pemex grappled with lower output at its huge but aging Cantarell oil field.

Oil exports have slid a further 4.4 percent from the 2006 average in the first five months of 2007 to average 1.714 million bpd. The declining volumes coincide with lower oil prices after the historic peaks of the last few years.

Pemex has a target to keep oil exports at at least 1.648 million bpd this year, a Pemex spokeswoman said.

Calderon is battling to get a key fiscal reform proposal through Congress aimed at reducing Mexico's economic dependence on oil export revenues, which make up more than a third of federal income.

Opposition lawmakers have held up the bill, saying it should include a provision to further trim Pemex's hefty tax bill, which was clipped last year to around 55 percent of total revenues from above 60 percent in past years.

"It's time we transformed this dependence on oil before it's too late. It's essential that we find more stable sources of financing," said Calderon, who was energy minister under the previous government.

He noted that oil exports in the first five months of 2007 were down by 220,000 bpd, or 11.4 percent, compared to the first five months of 2006.

Mexico is the world's No. 9 exporter of crude oil by volume and a major U.S. supplier. Oil exports had increased steadily over the past few years until 2005 when they dropped 2.8 percent, due in part to disruption from hurricanes.

Calderon has expressed hope that the fiscal reform plan could be approved by September to be included in the government's 2008 budget.

The overhaul seeks to raise the government's tax take to 13 percent of gross domestic product by 2012 from 10.2 percent today, one of Latin America's lowest levels.

That would enable more government spending on roads, hospitals and schools in country where about 50 percent of Mexicans live on less than $5 per day and the World Bank says close to 18 percent lack enough money to meet minimal nutritional needs.

Banxico´s President Guillermo Ortiz said, however, that the tax reform was only a first step to bolstering federal income.

"I believe the country needs to collect quite a lot more than three percentage points of (gross domestic) product," Ortiz told reporters.

REUTERS
by Jason Lange

BLOGGER: The ALEXA TRAIN RING , improving the improved ...!

A los que tienen los Bloggers interesados,(aunque sean un Blog en castellano te hago extensiva la inclusion), les hago un breve resumen de que va esto:

Conoces el ALEXA TRAIN PROJECT, la verdad es que yo por provar provee y si que funciona. Tras unos pocos dias notaras que mejora sustancialmente tu ranking en Alexa. La gracia reside en que le facilitas la lectura a los robots de Alexa. Ya que muchos de nosotros usamos Macintosh y/o igual no puedes usar la Alexa Tool Bar que sirve para proveer mas informacion a dichos robots, whatever, lo importante es que quieres provar mejorar tu ranking, es así ? En fin.

previo a que APLIQUES al ALEXA TRAIN RING, ya que antes debes enterde e incluirte en el ALEXA REDIRECT TRAIN PROJECT, pues ALEXA TRAIN RING es una herramienta que la catalogo de complementaria.

Para el primer caso, el ALEXA REDIRECT TRAIN PROJECT, a modo de sumario te los escribo las reglas, aunque de todas formas pasate por el post del
23/05/2007.

Reglas basicas:

  1. Abre un post en tu blog, donde comentes cualquier cosa acerca de este Alexa Train.
  2. Haz copy - paste desde : “~Start Copying Here~” hasta donde concluye el ultimo de la lista. ( para este paso visita la lista http://tinyurl.com/ysecwb )
  3. Los sitios que encuentres en la seccion de NEWBIES pasalos a ahora a la seccion de viejitos los OLDIES.
  4. Añade hasta 5 sitios, ahora en el espacio que haz desocupado previamente, es decir en NEWBIES, los nuevecitos.
  5. Cuando les adjuntes la direccion, escribela incluyendole antes lo que llamaremos el ¨prefijo alexa¨, te quedaria asi: http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?www.example.com , despues solo enviale un email a las personas que haz incluido (en caso de los Blogs NEWBIES que añadiste no sean de tu propiedad), si no les interesa no pasa nada. Si lo hacen, pues sera que el invite a mas y a mas.

Ahora si cuando termines, aplicas al anillo, ALEXA TRAIN RING .. con este medio, multiplicaremos aun mas el efecto que ya por si mismo se consigue con ALEXA TRAIN PROJECT. Yo revizare el anillo para incluir a quienes se encuentren ahi, en la lista que yo tengo o si quieres me envias un email : bajaenergyblog@gmail.com , por ultimo cuando apliques al anillo. Hazlo poniendo de nuevo el prefijo ALEXA http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?www.example.com , lo mejor para ti es que en este anillo es gente de todo el mundo por lo que la direccion que incluyas tendra mas relevancia .. a diferencia de cuando se hacen cadenas de memes y gomemes, etc .. que se limita a los mismos de siempre. Es entonces, un intrumento complementario al que ya usas, si tu interes es que tu blog se divulgue en otros lugares de internet.

Si te apetece puedes, incluir el html del anillo .. en tu blog,
,
que servira para una mayor conectividad e invitacion a sumar nuevas iniciativas, pero repito lo importante es entiendas ALEXA REDIRECT TRAIN PROJECT y despues
APLICAS
al ALEXA TRAIN RING.



GOOD MORNING, community and friends..
do you remember my 23/05/2007 post titled Alexa Redirect Train by Carl Ocab ?


Well, TODAY .. we going to introduce a TOOL to improve
ALEXA REDIRECT TRAIN PROJECT.

We going to change your RANK.
NOW you goin to use this complementary TOOL, named ...

The ALEXA TRAIN RING




with this additional tool we improving the improved ,
we going to multiply our presence inside internet, but before to APPLY to this tool,
you need to

Add your site, to the list of ALEXA REDIRECT TRAIN PROJECT visit: http://tinyurl.com/ysecwb

-summary-
There are a few 5 Rules :
1. Put anything you like above this list – Chit Chat, talkies, introduce what this is.
Something like that ;-)

2. Start copying on the “~Start Copying Here~” and copy all the things listed without removing the links (Of course, the train would be no use without those links) 3. Move all the sites labeled “Newbies” to the list labeled “Oldies”
4. Add 5 sites that you want to include in the train and make their link like this: http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?www.example.com then invite them to join the train.
5. Visit all the listed sites! (That’s not much work! Remember, if you plant good seeds they will also grow good) and look at your high Alexa ranking next week!

ANYWAY .. you need first visit ALEXA TRAIN RANK PROJECT before to apply to ALEXA TRAIN RING

SO ..... When you finish.
APPLY TO ALEXA TRAIN RING, because is an additional tool to development our TRAIN PROJECT, I thing is going to be one way to be connected and updated. To build a big list from the members who wants improved their Alexa Rank. By the way, you cold add the Alexa Train Ring´s [html] in your blog,
almost my HTML is going to be like a permanent link.

GOOD MORNING, community and friends.. do you remember my 23/05/2007 post titled Alexa Redirect Train by Carl Ocab ?   Well, TODAY .. we going to introduce a TOOL to improve ALEXA REDIRECT TRAIN PROJECT. We going to change your RANK. NOW you goin to use this complementary TOOL, named ... with this additional tool we improving the improved ,  we going to multiply our presence inside internet, but before to APPLY to this tool, you need to Add your site, to the list of ALEXA REDIRECT TRAIN PROJECT visit: http://tinyurl.com/ysecwb  -summary- There are a few 5 Rules : 1. Put anything you like above this list – Chit Chat, talkies, introduce what this is. Something like that ;-) 2. Start copying on the “~Start Copying Here~” and copy all the things listed without removing the links (Of course, the train would be no use without those links) 3. Move all the sites labeled “Newbies” to the list labeled “Oldies” 4. Add 5 sites that you want to include in the train and make their link like this: http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?www.example.com then invite them to join the train. 5. Visit all the listed sites! (That’s not much work! Remember, if you plant good seeds they will also grow good) and look at your high Alexa ranking next week!  ANYWAY .. you need first visit ALEXA TRAIN RANK PROJECT before to apply to ALEXA TRAIN RING  SO ..... When you finish. APPLY TO ALEXA TRAIN RING, because is an additional tool to development our TRAIN PROJECT, I thing is going to be one way to be connected and updated. To build a big list from the members who wants improved their Alexa Rank. By the way, you cold add the Alexa Train Ring´s [html] in your blog, almost my HTML is going to be like a permanent link.  Just one thing. When You apply HERE is ALEXA TRAIN RING, remember put http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect? before your url address (do you get it?) example http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?http://google.com  I suppose gonna be better to everyone, type the url address . ..something like it http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?http://XXXXXX.com  whe you JOIN to The ALEXA TRAIN RING

Just one thing. When You apply HERE is ALEXA TRAIN RING, remember put http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect? before your url address (do you get it?)
example http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?http://google.com

I suppose gonna be better to everyone
, type the url address .
..something like it

http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?http://XXXXXX.com

whe you JOIN to The ALEXA TRAIN RING


The ALEXA TRAIN RING


----------------------------------------------------------------
COMMENTS
atte. Manu



INDIA-IRAN-PAKISTAN: Iran invites India, Pakistan for signing gas deal

Iran has invited India's Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh and Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf to Tehran for signing a USD 7.4 billion tri-nation deal on natural gas, supply of which could start from 2011.

The meeting may take place by July end or August, Special Representative of Iranian Petroleum Minister H. Ghanimi Fard told reporters after meeting with Indian Petroleum Minister Murli Deora in New Delhi.

India's Petroleum Minister will meet his Pakistani counterpart to finalise remaining bilateral issues before the heads of the three nations meet in Tehran for signing the deal.

Earlier, the Petroleum Secretaries of India and Pakistan held two rounds of talks to iron out their differences on the transportation charges and transit fees.

The Indian delegation was led by Petroleum Secretary M. S.

Srinivasan, Pakistani side was headed by his counterpart Ahmed Waqar.

The Iranian delegation was represented by Hajjatollah Ghanimifard, Special Envoy of Iranian Oil Minister.

Islamic Republic News Agency

RUSSIA: Gazprom '06 Profit Doubles to $24.6Bln

Gazprom said Thursday that its profit more than doubled last year to 636.5 billion rubles ($24.6 billion) on the back of higher oil and gas prices and the acquisition of its oil arm, Gazprom Neft.

The state-controlled gas giant said its revenue, calculated to international accounting standards, rose to 2.15 trillion rubles in 2006 from 1.38 trillion rubles in 2005.

Domestic sales rose 15 percent, while sales in the rest of the former Soviet Union jumped 93 percent on steep price hikes. European net sales jumped 37 percent, also as prices sharply rose.

Sales to domestic industry will begin to turn a modest profit -- at the rate of 4.5 percent -- next year, Gazprom deputy CEO Andrei Kruglov said at a news conference earlier Thursday. The profit rate will increase to 13 percent in 2009 and 25 percent in 2010, he said.

Kruglov reiterated that the firm intends to buy 20 percent of its oil subsidiary, Gazprom Neft, from Eni, just days after the Italian energy group expressed hopes of holding on to the stake.

Eni bought the interest in Gazprom Neft at an April auction of Yukos assets under an agreement that gives Gazprom an option to acquire these shares within two years.

"We are undoubtedly going to exercise this option," Kruglov said. "The question is just in the timing."

Under the same option, Gazprom can buy control of two gas production units that Eni also bought at the auction, ArcticGaz and Urengoil. Together, the stake and the gas units could cost Gazprom at least $4.8 billion.

Having paid $7.45 billion this year for control of Sakhalin-2, state-controlled Gazprom said it would not buy anything from Eni before year's end.

The option values the Gazprom Neft stake at $3.7 billion. Eni's winning bid at the auction was $5.83 billion, which makes 51 percent of the gas units worth at least another $1.1 billion.

Earlier this month, Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni said the company might be able to hold on to the Gazprom Neft stake, The Wall Street Journal reported. Eni's engineering talent and technology could convince Gazprom to keep the Italian company as a partner, he said.

An Eni spokeswoman in Milan declined to comment on the Gazprom Neft option when contacted Thursday.

Gazprom's aim is to de-list Gazprom Neft, hand it new production licenses and conduct a share offering, said Vladimir Vedeneyev, an analyst at Bank of Moscow. The company could change its plans if Eni offers Gazprom a greater share of the Italian market for retail sales, he said.

Gazprom will not seek new bank loans to pay for its $700 million to $900 million acquisition of TNK-BP's stake in Kovykta, Kruglov told Thursday's news conference. It will rely on its existing finance and cash flow as Gazprom sees a trend toward rising gas prices, he said.

Gazprom will have outstanding debt of $35 billion to $36 billion at the end of this year, Kruglov said.

Gazprom on Thursday had a market capitalization of $238.8 billion.

Vedeneyev said his bank estimated that Gazprom was trading at a discount of 30 percent.

The Moscow Times

IRAQ: Petrel seeing upside in new Iraqi oil law

Irish oil company Petrel said Iraq “will pass” the new Iraqi Hydrocarbon Law this year and it expects the new rules to bring better terms when its $197 million Subba and Luhais development starts up in 2010.

In Iraq since 1999, Petrel has focused on its Block 6 assets in the Western Desert, all of which could be ratified under the new law. The company hopes for a production-sharing agreement for the 240,000-barrel-a-day Subba and Luhais field, where, as operator, Petrel has brought in ITOCHU of Japan as contractor.

Meanwhile, a geological review of the Merjan field has been submitted to “Iraqi” authorities and contains the work of Itochu.

Iraq could have the second largest proven oil resources in the world, at some 115 billion barrels. Production costs below $2 a barrel are probably the lowest in the world, company chairman John Teeling reminded in a statement.

There are dozens of proven undeveloped oil discoveries each containing over 1 billion barrels,” Teeling wrote, adding, “The West Qurna oil field, with at least 16 billion barrels recoverable, is the best undeveloped oil discovery in the world.

OilGas24

AMERICA: Coal's Many Friends

Before passing its colossal energy bill last week, the Senate rejected coal-to-liquid fuel subsidies. But don't expect coal breaks to stay buried for long.

A majority of 69 senators, including presidential candidate Barack Obama, D-Ill., actually voted for at least one of the two pro-coal amendments offered during last week's debate--one by Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., and one by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.

Moreover, powerful interests, including the Air Force and the rail industry, are pushing for coal.

The Air Force? Yep, it's thirsty for alternative sources of transportation fuel. It uses an estimated 2.6 billion gallons of jet fuel a year, and that could increase if future military conflicts require more flying sorties (North Korea, Iran) and fewer ground troops (Iraq).

In fact, the Air Force has already begun testing a program to certify coal-based synthetic fuels for the B-52 bomber, a process that may lead to synthetic fuel use in all of its planes. Gassing up the C-17 cargo plane with a coal-based synthetic fuel could begin soon, according to an Air Force representative. An amendment to the 2008 Defense Authorization Act would give the Air Force $10 million to accelerate testing jet fuel made from coal. That would help cover the as-of-yet unfunded $38 million the service plans to spend on synthetic fuel research in fiscal 2008.

The rail lobby is another powerful friend of coal-to-liquid fuels. Last year, coal filled 7.5 million railcars. That's 42% of all nonintermodal carloadings on major railroads, according to the Association for American Railroads.

Coal traffic is down 2% through the first five months of 2007 amid a general slump of freight traffic. Mining more coal for shipment to coal-to-liquid processing plants and fuel customers would reverse the slide, potentially welcome news for shareholders of Burlington Northern, Norfolk Southern (nyse: NSC - news - people ) and other rail companies.

Of course the coal industry can also rely on support from representatives of coal producing states and, to a lesser extent, those representing the 20 states that generate at least 49% of their electric power from coal. Six months ago, for example, Obama co-sponsored the Coal-To-Liquid Fuel Promotion Act of 2007, the Bunning effort that would have provided subsidies and tax credits worth as much as $8 billion for the development of coal-to-liquid fuels.

Back in 2005, he attached a provision to that year's energy bill for $85 million over five years to test using Illinois coal to produce transportation fuel.

Sure, in a nod to environmentalists, this spring Obama said he'd support coal-to-liquid subsidies only if the fuel could be created with 20% lower carbon dioxide emissions than petroleum-based fuels. (The greens complain that coal-based fuel and the process that makes it produce twice as much carbon dioxide as conventional fuel.) But he still voted for Tester's amendment, which included the 20% emissions requirement, but wasn't fully supported by the Democratic leadership.

Besides direct subsidies, tax breaks for coal shouldn't be declared dead yet either. The Senate declined to include a $32 billion energy tax package pushed by the Finance Committee in its energy bill. But that package, which includes $6.1 billion for coal gasification and coal-based alternative fuel credits, is likely to see light again.

At least one specialty mining company, Silverado Green Fuel, has already assured its investors that several congressmen and senators will bring up the coal-to-liquids as a separate issue and give it a "full and fair debate."

FORBES
by Matthew Swibel

VIETNAM: PM asks contractors to speed up three key oil works

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked contractors to speed up the construction of three major projects: Dung Quat oil refinery, Ca Mau gas – electricity- fertiliser project and the Nghi Son oil refinery and petrochemical complex project.

Construction of the Dung Quat oil refinery was kicked off in the in central Dung Quat Industrial ZoneQuang Ngai province, in June 2005, seven years later than the target date stipulated by a National Assembly resolution in 1997.

Head of the project’s management board Truong Van Tuyen, who is also Deputy General Director of the Viet Nam Oil and Gas Corporation (PetroVietnam), said that both local and foreign contractors are exerting efforts to put the plant into operation in February 2009.

The 2.5 billion USD Dung Quat oil refinery will be capable of processing 6.5 million tonnes of crude oil per year and refining 33 percent of the country’s entire demand for petrol and oil. Its products will include protylen, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), lead-free petrol, diesel oil and fuel oil.

Construction of the Ca Mau gas-electricity-fertiliser complex in U Minh district, 15km from Ca Mau City, started in early March 2001 at a cost of more than 1.2 billion USD.

According to the project’s sole investor PetroVietnam, the 200ha complex will include three main projects including a heavy duty gas pipeline, a power plant and a nitrogenous fertiliser factory.

The complex, which will fire natural gas to generate power, will have a combined capacity of 1,500MW and will produce 10 billion kWh annually, said PetroVietnam.

The Nghi Son oil refinery and petrochemical project is being built on 325 ha of land in Tinh Gia district, the central province of Thanh Hoa and will cost close to 2.5 billion USD to complete.

The project has been split into two phases. The first stage includes the construction of an oil refinery with an annual capacity of 7 million tonnes of crude oil, a polypropylene plant with an annual manufacturing capacity of between 150,000-350,000 tonnes and a polyester fibres plant that is expected to pump out 260,000 tonnes a year.

The complex is expected to be operational by 2011.

Vietnam Economic Times

THE AMERICAS: Oil majors tread pragmatic path

Confronted by Hugo Chávez’s determination to take control of Venezuela’s heavy oil upgraders, the international oil companies were between a rock and a hard place.

They could either accept participation on the new terms, in which they would be junior partners to PdVSA, Venezuela’s state oil company, and expected to write cheques for new investment over which they would not have full control – or walk away from assets worth billions of dollars.

Faced with that decision on Tuesday, Chevron of the US, Total of France, BP of the UK and Statoil of Norway chose to bite their lips and stick around.

ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil of the US have walked away.

For Exxon, the calculation, while painful, was straightforward. It has built a reputation for being a company that regards contracts as sacrosanct and expects its partners to do the same.

With delicate negotiations over its Sakhalin-1 project in Russia under way, it would have been madness to throw that reputation away.

If it could not do a deal with Venezuela on acceptable terms, the cost – losing about 1 per cent of its production – was a price worth paying.

For Conoco, however, the cost of leaving is much higher and analysts had generally expected it would try to stay.

Last year, it made about 4 per cent of its production and had about 10 per cent of its reserves in Venezuela.

Its shares lost 3 per cent on Tuesday, although they steadied yesterday. It expects to write off $4.5bn for its lost assets.

Exxon said in a statement yesterday that “we continue discussions with the Venezuelan government on a way forward”, even though it was clear that it was giving up its stake in Cerro Negro, one of the four upgraders turning Venezuela’s heavy oil into crude so it can be sold on world markets.

Robert de By, of Dewey Ballantine, the law firm, said it might sound too late for talks, adding: “It is a bit like being on the ground being robbed – you can say ‘I’m still talking’ but is the robber listening?

But he said Venezuela was unlikely to want to cut itself off from the world economy by expropriating assets without compensation.

Verizon of the US was paid what was seen as a reasonable price for its stake in CANTV, a Venezuelan telecommunications company, in February.

Ultimately, Exxon and Conoco can go to arbitration, as Eni of Italy is seeking to do over a conventional oil project in Venezuela that was taken over last year, at the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

That would be a long, hard road, however.
Given the difficulties that could lie ahead, it is understandable that the other companies have chosen not to go down that path; particularly as one side-effect of the Exxon and Conoco withdrawal is that some of their stakes will be cut less severely than they had feared.

Chevron, for example, is retaining its 30 per cent holding in the Hamaca project and BP its 16.7 per cent stake in Cerro Negro.

For international oil companies, such difficulties are an increasingly common fact of life. Resource-rich countries have taken advantage of high oil prices to exert greater influence.

Chevron, BP, Total and Statoil are left with the potential for future development in a country that has some of the largest oil resources in the world.

Venezuela’s heavy oil reserves are estimated at 270bn barrels; on a par with Saudi Arabia’s 260bn.

When all the oil in the world has run out, Venezuela will be one of the last countries turning its taps off,” says Derek Butter of Wood Mackenzie, a consultancy. “Unlike many countries with large reserves, Venezuela is not closed to foreign investment, and there will be plenty of companies still willing to invest there.


Financial Times
by Ed Crooks and Benedict Mander



Phoenix Petroleum Philippines
Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. has set a final price of P9.80 per share for its initial public offering which will be launched on June 27, underwriter BDO Capital & Investment Corp. told the stock exchange.

The final IPO price is within the offer price range of P6.08-P11.30 per share disclosed earlier to the exchange.

Phoenix, a retailer of fuel products based in southern Philippines, will sell to the public up to 36.25 million common shares. The estimated proceeds of P355.25 million will be used to expand its operations.

Phoenix booked net profit of P74 million in 2006, up sharply from P3.7 million in the previous year.

RUSSIA: LUKOIL's Revenue in 1st Quarter at $16 Bln

Russian oil major LUKOIL is releasing a financial report for the first quarter of the year on Thursday as analysts are expecting indicators to grow against those in the previous three months but drop compared to the figures in the same period last year.

LUKOIL’s financial performance is likely to have improved in the first quarter on low export duties and mining tax. Urals oil dropped in the period by an average $2.17, to $54.4 per barrel, 6.6 percent less than in the first quarter of 2006, and 3.2 percent more than at the end of 2006.

Analysts at the Troika Dialog investment firm estimate that a barrel of oil in pipeline supplies from Western Siberia to the Russian Far East stood at $24.38 per barrel in the first quarter, 13.9 percent more than in the fourth quarter of 2006. Kommersant contacted analysts from seven Russian and foreign banks and investment companies to draft a combine forecast.

The estimates put LUKOIL’s revenue in the first quarter at $16.1 billion, some 1 percent down from the fourth quarter of 2006, and 7 percent higher than last year.

EBITDA is likely to come to $2.54 billion, 19 percent up from the last quarter’s result, but 8 percent down compared to the last year’s indicator.

Net profits is expected to stand at $1.42 billion, 36 percent more than in the fourth quarter, and 16 percent less than in the first quarter in 2006, according to the experts.


YUKOS HQ Goes Back on the Block
Rosneft may still move into YUKOS headquarters. The state oil company reported that negotiations have begun with the new owners of the building, the mysterious OOO Prana. Moreover, Rosneft is willing to buy the other assets sold in the same lot as the building for 100 billion rubles. If Rosneft gets a serious discount, it will be obvious that the results of the auction were not related to the market value of the assets. The difference from the starting price (22 billion rubles) corresponds to the sum of YUKOS claims against companies belonging to Roman Abramovich, whose involvement in the transaction was reported by Kommersant sources. After Prana's victory, the sides began to discuss a settlement.

Rosneft president Sergey Bogdanchikov announced yesterday that the company had begun negotiations with Prana on the acquisition of YUKOS assets that were auctioned off in lot 13 at the beginning of May. “We are holding negotiations with the owners or executives of Prana. To tell the truth, we are not especially interested in who they are, and we intend to acquire a significant part of the assets [of YUKOS, purchased by Prana],” Interfax news agency quotes Bogdanchikov as saying. He emphasized that it was a matter of buying YUKOS assets, not assets of Prana itself.

At Rosneft, they declined to say exactly what assets were of interest. A Kommersant source at YUKOS said that the purchase of the company's former headquarters on Dubininskaya St. in Moscow is under discussion. Bogdanchikov said that, besides the building, several thousand railway tanker cars, money in the sum of several hundred million dollars, unreturned VAT in approximately the same volume and several hundred thousand tons of petroleum products. “Just the YUKOS-M trading house comes in at over $1 billion, plus the filling stations in Moscow and Moscow Region,” Bogdanchikov said. Prana representatives refuse to talk to the press, so Bogdanichikov's words could not be confirmed with them.

The Rosneft president did not say what sum would be offered in the deal, but he confirmed that it would include “a profit within the limits accepted in the company.” Rosneft bid up to 100 billion rubles in the auction for lot 13. Experts were amazed at the outcome of that auction, which inexplicably totaled 100.09 billion rubles ($3.9 billion) after starting at 22 billion rubles.

Research by Kommersant published on May 31 suggests that thee may be $2 billion in the accounts of subsidiary companies that were included in the lot. Since the time of the auction, though, another theory has been advanced, that is, that the huge price was paid because that money had to be transferred to YUKOS.

Two weeks ago, a source close to the presidential administration told Kommersant what that could be necessary for. He said that the deal was financed by Russian billionaire, Governor of Chukotka and former owner of Sibneft (now known as Gazprom Neft) Roman Abramovich. According to the source, Abramovich returned to YUKOS the $3 billion that it paid for 20 percent of Sibneft in 2003 as part of the unification of the companies. At the end of 2003, after the beginning of the Russian authorities attack on YUKOS and its stockholders, Abramovich cancelled the deal, which was already in its final stages. Then, hoping for money with which to pay tax demands, YUKOS insisted on a reverse exchange, especially since a mirror deal was required to split the companies up. Sibneft shareholders did not agree to it though. Kommersant's source said that “Roman Abramovich remained in debt, even though YUKOS, along with the Gazprom Neft stock, was subject to expropriation.” Kommersant was unable to confirm those claims. Millhouse Capital, which manages Abramovich's assets, firmly denies any relationship to Prana or the deal to obtain YUKOS assets.

Yesterday Kommersant learned of events that may serve as indirect confirmation of the involvement of Abramovich structures in the sale of lot 13. Sources say that, after the sale of the lot at the end of May, a settlement between YUKOS and several offshore companies that represented the interests of Millhouse Capital. YUKOS filed suit in the London International Arbitration Court in 2004 to demand that Sibneft shareholders buy 20 percent of that company and return $3 billion. In addition, YUKOS insisted that compensation for the failed deal to form YukosSibneft included a provision for the party that rejected the deal to pay $1 billion to the other.

It seems unlikely that YUKOS will receive that money. Kommersant has learned that the agreement being hammered out includes a renouncement of all mutual claims, with YUKOS remaining the owner of Sibneft stock. (In April, it was sold to Gazprom along with other YUKOS assets.) Sibneft shareholders will not return money to the company. Neither
YUKOS nor Millhouse Capital would comment on the progress of arbitration proceedings yesterday. If a settlement is reached, and Rosneft is able to buy the main assets from lot 13 significantly more cheaply that for 100.09 billion rubles, the theory of Abramovich's “debt” will receive further confirmation. The fact that Kommersant showed the involvement of structures close to Gazprom in the deal on May 16 and June 13 is not contradictory. They could take part in the settlement as the new owners of Sibneft.

Rosneft Buys YUKOS Gas Stations
Oil giant Rosneft has kept its promise, buying gas stations and other facilities that once belonged to bankrupt YUKOS. The little-known Yuniteks, which is believed to have links with Gazprombank, reaped $150 million on the resale, making Rosneft one of the largest oil retailers in the country. Rosneft, however, will own 100 percent in 232 out of 495 gas stations.

Rosneft said Tuesday it signed a deal with Yuniteks to buy YUKOS’s 495 gas stations and oil product terminal for just over 16 billion rubles.

Yuniteks, a little-known firm whose owners have not been identified, won an auction for the lot on May 10, offering 12.5 billion rubles with a start price of 7.7 billion rubles. Shell and TNK-BP were also bidding for the chain of gas stations in 12 regions. Yuniteks has thus earned some 3.9 billion rubles on the deal. Earlier reports said Yuniteks has links with gas producer Gazprom and its subsidiary Gazprombank.

Rosneft added that it bought 100-percent stakes in 232 gas stations while all others are still to be owned together with administrations of the regions where several YUKOS’s oil business units were registered. The subsidiaries enjoyed special tax privileges, which went on to become part of accusations against YUKOS CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his colleagues. Rosneft has not decided if it would buy out the regional shares, but says it will consider sale offers.

The purchase has raised the number of Rosneft’s gas stations to over 1,550 I Russia, second only to LUKOIL’s 1,658, according to Andrey Fedorov, an analyst with Alfa Bank. The chain of LUKOIL unites as much as 5,800 stations including filling stations abroad.

RUSSIA: is a Gazprom a new Major ?

Gazprom Overestimated E.On
Negotiations on the exchange of assets between Gazprom and E.On as part of the project to develop the Yuzhno-Russkoe deposit may fail. The monopoly's management has stated that, if its German partners do not accept their conditions by the end of the summer, they may be excluded from the project. Industry analysts say that the assets offered by E.On are cheaper than the Russian assets, and Gazprom is justified in asking for supplemental payment. If E.On renounces its share in the Yuzhno-Russkoe deposit, it may be offered to the Dutch Gasunie.

Deputy chairman of the Gazprom supervisory board Alexander Medvedev stated yesterday that the company intends to reconsider the conditions for the exchange of assets between E.On as part of the project to develop the Yuzhno-Russkoe deposit.


They may not let the Germans into the Yuznho-Russkoe deposit
The key question in the negotiations is to what extent the assets that have been proposed correspond to our strategic goals and match our proposal in price,” Medvedev said. He specified that, if the negotiations are not concluded by autumn, the deposit will be launched into industrial exploitation without E.On. “It would be desirable that, if someone joined in the development, that they did so before the launch, not after it,” he noted.

Press secretary of the E.On office in Moscow Sergey Babkin declined to comment on Gazprom's statements. A Kommersant source in E.On confirmed, however, that Gazprom proposed assessing the assets offered for exchange again. “We are still hoping to reach an agreement and overcome the disagreement by the end of August, since this is a very serious project with large income,” the source said.

Last year, Gazprom and the German E.On AG signed a framework agreement on exchanging assets so that the German partner received 25 percent minus one share in the Yuzhno-Russkoe deposit and Gazprom received 50 percent minus one share in the Hungarian E.On Foldgaz Storage and E.On Foldgaz Trade, as well as 25 percent plus one share in the E.On Hungaria gas and electricity company. Another 25 percent of Yuzhno-Russkoe is to go to Wintershall (which is controlled by BASF). Negotiations with Wintershall have been completed, although no agreement has been signed yet.

Industry experts also assess the assets offered by Gazprom as more expensive than the E.On shares in the Hungarian companies. Troika Dialog analyst Valery Nesterov thinks that 25 percent minus one share in Yuzhno-Russkoe costs $1-1.2 billion. The E.On Hungarian assets, in the opinion of Janos Petofi, general director of wholesale gas distributor Magyar GT, cannot cost more than $800 million “considering their degree of wear and low capacity.” Nesterov suggests that the difference in the value of the assets is the source of disagreement between Gazprom and E.On.

Another reason Gazprom considered the transaction with the Hungarian assets insufficient is market conditions for natural gas in Hungary. According to Medvedev, there are “questions concerning the system of subsidizing in Hungary that creates uncertainty in the plan for income receipts and thus the cost of the companies that E.On is proposing.” A Gazprom source told Kommersant that the rules on the market today allow only a small part of all gas to be sold at market prices to industrial users. The rest of the volume has to be sold by the company to the public at lower than market prices.

Nesterov thinks that Gazprom is demanding that the German company make an additional payment for the difference in the value of the assets or else pay for its share in Yuzhno-Russkoe completely with money. “Otherwise Gazprom may give the quarter share in Nord Stream to the Dutch Gasunie, which would agree quickly to Gazprom's conditions,” Nesterov thought. Gazprom spokesman yesterday said that there are no negotiations of that type underway and that the company can develop the deposit without a third partner if need be.

by Oleg Gavrish



Gazprom to Dominate EU Spot Contracts
RosUkrEnergo and Gazprom Export are drafting a contract for Gazprom to sell 4 billion cu. meters of gas from the Ukraine-EU border to Europe in spot contracts, a Gazprom official reported Tuesday. Gazprom, which owns 50 percent in the Switzerland-registered RosUkrEnergo, will thus do way with competition in the most profitable though risky contract. However, the Russian gas monopolist may soon come against competition on the EU market with Dmitry Firtash, who holds 45 percent in RosUkrEnergo and whose firms are eyeing Hungary’s Fogaz.

Gazprom Export is to strike a deal with RosUkrEnergo to buy gas from underground storages in Ukraine, Gazprom’s Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said Tuesday. RosUkrEnergo said in interview with Kommersant that the parties were still in talks for the purchase.

A Kommersant source informed on the course of the talks said Gazprom was going to buy 4 billion cu. meters of RosUkrEnergo’s gas stored in underground facilities in Ukraine. The price will be close to a market one, the source added.

The deal is also lucrative for RosUkrEnergo as it bought the gas at between $95 and $160/1,000 cu. meters, which means it will reap at least $500.5 million on the deal if the gas is sold at $250. Industry experts predict that Gazprom’s export contract prices will grow to $280/1,000 cu. meters before the end of the year, which will increase RosUkrEnergo’s profit by one-third.

Striking the deal with Gazprom, RosUkrEnergo will lose a chance to work on spot contracts with the European Union, analysts say.

However, interests of
Gazprom and RosUkrEnergo may clash again quite soon. Budapest authorities are considering selling 50 percent in the Fogaz gas firm that Russian investors are already eyeing, according to the MTI news agency. A Kommersant source close to Group DF, owned by Dmitry Firtash, confirmed the company’s interest to Fogaz.


Gazprom Stakes on Crude Oil, Cold Weather
Gazprom stakes on improving 2006 record gas export revenues of $37.2 billion.

The analysts regard this intention of gas monopoly too optimistic, especially in light of the 18-percent drop in exports from January to May. Nothing but cold fall, early winter and surge in crude oil prices will help Gazprom materialize its hopes, they speculate.


Natural gas supplies to 22 states broke two records past year – in amount (151.1 billion cu meters) and in revenues ($37.2 billion cu meters), Gazprom Deputy Chief Executive and Gazprom Export CEO Alexander Medvedev announced yesterday. The 2005 indicators were 147 billion cu meters and $26 billion respectively.

Such healthy export revenues could be attributed to the surge in prices for CIS and the European Union. Ukraine, for instance, faced the increase of $55 per thousand cu meters to $95 per thousand cu meters. As to the European Union, the average cost of supplies soared from $230 per thousand cu meters to $260.7 per thousand cu meters.

There have been no such prices before,” Medvedev said, specifying that own production in the EU is going down, while the market standing of Russia is improving. According to Medvedev, the share of Russia’s gas consumption in Central and Western Europe widened to 27 percent past year, and Russia accounts for 35 percent of global gas imports.

Medvedev vowed to further boost export revenues this year. Indeed, the prices for CIS gas supplies went up again. Ukraine, for instance, has faced the increase to $130 per thousand cu meters, while Belarus has had to yield to paying $100 per thousand cu meters instead of the previous $46.68 per thousand cu meters. But even that growth has failed to inspire the analysts. Gas exports declined 18 percent in January to May due to unusually warm weather, BCS analyst Maxim Shein reminded.

In Gazprom, they spoke of Europe’s average price of $290 for this year, but so far, we see that, because of the drop in crude oil prices on global markets past fall, the H1 prices for gas contracts were much more moderate than the outlook - $250 percent to 260 percent,” Shein said.



Gazprom to Develop Kovykta Ahead of Schedule
For Kovykta gas condensate field, the production schedule was promptly revised once Gazprom sealed Friday an agreement for the buyout of 62.89 percent in its license holder, RUSIA Petroleum.

Instead of the production startup in 2017, for which Gazprom Deputy Chief Executive Alexander Ananenkov has been pressing over the past seven years, the monopoly is ready to set to selling Kovykta gas in three or four years. “Kovykta has the chance not for some distant but for intense development,” another Deputy Chief Executive of Gazprom Alexander Medvedev announced yesterday.

Kovykta will be developed in line with the Eastern Program, which the government is currently studying for approval, Gazprom representatives explained. The draft of that program spells out scenarios of intense development of Kovykta with the first option providing for gas deliveries to the Unified Gas Supply System and for the sale of 11 billion cu meters of Kovykta gas in the European part of Russia or in the European Union in 2011.

Another scenario omits the Unified Gas Supply System. In this case, the start of production is put off till 2012, the amount is reduced to 6 billion cu meters and the gas will go to the Asian and Pacific region.

Gazprom backs up the second option. “Potential sales markets are China and Korea, the negotiations are underway with both of them,” Medvedev confirmed.

As to Europe, the European Commission hailed the Kovykta agreement of Gazprom and BP yesterday, According to the Energy Commissioner
Andris Piebalgs, the agreement will enable to develop Kovykta field and positively affect investment climate in Russia.

ASIA: Keppel secures $534 million rig contracts

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Corporation Limited, has secured two rig contracts amounting to US$534 million (approximately S$820 million).

The contracts are for the construction of a drilling-cum-production jackup rig and a deepwater drilling tender rig. Both rigs will be built to Keppel’s proprietary design.

The first contract, worth US$400 million, is for the third KFELS N Class jackup rig for Skeie Drilling and Production, a member of the Skeie Group.

The contract is subject to certain conditions being met by 9 July 2007.

The new rig is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2010.


Said Mr Choo Chiau Beng, Chairman & CEO of Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M), parent company of Keppel FELS, “Having three KFELS N Class orders in less than half a year is strong endorsement for this innovative design. It reinforces our confidence that the rig has what it takes to meet market requirements for highly robust rigs in the North Sea type of conditions.

Developed by Keppel O&M’s R&D arm, Offshore Technology Development, the KFELS N Class jackup rig will provide customers the flexibility of having a unit that can undertake drilling and production activities concurrently. Capable of operating in water depths of up to 430 feet and drilling depths of down to 35,000 feet, the rig will have features to readily accept process modules for production activities. The design is in full compliance with the demanding and technically challenging requirements of rigs operating in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.

The second contract is from repeat customer Seadrill Asia Limited (Seadrill Asia) for a semisubmersible drilling tender (SSDT) at US$134 million.

Slated for delivery at end 2009, the drilling tender will be built to Keppel FELS’s proprietary design, the KFELS SSDT™ 3600E.

Mr Choo added, “We are glad to continue our support of Seadrill in meeting their drilling requirements by delivering quality products on time and within budget. It is our aim to be the service provider of choice for our customers through innovation, engineering and excellent execution of projects.

This new tender rig will be an enhancement of the last two KFELS SSDT™ 3600 design rigs, West Setia and West Berani, which Keppel FELS built for Seadrill Asia. The enhanced version includes modifications such as increased crane load capacity to 250 tonnes, four mud pumps and accommodation and services for 160 personnel.

The Keppel O&M group has built a total of five tender drilling rigs for Seadrill Asia, formerly Smedvig, since 1994. All the five rigs are gainfully deployed across the world. The first rig, West Pelaut, was voted Shell Platform Rig of the year’ in 2006 for consistent long term performance. The last rig, West Berani, was successfully put into operation in Kuantan, East Malaysia, immediately after its delivery in December 2006.

Seadrill Asia’s parent company, Seadrill Limited, has also ordered four jackup rigs with Keppel FELS, of which three are currently under construction. The first of the four, West Ceres (ex Seadrill 3), was delivered on time and within budget in 2006.

OilGas24

NORWAY: Companies clear the air, as “carbon week” passes

Opinion appears to differ on where to deploy and concentrate technology to curtail global warming and begin earning from the trade in carbon, judging by a week of declarations on carbon capture and storage, or CCS, from the North Sea.

It’s a waste of time,” a partly jesting Mitsubishi manager, Iijima Masaki, said of the growing concentration of carbon-tech in the North Sea.

(If you want to save the environment), we should focus on carbon capture where two-thirds of world oil and gas is, in the Middle East,” Masaki said, hinting that efforts should be made to transport carbon-dioxide to the Persian Gulf by ship, along with CCS and injection technology.


Matsaki’s company is one of a few with “carbon-capture technology ready”. At the invitation of Shell and Statoil, his company has begun work toward solving the problems of CCS’s cost.

Aker Kvaerner is another supplier hoping to do the same. At a recent CCS carbon capture coference in Oslo hosted by government and partly organized by Statoil, an unnamed Aker Kvaerner executive materialized on Big Screen to ask for help, just as GE’s hydrogen-natural-gas turbine builder, Scott Hoyte, wrapped up his panel discussion.

“If we build a hydrogen-gas trubine, we have no market without CCS,” Hoyte said, shortly before expressing his willingness to help Aker Kvaerner. Hoyte added that he supported stately funds to help the deployment of CCS, as was the pattern in Norway.

Aker Kvaerner, meanwhile, has spent $10 million since 1991 on capture ideas and the company speaker said a full-scale, carbon-capture pilot could cost $75 million, making it hard to find willing industrial partners. The company's Just Catch concept for the planned heat-power plant at the Mongstad refinery includes a biofuels component for 20-percent more electricity output.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, GE boss Jeff Immelt arrived in Oslo and was interviewed by newspaper _Aftenposten_. He was quoted as saying “Saving the environment is profitable”, but the Norwegian press asked no questions about turbines technology for Aker Kvaerner.

Immelt reportedly added that while wind energy is good anywhere, carbon capture is of special intrest to Northern Europe, where carbon storage projects and opportunity for cleaner coal-firing abound.

In Norway, Shell and Statoil have concentrated Mitsubishi, Fluor and a Canadian company to work on carbon capture technologies. On June 22, GE customers Vattenfall, Statoil, Shell, Hydro and DONG were invited to “share the knowledge” in exchange for incubating capital at the newly designated European CO2 Test Centre Mongstad.

Under a system for technology demos set up by Norwegian state entity Gassnova, companies are invited to financially support CCS-worthy suppliers, with the patent going to the supplier and the knowledge to the energy company. The Norwegian government will kick in €250 million to match the industry funding.

Similarly, in Australia, coal miner Rio Tinto and oil supermajor BP will receive A$1 billion from the Australian government over 14 years for reservoir and pipeline research.

We need to develop new business concepts, and we need to develop new markets which no one has seen to date,” said Bjoern-Erik Haugan, director of Gassnova’s Centre for Sustainable Gas Technologies.

An emissions trading conference in Copenhagen this September could determine whether CCS projects — with their vast potential to alter the carbon supply and hence its price — join the range of projects under the United Nation’s so-called Clean Development Mechanism, where projects that spare the environment generate tradeable emissions credits.

The Norwegian government this week said it will have to buy carbon-emissions credits in developing countries as well as support industry at home to meet its Kyoto pollution-reduction targets by 2012.

There’s corresponding haste in devleoping countries to generate tradeable emissions credits countries like Norway can buy via clean, CDM projects.


Scnadivaian Oil & Gas
By WILLILAM STOICHEVSKI

BRASIL: New delivery agreements for Peregrino

Hydro and Anadarko Petroleum Corporation have entered into an agreement with Wellstream International Ltd. for delivery of 12 flexible risers for the Peregrino oilfield development offshore Brazil.

A further agreement has been made with Prysmian for power and communication cables.

The Wellstream International agreement is worth GBP 18 million, and the agreement with Prysmien is worth USD 19 million.

The risers will be used to connect subsea pipelines to two wellhead platforms and a floating production storage and offloading vessel (FPSO).


The pipes will be partially manufactured in Newcastle, UK, before delivery to Wellstream’s new Brazilian manufacturing facility in Niteroi where insulation, outer sheath and end fittings will be added and the pipes completed before shipping from the adjacent Bardella base.

The cables will provide power and communication between the FPSO and the wellhead platforms. The Prysmian delivery consists of 20 kilometers of dynamic power and communication cables, which will be manufactured in the company’s new hi-tech facility located in Vila Velha, Brazil.

Deliveries are scheduled for the second quarter of 2009.

Major oil field
The Peregrino field is located 85 kilometers offshore Brazil at a water depth of around 100 meters. The recoverable resources are estimated at between 300 million and 600 million barrels of heavy oil.

The field will be developed with an FPSO vessel and two drilling platforms. The development plans include 30 horizontal production wells and seven water injection wells.

The Peregrino field is Hydro’s first oil and gas commitment in Brazil. Production start up is planned for 2010.

Scnadivaian Oil & Gas