Russia 101014 Basic Political Developments

IP gas pipeline laying: no Russian company interested: envoy

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IP gas pipeline laying: no Russian company interested: envoy


ISLAMABAD  (October 14, 2010) : Russia has ruled out involvement of any Russian company in laying gas pipeline under Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project. "No Russian company is interested in executing gas project between Pakistan and Iran," Ambassador of Russia, Budnik Andrey, said while exclusively talking to Business Recorder.

He said that construction of pipeline was a political matter, and Russian government had not taken any decision on it. "Moreover, work on IP gas pipeline project is yet to kick off," he added. Sources in the Ministry of Petroleum confirmed that Pakistan had formally invited Gazprom to participate in laying the gas pipeline under Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline deal.

A Pakistani delegation led by State Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Hina Rabbani Khar had visited Russian on September 22, 2010 where the two countries had agreed to establish a Pak-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC). In a statement issued by Board of Investment, a meeting between Gazprom Zarybezhneftgaz and Pakistani officials for oil and gas exploration in Pakistan resulted in some meaningful decisions, but did not mention any discussion on laying the IP gas pipeline.

Sources said that Pakistan and Gazprom have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for laying the 950 km gas pipeline under the IP gas pipeline project. "But the two sides are yet to enter into an agreement to build the pipeline to transmit gas from Iran to Pakistan," they said.

LUKOIL and TNK –BP Dispose of Oil Cuttings Inherited After Perestroika

The Russian oil and gas industry generates over 3 million tones of cuttings a year. One third of this waste comes from oil producing companies. Given the huge impact on the environment, oil companies are becoming more aware of the issue and taking major steps to rectify the situaiton.

By Elena Zhuk

LUKOIL is using a comprehensive approach to cutting disposal. Marine Chikovani, Leading Expert with the LUKOIL Environment Department said that in 2003 the company launched a cuttings disposal program at the LUKOIL Neftochim Burgas Refinery (Bulgaria), investing $3 million. Chikovani spoke last Tuesday at the sub-committee meeting of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. where she noted her company's technological program envisions using German-made equipment by BAUGRUND and building a depot for technological waste.

Chikovani said two lines of disposal facilities are planned at the LUKOIL Permnefteorgsintez Refinery as well. The construction of the first line facility was started last year, she said adding that the second line is currently being built. LUKOIL also plans to instal a stripping unit for sludge briquetting, she said.  Over the next several years this program will make it possible to dispose of waste, including waste accumulated over previous years. Most importantly, Chikovani told Oil and Gas Eurasia, this will prevent the accumulation of waste in the future.

like other major Russian oil and gas producing companies, LUKOIL faces the issue of waste accumulated prior to 1991.  Chikovani said she believes there is no established compensation mechanisms for previous environmental damage and no provisions for any allowences or for the recovery of costs incurred by companies for cleaning up environmental damage dating from before privatisation. No incentives exist for the companies to dispose of such waste she said and on top of not receiving any allowances, companies must also have to pay for waste disposal, Chikovani said.

While LUKOIL disposes of liquid waste on its own, TNK-BP uses contractors for both liquid and solid waste disposal. TNK-BP plans to bury oil waste by 2017, said Elena Lebedeva, Director of the OAO "TNK-BP Management” Environment Department. At the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry sub-committee meeting Lebedeva talked about cuttings reinjection, an advanced disposal technology method.  Lebedeva said that the use of that technology is hindered  by the lack of appropriate regulations and a long payout period. For example, for the Samotlor field the payout period is estimated at 7 years, said Lebedeva. Lebedeva said she does not expect any technological breakthrough in the cuttings disposal industry.


Gazprom Chairman Comes to Sofia to Talk over Gas Supplies

THURSDAY, 14 October 2010

Very soon Bulgaria will negotiate the gas supplies directly with the Russian energy giant Gazprom, comment sources well informed about Moscow-Sofia talks. This time the Bulgarian party has some trumps up a sleeve that hopefully will help to make Russians yield and agree to some of Bulgaria’s demands – no more intermediaries and lower gas price. Other trumps that Bulgarian negotiators are going to play are the already sealed agreements for the construction of intersystem pipe links with Greece and Turkey. Thus, now Bulgaria will sit at the negotiation table with a totally different stand.   

Upon the implementation of the two projects Bulgaria will secure alternative gas supply from Azerbaijan and via Greece that account to over two-thirds of the annual consumption. This will make Russians seriously consider the Bulgarian demands for lowering prices and removal of intermediaries.
Gazprom chairman, Alexey Miller will talk tete-a-tete with Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov right after his arrival to Sofia tonight.
He will also talk with Economy and Energy Minister Traycho Traykov, his deputy Maryi Kossev and director of the Bulgarian Energy Holding, Maya Hristova.

Kristian Kosturkov

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