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Norwegian TSO Gassco to cut down pipe inspection time by employing two robots

преди 2 часа 34 мин.

Maintenance at Norway’s three main plants, Nyhamna, Kollsnes and Kaarstoe, is conducted annually and the country’s gas output, vital for British and central European customers, is reduced as a result, affecting fuel prices around the continent.

The new robots gather information that Gassco can use to optimize its maintenance plans, while inspection robots can replace time-consuming and costly inspections by humans and significantly cut downtime for certain plant assets.

The pre-work and after-work you need to do to prepare the vessel to be safe and send an inspector in there take time and are costly … Now we have reduced this time by 50-80%,” said Haakon Hilmar Ferkingstad, senior engineer at Gassco.

The new equipment includes Bike, a small magnetic robot that Gassco has started using at Kaarstoe’s and Nyhamna’s pressure vessels, and the snake-like machine, which will inspect pipelines at Nyhamna later this year.

The robots were invented by a European Union co-funded program called Petrobot and adapted for Gassco’s needs by General Electric.

Norway last year piped 114.2 bcm of gas to Europe, the second highest level on record.

 

The post Norwegian TSO Gassco to cut down pipe inspection time by employing two robots appeared first on EnergyWorld Magazine.

The move to water-lubricated bearings pays for Norway’s Raanaasfoss hydro plant operator

Вт., 06/25/2019 - 11:59

Thordon Bearings Inc. reported that its water-lubricated SXL turbine guide bearings installed as part of the re-powering of Norway’s Raanaasfoss 1 hydro plant have experienced almost zero wear after 23,887 hours of continuous operation on the first installed unit.

During routine inspections of the 13.5 MW turbines, commissioned by Voith Hydro in 2013, the guide bearings – the operator’s first experience with water-lubricated bearings – showed “almost no wear at all”, with a measured diametric bearing clearance less than 0.30mm (0.012”) on the longest running Unit 1. All remaining turbines (Units 2 to 6) had very low measured diametric clearances of between 0.30 and 0.50mm (0.012” and 0.020”).

When first installed, the SXL turbine guide bearings had an initial design clearance of 0.65mm (0.026”), allowing for up to 0.33mm (0.013”) of water absorption into the bearing material, expected over the first months of operation. The fact that the measured clearance values are now lower than the starting clearances, confirms that the water absorption has taken place as predicted, and bearing wear from normal turbine operations is negligible.

Bjørnar Petersen, Mechanical Engineer, Akershus Energy, said: “We are very pleased with the performance of the Thordon technology, our first water-lubricated guide bearings. It’s still early days, but we have noticed there is considerably less maintenance and monitoring to do compared with oil-lubricated systems. Operational costs have also been reduced as we no longer have to purchase lubricating oils.”

When Akershus Energy embarked on a project to update the 1922-built plant, the first to provide electricity to the city of Oslo, water-lubricated bearings were not initially  considered.

The Thordon technology was presented by Voith and we thought this was a good solution, not least for environmental reasons. We are pleased they recommended the system to us,” said Petersen.

While turbine performance was a key driver in the decision to re-turbine, environmental consideration was also high on the agenda.

The operator wanted the most environmentally-safe turbines possible,” said Tommy Holmgren, Sales Director – Duwel Group, Thordon Bearings’ Norwegian distributor. “The selection of a water-lubricated solution for the lower guide bearing instead of the more traditional oil-lubricated design allowed the bearing to be cooled and lubricated with the same river water that is powering the Voith turbine.

The water-lubricated bearings completely eliminate the risk of oil leakage contaminating the turbine’s discharge or tail water, as can happen with older oil/Babitt bearing assemblies. Not only does a water-lubricated bearing help protect the environment, it also delivers operational and maintenance advantages over original oil-lubricated bearing systems.

The reduced maintenance requirement is largely due to the unique tapered keyset feature of the Thordon bearing, which reduces downtime during bearing inspection or replacement as it facilitates easy removal of the polymer bearing shells without removing the shaft or bearing housing,” said Holmgren.

Greg Auger, Business Development Manager, Clean Power Generation, Thordon Bearings said: “We are delighted that Akershus Energy’s first use of water-lubricated turbine guide bearings has proven a positive experience, commercially, technically and environmentally. The SXL bearings installed in the plant are currently showing extremely low wear rates and will hopefully be able to last even longer than the oil bearing designs in the original configuration.”

Based on the bearing installation projects Thordon has been involved with to date, operators that have converted to a hydrodynamic water-lubricated main guide bearing have not only taken the environmental lead over competitors but found that the solution pays commercially.

Indeed, Bjørnar Petersen acknowledged that the re-powering project of Raanaasfoss 1 came under budget by about NOK10 million (USD1.15 million), due to “the smoothness of the installation”. The first unit was commissioned in December 2013, with the sixth and final unit following in spring 2016.

Thordon Bearings is now discussing projects to retrofit the turbine guide and wicket gate bearings of other hydro plants in the Akershus Energy portfolio.

 

The post The move to water-lubricated bearings pays for Norway’s Raanaasfoss hydro plant operator appeared first on EnergyWorld Magazine.

Razvan Nicolescu takes on leader role for Deloitte Romania’s gas, oil and chemicals sectors

Пон., 06/24/2019 - 20:27

Razvan Nicolescu, newly appointed partner with the Consulting practice of Deloitte Romania, also takes on a regional role, by becoming Central Europe leader for gas, oil and chemicals sector.

Becoming a partner is the highest accolade in one’s career in professional services as it acknowledges the ultimate level of technical expertise, client service and talent development. I welcome Razvan in our partners group and I am confident his professionalism, determination and international exposure will contribute substantially to the value we bring to our clients in the energy field,” said Alexandru Reff, Country Managing Partner, Deloitte Romania and Republic of Moldova.

In his new role of Central Europe Sector Leader, Razvan Nicolescu will focus on large oil, gas and chemicals companies, by serving both local companies and multi-national clients. He will also drive the development of sector-specific service offerings to help clients address urgent needs such as cyber security, regulatory change and digitalization of processes.

I congratulate Razvan for stepping up to a regional sector leadership role soon after becoming a partner and I believe he will contribute to the consolidation of Deloitte’s regional leadership position in the energy sector. The role of the sector leader is to bring Deloitte expertise from around the world to our clients as they face challenges deriving from the energy transition, digitalization and tougher competition,” said Alastair Teare, CEO, Deloitte Central Europe.

Razvan Nicolescu joined Deloitte in 2015 and soon thereafter became the leader for the energy and resources practice in Deloitte Romania, providing strategic direction and facilitating the cooperation of dozens of Deloitte professionals who specialize in this critical industry. Razvan is a highly respected and widely recognized expert in energy field, with solid experience in both the private and the public sectors. He has served as regulatory affairs director of OMV Petrom, as the Chairman of the Board of the European Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, as the Romanian Energy Attaché to the European Union and Romanian minister for energy without political affiliation.

Razvan graduated from the Polytechnic University of Bucharest with the specialization in electrical engineering. He also graduated the MBA program of the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management and attended several executives programs at Harvard Business School.

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Cyprus and Greece seek EU sanctions against Turkish drilling

Вт., 06/18/2019 - 11:00

European Union states were at loggerheads on Monday over starting talks with Albania and North Macedonia to enter the bloc, while Cyprus threatened to veto any agreement on future enlargement unless the EU toughens its line on Turkish drilling.

EU ministers from the bloc’s 28 states meet in Luxembourg on Tuesday to discuss starting formal membership negotiations with the two Balkan countries a year after France and the Netherlands had blocked it, demanding more reforms in the fear of upsetting their parliaments and voters at home.

North Macedonia has since sealed a landmark deal with Greece, ending a decades-old name dispute and prompting a dozen EU states to publicly call to reward Skopje.

At stake is also the EU’s own credibility and the bloc’s willingness to act against what it sees as growing influence by Russia and other foreign powers in the region still scarred by wars fought along religious and ethnic lines in the 1990s.

But national diplomats preparing the Tuesday meeting failed to reach an agreement on a joint legal statement, which needs unanimous backing of all EU states to be approved.

“There has been a massive disagreement and it’s not sure at all that ministers tomorrow will be able to find an agreement,” an EU diplomat said.

Rifts persisted on the latest draft text, including where it would say that enlargement would also depend on the EU’s ability to reform itself and effectively integrate any new members.

The latest – but still disputed – draft, which was seen by Reuters, would push any decision on North Macedonia and Albania to October and after the German parliament is due to look into the matter.

Turkish drilling

Complicating matters further, Cyprus has threatened to block the whole text on the future prospects of countries willing to join the EU – a group that also includes Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Balkans.

Diplomats said Nicosia was demanding a tougher EU line on Turkey over offshore drilling in eastern Mediterranean, which the Greek Cypriot government says violates its exclusive commercial area.

Cyprus and Greece said they could seek EU sanctions against Turkey, though the bloc is not seen acting on that for now.

EU ministers meeting on Tuesday – as well as the EU’s national leaders due to meet in Brussels on Thursday and Friday – would, however, issue a warning to Ankara.

The current language of the draft ministerial statement says Turkey “continues to move further away from the European Union” and calls on Ankara to stop “illegal” drilling. Turkey says the area is on its own continental shelf.

Diplomats said Cyprus was seeking a clearer threat that, should Ankara not change tack, the EU could formally end talks on upgrading its customs union with Turkey and on the right for visa-free travel for Turkish citizens traveling to the EU, as well as cutting funds for the key NATO ally.

The EU formally halted Turkey’s long-stalled membership bid over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s sweeping crackdown on critics following a failed 2016 coup. While the relationship is tense, the EU still depends on Turkey on security issues, as well as migration.

Source: Reuters

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Tanker attacks in Gulf of Oman stoke fears over conflict and oil

Пет., 06/14/2019 - 12:29

Two oil tankers were attacked on Thursday and left adrift in the Gulf of Oman, driving up oil prices and stoking fears of a new confrontation between Iran and the United States.

The White House said President Donald Trump had been briefed and that the U.S. government would continue to assess the situation. Washington accused Tehran of being behind a similar attack on May 12 on four tankers in the same area, a vital shipping route through which much of the world’s oil passes.

Tensions between Iran and the United States, along with its allies including Saudi Arabia, have risen since Washington pulled out of a deal last year between Iran and global powers that aimed to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

Iran has repeatedly warned it would block the Strait of Hormuz, near where the attacks happened, if it cannot sell its oil due to U.S. sanctions.

No one has claimed Thursday’s attacks and no one has specifically blamed them on any party.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is due to deliver remarks to the media at 1815 GMT, the State Department said without elaborating.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described the incidents as “suspicious” on Twitter and called for regional dialogue. Tehran has denied responsibility for the May 12 attacks.

The Saudi-led military coalition, which is battling the Iran-aligned Houthis in Yemen, described Thursday’s events as a “major escalation”.

Russia, one of Iran’s main allies, was quick to urge caution, saying no one should rush to conclusions about the incident or use it to put pressure on Tehran.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States: “Facts must be established and responsibilities clarified.”

He warned that the world cannot afford “a major confrontation in the Gulf region”.

Council diplomats said the United States told them it planned to raise the issue of “safety and freedom of navigation” in the Gulf during a closed-door meeting of the Security Council later on Thursday.

“It’s unacceptable for any party to attack commercial shipping and today’s attacks on ships in the Gulf of Oman raise very serious concerns,” acting U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Jonathan Cohen told the U.N. meeting.

Crude prices climbed as much as 4% after the attacks near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial shipping artery for Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, and other Gulf energy producers.

“We need to remember that some 30% of the world’s (seaborne) crude oil passes through the straits. If the waters are becoming unsafe, the supply to the entire Western world could be at risk,” said Paolo d’Amico, chairman of INTERTANKO tanker association.

The crew of the Norwegian-owned Front Altair abandoned ship in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran after a blast that a source said might have been from a magnetic mine. The ship was ablaze, sending a huge plume of smoke into the air.

The crew were picked up by a passing ship and handed to an Iranian rescue boat.

The second ship, a Japanese-owned tanker, was hit by a suspected torpedo, the firm that chartered the ship said. Its crew were also picked up safely. However, a person with knowledge of the matter said the attacks did not use torpedoes.

The Bahrain-based U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet said it had assisted the two tankers after receiving distress calls.

“SUSPICIOUS”

Iran has not openly acted on its threat to close the Strait of Hormuz even though U.S. sanctions have seen its oil exports drop from 2.5 million barrels per day in April last year to around 400,000 bpd in May.

Both sides have said they want to avoid war.

Bob McNally, president of the U.S. consultancy Rapidan Energy Group, said “we see this as Iran trying to get negotiating leverage it doesn’t have”, and described the attacks as “upping the ante but not going all in”.

“I don’t think it tips us over into direct military confrontation. It is still deniable and denied. This is still going to be like the attack last month – everyone is denying it. It’s a blunt message.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was visiting Tehran when Thursday’s attacks occurred, carrying a message for Iran from Trump, who has demanded that the Islamic Republic curb its military programmes and its influence in the Middle East.

Abe, whose country was a big importer of Iranian oil until Washington ratcheted up sanctions, urged all sides not to let tensions in the area escalate.

Iran said it would not respond to Trump’s overture, the substance of which was not made public.

Britain said it was “deeply concerned” about the attacks. Germany, which like Britain remains a signatory to the nuclear pact with Iran, said the “situation is dangerous” and all sides needed to avoid an escalation.

The Arab League said some parties were “trying to instigate fires in the region”, without naming a particular party.

Oman and the United Arab Emirates, which have coastlines on the Gulf of Oman, did not immediately issue any public comment.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE, both majority Sunni Muslim nations that have a long-running rivalry with predominantly Shi’ite Iran, have previously said attacks on oil assets in the Gulf pose a risk to global oil supplies and regional security.

HULL BREACHED

Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement said the Japanese tanker Kokuka Courageous was damaged in a “suspected attack” that breached the hull above the water line while transporting methanol from Saudi Arabia to Singapore.

Japan’s Kokuka Sangyo, owner of the Kokuka Courageous, said the ship was hit twice over a three-hour period.

A shipping broker said the vessel might have been struck by a magnetic mine. “Kokuka Courageous is adrift without any crew on board,” the source said.

The crew of about 21 or 22 people was picked up by the Coastal Ace vessel, Denis Bross of Acta Marine in the Netherlands told Reuters. He said they were handed to a U.S. Navy vessel.

Taiwan’s state oil refiner CPC said the Front Altair, owned by Norway’s Frontline, was “suspected of being hit by a torpedo” around 0400 GMT carrying a Taiwan-bound cargo of 75,000 tonnes of petrochemical feedstock naphtha, which Refinitiv Eikon data showed had been picked up from Ruwais in the UAE.

Frontline said its vessel was on fire but afloat, denying a report by the Iranian news agency IRNA that the vessel had sunk.

Front Altair’s 23-member crew abandoned ship after the blast and were picked up by the nearby Hyundai Dubai vessel. The crew was then passed to an Iranian rescue boat, Hyundai Merchant Marine said in a statement.

Iran’s IRNA reported that Iranian search and rescue teams picked up 44 sailors from the two damaged tankers and took them to the Iranian port of Jask. The numbers in the Iranian media report could not be independently confirmed.

Iran’s state television showed what it said was a video of rescued crew members in Jask, showing them sitting on sofa, chatting and watching TV. There was one woman among them.

Thursday’s attacks came a day after Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis fired a missile on an airport in Saudi Arabia, injuring 26 people. The Houthis also claimed an armed drone strike last month on Saudi oil pumping stations.

Source: Reuters

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Bloomberg: Greece’s Energean bids for EDF oil & gas assets

Пет., 06/14/2019 - 12:17

Energean Oil & Gas Plc, the Greek energy producer that sold shares in London last year, is bidding for the oil and gas business of Electricite de France SA’s Italian unit, people familiar with the matter said.

Energean has submitted a final offer for Edison SpA’s exploration and production assets, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. Some other suitors have dropped out of the process, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

The business had earlier attracted initial interest from potential bidders including Neptune Energy and Warburg Pincus’s Apex International Energy, Bloomberg News reported in January. Other competitors including Wintershall Dea GmbH, an arm of Mikhail Fridman’s L1 Energy, could also look at the business, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.

A deal would be Energean’s first major acquisition since its listing and would help it expand in countries including Italy and Egypt. EDF was seeking as much as $2 billion for the assets, people with knowledge of the matter said in January.

EDF is selling the business as it seeks funds to finance its nuclear and renewable energy projects. Edison has been making acquisitions to expand its retail business, spending195 million euros ($220 million) last year to acquire Gas Natural Vendita Italia, a natural gas utility in southern Italy.

No final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty the discussions will lead to an agreement, the people said. Representatives for EDF, Energean and Neptune declined to comment. Representatives for L1 and Warburg Pincus didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Energean raised 330 million pounds ($418 million) from its London IPO in March last year. Its shares have risen 31% this year through Wednesday, giving it a market value of about 1.3 billion pounds.

EDF has said it plans to sell as much as 3 billion euros of assets by the end of next year to keep a lid on its borrowings. Last month, the French utility completed the sale of a 25% stake in Swiss power producer Alpiq for about 489 Swiss francs ($493 million).

Source: Bloomberg

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“Unfolding the LNG supply chain in Eastern Mediterranean”

Вт., 06/13/2019 - 11:25

The LNG bunkering story for Eastern Mediterranean was unveiled on 11th June in Limassol during the event organised by the European co-funded Poseidon Med II project. Government officials along with representatives from the shipping and energy industry shaped the event agenda, which comprised of interesting presentations and a vivid panel discussion on the stage of Crowne Plaza Limassol Ballroom.

During the welcome session, Cyprus Deputy Minister of Shipping Natasa Pilides underlined the importance of the industry preparation to meet the environmental challenges set by international regulations. “We are looking forward to such LNG projects that offer realistic solutions to shipping industry”, she concluded.

During his presentation, George Polychroniou, Poseidon Med II Project Manager, Executive Director Strategy & Business Development at Public Gas Corporation (DEPA), announced the BlueHubs project which will materialise LNG bunkering applications in the ports of the region, based on the outcomes of Poseidon Med II. Stella Fyfe, European Projects Coordinator at Bunkernet, revealed the specific LNG bunkering plans for Cyprus, which include the market preparation (under CYnergy project) the FSRU installation (under CyprusGas2EU), the construction of an LNG bunkering vessel based in Limassol and 2 Mobile LCNG stations & 3 LNG tanker trucks (within BlueHubs project).

The LNG feeding source of the region, the Revithoussa LNG terminal, and its small-scale profile was highlighted by Joseph Florentin, Poseidon Med II Technical Coordinator & Corporate Development Department Manager at Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA).

The first session was concluded with Panayiotis Mitrou, Technology & Innovation Manager, South Europe, Marine & Offshore Business Development at Lloyd’s Register, who pointed out that safety and training requirements are all ready in place for the East Med transition to LNG.

Whether the shipping industry is prepared for the LNG as fuel option was the focus of the  roundtable discussion with all speakers and the contribution of Oleg Kalinin, Fleet Director at SCF Management Services (Cyprus) and Antonis Trakakis, Technical Manager at Arista Shipping under the moderation of Peter Wallace, Chief Engineer Oil & Gas at Lavar Shipping. The panellists reacted to audience insights on the benefits of LNG as fuel compared to other options, the infrastructure challenge, conversion costs & safety implications as well as the horizon of LNG bunkering operations in Cyprus, which were highlighted during a live-poll.

What is Poseidon Med II project?

Poseidon Med II project is a practical roadmap which aims to bring about the wide adoption of LNG as a safe, environmentally efficient and viable alternative fuel for shipping and help the East Mediterranean marine transportation propel towards a low-carbon future. The project, which is co-funded by the European Union, involves three countries Greece, Italy and Cyprus, six European ports (Piraeus, Patras, Lemesos, Venice, Heraklion, Igoumenitsa) as well as the Revithoussa LNG terminal. The project brings together top experts from the marine, energy and financial sectors to design an integrated LNG value chain and establish a well-functioning and sustainable LNG market.

The post “Unfolding the LNG supply chain in Eastern Mediterranean” appeared first on EnergyWorld Magazine.

Romania committed to providing regional energy security

Ср., 06/12/2019 - 11:45

Romania is committed to using its diverse energy resources for strengthening both its own and the wider European energy system, its energy secretary of state, Andrei-Petrisor Maioreanu, said Tuesday

Romania is Europe’s fourth-largest natural gas producer. It covers about 90% of its annual gas demand of around 11 Bcm from its own reserves, with the rest imported from Russia.

Developing its Black Sea reserves could turn Romania into a net exporter, offering its southeast European neighbors an alternative to Russian gas.

“We are … concerned about diversification of routes and sources of energy supply,” Maioreanu told the Romanian Energy Day event in Brussels. “The main goal is to consolidate the European energy security system.”

The European Commission, however, is pursuing Romania over legislation that may restrict exports in breach of EU internal energy market rules.

“We still have the problem of export limits,” EU climate action and energy commissioner Miguel Arias Canete told reporters in April after a high-level regional energy meeting in Bucharest.

Romania’s offshore law requires operators to sell 50% of their offshore gas output in a centralized marketplace, and imposes a 2% tax on producers’ turnover of gas.

ExxonMobil and Austria’s OMV have put their Black Sea Neptun prospect — with estimated reserves of 42 Bcm to 84 Bcm — on hold while they review its commercial viability.

DIVERSE RESOURCES Romania has diverse energy resources, including oil, natural gas, coal and uranium reserves as well as hydropower potential, Maioreanu said.

“We can maintain our competitiveness and energy security provider status at regional level,” he said.

Romania has suggested sourcing 27.9% of its final energy demand from renewables by 2030 in its draft national climate and energy plan submitted to the EC. It has a binding target to reach a 24% share by 2020.

The EC is expected to give its formal recommendations on the draft national plans from each EU country next week, to ensure they collectively meet the overall EU 2030 targets of 32% for renewables and 32.5% for energy efficiency.

The national governments have to finalize their 2030 targets by the end of the year.

Source: spglobal.com

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Greece mulls response if Turkey puts energy ship off Kastellorizo

Ср., 06/12/2019 - 11:43

With Turkey having sent a drill ship into Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to look for oil and gas – accompanied by a warship – Greek authorities are reportedly preparing to deal with another being sent off the Greek island of Kastellorizo, near the Turkish coast.

Worries have been rising there could be a conflict, accidental or otherwise, in the Aegean or East Mediterranean as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with relations worsening with the United States, steps up his rhetoric and is backing it up by sending vessels into the seas around Greece and Cyprus.

The drillship Fatih is already in Cyprus’ EEZ and Turkish authorities have indicated that a second vessel, the Yavuz, will also be dispatched to the region in due course with Cyprus saying it would issue international arrest warrants for the crew of the Turkish drillship.

That led Turkey to fire back it would take “the necessary response,” indicating possible military or naval intervention although the European Union and the United States – the Sixth Fleet has ships in the area near where US company ExxonMobil is drilling off the island – backing Cyprus.

Cyprus’ Foreign Ministry declined to say whether arrest warrants have been issued or not. But Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said that “some companies” assisting Turkey’s drilling bid have “disengaged” from their involvement with tension ratcheting up.

Greece is anxious that Erdogan, who said he openly covets the return of Greek islands his country ceded away under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne that he doesn’t recognize, will now make an incursion by an energy ship off Kastellorizo, in Greece’s continental shelf, a mile from Turkey.

No decision has been made what to do though if that happens, said Katherimini, citing sources it didn’t identify, with no indication whether Greece would then militarily intervene, possibly setting up a showdown similar to the 1996 crisis off the rocky, uninhabited islets of Imia where it also went to war with Turkey.

Greece is trying to cool down the tensions with Defense Minister Evangelos Apostolakis insisting that  a second round of exploratory talks between Greek and Turkish officials will go ahead as scheduled on June 19-22 although a last round did nothing to ease worries or make progress.

Source: thenationalherald.com

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Serbia, Russia to launch joint LNG projects

Вт., 06/11/2019 - 11:07

The Ministry of Mining and Energy of Serbia and Russian state gas company Gazprom have signed an agreement on the construction of natural gas (LNG) stations in Serbia, according to emerging-europe.com.

“Serbia and Gazprom will aim to provide LNG that will be produced in the country to ensure the supply of areas that are not covered by the gas pipeline network,” Serbian energy minister Aleksander Antić said after a meeting with Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller, adding that alternative gasification will be among the main priorities of bilateral energy cooperation.

Mr Antić told the Serbian press that Gazprom Neft, the Russian company’s oil arm, was also showing interest in the construction of a Serbian petrochemical plant. “We will continue discussions about possibilities of the process being defined through a strategic partnership,” the energy minister said.

In March, the Serbian government said it was considering the construction of four LNG-powered plants in Kragujevac, Nis, Belgrade and Novi Sad, as well as natural gas stations in western Serbia.

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CYPnaval 2019: Εnhancing the protection of Blue Economy

Ср., 06/05/2019 - 14:56

One third of global Oil & Gas is extracted from platforms at sea, the network of underwater pipelines & cables is a vital infrastructure of modern society, the 90% of trade moving by sea, thousands of ports and terminals along coastlines are vital to the supply chain, marine wind farms are growing rapidly boosting clean energy, fisheries feed the demands of an extremely rising population while tourism including cruises & super yachts is becoming a powerful development tool.

As far as we are talking about all kinds of business development in the marine environment of the East Mediterranean, this requires a secure environment thus crucial to our economic stability, that is not threatened by any illegal activity.

Defence & Security is essential to supporting the Blue Economy.

The conference CYPnaval 2019 aims at raising awareness, providing specific expertise and appropriate mechanisms for cooperation between governments, international organizations, law enforcement agencies, representatives of the defense & security industries, offshore activities, vital coastal infrastructure, shipping and SAR, in all aspects of the threats that may hinder the development of the Blue Economy in the Mediterranean Sea.

CYPnaval Conference, has been a key supporter of the Blue Economy concept, particularly in the East Mediterranean region.

Key Topics to be covered

Frigates, OPVs, Coast Guard Vessels, Fast Assault crafts

SAR vessels, Fire Fighting Vessels, Ambulance boats, Lifeboats

SAR aircrafts & helicopters

EEZ Surveillance & Patrols

Unmanned Aerial Systems & solutions to monitoring the EEZ

Aerial & Coastal Surveillance and Reconnaissance

Satellite communications systems & communications service providers

Underwater Surveillance & Security Systems

Unmanned Underwater Vehicles

Port & Marinas protection systems, administration and Implementation

Port & Marinas Security Privatization

Container Security & screen systems

Threats in the Maritime World :  Terrorism – Piracy

Major and large scale incidents

Cruise Ships & Superyachts Security

Maritime Security Systems & Services

Maritime Special operational units & Training centers

Maritime Weapon Systems, Non-Lethal Weapons

Long-Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system

Multi-national cooperation

EU Defence & Security Strategy 4Mediterranean

EU Maritime Security Strategy

Preventing & Tackling illegal immigration & fishing

Maritime Insurance

 

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Clean energy for all Europeans package completed

Вт., 06/04/2019 - 11:00

On 22 May, the Council of ministers of the EU formally adopted four new pieces of EU legislation that redesign the EU electricity market to make it fit for the future. This concludes the remaining elements of the Clean energy for all Europeans package and represents a major step towards completing the Energy Union, delivering on the priorities of the Juncker Commission.

The gradual transition towards clean energy and a carbon-neutral economy is one of the greatest challenges of our time. The EU, in 2016, decided to tackle it by rewriting the EU’s energy policy framework to facilitate this clean and fair energy transition. By providing a modern, stable legal environment and setting a clear and common sense of direction, the EU can stimulate the necessary public and private investment and bring European added value by addressing these challenges together. As a package, the new rules will reinforce consumer rights, putting them at the heart of the energy transition; they will create growth and green jobs in a modern economy leaving no region and no citizen behind. They will enable the EU to show leadership in the fight against climate change following the Paris Agreement.

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said:

This is the most ambitious set of energy proposals ever presented by the European Commission. It has been adopted in record time with impressive support from the European Parliament and Council. With its completion, we have made the EU’s Energy Union – one of the ten political priorities of the Juncker Commission – a reality. I truly believe it will accelerate the clean energy transition and give all Europeans access to secure, competitive and sustainable energy.

The Clean energy for all Europeans package sets the right balance between making decisions at EU, national, and local level. Member States will continue to choose their own energy mix, but must meet new commitments to improve energy efficiency and the take-up of renewables in that mix by 2030. For example, the new rules on the electricity market, which have been adopted today, will make it easier for renewable energy to be integrated into the grid, encourage more inter-connections and cross-border trade, and ensure that the market provides reliable signals for future investment. Today’s rules also require Member State to draft plans to prevent, prepare for and manage possible crisis situations in the supply of electricity in coordination with neighbouring Member States, and to enhance the role of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER).

Background

The EU was an early mover on clean energy: it was the first major power in the world to set, in 2009, ambitious energy and climate targets for 2020 (20% greenhouse gas emission reduction, 20% in renewable energy and 20% energy efficiency). Ten years later, the EU is broadly on track to achieve theses 2020 objectives, proving it is possible to reduce emissions and achieve GDP growth at the same time. In the meantime, renewable energy has become much cheaper. Moreover, with the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the EU pledged to move further ahead and achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions of at least 40% by 2030. In order to respond to this challenge and continue to lead the global energy transition, the Commission proposed in 2016 a set of ambitious new rules called the “Clean Energy Package for all Europeans”. With this package the Commission addressed all 5 dimensions of the Energy Union (1) energy security; 2) the internal energy market; 3) energy efficiency; 4) decarbonisation of the economy; and 5) research, innovation and competitiveness.). It is composed primarily of the following elements:

  1. Energy efficiency first: the revamped directive on energy efficiency sets a new, higher target of energy use for 2030 of 32.5%, and the new Energy performance of buildings directive maximizes the energy saving potential of smarter and greener buildings.
  2. More renewables: an ambitious new target of at least 32% in renewable energy by 2030 has been fixed, with specific provisions to foster public and private investment, in order for the EU to maintain its global leadership on renewables.
  3. A better governance of the Energy Union: A new energy rulebook under which each Member State drafts National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) for 2021-2030 setting out how to achieve their energy union targets, and in particular the 2030 targets on energy efficiency and renewable energy. These draft NECPs are currently being analysed by the Commission, with country-specific recommendations to be issued before the end of June.
  4. More rights for consumers: the new rules make it easier for individuals to produce, store or sell their own energy, and strengthen consumer rights with more transparency on bills, and greater choice flexibility.
  5. A smarter and more efficient electricity market: the new laws will increase security of supply by helping integrate renewables into the grid and manage risks, and by improving cross-border cooperation.

In addition to the legislative acts of the package, the Commission also proposed a number of non-legislative initiatives, in particular to ensure a fair and just transition where nobody and no region is left behind:

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Romania: Enel invests in 171,000 smart meters for customers

Пон., 06/03/2019 - 15:58

Enel Group division E-Distribution Muntenia, E-Distribution Dobrogea and E-Distribution Banat, of electricity distribution will install over 171,000 smart meters this year for customers in their areas activity in investment projects worth over RON 53 million. By the end of 2019, more than 671,000 customers of E-Distribution will benefit from smart metering systems, according to business-review.eu.

“Intelligent meters will lay the foundations for future smart grids that are defining to meet the challenges of energy transition, promoting the development of clean, sustainable and efficient energy systems,” said Gino Celentano, Managing Director E-Distribution Muntenia, E-Distribution Dobrogea and E-Distribution Banat. “We continue to take advantage of Enel’s vast international experience in digital technologies to install smart meters in all regions served by E-Distribution companies to further improve our quality of service and bring more benefits to our customers”.

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Best affordable & luxury electric cars

Нед., 06/02/2019 - 09:28

Electric vehicles aren’t a new phenomenon. In fact, the first fully electric car was developed in the 1830s. What’s new is that EVs now compete for market share with traditional fossil-fueled models. Thanks to recent advancements in battery and charging technology, electric cars have finally become a feasible alternative to gasoline cars.

Today’s best EVs make a compelling pitch to commuters: They’re practical, easy to drive, inexpensive to run and packed with technology. And if the sticker prices look daunting, just remember that tax incentives and rebates can knock thousands off the cost of an EV, whether you’re buying or leasing.

But shopping for an electric vehicle requires a different mindset. While a gasoline car can be refueled in just a few minutes, electric cars take longer to recharge, making them less than ideal for long-range driving. The trick is to think about how far you drive in an average day and how often you’d have a chance to charge up. If you can plug in at work or at home, an EV could be a great fit for your life.

To simplify your shopping process, we’ve put together a list of the best electric cars on the market right now. The electric car segment keeps growing, and buyers have more choices than ever. Our list of the best EVs will help you find the electric car that’s right for you.

Affordable Electric Cars

2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV

The Chevrolet Bolt is a surprise in more ways than one. It boasts the kind of range that was previously the sole domain of Tesla, but it’s also zippy and fun to drive. The Bolt’s claimed cargo space isn’t that impressive, but in the real world we’ve found it more useful than the numbers indicate. Unfortunately, the front seats are a bit firm and won’t be to everyone’s liking. The interior’s also rather plasticky, and the Bolt’s unique infotainment setup is slightly clunkier than Chevy’s norm. The bottom line, though, is that the Bolt delivers downright exceptional range and performance for the price.
Starting price (including destination fee): $37,495   /   EV range: 238 miles

2018 Nissan Leaf

The Leaf was redesigned for 2018, and it’s an entirely better electric vehicle than the previous generation. It’s quieter, more comfortable and better to drive, and it offers plenty of range for almost any commute. The Leaf’s steering wheel doesn’t telescope, making the car less comfortable for taller drivers, and the steering feels artificial. But overall, the Leaf has far more strengths than weaknesses.
Starting price (including destination fee): $30,875   /   EV range: 151 miles

2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric has a low cost of entry, and it offers all the user-friendly tech we expect from a Hyundai. It also has the most efficient electric drivetrain on the market, per the EPA’s miles per gallon equivalent (mpge) metric, which means you’ll pay less to keep it charged. That said, it’s not the best-driving EV, and the rear seat isn’t particularly comfortable or roomy. Still, we like the Ioniq Electric for offering a lot of features at an appealing price.
Starting price (including destination fee): $30,385   /   EV range: 124 miles

2018 Kia Soul EV

The Kia Soul EV has the shortest electric range of any of the affordable EVs on our list, but it’ll still go more than 100 miles on a charge. More than that, though, it makes our list for its quirky personality and abundance of interior room. In many ways, the Soul EV is more reminiscent of a small crossover than a compact car. It’s certainly less fun to drive than some competitors, but the additional space will more than compensate for some buyers.
Starting price (including destination fee): $34,845   /   EV range: 111 miles

Luxury Electric Cars

2018 Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S might be the oldest Tesla in production, but it’s still our favorite of the company’s three offerings. It combines a roomy, attractive cabin with excellent driving dynamics and outstanding range. Depending on how it’s equipped, it can also be staggeringly quick in a straight line. The price tag is equally intimidating and, compared to similarly priced sedans, it feels a bit unpolished. Additionally, it lacks some of their luxury features, such as massaging or even just ventilated seats. But if you’re after something with a Tesla badge, this is the best of the bunch.
Starting price (including destination fee): $75,700   /   EV range: 249-335 miles

2018 BMW i3

The BMW i3 has the shortest range of any luxury EV on this list, but it offers the option of a gas-powered range extender, which provides some peace of mind to buyers with range anxiety. The i3 also has one of the best interiors on the road – it’s stylish and modern, with novel materials, yet still user-friendly. Furthermore, the i3 drives the way you’d expect a BMW to drive. So if you’re looking for a sporty electric car, the i3 gets extra credit.
Starting price (including destination fee): $45,445   /   EV range: 114 miles, 180 miles with gas-powered range extender

2018 Tesla Model X

The Tesla Model X is currently the only all-electric vehicle you can get with three rows of seating. It also has the most personality of any Tesla, which is a mixed bag. The falcon-wing doors and panoramic windshield set it apart, but these features could also be viewed as gimmicks that don’t add functionality. Either way, the Model X’s firm-to-rough ride doesn’t do it any favors. But there’s no denying that this is one fast SUV – our long-term Model X launched to 60 mph in a truly “ludicrous” 3.5 seconds – and you can get all the futuristic tech that makes Tesla models special.
Starting price (including destination fee): $80,700   /   EV range: 238-295 miles

2018 Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 has encountered some early growing pains. Many buyers are still waiting to take delivery, and Tesla hasn’t worked out all the reliability issues yet, as our own long-term Model 3 road test underscores. Some drivers may also find the Model 3’s near-complete reliance on the touchscreen interface for vehicle controls a bit distracting. Moreover, the long-awaited $35,000 entry-level model has yet to materialize, as all Model 3s so far have carried the larger battery pack and its attendant price bump. That said, if you can get your hands on one, and you don’t mind the teething issues, you’ll find a nimble, long-range electric car with a healthy amount of space for its small footprint and an interior that pushes the definition of “modern.” The Model 3 performed very well in our testing process, which is why it makes the cut for this list.
Starting price (including destination fee): $50,200   /   EV range: 310 miles

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The contribution of minerals in our lives

Вт., 05/16/2019 - 09:21

The mining industry is a productive sector for which there are many different views worldwide. Even in Greece, where the subsoil is acknowledged to be rich in minerals, limited knowledge about the contribution of the sector to our society makes its recognition harder.

The truth is that since their creation, humans have advanced with the help of minerals.

Minerals such as gold, silver, lead, zinc and copper play a crucial part in our lives even if we are unaware. They affect our life in many ways by being an integrated part of every day life through many fields such as medicine, construction, communications, transportation and energy.

Lets learn more about the world of minerals:

Gold

Almost all the gold on Earth comes from comets and asteroids that bombarded our planet 4 billion years ago. The most innovative essential application of gold is in medicine. With gold, cancer can be fought thanks to new therapies that combine nanotechnology and lasers, harming only the cancer cells and leaving healthy tissues unaffected. Thanks to its high conductivity, it is an essential mineral in many of our daily appliances, such as computers, TVs, smartphones, white appliances, touch screens and flash memories.

Copper

The best electricity conductor after silver, especially resistant to corrosion and scalability, with a high thermal conductivity and antimicrobial attributes, copper is the first metal than humans used 10,000 years ago. Almost its entire production, specifically two thirds of it, is used in electric applications. In cables of domestic or industrial type, inside appliances and also in car cables and other transportation means. The digital world is based on copper, since it is necessary for producing printed circuits, microchips and processors for “smart” devices that are an essential part of daily life.

Lead

Lead is often used in construction, while it enforces aircraft fuel, a fact that makes it necessary for modern transportation and the modern way of life. It fuels our car with energy and constitutes the basic part of batteries of any type. It is found in latest tech batteries that are innovative, reliable and sustainable and store energy from wind and solar farms.

Silver

A heavy, rare and very shiny mineral we live with is silver. The most well known use of silver is in coins from antiquity until modern times. It belongs to the family of precious metals, which is why many use it as a savings mean, since it retains its value in times of economic hardship. Thanks to its antibacterial attributes, we use it daily in detergents and deodorants, while it is the basic material in jewelry.

Zinc

On the other hand, zinc is a really enduring metal with non-corrosive attributes, necessary for galvanizing iron, valuable for the human organism and its immune system. One of its most widespread and useful forms is that of the oxide. It is found in plenty of products such as cosmetics,

sun screens, children lotions, soaps and makeup among others. Its contribution is especially important for protecting the immune system, while its administration saves thousands of lives daily in underdeveloped countries.

Growing the economy

What has been mentioned above is only a part of the daily uses of minerals. We have organized our life based on them and the present would be radically different without their presence.

A vital prerequisite for their exploitation is mining, which is conducted with responsibility, respect to environmental law and human life. This is what the global mining sector supports, focused on the sustainable exploitation of mineral resources.

These are the principles of mineral company Hellas Gold, a subsidiary of Canadian Eldorado Gold, which continues a 25 century long history in the Cassandra mines of Halkidiki, turning them into a local and national growth lever.

It is an investment that employs 2,000 people and surpasses 1 billion dollars, providing 5 million Euros of income for the Greek state and 150 million to suppliers annually, 185 million of which were directed to Greek suppliers in 2017.

Supporting employment

The responsible exploitation of Greece’s mineral wealth contributes greatly to employment, economic growth and social wellbeing not only on a national, but on a local level as well. As proud members of the local community in Halkidiki, Hellas Gold invests in its longterm cooperation with its neighbors in order to contribute to the region’s sustainable development.

From 2012 it has invested over 20 million Euros for developing infrastructure in tourism, education, social and environmental care, culture and sports in the region.

Moreover, by supporting local employment and the economy, it essentially helps improve quality of life for inhabitants of NE Halkidiki.

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Norway no longer in love with oil

Ср., 05/15/2019 - 14:57

The biggest oil producer in Europe is no longer “in love” with black gold. This comment by Bloomberg comes at the aftermath of the Workers Party of Norway removing its support for offshore drilling in the Lofoten islands inside the Arctic Circle.

The opposition party’s radical turn created a strong consensus in the parliament in order for this region to remain outside the scope of oil projects. It is a blow to the oil industry that enjoyed Norwegian support for years, while it possibly shows that the Scandinavian country is closer to the end of an era, which brought it among the richest ones on the planet.

The end of an era?

Oil companies under the state controlled Equinor, the country’s largest producer, have tried to gain access to the Lofoten islands, underlining that this is essential if Norway plans to maintain current levels of production, since other deposits are being depleted. It is calculated that the archipelago, a natural wonder, contains 1-3 billion barrels of oil.

The Norwegian Association of Oil and Gas appeared surprised and disappointed. Also, the Industry Energy association’s members, an ally of the Workers Party for decades, spoke against the party’s change of stance, saying that “it fuels intense imbalances and is not going to be accepted”.

It should be reminded that recently Norway’s state investment fund decided to stop investing in the shares of oil companies in a largely symbolic move, since it was clarified that investments
in oil companies also having renewables projects will continue.

What divestment
from fossil fuels means

In contrary to Venezuela, Norway is perhaps the only model country when it comes to responsively managing its oil wealth. Norway has a long history as an oil and gas producer and the country used its oil wealth to build the largest state investment fund in the world.

Recently, this fund – the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) – made headlines through its announcement that it stops certain investments in fossil fuels. How important is this announcement? It certainly has a symbolic value, due to the size of the fund and the fact that the fund itself is the product of the oil and gas history of Norway. But we should describe this framework.

Even though this piece of news was widely described as “Norway abandons fossil fuels”, as Jim Collins noted in Forbes, “the shares of great energy companies – Exxon, Total, Petrobras, Royal Dutch Shell etc – will continue to be included in the GPFG fund”. More specifically, the fund will retain investments in fossil fuel companies that also have renewables arms.

At the end of 2018, CPFG had a total of 633 billion Euros invested in shares. Of these, the fund participated in 341 companies characterized as “oil and gas” with a total value of over 37 billion dollars.

According to an announcement by CPFG, it will divest from 114 oil and gas companies “in due time”. Companies in the crosshairs include the biggest American producers, such as EOG Resources, Anadarko Petroleum, Apache, Cabot Oil and Gas, Devon Energy, Diamondback Energy and Occidental Petroleum.

Thus, placing things in a specific frame, the fund will retain most of its oil and gas investments. The largest divestment will be EOG Resources. At the end of the year, the fund had a total of 488 million dollars in EOG shares, which constituted a little over 1% of the company’s market capitalization.

According to S&P Global Market Intelligence’s data, energy companies active in the stock market are worth around 5.0 trillion dollars worldwide. This is a sum 135 times larger than the GPFG’s oil and gas participation (most of which stays put).

Among those classified as E&P companies, there are 787 corporations with a total value of 832 billion dollars. The greatest category per value are vertical oil and gas companies and it is dominated by giants such as ExxonMobil and Shell. Globally, there are 51 companies in this category with a value of 2.3 trillion dollars.

The impact in shares

Most of the American oil and gas companies scheduled for divestment recorded liquidation after the announcement. The impact was certainly psychological, but there could be greater effect on the companies where the fund holds a larger share.

There are five participations in oil and gas where the fund controls at least 3%, but none of them are American oil and gas companies. Among those scheduled for divestment, the greatest share is in Delek US Holdings with 2.6%.

Overall, even such an important divestment is a drop in the ocean compared to the scope of the global oil and gas sector. If the world continues to buy fossil fuels, the companies will keep making money and investors keep making money through them.

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Greece: LNG as a marine fuel

Ср., 05/15/2019 - 14:14

Greece is ready to enter the era of liquefied natural gas as a marine fuel, since DEPA is conducting the tender to select an advisor, which will select the shipyard to build an LNG bunker vessel.

During the first phase 23 companies expressed their interest. At the end, four of them submitted a binding offer. They are French Gazocen, Greek NAP Engineering, Spanish Seaplace and German-Chinese Schulde.

The Poseidon project

The project is a continuation of the EU’s Poseidon program and it concerns two LNG bunker vessels, one on behalf of DEPA in Greece and one on behalf of Navi Gas in Cyprus. The construction of the two vessels will have a budget of 60 million Euros, while 6 million more will be spent on infrastructure in the two countries. The EU Commission supports the project with 19.8 million (30% of total expense).

The advisor will be chosen according to the offered price in about 1-2 months and will seek the necessary shipyards in cooperation with DEPA and Navi Gas (whether in Europe or elsewhere) in order to build the two LNG bunker vessels. The program will last 45 months. The first phase for selecting a shipyard will take a year. The second phase will follow with the construction of the ships and the third step is to select a managing company.

The ships’ role

The two LNG bunker vessels will take over the supply of ships using liquefied natural gas as a fuel and they will contain 3,000 c.m. using the process of ship to ship. DEPA’s ship will be supplied with LNG from Revythousa and will operate in the Piraeus harbor, but also islands of the Aegean if there is demand. The basic consumers are expected to be new technology cruiseships, but also container ships running with LNG engines. Supply will take place inside the harbor or in the mooring.

When it comes to passenger ships, there are still none using LNG engines. Attica Group has expressed its interest to participate in the European program (which subsidizes 30% of the LNG equipment). As for Cyprus, the ship will be based in Limassol.

The BlueHUBS project

The two ships will be built as part of the European project BlueHUBS with co-financing from the EU. They will be the first LNG bunkering vessels in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region. The goal of the program is to promote as soon as possible Greece’s transition to green fuels, according to regulations by IMO, which impose the use of fuels with lower than 0.5% sulfur from 2020 onwards.

The EU Commission has promoted 49 different projects with a total of 695.1 million Euros to develop sustainable and innovative infrastructure in Europe for all transportation projects.

DEPA’s planning, however, extends even further, since there are plans to build a second bunker vessel in Greece. Its capacity is estimated to be higher, reaching even 7,000 c.m., and it will have the mission to satisfy demand in the Ionian. Initially, the prospect of building an LNG storage in Patras was examined, which will be supplied by the bunker vessel and will also satisfy onshore demand. However, according to “N”’s information from DEPA, the case of Igoumenitsa is also examined.

Demand

In following years, demand for LNG as a marine fuel is expected to rise. For example, out of 94 cruiseships under construction around the globe, 18 are designed to use LNG as a fuel. During this period, the global fleet using LNG reached 143 ships in 2018 from 118 in 2017.

Furthermore, 135 ships in total are in the orderbook and another 135 are LNG ready. Orders for ships using LNG concern all types, such as container ships, tankers, cruise ships and VLCCs.

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Romania: Romgaz reports EUR 113.8 M net profit in Q1 2019. Up 16%

Ср., 05/15/2019 - 11:38

Romgaz Group recorded in Q1 2019 a revenue of EUR 359.77 M, increasing 15.57% compared to Q1 2018. Net profit reached EUR 113.8 M, higher by 16.26%, compared to the same period of 2018. Net earnings per share (EPS) was EUR 0.29.

The achievement of the consolidated net profit margin (31.6%, consolidated EBIT margin (36.8%) and consolidated EBITDA margin (52.2%), show that the high profitability of the Group is maintained.

Natural gas production increased by 4.8%, 65.9 million cubic meters respectively, from 1364.1 MCM in Q1 2018 to 1430 MCM in Q1 2019.

Due to the fact that the power units are unavailable during the works performed at the new power plant, the electricity delivered decreased by 42.11% compared to the similar period in 2018 (170.8 GWh vs. 287.3 GWh).

The natural gas consumption estimated at national level for Q1 2019 was 48.5 TWh, down by 3% compared to Q1 2018. Approximately 9.33 TWh was covered by import gas and the remaining 39.2 TWh by domestic production, to which Romgas contributed with 17.63 TWh, representing 36.36% of the national consumption. The company’s market share decreased by 2.7% as compared to Q1 2018.

 

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Romania: Transelectrica announced the results for Q1 2019. Net profit down 44%

Ср., 05/15/2019 - 10:41

In Q1 2019, Transelectrica experienced an improvement in profitability for profit-allowed activity, as compared to Q1 2018.

Profit-Allowed Segment: In the main area of core activities (National Power System transmission and dispatching) in Q1 2019, the company achieved better financial results compared to Q1 2018. The EBIT operational profit (profit before income tax and interest) was higher by RON 17 mn (+ 31%) compared to the previous year.

Transmission income grew by +6% amid the higher tranmission tariff (+ 7%) in Q1 2019 as compared to Q1 2018 and an increase in revenues from cross-border transmission capacity sales, these increases fully absorbing the decrease of national power consumption, reflecting in lower billed quantities (-2%).

Q1 2019 was a difficult one, characterized by high operating costs of the transmission system, particularly the costs of power procurement to compensate for technical losses in the grid (OTC). Despite the fact that the physical level of technical losses was lower than in the previous year (technical loss percentage 2.35% Q1 2019 versus 2.83% in Q1 2018), total power procurement costs were significantly higher (+RON

14 mn representing +21%) amid a substantial increase in the price of energy on the wholesale market (the average price paid by Transelectrica was over 50% higher, from RON 194 mn/MWh in Q1 2018 to RON 299 mn/MWh in Q1 2019).

Zero-Profit Segment: Q1 2019 recorded a temporary financial loss of – RON 28 mn versus temporary profit + RON 27 mn registered in Q1 2018. Thus, in Q1 2019, the revenues from technological system services were lower compared to the expenses related to the purchase of technological system services. Revenues from technological system services registered a decrease due to the decrease in the amount of electricity delivered to consumers and the tariff approved by ANRE for these services.

  M.U. Q1 2019 Q1 2018 Financial         Charged energy volume [TWh] 14,68 15,00 ▼ 2% PROFIT ALLOWED ACTIVITIES         Total revenues [RON mn] 317 300 ▲ 6% Average transmission tariff (achieved) [RON/MWh] 18,03 16,85 ▲ 7% Transmission revenues and from other activities on the energy market [RON mn] 290 272 ▲ 7% EBITDA [RON mn] 144 130 ▲ 10% Amortisement [RON mn] 72 76 ▼ 4% EBIT [RON mn] 72 55 ▲ 31% ZERO PROFIT ACTIVITIES         EBIT [RON mn] (28) 27 ▼ 205% ALL ACTIVITIES (PROFIT ALLOWED AND ZERO PROFIT)         EBIT [RON mn] 44 82 ▼ 47% Net profit [RON mn] 38 68 ▼ 44% Operational         Net internal consumption [TWh] 15,3 15,6 ▼ 2% Net internal production [TWh] 15,0 16,8 ▼ 11% Export [TWh] 1,1 1,7 ▼ 38%

 

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Bloomberg: Europe bailed out by cheap LNG

Пон., 05/13/2019 - 11:02

In the Netherlands, once Europe’s largest natural gas supplier, one of the big questions is how to deal with declining production and increasing reliance on imports.

For hundreds of energy traders, utility executives and analysts gathering in Amsterdam this week for the Flame Conference, the Netherlands epitomizes the European energy security situation. Whether through pipelines from Russia or northern Africa or by ship from Qatar or the U.S., more and more imported gas will be needed to feed the region’s power plants, companies and homes.

Increasing Gas Gap

The Netherlands turns into a net importer of natural gas as its output falls

“The Netherlands is set to become a definitive net importer of natural gas,” said Carlos Torres, vice president of gas and renewables markets at Rystad Energy, a Norwegian energy research company. Across Europe, nations are “now taking advantage of low LNG prices.”

The source of gas is a politically charged issue, with Russia supplying around 40% of the European Union’s fuel and building a controversial new pipeline directly into the region. The U.S. says that dependency is dangerous and is urging the EU to build more terminals to ship in gas from its shale boom to bolster the bloc’s efforts at diversification.

LNG is playing a bigger role in Europe after new production plants caused global supply to outstrip demand, with the surplus boosting imports into the region’s liquid markets to record levels. The Gate LNG terminal in Rotterdam has seen renewed interest and could hit full capacity by the end of the year after years of being underused, Torres said.

European LNG imports more than doubled in the first quarter despite a warmer-than-usual winter, demonstrating a “genuine underlying demand,” according to Alastair Maxwell, chief financial officer of LNG tanker owner GasLog Ltd. While buyers took advantage of the lower prices to bring in more cargoes, declines in the region’s production were also behind the increases, he said.

Shut Down

The Groningen field, once Europe’s largest, is being phased out and will be closed completely by 2030 as the Dutch government seeks to limit earthquakes provoked by gas exploration. Its production is forecast to fall to less than half the nation’s requirements in the year through October, and will be just a third of peak output in 2013, according to BloombergNEF.

That output decline comes as the European Union needs more gas to compensate for the retirement of coal and nuclear plants. The International Energy Agency estimatesthe 28-nation bloc will have to seek additional imports equal to one-third of anticipated consumption by 2025.

More Supply

Europe to need additional gas supply as domestic production contracts.

Mild Winter

The flood of LNG to Europe has put further pressure on natural gas prices already weakened by reduced demand and mild weather. In the U.K., temperatures topped 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time during the winter, meaning less need for the fuel for heating.

Europe Getting Warmer

Temperatures have risen around 1.4 degrees celsius since pre-industrial times. The benchmark next-month gas contract in the Netherlands, also Europe’s biggest traded market, has fallen 37% this year. Storage levels in Europe are also well above their five-year average, damping appetite for fuel to inject this summer.

“Europe has the flexibility now to import LNG at a good price, but we expect that in 2022 prices will start to rise as demand in Asia is set to resume growth,” said Torres. “As Europe is increasing its import dependence, that could result in higher electricity prices in the region.”

Source: Bloomberg

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