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It’s a unique mix of about 650 Operators, technology & service companies from more than 45 Countries.
The NAPEC Conference will feature over 24+ sessions across 12 categories and over 100 industry expert speakers and representatives from both the regional and international oil and gas community, providing the unique opportunity to gain insights into the industry’s entire value chain and to engage with your peers.
The three-day conference will deliver high quality of knowledge and experience, and will bring together international experts and decision makers from NOCs, IOCs, integrated energy companies, and technology providers, to connect with the fast-evolving hydrocarbons and energy industry value chain and companies driving North Africa’s industry future.
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EPOCH 2019: Upstream Congress in Greece to close registration for delegates but opens for journalists
Exploration and Production Offshore Congress Hub (EPOCH) 2019, which is held on September 16-17 by BGS Group, announced that registration for delegates comes to end with a deadline on August, 17. Meanwhile, journalists from Greek media are invited to submit their requests for accreditation between August, 10 and August, 31.
EPOCH 2019 is co-hosted with local Hellenic Petroleum and boasts keynote speakers from Hellenic Petroleum Upstream S.A (CEO Yannis Grigoriou), Hellenic Hydrocarbons Resources Management (President & CEO Yannis Bassias) and National Oil Corporation of Libya (Board Director for Exploration & Production Dr Abdelarahim Mohamed). Request the business program and the list of confirmed delegates at https://is.gd/qW7PT1
Other speakers include top-managers from BP, ADNOC, Repsol, Aker Energy AS, Saipem, TechnipFMC, DeepOcean Group, Halliburton, etc. Among topics to be discussed:
- Overview of Offshore E&P Sector in Mediterranean
- Natural Gas in The Gulf, Russia, and the East Med
- Exploration and Production Perspectives in Greece
- The new balance in MENA to monetize gas resources
- Monetisation of Resources in the Eastern Med, etc.
Annual Congress is hosted in closed-door format, which makes it accessible only for top-managers and selected number of media. Exclusive interviews are expected to be taken in cooperation with the organizers. Journalists can fill in accreditation form at the website https://is.gd/f1D6mv or send a letter of interest to PR Director julia.a(at)bgs-group.eu
Energy ministers of the East Med Gas Forum (EMGF) met in Egypt on 25 July, agreeing to access the possible upgrade of the forum to the level of an international organisation, the first of its kind in southeast Mediterranean, and form a committee with the natural gas industry, which would include the participation of state and private companies from the forum member countries.
Egyptian Energy Minister Tariq el-Mulla and his counterparts Greece’s Costis Hatzidakis, Cyprus’ Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, Israel’s Yuval Steinitz, Jordan’s Hala Zawati, and Italy’s Deputy Minister Andrea Cioffi attended the forum, which is supported by the United States and the European Union.
US Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Frank Fannon attended the session on 25 July, which follows the joint declaration of the 20 March 2019 summit between Cyprus, Greece, and Israel, with the participation of the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. At that session, Pompeo underlined Washington’s support for the trilateral mechanism and noted the importance of increased cooperation.
Hydrocarbons Company CEO Charles Ellinas told New Europe on 29 July that the meeting formalised the setting up of the EMGF and agreed to set up committees to take its objectives forward. “However, it was useful in terms of regional politics but vague and lacking on practicalities, especially given the region’s burning problems in need of urgent resolution,” he said. “It is a talking shop and as such it will help improve cooperation among its members, but it will not have a direct effect on the development and export of hydrocarbons from the region,” Ellinas said, adding that is still subject to the commercial challenges of global markets and the effects of the global shift to clean energy.
Greece, Cyprus and Israel to meet in Athens on 7 August
The European Commission announced in Egypt on 25 July that the EC would support the Forum’s activities with significant financial assistance while the ministers also approved the first study to be conducted on behalf of EMGF in cooperation with the World Bank to examine the potential of the region’s natural gas and possibilities for natural gas development and export, the Greek Energy Ministry said in a statement.
Hatzidakis also has a bilateral meeting with Perry and Fannon in Egypt where they discussed US-Greek energy relations and their geopolitical significance. The Greek Energy Minister highlighted the importance of the EastMed gas pipeline for Europe’s energy security and called for the need to overcome the current delay due to the pending signing of the intergovernmental pipeline agreement between Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Italy, the Greek Energy Ministry said, adding that Fannon will lead the US delegation to the trilateral meeting of the energy ministers of Greece, Cyprus and Israel in Athens on 7 August. That meeting, according to Ellinas, is a continuation of previous tri-partite meetings between these countries with US support. “It will probably concentrate on the East Med gas pipeline, but the project can progress only if it can provide gas to Europe at prices that can compete with existing gas prices. This is where the challenge lies,” he said.
Ellinas noted that Washington would like to see East Med gas exported to Europe to lessen dependence on Russian gas. But this can happen only if East Med gas can compete with prices prevalent in Europe, which is a challenge. However, LNG from Egypt’s existing LNG plants at Idku and Damietta may be exported to Europe because very low liquefaction costs make it commercially viable, but other potential gas exports from the region cannot benefit from this advantage. This does not need the cooperation of Turkey,” Ellinas said.
Turkey’s role in the East Med
He noted that Turkey’s impact is on what happens with exploration and export of gas from Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). “The EMGF cannot help with such problems, especially as Turkey is not a member of EMGF,” Ellinas argued. “The EU and US might have been able to use their influence, but pressure and sanctions so far have not had any impact. It anything, it would appear that they have lessened their ability to influence Turkey, which says that it no longer sees the EU as an independent arbiter,” he said.
At the Forum on 25 July in Egypt, Hatzidakis also discussed Greek-Egyptian energy cooperation with el-Mulla, focusing on marketing, exploration and production of hydrocarbons, regional cooperation in the gas sector as wells as investments in renewables and electricity.
El-Molla and Perry also met in Egypt with the latter reportedly stressing the role of Egypt as a reliable source of energy, pointing out the US readiness to provide all the expertise and technologies to Egypt to enhance its natural position as an important energy hub in the region, and highlighting Egypt’s role as a cornerstone of energy cooperation in the eastern Mediterranean.
El-Molla said that the fact that Cairo is the permanent host for the newly found forum, confirms its centrality as a regional centre for trading of gas and oil.
Ellinas noted that Egypt is becoming a major player in its own right. “Not only it has become self-sufficient in gas, but it is fast promoting renewables and by removing subsidies it is containing its growing domestic energy demand. This has freed gas for exports from its existing liquefaction facilities. With increasing gas discoveries and production, it expects these to reach full utilisation be next year,” he said, adding that some gas from its neighbours, Israel and Cyprus, may reach Egypt if prices make it commercially viable.
Russia, Turkey mull joint exploration in Mediterranean
Meanwhile, Russian oil companies could roll out exploration in offshore Mediterranean in cooperation with Turkey, Anadolu news agency quoted Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak as saying in an interview on 26 July. Russian state oil giant Rosneft is working at Zohr gas field in Egypt.
Asked if Moscow is trying to involve Ankara in order to get a foothold in the region, Ellinas said at present such cooperation is for exploration in Turkish waters. “It is difficult to see how this can provide Russia with a foothold in the region, if indeed it wants to. Russian companies had chances to complete for blocks in Cyprus EEZ but did not use them,” he said, adding “And (Russian gas producer) Novatek is in Lebanon already.”
Officials from Greece, Cyprus, Israel and the United States are meeting in Athens Wednesday to discuss energy issues.
Environment and Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, Cyprus’ Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry Georgios Lakkotrypis, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz and US Assistant Secretary at the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources Francis R. Fannon will meet at the Hilton Athens to discuss areas of potential cooperation and to promote construction of the EastMed pipeline which will link gas reserves from Israel and Cyprus to Greece and Italy.
The officials plan to set up a working committee of high-level officials to identify specific cooperation projects and ways to implement them.
The post Energy officials from Greece, Cyprus, Israel and US meet in Athens appeared first on EnergyWorld Magazine.
Czech energy company CEZ Group in Romania posted a net loss of RON 50.3 million (about EUR 10.6 million) in 2018, compared to a net profit of RON 421.2 million (around EUR 89 million) in 2017, as its largest energy facility, the Fantanele-Cogealac wind farm, produced a total of 1,105 GWh of electricity, 218 GWh less than in 2017, due to adverse weather conditions, according to the company’s annual report for 2018.
Though booking a net loss, CEZ Group in Romania reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of RON 395.9 million (around EUR 83.7 million) in 2018, up 9% against 2017.
The company’s hydropower system near Resita, operated by TMK Hydroenergy Power, produced 69 GWh of electricity in 2018, an increase of 14 GWh compared to 2017, due to heavy rainfall.
Energy sales to end consumers grew in 2018 by 4% compared to the previous year, mainly due to increased energy consumption.
Distributie Energie Oltenia, a subsidiary of CEZ Group in Romania, decreased grid losses by 5.6% in 2018 compared to 2017.
According to earlier reports, CEZ plans to exit Romania and its assets there have attracted the interest of Romania’s state-owned power distribution and supply company Electrica.
In Romania, CEZ Group has been present since 2005, when it took over electricity distribution company Electrica Oltenia SA.
Distributie Energie Oltenia, CEZ Romania, CEZ Vanzare, CEZ Trade, Tomis Team, MW Invest, Ovidiu Development, TMK Hydroenergy Power, CEZ ESCO Romania, and High Tech Clima are the 10 companies that form CEZ Group in Romania.Romania’s electricity market in 2018
According to data from Romania’s energy regulator, ANRE, the country’s electricity generation rose 1.06% to 58.31 TWh, 24.22% was produced from coal, 17.91% from nuclear power sources, 29.06% from hydropower, 16.64% from hydrocarbons, 10.70% from wind energy, 1.31% by solar panels, and 0.15% from other sources, the annual reportreads.
Hidroelectrica remains the largest Romanian energy producer with a market share of 29.02%, followed by Complexul Energetic Oltenia and Nuclearelectrica with market shares of 21.98% and 17.91% respectively, and Tomis Team and Ovidiu Development with 1.08% and 0.81%, respectively.
The post CEZ Romania swings to net loss in 2018 on decreased wind power generation appeared first on EnergyWorld Magazine.
Construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has been completed by 71%, the Russian gas holding said on Thursday.
“Construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline continues. In all, 1,739.4 km of the gas pipeline have been laid on the bottom of the Baltic Sea by now — about 71% of its total length,” Gazprom reported.
The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is scheduled to be put into operation in late 2019. Each of the pipeline’s two threads will have a capacity of 27.5 bln cubic meters. The pipeline, set to run from the Russian coast along the Baltic Sea bed to the German shore, is expected to connect the Russian resource base with European customers. The total project cost of the Nord Stream 2 is estimated at 9.5 bln euro. Apart from Russia’s Gazprom, the project also involves German companies Uniper and Wintershall, Austrian OMV, French Engie and the British-Dutch Shell.
The post Gazprom: Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is 71% complete appeared first on EnergyWorld Magazine.
The European Commission has found Croatian plans to support the construction and operation of a liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal at Krk island to be in line with EU State aid rules. The project will contribute to the security and diversification of energy supplies without unduly distorting competition.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “The new LNG terminal in Croatia will increase the security of energy supply and enhance competition, for the benefit of citizens in the region. We have approved the support measures to be granted by Croatia because they are limited to what is necessary to make the project happen and in line with our State aid rules.”
The measures approved today will support the construction and operation of a floating LNG terminal, consisting of a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) and the connections to the national gas transmission network. The LNG terminal is designed to transport up to 2.6 billion cubic meters per year (bcm/y) of natural gas into Croatia national transmission network as from 2021.
The total investment costs to build the terminal amount to €233.6 million. This will be financed through:
- a direct equity contribution of €32.2 million from the LNG terminal company shareholders;
- a contribution of €101.4 million from the Connecting Europe Facility, which is centrally managed by the European Commission, through the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA);
- a direct financial contribution of €100 million from the Croatian State budget.
In addition, Croatia will grant a tariff compensation called ‘security of supply fee’, which is financed by levies charged by the gas transmission system operator to gas users along with gas transmission tariffs, in case revenues from the terminal fees are not sufficient to cover operating expenses.
Croatia notified the Commission of the €100 million direct financial contribution, as well as of the security of supply fee. Both support measures involve State aid under EU rules.
The Commission assessed these support measures under EU State aid rules, in particular under the 2014 Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection and Energy. The Commission found that:
- the aid measures are necessary, as the project would not be carried out without them. In this respect, the Commission’s financial analysis has shown that the revenues originating exclusively from the tariffs charged to the users of the LNG terminal would not be enough to recoup the investment costs and ensure a sufficient remuneration of the LNG promoter;
- the aid measures are proportionate and therefore limited to the minimum necessary, as they will only cover the “funding gap”, that is the difference between the positive and negative cash-flows over the investment lifetime, discounted to their current value (using the cost of capital).
Therefore, the Commission concluded that the measures are in line with EU State aid rules, as they contribute to further key strategic objectives of the EU, including diversifying gas supply sources and increasing the EU’s security of gas supply, notably in the Central and South-Eastern regions, without unduly distorting competition.
The KrK LNG Terminal has been included in the lists of European Projects of Common Interestsince 2013, given its strategic importance for the diversification of natural gas supplies into Central and South-Eastern Europe.
The LNG terminal will deliver gas to the Croatian national transmission network, connected with Slovenia, Italy and Hungary, as well as with other EU countries via non-EU Member States such as Serbia and Montenegro.
The beneficiary of the aid measures is the terminal promoter, LNG Croatia d.o.o. (LLC), owned by Hrvatska Elektroprivreda (HEP) d.d., the Croatian state-owned gas and electricity incumbent, and Plinacro d.o.o., the national gas transmission system operator (TSO), with 85% and 15% respectively.
The fees applied by the terminal to its users are fully regulated (set by the Croatian Energy Regulator) and the terminal is subject to third-party access, in line with internal market legislation.
The Commission notes that this State aid decision is taken without prejudice to the obligation of Croatia to comply with other EU law provisions, notably to ensure that the project meets all the requirements of the EU environmental legislation (including Environmental Impact Assessment Directive).
The Commission’s 2014 Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection and Energy allow Member States to support the production of electricity from renewable energy sources, subject to certain conditions. These rules aim to help Member States meet the EU’s ambitious energy and climate targets at the least possible cost for taxpayers and without undue distortions of competition in the Single Market.The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case numbers SA.51983 in the State Aid Register on the Commission’s competition website, once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News.
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The shareholders of the Oltenia Energy Complex (CEO), more precisely the Romanian Government that holds the majority stake, refused to mandate the company’s management for starting negotiations for the construction of a new coal-mining group in Rovinari, Economica.net reported. The project is supposed to be developed under a public-private partnership with a Chinese group.
This is not the first postponement. China Huadian Engineering won the tender to build a 600 MW coal-fueled power plant in Romania, at Rovinari, in 2012. The cost of the project is estimated at EUR 1 billion. The first negotiations began in 2012, the talks were interrupted in 2016 and resumed at the end of last year.
The European Commission has recently urged Romania to revise the integrated energy and environment plan sent in its first form to Brussels and increase from 27.9% to 34% the targeted share for renewable energy in the country’s energy consumption in the horizon of 2030. However, the case for renewable energy does not invalidate the need for replacing the thermal power plants, a recent forecast by global consulting company ICIS suggests.
Romania’s thermal generation capacities will decrease rapidly toward the middle of the next decade, due to the high emissions costs and the capacities approaching the end of their lifetime. ICIS forecasts a 60% drop in installed capacity in coal-fired power stations and 45% in gas plants in Romania. Renewable generation capacities will develop slowly, given that the Government has set a low target, ICIS warns at the same time.
The post Romania defers once again the EUR 1 bln coal fired power plant project appeared first on EnergyWorld Magazine.
Nicosia has granted approval to the energy companies ENI and Total to explore block seven of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and approved nine other drilling operations within the EEZ over the next two years.
The approval was finalized in a cabinet meeting on Monday following recent indications by Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis that an agreement was in the works.
Total and ENI had applied for an exploration licence in block seven last November. Their joint drilling projects include block three of Cyprus’ EEZ where in February 2018 Turkish warships prevented an ENI drillship from carrying out a drill.
Ankara has repeatedly warned Cyprus against exploring for hydrocarbons in its own EEZ, claiming that the Turkish Cypriots should be considered.
The post Nicosia grants approval to ENI, Total to drill in Block 7 appeared first on EnergyWorld Magazine.
Bulgaria’s section of the TurkStream natural gas pipeline extension into Europe may not be ready until at least the end of 2021 due to the continuation of a legal dispute between Bulgartransgaz and a consortium led by Saudi contractor Arkad Engineering, according to information received from Arkad and Bulgaria’s Supreme Administrative Court late Friday.
he DZZD Consortium, which ranked second in the tender for construction works of the 484 km pipeline, has appealed a decision in June by Bulgaria’s antitrust body, the CPC, to corroborate the award of construction works to a consortium led by Arkad Engineering, a spokesperson from Arkad Engineering told S&P Global Platts.
DZZD’s appeal – which was filed to Bulgaria’s Supreme Administrative Court in early July – has reopened the legal case and put the pipeline project on hold indefinitely.
According to a spokesperson from Bulgaria’s Supreme Administrative Court, there is no legal timeframe by which the court has to make a decision, and a final ruling could take months or even years.
The spokesperson said the first hearing on the case is scheduled for October 24, after the summer break.
A contract between Bulgartransgaz and the contractor cannot be signed until the legal case is resolved, with construction works also on hold until then.
The Arkad spokesperson said that of the two options offered during the tender — to build the pipeline for Eur1.29 billion ($1.44 billion) within 250 days, or for Eur1.10 billion ($1.22 billion) within 615 days — Bulgartransgaz had chosen the second.
The DZZD Consortium, comprising Italy’s Consorzio Varna 1 and Completions Development Associations, affiliated to Russia’s TMK, also offered – in a re-examined proposal – to build the project for Eur1.10 billion within 615 days.
With a 615-day timeline for construction works, and assuming a fast resolution of the conflict straight after the October hearing, the pipeline project may not be ready until at least the end of 2021, two years after completion of TurkStream line two.
Russia’s Gazprom is planning to send gas arriving in Turkey via the second 15.75 Bcm/year line of TurkStream further into Southern-Eastern Europe via a bundle of pipelines crossing Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary. The new route would help Gazprom minimize its reliance on the Ukrainian transit.
But the delay on the Bulgarian section means Gazprom will only be able to use TurkStream to ship its gas to Bulgaria and from Bulgaria to Greece, Macedonia and Romania via the existing network. But Serbia, Hungary, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia will still remain entirely reliant on the Ukrainian route.
The consortium led by Arkad Engineering won the tender in April. However, at the end of May Bulgartransgaz decided to drop the Arkad Engineering consortium, claiming the company failed to present all the relevant documents on time.
Bulgartransgaz assigned the contract to DZZD, which had meanwhile lowered its offer to Eur1.10 billion, the same price offered by Arkad.
Arkad appealed Bulgartransgaz’s decision before Bulgaria’s CPC and won the case at the end of June.
In early July, the DZZD Consortium appealed the CPC’s decision before the Supreme Administrative Court, reopening the legal dispute.
The 484 km pipeline will run from Nova Provadia to the Kirevo/Zajecar interconnection point, on the border between Bulgaria and Serbia, and two annexed compressor stations.
Consorzio Varna 1, which forms part of DZZD, together with Completions Development Associations, declined to comment. Russia’s TMK – to which Completions Developments Association is affiliated – was not available for comment at the time of publication.
The post Legal dispute could push Bulgaria’s TurkStream gas extension back to at least end-2021 appeared first on EnergyWorld Magazine.
A Russian-led project to lay a new gas pipeline to Europe is taking the European Union to court to challenge new rules it says endanger its business model, opening a new front in a fight that has divided EU nations, according to Reuters.
Nord Stream 2 said on Friday that it had asked the Court of Justice of the European Union to annul an EU gas directive amendment enforcing measures including a requirement for pipelines not be owned directly by gas suppliers and for at least 10 percent of capacity be made available to third parties.
The pipeline will be both owned and operated by Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom, though 50% of the funding is provided by Germany’s Uniper and BASF’s Wintershall unit, as well as Anglo-Dutch oil major Shell, Austria’s OMV and France’s Engie.
EU nations passed the rules this year over shared concerns that the pipeline would deprive Ukraine of gas transit fees that are a lifeline for its economy by doubling the amount of gas that could be pumped under the Baltic Sea.
Such worries, along with concerns over the EU’s growing dependence on Russia for energy supplies, have also driven fierce U.S. lobbying against the project.
Eastern European, Nordic and Baltic Sea countries see the 1,225 km (760 mile) pipeline as increasing EU reliance on Moscow, while those in northern Europe, especially Germany, prioritise the economic benefits.
The new rules cast doubt over the operating structure of Nord Stream 2, which argues that it has been unfairly targeted by fast-tracked legislation to stall the project.
“The amendment was clearly designed and adopted for the purpose of disadvantaging and discouraging the Nord Stream 2 pipeline,” it said in a statement, adding that the new rules breached “EU law principles of equal treatment and proportionality”.
What could be a protracted legal battle adds to uncertainty that Nord Stream 2 will be operational by the end of the year as planned.
The project is also still awaiting a permit from Denmark to complete construction.
The post Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline takes EU to court over new gas rules appeared first on EnergyWorld Magazine.
By decision of the Greek Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE), ICGB AD receives a license for an Independent Transmission System Operator (INGS).
The license, issued on June 27, 2019 and officially received on July 18, 2019, concerns the Greek section of the gas interconnector with Greece (IGB project). The license is issued for a period of fifty (50) years and expires on June 27, 2069.
It entitles ICGB AD to start the construction of the project, including the pipeline and auxiliary facilities and equipment on the territory of Greece. Obtaining this license represents enormous progress as it is the final step towards securing the regulatory regime for the IGB project and ensuring a successful start of the construction of the pipeline across Greece.
“The continuous corporate efforts of ICGB and its shareholders, the political will of the governments of Bulgaria and Greece and the unquestionable support from the EC helped us to successfully overcome the challenges before IGB”, announced the Executive Officer from Bulgarian side Teodora Georgieva. According to her, the gas project already has secured funding, the contractors for all key activities have been selected, the contracts for owner’s engineer and construction supervision have been signed and the reserved capacity will ensure the successful operation of the interconnector.
“The synergy of IGB with other key energy projects – part of the Southern Gas Corridor like TAP and TANAP, makes the need of the interconnector undeniable and inseparable part of the comprehensive energy strategy and the priorities of Europe”, underlined the Executive Officer of ICGB from Greek side Konstantinos Karayannakos. He noted that the project ensures real diversification of gas supplies, which will improve Greece and Bulgaria’s positions on the energy market and will contribute to the integration of the entire region.
The construction of the gas interconnector Greece-Bulgaria aims to ensure diversification not only of the routes but also of the natural gas sources for Bulgaria and the region. As part of the development of the Southern Gas Corridor, through IGB Bulgaria and its neighboring countries will have access to alternative supplies from the Caspian region as well as from existing or prospective LNG terminals. IGB‘s implementation also provides opportunities for transit transmission through the gas pipeline Greece-Bulgaria and the gas transportation system of Bulgartransgaz EAD to the other gas interconnectors with Romania and Serbia, ICGB reported.
The post Greece has granted a gas interconnector license to Bulgaria appeared first on EnergyWorld Magazine.
The imports of natural gas soared 353 times in year-on-year terms to 1,185,490 MWh in May, state news agency Agerpres informed quoting data from the market regulator ANRE.
Natural gas imports had risen 100 times year-on-year in April, Agerpres added. Furthermore, the price of the imported natural gas was 12% lower than the price of the domestic gas traded on the local exchange: RON 89 per MWh versus RON 101 per MWh.
The development came in the context of the Government capping the price of the natural gas delivered by local producers to residential consumers (or for the production of heating for residential consumers) at RON 68 per MWh.
According to the statistics office INS, the imports of natural gas in January-May accounted for 864,000 equivalent tonnes oil (toe) — or 12.5 million MWh. This means that the gas imports in May accounted for less than one-tenth of the imports in the five months.
The imports of natural gas in January-May increased by roughly 39% year-on-year and accounted for 20% of the total natural gas consumption in the period, according to INS. The figures point to a certain increase in imports in line with the new regulations. However, the sharp surge in April May occurred amid low volumes therefore is not particularly relevant.
The oil market has changed so much over the past five years that fast-growing non-OPEC oil production limits oil price gains from a spike in tensions in the Middle East, where Iran seized a British oil tanker last week, Morgan Stanley says.
“There is a difference in the oil market this time around because non-OPEC is simply growing so fast. That is the real game changer and that’s why the price action is relatively benign,” Morgan Stanley’s global oil strategist Martijn Rats told CNBC on Monday, commenting on the muted price reaction to Iran seizing a British tanker in Middle Eastern waters on Friday.
If such an incident in the most important oil shipping lane in the world, the Strait of Hormuz, happened just five years ago, oil prices wouldn’t have risen just 1-2 percent, the spike would have been “much, much more significant,” Rats told CNBC.
Oil prices were up early on Monday at 08:00 a.m. EDT, with WTI Crude rising 1.11 percent at $56.38 and Brent Crude up 1.25 percent at $63.25. Prices had eased back somewhat by 10:00am.
We are in a fundamentally well-supplied oil market, Morgan Stanley’s Rats said, adding that with non-OPEC oil production growing very fast and oil demand somewhat soft, it’s actually “quite remarkable that we’re only at $63 a barrel, despite these concerns.”
At the beginning of this month, just after OPEC and its allies rolled over their production cuts into 2020, Morgan Stanley revised down its long-term Brent Crude forecast to $60 from $65 a barrel. Over the next three quarters, the bank sees Brent at around $65 per barrel, a downward revision from a previous forecast of $67.50 a barrel.
On Friday, before news broke that Iran had seized a tanker, Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), said that slowing oil demand growth and a persistent global glut would cap oil prices and keep them from rising too much, barring serious escalations in geopolitical tensions.
The post Morgan Stanley: Why tanker wars aren’t causing an oil price spike appeared first on EnergyWorld Magazine.
Transgaz Medias, Romania’s state-owned gas pipe operator, continues work on the first phase of the BRUA pipeline. The company has finalized already 215 kilometers of pipeline and three gas compression stations, according to a press release by the Economy Ministry, the company’s majority shareholder, quoted by Agerpres.
The first phase of the BRUA pipeline is 550 kilometers long and will have a maximum capacity of 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year to Bulgaria and 4.4 billion cubic meters per year to Hungary.
The investment amounts to EUR 560 million, partly covered from EU funds. Transgaz has also started several projects to consolidate the national gas transport system by building new pipeline sections in several areas of the country.
Transgaz is one of the most profitable state companies. It has investment plans worth about RON 4.4 billion (EUR 930 million) for the 2019-2024 period. The company recently received BBB- rating from Fitch, which is similar to Romania’s sovereign rating.
The post Transgaz has completed over 200 km of BRUA pipeline in Romania appeared first on EnergyWorld Magazine.
People in Bucharest looking for a clean, fast and secure alternative to move around the city will have the opportunity to do just that starting next week. SPARK, an international brand for e-car sharing services in Europe, will soon start its operations in the capital of Romania with a fleet entirely of electric cars.
The service will be provided by newly founded Romanian company “Spark Car Sharing SRL” that is a part of the international company “SPARK Technologies UAB” based in Lithuania. The SPARK mission is to provide better solutions for transportation in a low-cost and eco-friendly way.
Nerijus Dagilis, the founder and CEO of SPARK Technologies – “As people’s awareness increases, consumer behavior changes, so deliberate and practical use becomes more important and sharing services is more relevant. This consumer demand and successful SPARK experience in Lithuania and Bulgarian has led to the introduction of an electric car sharing network in Romania. We believe that this is one of the attributes of the future that will help a fast developing cities like Bucharest not only to become more modern, but also to solve everyday problems, which are very important for every inhabitant like congestion, air pollution and noise level. These are the reasons that determined us to choose a more cost-effective and ecological solution – the electric cars. It is an advanced vehicle that will no longer be a matter of concern and will be widely used by the majority of the country’s population. An easy-to-access opportunity for everyone to make sure of its reliability, safety and environmental friendliness.”
According to a Statista report, Bucharest placed 11th in the world in a ranking of the cities with the worst traffic congestion. On average one person living in Bucharest loses due to traffic about 103 hours per year, taking into account only the usual daily commute to the office and back.
On average one family is not utilizing their car for more than 10.000 km/year, as 96% of the time the private cars are just parked. Also, car ownership incurs additional costs and financial burdens (annual tax, maintenance fees and similar). Recent studies show that one shared car removes the need for about 14 private cars, which in turn has a beneficial effect on both traffic and parking availability in the cities (besides the decrease of noxious emissions).
Also, according to numbeo.com, Bucharest has the 6th worst pollution index among major cities in Europe. And, while vehicles are not the only air pollution cause for the city, they are among the top 5. By using electric vehicles with virtually no noxious emissions at all, our users will be directly helping to improve the air quality for everyone in the town.
Thus, by using e-car sharing services, we’ll not only help with the congestion, but we’ll also help clean up the air within the city.
As for users, current legislation provides that the use of public parking lots for electric cars is free. Electric cars are allowed to use bus lanes in Bucharest, so electric car drivers can follow quicker routes throughout the city. Also, SPARK users do not have to worry about charging the vehicles or other additional fees for using one of our vehicles as they do with their own cars that run on gas, as the SPARK fleet management team will make sure all cars have enough energy to get you where you want. You just use the car and have no further obligations.
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Crude oil prices fell on Friday as concerns over the outlook for global economic growth outweighed elevated tensions in the Middle East that could disrupt supply routes and send prices higher.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 1.1% at $56.72 per barrel by 0310 GMT. There was no settlement price on Thursday because of the Independence Day holiday in the United States.
Front-month Brent crude futures were down 0.1% at $63.25 per barrel, after closing down 0.8% on Thursday.
Analysts said oil was under pressure because fears over future demand amid trade disputes threatening global economic growth. But losses were checked by commitment to cut production from the world’s largest exporters – including members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers such as Russia, a grouping known as OPEC+.
“Global growth remains the main factor holding back crude prices,” said Alfonso Esparza, senior analyst at OANDA. “The OPEC+ deal will keep prices from falling too hard, but there must be an end to trade protectionism to assure the demand for energy products recovers.”
New orders for U.S. factory goods fell for a second straight month in May, government data showed on Wednesday, stoking economic concerns.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday reported a weekly decline of 1.1 million barrels in crude stocks, much smaller than the 5 million barrel draw reported by the American Petroleum Institute earlier in the week.
That suggests oil demand in the United States, the world’s biggest crude consumer, could be slowing amid signs of a weakening economy.
Countering the downward pressure, ongoing tensions in the Middle East also offered some support.
British Royal Marines seized a giant Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar on Thursday for trying to take oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions, a dramatic step that drew Tehran’s fury and could escalate its confrontation with the West.
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Romania’s state-owned power distribution and supply company Electrica is interested in buying the assets owned by Czech energy company CEZ in Romania, once they are put up for sale, Electrica CEO Georgeta Corina Popescu has said in an interview with Agerpres, Romania Insider reported.
In addition to eyeing CEZ’s assets in Romania, Electrica is also considering entering the energy production segment, Popescu said.
The sale of CEZ’s assets, however, seems to be a complex transaction, Popescu said. “[…] I do not know for now what is the privatization strategy CEZ will use: will it want to sell everything to a single company, will it make it under a competitive process, will it sell separately the business segments? We do not yet have any concrete information,” she added.
In Romania, the Czech company is involved in the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources, as well as in electricity distribution and sales.
CEZ’s assets in Romania include a 600 MW wind farm developed in a EUR 1.1 billion investment. The Fantanele-Cogealac wind farm in the region of Dobruja (Dobrogea) has 240 GE 2.5 MW turbines and produces 1.2 million kWh of electricity annually, according to CEZ Romania’s website.
Among other assets in Romania, CEZ also owns TMK Hydroenergy Power, which operates four hydropower plants (Grebla, Crainicel 1, Crainicel 2, and Breazova) with an installed capacity of around 22 MW.
CEZ in deal to sell Bulgarian assets for EUR 335 million
On June 21, CEZ Group signed a contract with holding company Eurohold Bulgaria for the sale of its assets in Bulgaria. Eurohold will pay EUR 335 million for CEZ’s Bulgarian assets.
The contract on the sale of CEZ’s assets in Bulgaria to Eurohold is subject to regulatory approvals of the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (KZK) and the Bulgarian Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (KEVR).
CEZ’s previous attempt to sell its Bulgarian assets to Inercom Bulgaria did not receive regulatory approval.
In Bulgaria, the CEZ group distributes and sells electricity in the western part of the country and generates electricity, mostly in a coal-fired power plant, according to its website.
CEZ’s assets in Bulgaria, subject to the sale, comprise power utility CEZ Distribution Bulgaria, power supplier CEZ Electro Bulgaria, licensed electricity trader CEZ Trade Bulgaria, IT services company CEZ ICT Bulgaria, solar park Free Energy Project Oreshetz, biomass-fired power plant Bara Group and CEZ Bulgaria.
Israel-focused gas driller Energean said on Thursday it will buy Italian energy group Edison’s oil and natural gas unit for an initial consideration of $750 million.
The acquisition would significantly expand Energean’s operations in the growing eastern Mediterranean gas hub, with a significant presence in Egypt’s offshore basin.
Energean said it will likely pay an additional $100 million after gas production from the Cassiopea field in offshore Italy begins, which is expected in 2022.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that Energean was the frontrunner to acquire these assets.
Energean expects the expanded group to produce over 140 kilobarrels of oil equivalent per day (kboed/d) in 2021 when the Karish and Tanin development projects come onstream.
The London-listed driller said Edison’s portfolio, which includes assets in Italy, Algeria, Croatia, the British and Norwegian North Sea as well as Greece, adds net working interest production of 69 kboed/d.
Energean said it will finance the initial consideration for the deal through a short-term loan facility of $600 million and up to $265 million through equity financing.
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The death of Opec, the oil-producers cartel, has been predicted many times in the past, but rarely from a member of the club which is why this time it might be correct.
So, when Iran’s Oil Minister, Bijan Zanganeh, warned earlier this week on the sidelines of a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that a private production deal negotiated between Russia and Saudi Arabia “threatened the existence of Opec” he was not exaggerating.
What particularly annoyed Zanganeh was what he called unilateralism, the teaming of two big oil producers to effectively decide what all Opec members should do.
Not A Happy Club
Adding insult to injury was the fact that one of the countries deciding oil production quotas for the next nine months is not a member of Opec (Russia is classified as an observer) while the other, Saudi Arabia is a regional enemy.
But, behind the latest oil production and price-rigging exercise is an alarming development that no-one in Opec is prepared to admit and that’s the fact that the cartel and its friends have ceded control of oil to the U.S. and will struggle to get it back before the renewable energy revolution hits full steam.
The best way to demonstrate the transfer of oil-control to the U.S. (or should that be return of control) is to consider two questions: which country has the greatest demand for oil and which country is the biggest producer?
U.S. Control Of Supply And Demand
To both questions the answer is the U.S., and while there might be an argument over the precise numbers because of Opec’s artificial production controls the reality is that the U.S. has stormed back into global oil production leadership courtesy of output from shale and other hard rocks which have been tamed by modern technologies such as directional drilling and rock fracturing.
The U.S. is also the leader in total oil and gas demand, with China a close competitor in a global economy which is showing signs of slowing which will further reduce demand for oil.
This is Opec’s ultimate problem because while the cartel’s members might believe they control the oil market, and can increase and decrease production to manipulate the price, the reality is that the game has changed from a time when a small group of oil producers could hold the world to ransom.
Having a supply competitor in the U.S. is a bad enough for Opec, but having a rival which is also the world’s major oil user is double trouble, especially as the reason the U.S. has reclaimed is oil leadership is not simply a matter of having the right geology, it’s more about having the right technology — and that technology is transferable from one oil-rich location to another.
Opec Cuts Matched By A U.S. Increase
The latest production cuts by Opec and Russia might have the desired effect of boosting the oil price though in doing that it also encourages increased U.S. shale output.
In a way, Opec is simply subsidizing U.S. shale-oil production as its members try to get the price to a level where they can balance their budgets.
The irony of what’s happening can best be seen in comments from the Saudi oil minister, Khalid al-Falih, who said after the Opec meeting that U.S. shale oil would one day peak and go the same way as every other oil basin.
“It will peak, plateau and then decline,” al-Falih said.
Even Saudi Oil Will Decline
He’s absolutely right because that’s what happens to every oilfield, and mine, over time.
But what he neglected to add is that the same process of peaking, plateauing and declining is what will also happen to Saudi and Russian oilfields.
What will last a lot longer than the geology of those fields is the technology to extract difficult or unconventional oil and gas in the U.S. and the rest of the world as the technology is mastered and exported.
Opec might not be dead but it’s certainly a club with some anxious members who are starting to worry how long they can stick together.
Source: Forbes/Tim Treadgold
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