[OIL PRICES] Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Crude Oil Declines After U.S. Financial-Rescue Plan Hits Snag

Crude oil fell, leading energy futures lower, after negotiations over the $700 billion financial bailout plan stalled, adding to concern that U.S. economic growth in the world's biggest energy-consuming country will falter. Oil prices dropped as much as 3.5 percent after House Republicans rejected the proposed rescue of the U.S. financial system, imperiling an agreement hours after an announcement that one was near. U.S. fuel demand over the past four weeks was down 5.3 percent from last year, a government report showed this week.

``The oil market is at the mercy of what is going on in Washington,'' said Gene McGillian, an analyst at TFS Energy LLC in Stamford, Connecticut. ``If there isn't an agreement, prices will drop further because the economy will slow further and demand destruction will continue.''

Crude oil for November delivery fell $1.13, or 1.1 percent, to settle at $106.89 a barrel at 2:42 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are down 27 percent from the record $147.27 a barrel reached on July 11. The contract is up 4 percent for the week.

Gasoline for October delivery declined 3.22 cents, or 1.2 percent, to settle at $2.6651 a gallon in New York. Heating oil fell 3.09 cents, or 1 percent, to settle at $2.9949 a gallon.

Oil prices may decline next week, according to a survey of analysts by Bloomberg News. Fourteen of 29 analysts, or 48 percent, said prices will decrease through Oct. 3.

The U.S. economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.8 percent in the second quarter, slower than the previous estimate, as consumer spending and trade contributed less to growth, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The revised figures were down from an estimate of 3.3 percent last month.

GDP Forecasts
Economists at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley this week cut third-quarter Gross Domestic Product forecasts, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke warned the economy may falter without the $700 billion bank rescue. The U.S. was responsible for 24 percent of global oil consumption last year, according to BP Plc.

Alon USA Energy Inc. restarted the fluid catalytic cracking unit at its Big Spring, Texas, refinery so the plant can resume full processing capacity of 70,000 barrels a day. Total SA, Europe's third-largest oil company, said it restored power to its Port Arthur refinery in Texas after Hurricane Ike, and plans to restart the plant.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it will delay planned maintenance on U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.

Brent crude oil for November settlement declined $1.06, or 1 percent, to settle at $103.54 a barrel on London's ICE Futures Europe exchange.

OPEC Production
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries would cut oil production to keep crude oil from falling below $100 per barrel, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said today in a television interview on the ETV Telerama network.

Ecuador, the producer group's smallest member, has struggled to meet its daily output quota of 520,000 barrels in recent months.
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries members produce more than 40 percent of the world's oil.

Source: Bloomberg| by Mark Shenk





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BLOGGERS: Have you ever think in Donate Car?

Have you ever think in Donate Car? There are several non-profit organizations around The United Status of America that have taken the responsibility to help all those poor people by offering them food, shelter, medical care facilities, educational facilities and many more. If you have a car that you wanted to donate, you should visit this web site for your Car Donations. One of them is Angel Ministries (www.carangel.org), this people use the Car, Boat and House donations to help orphans and feed the hungry as well as create children's animations and anti-drug documentaries.

For this reason if you have considered for a car donations program, then there are certain things you should be aware of like the car you have planned to donate under the Donate my car program be supposed to inevitably have an engine and also it should be in a tow able state. The persons who prefer to donate boat to those non-profit organizations can make use of their site to provide information about their boat by filling an online form and then the representatives belonging to those donation centers pick up their boat and all traveling charges are incurred by them.

The system called ¨ Donate My Car ¨ is useful for good actions. Because the amount, which is been derived out of the sale of the vehicle, would be then sent to the charity center that is been selected by you through the signing up process. Angel Ministries (www.carangel.org) are always standing by twenty-four hours to receive your car donation. Just call their toll free and car angel can pick up you donated car. Just fill in the easy form, they can do this online via internet or visit their web site, and then the car angel will arrange everything we need and we will get the instant receipt by email. Car angel help single mothers, orphans, homeless, teen and adult who is in rehab as well as prison reform.

Source:
Angel Ministrie





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[EUROASIA] Las Europas, Russia y la dependencia energetica

La República Checa, uno de los socios más díscolos del club europeo, presidirá la Unión Europea en el primer semestre de 2009. Su primer ministro, Mirek Topolanek, de 52 años, acaba de pasar por España para explicar sus prioridades: libre circulación de trabajadores, reequilibrio entre las políticas europeas hacia el Mediterráneo y la Europa central y del este, reforzar la cooperación euroatlántica, por supuesto no hay nada de que hablar con Cuba y sobre todo firmeza ante Rusia.

Que nadie espere tampoco mucho esfuerzo por parte de Praga para que se ratifique bajo su presidencia el Tratado de Lisboa. El documento todavía no ha sido aprobado en la República Checa. Para Topolanek, que advierte que no tolerará presiones de nadie, ése es un problema que debe resolver primero Irlanda.

El euroescepticismo checo combina el interés porque la UE funcione con cierto desprecio sobre cómo lo haga y los tratados que la estructuran. Es más una actitud de rebeldía contra la "corrección política" de Bruselas y su "debilidad" frente a Moscú, contra lo que The Economist ha llamado "la racionalización de la impotencia" frente a Rusia.



Durante la entrevista, realizada en el Instituto de Empresa, Topolanek, primer ministro desde hace dos años al frente de una coalición entre su partido, Demócratas Cívicos (derecha liberal), democristianos y verdes, adopta esa actitud. En total, 20 minutos de respuestas displicentes.

Pregunta. ¿Cuál será la posición de la presidencia checa respecto a los grandes temas que afronta la UE, como las relaciones con Washington y Moscú?

Respuesta. La relación euroatlántica es un ancla para la seguridad de Europa. Para nosotros es, históricamente, una relación sustancial. Cuando nos hemos podido apoyar en Estados Unidos, hemos sido libres. Sobre la dimensión oriental de la política europea, los países centroeuropeos y escandinavos queremos un equilibrio entre este aspecto y la política mediterránea. Queremos que se complementen. Lo que ocurre en Georgia y en Ucrania no es algo que deba preocupar sólo a los centroeuropeos, sino también a los españoles. En las fronteras del este y el sur de la Unión hay países que pueden llegar a formar parte de la UE, pero también hay muchos riesgos. Hay que discutir con ellos sobre inmigración, terrorismo, energía, economía, seguridad...

P. ¿Y qué relación debe tener la UE con Rusia?

R. Rusia aspira otra vez a jugar el papel de potencia, utilizando herramientas energéticas, económicas y militares. Cómo responder a esta actitud es una prueba para la comunidad internacional y para la UE. Por un lado, sabemos que las sanciones no solucionan nada y, por otro lado, hay peligro de contagio a Crimea y el Transdniéster. En el futuro, la dependencia energética de Rusia amenaza la libertad de los europeos. El 21 de agosto se cumplieron 40 años de la ocupación soviética de Checoslovaquia y los últimos soldados rusos se fueron el 30 de junio de 1991. Queremos mantener relaciones amistosas con Rusia, pero no queremos estar en su esfera de influencia. España se porta a veces como si este tema no fuera con ella, pero es un problema europeo.

P. ¿Cómo valora la respuesta europea a la invasión de Georgia?

R. Muy poco audaz, y bastante débil. Es lo que pasa cuando hay que conseguir que 27 países se pongan de acuerdo. En cosas así se percibe su debilidad, pero también su fuerza, porque es una respuesta unida.

P. ¿Qué debería hacerse respecto a la crisis en el Cáucaso?

R. La comunidad internacional debería presionar para que se vayan los soldados rusos de territorio georgiano. También deberían ponerse en marcha instrumentos para que, por ejemplo, todos los acuerdos que aprueben las autoridades de [las regiones secesionistas de] Abjazia y Osetia del Sur deban ser aprobados también por las autoridades de Georgia. Creemos que Georgia necesitará más fondos que los que la UE calcula para su reconstrucción. Si seguimos limitándonos sólo a mirar, vamos a perder las vías alternativas de suministro de gas y petróleo.

P. Ustedes apoyan la entrada de Ucrania y Georgia en la OTAN. ¿Hasta qué país debería llegar la ampliación de la Alianza?

R. La zona euroatlántica es un espacio de seguridad y libertad, y Rusia debería tener interés de que la ampliación llegara lo más cerca posible de su territorio. Fue un error que, en abril, la OTAN no otorgara a Georgia y Ucrania el estatuto de candidato oficial al ingreso. Este paso no garantizaba la integración, pero habría sido una señal clara para Rusia. Esa decisión anticipó la acción rusa en Osetia del Sur y Abjazia. En Ucrania, la desestabilización de la escena política se debe claramente a una influencia exterior. La incorporación a la OTAN será ahora mucho más difícil.

P. El Tribunal Constitucional checo está analizando el Tratado de la UE. ¿Qué pasa si lo rechaza?

R. Todo el mundo está interesado en la ratificación del tratado en la República Checa, pero es evidente que sin la aprobación de Irlanda no entrará en vigor. En nuestro país, el texto se encuentra en el Constitucional, y si dictamina que el tratado respeta las leyes checas, el proceso seguirá en el Parlamento. En el pasado Consejo Europeo ya dijimos que, si nos presionan, no podremos garantizar el resultado. Yo desearía que el tratado sea ratificado antes de que empiece nuestra presidencia europea.

P. El presidente checo, Václav Klaus, afirma que en Europa hay demasiados euroingenuos. ¿Está de acuerdo?

R. Si no tuviéramos a Václav Klaus en la Unión, tendríamos que inventarlo. El debate en la UE es políticamente tan correcto y tan plano que ya han desaparecido todas las opiniones diferentes.



Source: El País|by LUIS PRADOS and CRISTINA GALINDO
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[IEA] International Energy Agency, warns high oil prices could trigger global recession

The world economy faces a recession if the price of oil stays above $90 a barrel, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned.

The price of oil crept up again today, reaching $95, following two days of declines caused by the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers and slumping stock markets. Fears of a deep recession had pushed the price below $100 a barrel for the first time in six months.

International Energy Agency executive director Nobuo Tanaka said economic growth depends on "what will happen if high prices affect the emerging economies." There has been no sign so far of a slowdown in China, India or the Middle East, he said, despite oil reaching a record $147 a barrel in July. Barclays Capital estimates the average price in the third quarter will be $97.50 a barrel.

The drop in price over the last few days was an aberration caused by investors fleeing any potentially risky assets and hoarding cash, analysts said at the time. Oil traded as low as $90.51 yesterday, when hurricane damage in the Gulf of Mexico and demand in Asia should have caused further rises, based on supply and demand.

US oil consumption has already fallen because of the record prices reached this year, Mr Tanaka said. He called on Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries nations not to reduce production when they meet again in December.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries producers last week said they would cut production by 520,000 barrels a day, as prices dropped from their highs over the summer. Oil supplies are still tight, according to the IEA. Earlier this year some analysts forecast prices would reach $200 a barrel because demand from emerging economies would create a permanent shortage.



Source: Telegraph|By Amy Wilson


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[OIL PRICES] Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries faces production dilemma

The decline in oil prices in recent weeks has been a welcome relief for consumers and a rare piece of positive news in an otherwise bleak economic landscape. But for oil producers, increasingly accustomed to rising revenues, falling prices are fast turning into a cause for concern - if not quite panic.

Oil prices have fallen by a third in the past seven weeks and are headed for a drop below the symbolic $100 threshold for the first time since March. Though not a full-blown collapse, the speed of the decline is prompting some soul-searching within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries oil cartel.

Venezuela and Iran, the leading price hawks within the group, said they did not want oil to fall below $100 a barrel, a price Iran's oil minister recently said was a "minimum" level. Both countries signaled that members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries needed to reduce their output to prevent prices from dropping further.

Other OPEC members, like Algeria or Kuwait, fear that high energy costs could jeopardize their exports as the global economy slows down and consumers reduce their consumption. Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, has not said what would be a fair price, although King Abdullah has said that $100 was too high.

For OPEC's dignitaries, meeting in Vienna next week, managing the current slowdown is tricky. Cutting production to stem the price drop could spark a backlash and paint the oil cartel as greedy and short-sighted. Leaving production unchanged may precipitate the decline in prices at a time when oil demand is slowing. "The biggest signal for OPEC is price," said Michael Wittner, the global head of oil research in London for Société Générale. "They are playing a balancing game: if prices are too high, they will kill the golden goose and hurt consumption. But at the same time, they see the weakening economy and are thinking the world doesn't need so much oil right now."

The price for oil for October delivery was down $1.57 at $107.78 a barrel in New York trading Thursday afternoon, the lowest level in five months. The drop accelerated even after Hurricane Gustav's passage over the Gulf of Mexico interrupted oil and natural gas production. Three other tropical storms are forming over the Atlantic Ocean and could yet thwart the slide in prices.

Still, prices remain historically high. Despite their fall from the record of $147.27 a barrel on July 11, oil prices are up 12.5 percent this year. They have more than quadrupled in five years.

Producers have become used to these high prices, which have powered an unprecedented economic boom in the Middle East, Russia and South America. From the gleaming towers of Abu Dhabi to the new cities burgeoning in Saudi Arabia, producers are relying on the income to develop new industries, attract new businesses and expand their economies.

This year should be no exception. OPEC's export revenue should exceed $1 trillion, according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Energy. The exporters have earned $642 billion during the first seven months of 2008, nearly as much as they did last year.

But the cartel is facing a dilemma. Demand for oil in the United States, the world's biggest market, has fallen by about one million barrels a day as a result of high prices, slowing economic growth and credit woes. The economic slump is spreading to Europe, and could also affect Asia, the main driver of oil demand growth. Also, the third quarter of the year is traditionally the time when refineries need less oil as they shut down for their annual maintenance.

At a recent meeting of producers and consumers in Jidda, Saudi Arabia pledged to keep pumping full out to bring prices down. The kingdom is OPEC's biggest producer and the group's de facto leader. At the same time, analysts said, the Saudis realize that if they keep their output at the current level, they will create a glut in the market. The kingdom is pumping about 600,000 barrels a day more than its official quota.

Some analysts believe the group may opt for an informal cut in production, reducing output without much fanfare, instead of a formal announcement that could prove to be too politically sensitive for some of the cartel's pro-Western allies, especially with the U.S. election season in full swing.



Another option may be to convene another meeting in six to eight weeks and announce a big reduction then. The group is already scheduled to meet in December in Algeria, but that could be too late for Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to act if prices keep declining through the autumn.

Source: International Herald Tribune| By Jad Mouawad

[DEEP WATERS] Sea-floor Geology, Biology and Hazards. Deepwater Fluid and Gas Expulsion


The Alvin dives of 2006 and the Jason dives of 2007 added valuable data for improving our understanding of the geological and biological impact of the fluid-gas expulsion process on the northern GOM’s middle to lower continental slope. A total of 15 sites ranging in water depth from slightly over 1,000m to over 2,800m were visited and sampled. Evidence of slow hydrocarbon seepage and/or more rapid venting and chemosynthetic communities were observed at each site. Most of the dive sites were positive sea-floor relief features that were represented on 3D seismic sea-floor reflectivity data as high positive amplitude zones. Seismic profiles across these features identified welldefined fluid-gas migration pathways from the deep subsurface to the modern sea floor. The high sea-floor reflectivity at every site corresponded to the occurrence of carbonate cementation of the sea floor, a by-product of microbial utilisation of hydrocarbons, as well as to communities of mussels and, in some cases, clams. At some sites, such as GC 852 and AT 340, huge slabs and boulders of carbonate created a hard and rough bottom setting. Tubeworm and mussel communities were found at the edges of carbonate slabs and in cracks and crevasses between the slabs and boulders. At the GC 852 site, large carbonate blocks provided the substrate for thriving soft and hard coral communities. The coral community at this site was the deepest and most prolific thus far observed in the northern GOM.

Several key sampling locations displayed evidence of significant brine seepage. Well-defined circular low-amplitude zones were found within areas of generally high positive amplitude on 3D seismic sea-floor reflectivity data. This relationship was especially true of AT 340, where brine flows were observed and sampled, and at AC 601, where a brine lake was found with scattered assemblages of mussels around the edges of the brine. However, tubeworms were not present. At the brine lake site it is also important to note that moribund organisms were found in the lake, but no living macro fauna. The lake waters were approximately three times the salinity of normal seawater. The white precipitate on the lake floor was found to be mostly barite. White flocs in the lake water were also found to be crystal rafts of barite. Data from the 2006 and 2007 dives proved that the processes of fluid-gas expulsion are active across the entire continental slope, to beyond the Sigsbee Escarpment. Symbiont-containing species that thrive on the products of hydrocarbon seepage were found at all dive sites. That these species, the tubeworms and mussels, form the foundation of the chemosynthetic communities in the GOM is well known. Species changes in these two groups of organisms were observed with depth. 3D seismic sea-floor reflectivity data can be used to identify deepwater oil and gas seep sites and the associated chemosynthetic communities protected by law.








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[OIL PRODUCTION] Oil markets escape Hurricane Ike mayhem

The price fell more than $4 to $97 US dollars a barrel. The last time the price was below $100 was April 2. Petrol forecourts in Britain are now under pressure to cut the price of unleaded petrol and diesel, motoring groups said. They warned that drivers had missed out on the full benefit of the oil price fall earlier this summer, when it came down from its peak of $147 a barrel.

The fall in the price of oil came as investors digested the collapse of Lehman Brothers. With investors betting that the chaos on Wall Street would cause the credit crisis to deepen – and economies around the world to use less oil – investors started to sell the commodity.

The sell-off was also prompted by reports that suggested the damage from Hurricane Ike was less than feared.

The storm destroyed at least 10 oil and gas platforms and damaged pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico – only a small amount of the 3,800 production platforms in the Gulf. Three years ago, a series of hurricanes knocked out more than 100 platforms.

The AA warned that petrol prices on UK forecourts have not fallen as quickly as oil, with average unleaded petrol down from July's peak of 119.7p to only 112.8p at the weekend.

Average diesel prices have fallen from 133.3p to 124.2p. This compares to the 34 per cent fall in the oil price. The AA said that petrol prices needed to fall by another 4 pence in the coming days, or motorists would lose out once again.

Luke Bosdet, a spokesman for the motoring group, said: "I am not hopeful. Petrol retailers have a history of dragging their feet."

Source: Telegraph|
By Harry Wallop





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BLOGGERS: Do It Yourself Logo Design!

Do It Yourself Logo DesignDo It Yourself Logo Design, because your logo should convey something essential about your business’ identity. LogoYes Provides a free online service to create your logo using our Patent-pending process. Your business going to presents itself to the world can be the difference between success and failure. It is a true try-before-you-buy service. If you don't like what you created, you pay nothing. You are going to never know what a truly great logo you can create until you try it. It allows anyone, regardless of experience, to create a truly professional Logo that looks as good on a billboard as it does on a business card.

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Understanding your business is a key part of our process—it lets us tailor our designs to meet your unique businesses needs. You'll love knowing you have full control of your project, without having to shoulder the burden of the strategy. Their design process, including a thorough creative brief, experienced designers and knowledgeable design consultants, ensures your design will evoke the emotional response you desire to attract the right customers for your business. Remember your logo is the central piece of identity that communicates the character of your business. Really going to have a reliable Design a Logo Myself software.





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BLOGGERS: Paisajismo sustentable

Con la gente de GLOBAL Landscape (http://www.globallandscape.es/), nos encontramos con una iniciativa interesante de ingeniería empresarial paisajistas para el sector que ha estado de auge en los últimos años, la sostenibilidad.

Cuentan con una buena carta de presentación, que es su website al que le han brindado de un fresco interfase que hace agradable la visita para conocer lo que se encuentran haciendo y lo que nos proponen como empresa de negocios por medio de sus servicios y productos. La propuesta central es que realizan proyectos para la formulación de paisajismo que sea acorde para entornos, públicos o privados. Lo vital, es preocuparse por contar con ese guiño a la sostenibilidad que se quedara evidente con la mejor adecuación de los espacios a gestionar, haciéndole reunir muchas características de respeto al medio que deben ser propias de la empresa moderna.

En
GLOBAL Landscape (http://www.globallandscape.es/), se encargan de la proyección de exteriores tanto de oficinas, conjuntos residenciales, hoteles, escuelas, centros de ocio, etc … Así que ya pueden añadir un valor agregado aquellas empresas promotoras, constructores y profesionales del sector que deseen que sus proyectos de ingeniería y contracción estén acompañados de las mejores propuestas de paisajismo que enriquezcan ese carácter de sostenibilidad a cada proyecto final.




Análisis vía
BLOGGERS: Monster. Existe un trabajo perfecto para cada persona







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[SPAIN] Los fondos soberanos y los petrodolares


A finales de mayo, un grupo de unos treinta empresarios españoles aterrizaba en el aeropuerto internacional de Kuwait. Hacía mucho calor, el verano se había instalado de pleno en el golfo Pérsico y el termómetro rozaba los 50 grados. Pero la misión merecía el esfuerzo. En esa ocasión, la patronal CEOE, las Cámaras de Comercio y el Icex aparcaron sus diferencias con un objetivo común: que España volviera a ser objetivo de algunos de los inversores más activos del momento. Kuwait no era la única parada del viaje. Con el Rey -que tan buenas relaciones mantiene con las monarquías de la región- como embajador, los empresarios ya habían visitado Abu Dabi y Dubai, las dos principales ciudades de los Emiratos Árabes Unidos, y tras las reuniones de Kuwait, se dirigían a Yeda, en Arabia Saudí. Para el Gobierno, también se trataba de un viaje importante, en un momento en el que ya era evidente la intensa desaceleración de la economía. Acompañaban a los empresarios los ministros de Industria, Miguel Sebastián, y de Asuntos Exteriores, Miguel Ángel Moratinos. El destino elegido para semejante misión comercial no era una casualidad. Con el petróleo rondando los 130 dólares en aquellas fechas, los ingresos de los países del Golfo -los que tienen las mayores reservas probadas de crudo de todo el mundo- se habían disparado. Estamos hablando de cantidades más que respetables. En el caso de Kuwait, el instrumento diseñado para canalizar todos esos ingresos, la Autoridad de Inversión Kuwaití (KIA, por sus siglas en inglés), maneja fondos por un importe de 264.400 millones de dólares (unos 190.000 millones de euros). Emiratos Árabes cuenta con el mayor fondo soberano del mundo, Abu Dabi Investment Authority (ADIA), con un capital de 875.000 millones de dólares (628.000 millones de euros), aunque el emirato tiene a su nombre varios fondos más.

Las crónicas oficiales del viaje aseguran que el objetivo se cumplió. Que la desconfianza suscitada después del caso KIO (cuando a principios de los años noventa se produjo el vaciamiento patrimonial de la filial española de la oficina kuwaití de inversiones, el Grupo KIO, de manos de su representante en España, Javier de la Rosa) se consideraba "un asunto personal del pasado", según las autoridades locales. El presidente de las Cámaras de Comercio, Javier Gómez Navarro, no pudo menos que felicitarse y sentenciar "el regreso de las inversiones kuwaitíes a España". Se zanjaban así casi veinte años de reticencias y desconfianzas entre ambos países que pueden iniciar una nueva etapa muy pronto cuando el primer ministro kuwaití, el jeque Naser Mohammed al Ahmad al Sabah, visite España de forma oficial en octubre.

Algún fruto sí que se empieza a ver del viaje. A principios de este mismo mes se anunciaba que uno de los fondos de los Emiratos, la Compañía Internacional de Inversiones Petroleras (IPIC, por sus siglas en inglés), había alcanzado un principio de acuerdo con Santander y Unión Fenosa para comprarles sus respectivas participaciones (31,6% y 5%) en Cepsa. Aunque IPIC no era una desconocida en la petrolera y ya poseía el 9,5% del capital, controlado por la francesa Total.

Es, quizá, el ejemplo más cercano, pero sólo uno de los muchos que cada día ocupan los titulares de todo el mundo. Los fondos soberanos se han convertido en los grandes protagonistas de la información económica: han comprado un equipo de Primera División de la Liga inglesa, el Manchester City; alguno de los rascacielos más emblemáticos de Nueva York, como el edificio Chrysler o el de General Motors; y, sobre todo, han acudido al rescate en masa de la banca, dentro y fuera de Wall Street, en pleno estallido de la crisis financiera. Son muchos los bancos que ahora cuentan con fondos entre sus accionistas: Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, Barclays Bank, UBS... Sin su intervención, muchas de estas entidades no hubieran tenido más remedio que ir a la quiebra. Según cálculos del Instituto de Fondos Soberanos (Sovereign Wealth Funds Institute, SWFI), sólo hasta abril estos fondos habían inyectado más de 44.000 millones de dólares (31.500 millones de euros) en el sistema financiero estadounidense, y todo ello en poco más de un año. Eso ha convertido a los propietarios de estos fondos, en definitiva, gobiernos de países en desarrollo en su mayoría, en banqueros de último recurso para muchas empresas y entidades del mundo rico en busca desesperada de capital.

Precisamente es la ingente cantidad de dinero que manejan estos fondos lo que en el último año y medio ha atraído la atención de los medios (y los temores de los políticos). Los analistas más cualificados, como el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI), el mencionado SWFI o el Banco de Pagos Internacionales (BIS, en sus siglas en inglés), coinciden en que este tipo de fondos acumulan activos por unos 3,3 billones de dólares. En 1990, este tipo de fondos acumulaba como mucho unos 500.000 millones de dólares, apunta el FMI.

Dos factores que explican ese incremento disparatado: el aumento de los ingresos procedentes de la venta de materias primas (como el petróleo) en países donde esas fuentes están en poder del Estado o de compañías públicas. Y, por otro lado, la acumulación de reservas en divisas extranjeras, un fenómeno extendido sobre todo en los países asiáticos, y especialmente tras la crisis de 1997.

Según Merrill Lynch, los altos precios del petróleo registrados en estos meses han supuesto unos ingresos de 1.000 millones de dólares al día sólo para los países del Golfo. No hace falta llegar a tanto (a los 140 dólares por barril alcanzados en julio). Un informe de McKinsey Global Institute sostiene que si el precio del petróleo se mantiene en torno a los 100 dólares, estos países acumularán ingresos de casi 9 billones de dólares de aquí al año 2020. Pero incluso con el barril a 50 dólares en ese periodo, los ingresos acumulados en los próximos 12 años rondarán los 4,7 billones. Una cuantía que, además, la región no puede absorber pese a sus grandes y costosos proyectos de infraestructuras. Actualmente, los países del Golfo ahorran el 70% de esos ingresos, lo que ha disparado el superávit por cuenta corriente de la región por encima del 120% del PIB.

En el caso de la acumulación de divisas, la entrada de inversión extranjera en países en desarrollo, con ritmos de crecimiento superiores al 20% en el caso de China, y el incremento del comercio mundial han disparado el volumen total de reservas del mundo. En una década, el nivel mundial de reservas ha crecido por encima del 250%, según JPMorgan, hasta superar los 7 billones de dólares en la actualidad. Una tendencia que durante años han llevado a cabo países como Japón y la Unión Europea, y que ahora han copiado los países asiáticos. Con una diferencia, como precisa Goldman Sachs, que estos países han asumido una "verdadera mentalidad inversora" e intentan obtener el máximo beneficio de sus activos, en lugar de apostar mayoritariamente por la renta fija (deuda pública) como sus homólogos desarrollados.

Porque se trata precisamente de eso. Los fondos soberanos, como explica José Luis Escrivá, director del servicio de estudios del BBVA, suponen "la profesionalización financiera" de la inversión estatal. A diferencia de los fondos de alto riesgo (hedge funds), se trata de inversiones estables, a muy largo plazo y que no tienen necesariamente una incidencia sobre el precio de los activos.

De hecho, a principios de año, el fondo kuwaití KIA se hizo con el 5,7% de Merrill Lynch por 3.400 millones de dólares. Pese a su destacada presencia en el accionariado del banco, el precio de la acción no dejó de caer arrastrado por la crisis financiera. Tanto, que seis meses después, en julio pasado, el singapurense Temasek se hizo con algo más del 10% de la entidad por esa misma cuantía.

Las previsiones apuntan que el volumen de estos fondos no dejará de crecer. Se prevé que alcance los 11 billones de dólares en apenas cinco años, para 2013, según los datos facilitados por el número dos del FMI, John Lipsky, a principios de mes en Santiago de Chile.

En esas circunstancias, y en un momento en el que el sistema financiero ha restringido el acceso al crédito, es lógico que esos fondos se hayan convertido en indudable objeto de deseo. De deseo y de sospecha. El hecho de que los fondos soberanos sean instrumentos de inversión controlados por los propios países levanta muchas suspicacias. La principal acusación de los políticos es la falta de transparencia en el manejo de estos fondos y el temor a que las inversiones estén guiadas por motivaciones más allá de las puramente económicas. Sobre todo entre los nuevos actores en este escenario: Rusia y China.

Esos temores están al cabo de la calle. El pasado 18 de enero, el afamado presentador del programa económico Mad Money en la CNBC, Jim Cramer, lanzaba la siguiente pregunta: "¿Queremos que los bancos estén en manos de los comunistas o de los terroristas? Me temo que cualquiera de los dos, porque estamos desesperados".

Alemania ya ha dado un primer paso. Ha aprobado una nueva ley por la que se reserva el derecho de veto sobre inversiones superiores al 25% en empresas que el Ejecutivo considere claves para la seguridad del país. Pocos días más tarde, sin embargo, el grupo de ingeniería Siemens reconoció que estaba buscando inversiones de alguno de estos fondos para "sentar bases de futuro" del negocio.

En Estados Unidos hay intensas discusiones en el Senado (dirigidas por el candidato demócrata a la vicepresidencia, Joe Biden) y la Cámara de Representantes. Y eso que es propietario de varios de esos fondos, el de mayor volumen, el Fondo Permanente de Alaska, con casi 40.000 millones de dólares.

Esta misma semana, Edwin Truman, del Instituto de Economía Internacional, ha comparecido ante el Congreso y ha advertido de que "los fondos soberanos no suponen una nueva amenaza para los intereses económicos de Estados Unidos", y que la verdadera vulnerabilidad de la primera economía mundial lo representan su abultado déficit exterior y su necesidad permanente de capital para financiarlo.

Lo cierto es que el principio de acuerdo alcanzado por el FMI y los principales fondos soberanos "debería ayudar a reducir los temores sobre estos fondos y evitar presiones proteccionistas en los países donde invierten", según John Lipsky.

Y eso porque, según el economista Jim O'Neill, de Goldman Sachs, "sin ellos [los fondos soberanos], la falta de ahorro en todo el mundo llevaría inevitablemente a una larga recesión mundial".



Source: El Pais| by ALICIA GONZÁLEZ





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[OPEC] The end of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries / El Fin de la OPEP

Saudi Arabia walked out on Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries yesterday, saying it would not honor the cartel's production cut. It was tired of rants from Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and the well-dressed oil minister from Iran. As the world's largest crude exporter, the kingdom in the desert took its ball and went home.

As the Saudis left the building, the message was shockingly clear. “Saudi Arabia will meet the market’s demand,” a senior Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries delegate told the New York Times. “We will see what the market requires and we will not leave a customer without oil."

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will still have lavish meetings and a nifty headquarters in Vienna, Austria, but the Saudis have made certain the the organization has lost its teeth. Even though the cartel argued that the sudden drop in crude was due to "oversupply", OPEC's most powerful member knows that the drop may only be temporary. Cold weather later this year could put pressure on prices. So could a decision by Russia that it wants to "punish" the United Sstates of America and European Union for a time. That political battle is only at its beginning.

The downward pressure on oil got a second hand. Brasil has confirmed another huge oil deposit to add to one it discovered off-shore earlier this year. The first field uncovered by PETROBRAS has the promise of being one of the largest in the world. The breadth of that deposit has now expanded.

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries needs the Saudis to have any credibility in terms of pricing, supply, and the ongoing success of its bully pulpit. By failing to keep its most critical member, it forfeits its leverage. Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has made no announcement about any possibility of dissolving, but the process is already over.

Source: MSNBC | MoneyCentral |by Douglas McIntyre

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[OIL MAJORS] Total Sees Gazprom as `Key' Partner for Russian Energy Projects

Total SA, Europe's third-largest oil company, sees a partnership with OAO Gazprom as ``key'' to developing energy projects in Russia.

``If we consider new projects there, it will be with Gazprom,'' Total Chief Financial Officer Patrick de la Chevardiere said in an interview with Bloomberg Television yesterday in London. ``We want to maintain our relationship. Gazprom is a key partner in Russia.''

Total and Norway's StatoilHydro ASA hold stakes of 25 percent and 24 percent respectively in a unit working on the Arctic field of Shtokman, while Gazprom holds the rest. Total counts the project among 15 ``building blocks'' to provide 12 billion barrels of oil equivalent in reserves and says it will make an investment decision at the end of 2009 or early 2010. Gazprom has said the field holds enough natural gas to supply the world for one year.

Total, based in Paris, also plans to make bigger purchases among exploration and production companies internationally than in the past three years to boost output.

``The acquisition market has changed dramatically this summer,'' de la Chevardiere said. ``Some small companies share prices dropped 30 percent.'' Total is ``looking at possible targets'' around the world, and hasn't yet decided to approach one in particular, he said.

Canadian Assets
Total bought Synenco Energy Inc., the Calgary-based energy company developing an oil-sands project, at a cost of C$541 million ($505 million) to expand heavy oil operations. The French company bought Canada's Deer Creek Energy Ltd. for C$1.67 billion in 2005.

``We might make a bigger acquisition in the near future,'' Chief Executive Officer Christophe de Margerie said at an analyst conference in London yesterday on the company's outlook, referring to the Synenco deal. ``If we want to keep a strong upside in our portfolio we need to make acquisitions.''

Future acquisitions will be in sectors Total is missing in its exploration and production portfolio and will adhere to profitability requirements, de la Chevardiere said.

Total yesterday cut its annual production growth target because higher crude prices will prompt partners to demand a greater share of output.

Average output growth over the next decade will be 2 percent to 3 percent, de Margerie said. The estimate, based on crude prices of $100 a barrel, is lower than the 4 percent predicted a year ago for the five years through 2010, which was based on oil at $60.

Production Growth
The producer is relying on projects in Angola and Canada's oil sands to raise output as Kazakhstan and Venezuela restrict access to reserves.

Total said almost a fifth of production will come from LNG ventures by the middle of the next decade, with growth led by nine liquefaction projects already operating or under construction. A further five are being studied, it said.

Total plans to triple LNG output to 30 million tons a year by 2016, surpassing ExxonMobil Corp. and remaining behind Royal Dutch Shell Plc, it said.

The company's LNG assets include stakes in projects in Yemen, Qatar and Angola, as well as Shtokman.

Total, Eni SpA and their partners in Kazakhstan's Kashagan field agreed to cede a greater stake in the development to the government in January. The project is at least seven years behind schedule.

``Our estimate for first oil is 2012,'' de la Chevardiere said. ``I am confident the new contract framework will be able to achieve this.''

Kazakhstan Energy Minister Sauat Mynbayev said Sept. 5 the field is on target to meet an October 2013 deadline for starting production.

Source: Bloomberg| by Tara Patel and Ryan Chilcote





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[OIL PRICES] Oil resumes downward streak on demand worriesCrude Oil Falls as Stronger Dollar Dims Commodities' Appeal

Crude oil fell for a third day as the dollar rose against the euro, reducing the appeal of commodities as a hedge. Oil fell after the dollar rose to a one-year high against the euro on speculation that growth in Europe will slow more than in the U.S. Investors looking to hedge against the dollar's decline helped lead crude oil and other commodities to records earlier this year. Hurricane Ike was set to miss platforms off the Louisiana coast as it passes through the U.S. Gulf.

``The sentiment in the market is very negative at the moment since demand for oil and commodities has declined sharply,'' said Thina Saltvedt, an analyst at Nordea Bank AB in Oslo. ``Quite a lot of investors are pulling out of commodities.''

Crude oil for October fell as much as $1.15, or 1.1 percent, to $101.43 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract traded at $101.74 at 10:21 a.m. London time.

Crude has fallen about 30 percent from a record $147.27 a barrel on July 11 as high prices and slowing global economic growth reduce demand for fuels.

The International Energy Agency lowered its 2008 oil demand forecasts yesterday on an expectation of weakening fuel consumption in the U.S., the world's biggest gasoline consumer.

The dollar climbed to $1.3897 per euro, the strongest since Sept. 18, 2007, before trading at $1.3907 as of 10:04 a.m. in London from $1.3998 late yesterday in New York.

Hurricane's Eye
Hurricane Ike's eye was estimated to be about 645 miles (1,040 kilometers) east of Brownsville, Texas, and moving west- northwest at 9 miles per hour, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory at 1 a.m. Houston time today.

Ike strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 100 mph, up from 80 mph yesterday. The storm is forecast to sweep through the center of the Gulf, missing the offshore Louisiana oil and natural gas fields.

Some rigs, refineries and platforms shut down by Hurricane Gustav last week are staying closed as Ike tracks across the region. Gulf operators have evacuated personnel from 63 percent of the production platforms, the Minerals Management Service said on its Web site yesterday.

The agency estimates that as much as 96 percent of Gulf of Mexico oil production, and 73.1 percent of natural gas output, is shut. That is about 1.25 million barrels a day of oil and 5.4 billion cubic feet a day of gas.

``Ike appears to be skirting away from the oil and gas production fields and should make land around the Corpus Christi area,'' said Robert Laughlin, senior broker at MF Global Ltd. in London. ``The oil market may have escaped again.''

Brent crude oil for October settlement fell as much as $1.12, or 1.1 percent, to $97.85 a barrel on London's ICE Futures Europe exchange. It was at $98.28 at 10:02 a.m. London time.

Natural gas for October delivery rose 1.3 percent to $7.489 per million British thermal units on Nymex, while gasoline futures rose 0.9 percent to $2.6861 a gallon.

Source: Bloomberg| by Alexander Kwiatkowski





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BLOGGERS: The Auto insurance in California

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[UNITED STATES] Crude oil surges $2 as Hurricane Ike delays production restart

[UNITED STATES]  Crude oil surges $2 as Hurricane Ike delays production restartThe price of crude oil surged more than $2 a barrel as the approach of Hurricane Ike delayed the restart of production from the Gulf of Mexico. Royal Dutch Shell evacuated workers from Gulf platforms or kept staff onshore who were moved from the path of Hurricane Gustav last month.

"We've already gone a full week and a half with production shut in from Hurricane Gustav," Stephen Schork, president of energy markets analysis firm Schork Group, told Bloomberg television. ''Now everything has to be shut down again for at least another week."

Crude oil for October delivery rose as much as $2.72, or 2.6pc, to $108.95 a barrel in after-hours trading in New York. In London, brent crude oil for October settlement rose as much as $2.57, or 2.5pc, to $106.66 a barrel. However, prices later eased to trade up 76 cents in London at $104.85 and up 51 cents in New York at $106.74.

Prices were also buoyed after the US government seized control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, backers of about half the nation's home loans. The effective nationalisation of the troubled lenders put an end to the recent rally in the dollar as investors bought riskier currencies such as the Australian and New Zealand dollars. The deepening global slowdown has hit demand for oil, while the recent rally in the US currency has lessened oil's attractiveness as a dollar hedge. The oil price fell 8pc last week and is now sharply lower from the record $147 a barrel reached in early July.

The recent rise in prices may ease pressure from hard-line members of the OPEC oil producers' group, who have stepped up demands for a cut in production in a bid to keep crude above $100 a barrel.

At a key meeting of OPEC members tomorrow, Saudi Arabia will come under pressure to reverse output increases that Riyadh made earlier this year following intense lobbying by Washington.

Analysts say that the key decision OPEC must make at the meeting in Vienna is how to maximise revenues without choking off further demand in a worsening economic situation.

Companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico account for 26pc of US crude production and 14pc of natural-gas output.


Source: Telegraph

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[AUSTRALIA] ConocoPhillips seals £4.5bn joint venture with Origin Energy

ConocoPhillips has agreed to pay up to $8bn (£4.5bn) to join Origin Energy in a natural gas venture in Queensland, potentially trumping a hostile takeover bid for the company from Britain's BG Group.

The US oil company will initially take a $5bn, 50pc stake in the venture, which will convert coal-seam gas into liquefied natural gas for export to Asia.

Shares in Origin Energy, Australia's biggest producer of gas from coal seams, jumped as much as 28pc in Sydney on the back of the news. LNG demand is set to increase by 10pc a year through 2015, more than five times projected gains in crude oil, as power producers switch to cleaner fuels, according to Citigroup.

Origin Energy last month short-listed bidders for a coal-seam gas venture, saying this would provide more value for shareholders than BG Group's A$13.7 billion takeover offer.

"This is a massive deal and the sum that ConocoPhillips is prepared to pay really puts a firm valuation under Origin Energy," said Gavin Wendt, a senior resources analyst at Fat Prophets Funds Management in Sydney told Bloomberg. "It makes it impossible now for BG with its current offer."

Origin Energy reiterated its recommendation that shareholders reject BG's offer. BG is reviewing Origin Energy's transaction with ConocoPhillips, said Rob Millhouse, an Australia-based spokesman for the UK gas producer. He declined to make any further comment on the company's bid for Origin Energy.



Source: Telegraph

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[OIL PRODUCTION] Tropical Storm Edouard Heads for Texas,Jobless figures help depress oil prices

Oil prices sank to a five-month low today as a jump in the U.S. unemployment rate signaled to traders that Americans might keep paring back their energy use to save money. The Labor Department said the economy lost jobs in August for the eighth consecutive month — and at a faster-than-expected pace. The unemployment rate spiked to 6.1 percent from 5.7 percent in July, above the 5.8 percent rate that analysts forecast.

"There's been a terrific amount of growing concern about the outlook for demand globally," said John Kilduff, senior vice president of risk management at MF Global LLC. "Today's employment report emboldened that concern."

Light, sweet crude for October delivery fell $1.66 to settle at $106.23 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange — its lowest settlement since early April. During the session, it fell as low as $105.13.

Since surging to a record $147.27 a barrel on July 11, crude has tumbled by over $40, or more than 27 percent.

What could possibly stanch the drop is a cutback in production. Investors are waiting to see if Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries decides to restrict oil output at its meeting next week in Vienna in response to the two-month plunge in prices. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has indicated it may take action to defend the $100-a-barrel level for crude.

But with the dollar on the rebound, many analysts say even a production cutback could prove ineffectual in boosting oil prices.

The dollar weakened modestly against the euro and pound today after the employment report, but rose against the yen. The dollar's recent comeback has helped accelerate oil's price decline. Commodities were bought by many funds to hedge against inflation and weakness in the U.S. currency, so when the dollar rebounded, funds unwound those hedges, thereby driving commodities prices lower.

The jump in the dollar and the decline in oil has also been driven by signs of economic weakness in developing countries around the world — particularly those in Western Europe.

"It's sort of a race to the bottom among the leading economies — Europe is ahead at the moment. That's pumping up the dollar, or making the dollar economy seem much less worse," Kilduff said.

Heating oil futures fell 5.59 cents to $2.9678 a gallon on the Nymex, where gasoline prices dropped 6.19 cents to $2.6785 a gallon. Natural gas for October delivery edged up by 4.1 cents to $7.363 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In London, October Brent crude fell $2.25 to $104.14 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

In addition to economic indicators and Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, traders are keeping an eye on storms developing in the Atlantic. Forecasters do not expect Hanna, Ike or Josephine to head for key oil facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, but the hurricane season is not officially over until the end of November.

The Energy Department's weekly U.S. oil inventory report released Thursday showed a decline in gasoline inventories last week that was smaller than expected. But the report also showed surprising drops in stockpiles of crude and distillates, which include diesel fuel and heating oil; analysts had expected increases.

U.S. gasoline demand has been hovering about 1.6 percent to 3.1 percent lower than a year ago, but demand for distillates is still higher than a year ago, according to Peter Beutel, head of the energy risk management firm Cameron Hanover.

Meanwhile, distillate imports are at their lowest level in years, he wrote in his research note.

"If any rally gets going, distillate is likely to lead it," Beutel wrote.

The average U.S. retail price of a gallon of gasoline was at $3.674, down marginally from Thursday and down more than 10 percent from the July 17 record high of $4.114 a gallon, according to auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express.

Source: Associated Press

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[OIL PRICES] The prices drifts lower towards $100

Oil prices fell again as the dollar continued to strengthen and investors turned their attention to slowing worldwide demand for crude now that concerns over the impact of Hurricane Gustav have begun to fade. At one point, the price of a barrel was trading in New York below $105.05 - its lowest level since April and sharply down on the record $147.27 seen on July 11 - before rising above $108.

But there were warnings that OPEC was unlikely to let the oil price slip much further as members of the oil producers' cartel seek to keep crude above $100 a barrel by cutting production.

Since July, oil's bull run has been stopped in its tracks amid the economic downturn in America, Europe and Japan.

"That's been a focus of the market, that the demand side has weakened, particularly in developed countries like the US," said David Moore, commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

"Had it not been for the hurricane, we would have seen a lower price profile over the last week." Robert Nunan, of Mitsubishi Bank, added: "Everyone's worried about demand destruction."

As Gustav swept towards the Gulf of Mexico companies shut down 13 oil and gas platforms and evacuated personnel, pushing up the crude price.

Staff are now returning to the platforms, which escaped serious damage. In 2005, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused several weeks of shutdowns.

Should the oil price drift further towards $100 a barrel, analysts believe Opec will seek cuts in production to underpin the price. OPEC next meets on September 9, in Vienna.

Tobias Merath, head of commodities research at Credit Suisse, believes that production curbs will keep oil at between £100 and $110 a barrel for the rest of the year.

He told the Reuters news agency: "On oil, I think the bulk of the correction is behind us. We think it can test $100 or drop slightly below it in a couple of weeks, but it should not remain below $100 on a sustained basis."

Mr Merath said that weaker demand for crude from the US and OECD countries in recent months has offset higher demand from emerging markets like China and India, keeping overall consumption flat.

"At the same time, OPEC countries are producing quite a bit of oil since March and that is apparently working. But the moment oil drops below $100, they will be quick to cut back production," he said. "We expect a recovery in oil prices in 2009. We expect prices to hover between $115 and $120 in 2009."

At the moment OPEC remains split on production cuts. Venezuela has led demands for cuts, but Ecuador's oil minister, Galo Chiriboga, said yesterday that output levels should remain unchanged.

Source: Telegraph| By Russell Hotten


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[ASIA] Russia and Uzbekistan Agreed to Construct Gas Pipeline

Russia and Uzbekistan have agreed to set into motion construction of a new pipeline that will deliver Uzbek and Turkmen gas, RIA Novosti reported with reference to the RF Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is in Tashkent now.

“It has been agreed to launch joint practical work for laying a new gas pipeline across Uzbekistan aimed at meeting the increasing export potential of Turkmenia and Uzbekistan itself,” Vladimir Putin told reporters Tuesday after meeting with Uzbek President Islam Karimov.

“We see that the chances for this partnership are growing. We have common interest in implementing this project,” the prime minister said. Putin also backed up Karimov’s initiative “for the need to widen investment cooperation” of Russia and Uzbekistan, but pointed out that “it should be the both-traffic road, and there are all prerequisites for it.”

Russia and Uzbekistan agreed on the price for Uzbek gas acquired by Russia. “Of vital significance is that our gas trading experts managed to arrive at the uniform formula for gas prices,” Putin said. “It will be the European formula of pricing.”

[ASIA] Russia and Uzbekistan Agreed to Construct Gas Pipeline


Source: Kommersant

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[EUROASIA] Russia Won’t Halt Energy Supplies to Europe

Russia won’t halt energy supplies to Europe in response to the European Union reaction to events in South Ossetia, Interfax reported with reference to the RF Ambassador to the E.U. Vladimir Chizhov.

I would like to dispel fears that Russia may halt oil and gas supplies. It’s nonsense,” Chizhov announced during the live teleconference bridge from Brussels.

Asked whether Russia’s intention to diversify energy supplies could be attributed to its clashes with the West, Chizhov said: “Diversification of energy resources is something inevitable.”

Taken long-term, Chizhov went on, “Europe will need all pipelines that are viewed as competing today, and even more than that.” “The problem is whether oil and gas will suffice to fill these pipelines,” the ambassador emphasized.

Another highlight of the teleconference was the presence of Russia’s peacekeepers in Georgia. “They won’t stay there for ever,” Chizhov said, without specifying the actual date of withdrawal. “It depends on two things – arrival of observers and the situation in terms of security,” the official pointed out.





Source: Kommersant


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[RUSSIA] Construction Assets of Gazprom to Have Personal Coach

Arkady Rotenberg has become a beneficial owner of majority stakes in five construction firms of Gazprom. If the companies retain contracts once the deals are finalized, Rotenberg will get access to the investment program of monopoly, which amounts to no less than 710 billion ruble in 2008.

The majority stakes in five construction firms that are under Gazprom’s control will eventually pass under management of Arkady Rotenberg, Interfax reported yesterday. People in Gazprom confirmed the sale of the stakes to some Cyprus firms, refusing to specify the beneficiary. But a source close to Lengazspetsstroy, which is one of those firms, confirmed that Arkady Rotenberg is the final buyer. Other firms in question are Spetsgazremontstroy, Volgogaz, Krasnodargazstroy, Volgogradneftemash.

Vice President of Russia’s Judo Federation Arkady Rotenberg was once the personal coach of Vladimir Putin.

Rotenberg, who is on vocation now, couldn’t be reached for comment yesterday. In Javara Neva Judo Club that Rotenberg heads (and where Vladimir Putin is the honorary president), they refused to deliberate on his business but pointed out that Gazprom backed up quite a number of competitions.

The first official information about new owners of Gazprom’s construction assets will be released in the middle of October. Vitaly Kryukov from Kapital said the monopoly’s investment program provides for the surge in investments in construction of gas pipelines and gas storage facilities (by 56 percent a year in 2009 and 2010), and this accelerated growth is bound to fuel revenues of Lengazspetsstroy and Volgogradneftemash. According to analysts, the new owners will endeavor to consolidate those companies in part and in whole, as their potential appears very promising.

[RUSSIA] Construction Assets of Gazprom to Have Personal Coach

Source: Kommersant

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[RUSSIA] Gazprom Neft Flew to Iran

Development of Iran’s North Azagedan field will be probably the first overseas project of Gazprom Neft. In essence, the company will have only the contract of service. But under certain conditions, it will be able to add reserves to the balance and get a share in the annual production of 5.5 million tons to 6.5 million tons. Gazprom Neft is ready to operate in three more fields of Iran under similar terms. Gazprom Neft CEO Alexander Dyukov said the company had addressed Iranian authorities in August, expressing desire to develop North Azagedan field under the buyback conditions. “There are a few issues calling for further specification and elaboration. We are waiting for Iran’s invitation to go there and discuss them,” Dyukov said.

Gazprom Neft estimates the reserves of North Azagedan at 150 million tons. If the long-term contract for oil trading is concluded, the company will be able to add the reserves to the balance. “In essence, it is the servicing contract. We bear the costs agreed on in advance and to be set off at the fixed yield. We are to agree on the yield and on the oil quantities that we will have for selling,” Dyukov pointed out, adding that the annual production could be from 5.5 million tons to 6.5 million tons.

[RUSSIA] Gazprom Neft Flew to Iran

The company is willing to develop three more fields in Iran under similar terms. They are Shurum, Kuh-e Rig and Dudru, and respective negotiations are underway. Of interest is that the Western companies are leaving Iran at large. Total pulled out in early summer, Repsol and Shell abandoned the plans to develop South Pars in spring. The United States banned companies under its jurisdiction from investing in Iran and the European Union imposed a number of suctions. As to Russia, its companies are stepping up presence in that country.

[RUSSIA] Gazprom Neft Flew to Iran

Source: Kommersant


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[ENERGY DEAL] Iran and Oman to follow up gas deal. Gholam-Hossein Nozari

Iran's Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari said on Tuesday that Iran and Oman will pursue negotiations next week to follow up gas deal. Gholam-Hossein Nozari held talks with a number of senior Omani officials including his counterpart and the country's ministers of industry and foreign affairs on issues of mutual interest.

Leading an Iranian delegation to Oman, Gholam-Hossein Nozari held talks with the Omani officials on energy cooperation and development of oil and gas fields as well as export of gas to Oman.

During his meetings, Gholam-Hossein Nozari elaborated on Iran's oil and gas potentials as well as existing opportunities for boosting mutual cooperation.

The two sides agreed to set up a technical committee in Tehran to follow up the process of cooperation for development of oil and gas fields.



Source: Islamic Republic News Agency


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