Natural Gas Daily - Interfax


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Featured report on the realities of Iraq's power supply shortfall.
With New Iraq Development Group reported-on being part of the solution.
NID Group's chairman, engineer Mr. Ghazi shares some facts on Iraqi's market needs.

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Natural Gas Daily - Interfax

  1. 1. Leigh ElstonAfter years of failed planning in the electric-ity sector in Iraq, the power shortfall in thesouth of the country is a source of mountingpolitical tension.Over the course of 2011, the electricityministry was shrouded by accusations ofbureaucracy, incompetency and a lack oftransparency, with electricity minister RaadShalal being asked to resign in August.The slow development of the power sec-tor looks particularly acute when electricitysupply in the south is compared to that of theKurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) in the north.According to the October 2011 quarterlyreport from the Special Inspector Generalfor Iraq Reconstruction, electricity genera-tion was up by just 14% in the south since2008, producing a maximum of eight hours ofelectricity per day. In comparison, electricitygeneration in the KRI had increased by 581%since 2008 and generators were able to pro-vide 24 hours of uninterrupted electricity sup-ply in the third quarter of 2011. While powerinfrastructure in the KRI was less damaged bythe war, the Kurdistan Regional Government(KRG) has proved “better organised and abetter regulator”, than its southern counter-part, Michelle Karavias, a senior infrastruc-ture analyst at Business Monitor Internationaltold Interfax.However, Iraqi Kurdistan covers a farsmaller area than southern Iraq and is a lotsafer to operate in. And “they’ve had a 12-yearhead-start to get their act together. Kurdistanwas liberated 10 years before the rest of thecountry”, Dr Zuhair al-Naher, the London-based spokesperson for the ruling Dawa Partyin Iraq told Interfax.Furthermore, the KRG has “a lot morecontrol; there are only two parties there whohave basically divided up the sector, whereasthere are many political parties in the south sodecision making is much harder,” he said.But, he adds, the bureaucracy and politicalwrangling that has paralysed the developmentof the industry in southern Iraq is now beingaddressed, “because the electricity sectoris a priority as far as the prime minister isconcerned. He has weekly or fortnightly meet-ings with the energy committee (a specialistcommittee of the ministers of oil, electricity,finance and other related ministries and thehead of the advisory committee). Bureau-cracy in Iraq is a reality that does slow thingsdown, but a lot of tension and a lot of pres-sure is being put to ease those bureaucratichindrances.”Escalating security situationThe rise in sectarian violence in the south andthe rapid unravelling of the fragile political al-liance in Baghdad is unlikely to encourage newforeign investment in the power sector, or speeddevelopment on the ground of already long-delayed projects.“The moment that United States troops left,the failings of the sectarian system put in placeby the US were exposed... Sunnis feel they arebeing marginalised by a Shia administration thatis being backed by Iran. So there is dangerouspolarisation along sectarian lines,” Gerald Butt,editor of the weekly politics and energy briefof consultancy MENA Prospect, told Interfax.“President Talabani is trying to bring all politicalparties to a national conference, but without anysuccess. If such efforts fail, then armed groupson either side will increasingly take the lawinto their own hands, opening the possibilityof civil war.”Security has long been an issue for companiesoperating in Iraq, and although a resurgenceof sectarian fighting may hinder the develop-ment and procurement of materials for projects,Karavias doubts it will prompt companies towithdraw. “Turkish developers in »6Inside Natural Gas DailyElectricity capacity coming online in Iraq,MegawattsSource: Business Monitor InternationalCapacity, MW01,0002,0003,0004,0005,0002014201320124,410 4,4284,000Iraq braces to meet power supply shortfallTemperature drop causes UK gasprices to hit record highCNPC and Sinopec to expand CTGtransmission from XinjiangEU infrastructure deal unlikelybefore end of 2012LNG imports are Colombia’spriorityProducers feel heat in Argentina assubsidies fail againWhy Russia’s elections matterMET increase to impact Gazpromprofits in RussiaIndia’s falling output drives eastcoast LNG plans283910457www.interfaxenergy.comInterfax Information Services Group© 2012 Interfax LtdGlobal natural gas news and analysis Volume 2 Issue 24 ■ Monday, 6 February 2012
  2. 2. Natural Gas Daily6 February 2012 | 2EuropeTemperature drop causes UK gas pricesto hit record highUK prompt spot gas prices traded at theirhighest level since 2006, as freezing tempera-tures, snow and ice covered the country overthe weekend. The unseasonably cold weather isexpected to continue for another seven days.UK NBP spot gas prices rose steadily sincelast Tuesday with same-day prices tradingby Monday afternoon up to 87.50 pence pertherm (p/th) and prices for next-day (Tuesday7 February) delivery trading at 85.50 p/th.“The UK price rise is in reaction to therecent cold weather as well as moving up inline with higher European prices. Although theUK does not rely on Russian export supplies,the UK gas market has seen the firmer pricestraded in European impacted by the Russianexport shortfall,” Andrew Horstead, a Utilyxanalyst told Interfax.The UK relies on gas deliveries fromNorway via the Langeled pipeline which hasnot seen any recent disruption in UK deliver-ies. However, any disruption in Norwegian gasdeliveries could result in a price hike, Horsteadadded.According to the UK’s daily National Gridgas data, at 10 am, on Monday morning (6February) the National Grid forecasted de-mand at 394.4 million cubic metres (MMcm),compared to average seasonal demand of328.6 MMcm.The shortfall in UK gas supply is being metfrom UK storage facilities and LNG imports.Rough, the largest gas storage facility in theUK, located 18 miles off the coast of Yorkshire,is supplying 46 MMcm/d, and can hold up to3.3 billion cubic metres. Britain holds less gasstorage than most large European countries, upto 5 bcm, which is estimated to meet about twoweeks of UK gas consumption under normalconditions.Graham McQuarrie, National Grid pressofficer, told Interfax that daily gas suppliesamounting to 67 MMcm were being drawnfrom the UK’s three LNG import terminals, Isleof Grain, South Hook and Dragon.Horstead added there has been concernover how much LNG the UK will receive, asmany LNG cargoes in the past six months havesold to higher priced destinations such as Asia.Qatar supplied the UK with 85% of its LNG be-tween January and November 2011. As the UKmoves to become more reliant on LNG importsin the next 5-10 years, gas prices are likely tobecome more volatile.UK regulator OFGEM’s Chief ExecutiveAlistair Buchanan told journalists at a gasforum last week that the UK was concernedabout security of gas supply and said theDepartment of Energy and Climate Changerequested for OFGEM to review the UK’smedium to long-term gas supply, and hadexpressed concern over the UK’s dependenceon Qatar for LNG.Contact editorial at StaffSupply & demand | UKPremier Oil has stopped drill-ing at the East Fyne appraisalwell in the UK’s central NorthSea because of the thicknessof the oil-bearing sand, thecompany said on Monday.Drilling encountered 11 feet(3.4 m) of gas-bearing sandand 2.4 m of oil-bearing sand.Italy’s offshore Adriatic LNGregasification terminal atRovigo is running on lowervolumes because ships areunable to dock due to roughseas, Dow Jones reported onMonday. Ships have beenunable to dock at the terminalsince Friday. The terminal,owned by ExxonMobil, Edisonand Qatar Petroleum, usuallyimports 20 MMcm/d.Development of the 8 bcm/yGalsi pipeline between Algeriaand Italy has been boggeddown by economic and techni-cal problems that are blockingconstruction, Algeria’s ElKhabar reported on Monday,citing Energy and MinesMinister Youcef Yousi. “Withregard to the Galsi project,the partners are waiting fortechnical and economicconditions to be present andalso to obtain administra-tive authorisation in Italy togo ahead with the project,”Yousi said. The project wasexpected to begin operat-ing in mid-2014. Italy alreadyreceives 30-35% of its gasimports from Algeria via theTrans-Mediterranean link.Europe in briefNatural Gas Daily is published daily except during the lastweek of December by Interfax Europe Ltd. ISSN 2048-4534.Copyright ©2012 Interfax Europe Ltd. All rights reserved. Nopart of this report may be reproduced or transmitted in anyform, whether electronic, mechanical or any other meanswithout the prior permission of Interfax. In any case of repro-duction, a reference to Interfax must be made.All the information and comment contained in this report is be-lieved to be correct at the time of publication. Interfax acceptsno responsibility or liability for its completeness or accuracy.INTERFAX EUROPE LTD.19-21 Great Tower Street, London EC3R 5AQ, UKTel: +44 (0) 20 3004 6200Fax: +44 (0) 20 7283 1332Web: www.interfaxenergy.comGeneral enquiries: enquiries: (Nairobi): Jessica HatcherAustralia (Melbourne): Sally BogleAzerbaijan (Baku): Anar Azizov, Nigar AbbasovaBelgium (Brussels): Andreas Walstad (EU Policy),Danila BochkarevChina (Shanghai): Dave Lore (bureau chief), James Burbridge,Hang Dong, Colin Shek, Tang Tian, Victor Wang; (Beijing) RainyLee, Li Xin; (Hong Kong) Robert SullivanGermany (Berlin): Joshua PosanerIndia (New Delhi): Eric Randolph, Siddharth SrivastavaKazakhstan (Almaty): Elena PreobrazhenskayaLatin America (Santiago): Anatoly KurmanaevNorth America (New York): Conway IrwinRussia (Moscow): Alexey Novikov, Svetlana SavateevaUkraine (Kiev): Alexey Egorov, Roman IvanchenkoEDITORIALChief Editor Therese Robinson+44 (0)20 3004 Reporter James Batty+44 (0)20 3004 Reporter Sophie Davies+44 (0)20 3004 Reporter Leigh Elston+44 (0)20 3004 Reporter Andreas Christopher Noon+44 (0)20 3004 Sara Stefanini+44 (0)20 3004 Reporter James Byrne+44 (0)20 3004 Reporter Ahmed Mehdi+44 (0)20 3004 Sub-editor Rhys TimsonSub-editor Doug KitsonWeb & Production Editor Joseph WilliamsSALESSubscriptions Manager, Energy John Bulmer+44 (0)20 3004 Manager, Energy Marwan Galal+44 (0)20 3004 Manager, Energy (Asia) Cynthia Wong+852 2537
  3. 3. EU infrastructure deal unlikely before end of 2012An agreement on pan-Europeanenergy infrastructure develop-ment priorities is not likely beforethe end of 2012 due to divergingviews among EU member stateson several key points, accordingto a note circulated by the DanishEU Presidency in preparation forthe 14 February meeting of the EUenergy ministers.The document seen by EnergyMonitor says that agreement be-tween the European Parliamentand the Council on a draft regula-tion outlining energy infrastructuredevelopment priorities up to 2020“should preferably be reachedbefore the end of 2012”.This would enable it to enter intoforce in early 2013, which wouldin turn allow for the establishmentof the first EU-wide list of priorityinfrastructure projects – the so-called projects of common interest(PCI) – by the end of July 2013, asproposed in the draft regulation bythe European Commission.Taking stock of the first round ofdiscussions in the Council’s energyworking group, the Presidencyadmited that talk at this stage is stilldevoted to the “clarification of dif-ferent provisions and the interplaybetween them”.“Many delegations are stillstudying the text and thereforemaintain scrutiny reservations,”according to the document.“Some delegations also wonderwhether [the PCI selection process]could realistically be completed by31 July 2013, as proposed by theCommission.”Based on previous discussions,the Presidency has identified a listof concerns regarding the proposedcriteria for selecting PCIs; simplify-ing project authorisation proce-dures; the role of national and localregulatory bodies in authorisingPCIs; and financing issues.Projects of common interestWhile most member states supportthe general idea of tasking regionalgroups with the selection of PCIs,several issues remain to be resolvedwith regards to the exact role,establishment, composition andthe functioning of such groups, thePresidency noted.“On the proposed selectionprocess, some delegations wouldlike to make it shorter, simplerand less bureaucratic, while othersstated that some phases of theprocess should be lengthened,” thedocument said.Several countries would like tosee a greater role for member statesin selecting PCIs. The Commission,on the other hand, would like totake the process out of governmenthands as much as possible, for fearof ending up with a list of severalhundred projects, as is the caseunder the current TEN-E projectsupport framework.Philip Lowe, director generalfor energy at the Commission,voiced this concern recently, at aconference in Brussels organisedby the Council of European EnergyRegulators (CEER).“Realistically, can the EU havesome 600 projects of commoninterests?” he asked the audience,while debating possible ways ofsolving the problem of underin-vestment in European generationcapacities and energy transportinfrastructure.According to the Presidencynote, several member states havecalled for additional criteria to de-fine what is meant in the proposedregulation by “market failure”,“isolated market”, “security of sup-ply” and “industrial interest” – allmeant to be key conditions in thePCI selection process.There is also doubt as to whetheronly projects listed in the Ten-Year Network Development Plans(TYNDP) – which are regularlyupdated by the European organi-sations of transmission systemoperators for electricity and gas(ENTSOE and ENTSOG) – shouldbe the selection base for PCIs.“Some member states oppose cer-tain criteria, such as the conditionthat a project should appear on theUnion-wide TYNDP,” the note says.Commission officials have alsoacknowledged recently that theTYNDPs may not be such a reliablesource for project selection after all.At the CEER conference lastweek, Jean-Arnold Vinois, headof the energy policy and securityof supply unit at the EuropeanCommission, noted that more than50% of the priority interconnectionprojects identified at the end of lastyear by a high-level regional groupin Central and Eastern Europe arenot included in the TYNDPs.“This was meant to be a modelexample of how the PCIs shouldbe selected, and over half of theprojects are not in the TYNDPs,”Vinois told the conference.Permit grantingDuring discussions in the Councilon the granting of permits for PCIs,concerns were expressed aboutthe need to maintain the neces-sary safeguards for citizens and theenvironment, as well as to respectthe role of local, regional andnational authorities, the Presidencynote said.Several delegations argued that –in view of the Commission’s impactassessment attached to the draftregulation – some of the provisionsoutlined in Article 8 were dispro-portionate. “In particular, it wasunderlined that a one-size-fits-allapproach might not work equallywell in all member states due totheir diversity, and that manychanges required in national legis-lation and at the level of national,local and regional administrationwere not proportional to the aims,which could be achieved by moregeneral requirements on memberstates,” said the document.On the organisation of thepermit granting process, its dura-tion and implementation, severaldelegations requested longer time-frames than the three-year time capproposed by the Commission. Theyalso wanted more flexibility withinthe proposed timeframe, as regardsboth the timing of the phasesproposed and the procedure to befollowed by the member state.Contact editorial at European Parliament hopes for draft energy developement regulations by 2013. (PA)EU Policy & RegulationA round-up of the latest policy initiatives in BrusselsSupplied by Energy Monitor
  4. 4. Natural Gas Daily6 February 2012 | 4Russia & the CaspianAs a result of domestic pressure following allegations ofwidespread fraud in parliamentary elections last year,Russian energy officials are focusing on domestic needsas presidential elections draw near.Thousands of protestors braved temperatures as lowas -19C in Moscow this weekend to rally against PrimeMinister Vladimir Putin. Saturday’s turnout – estimatedby organisers at 120,000 and by officials at 36,000 –defied expectations that the protest movement wouldrun out of steam.As the Kremlin’s strategists vow to engineer a road-map for political survival ahead of the March presiden-tial elections, Putin used the weekend to task Gazpromwith the challenge of prioritising domestic demand.In his meeting with Vice Premier Igor Sechin andDeputy Chairmen of the Gazprom ManagementCommittee Alexander Medvedev and Andrei Kruglov,Putin said: “The main task of the energy sector ingeneral and Gazprom in particular is to satisfy Russiandomestic demand. That is, to supply consumers inthe Russian Federation. That is the primary task,”he said.Putin’s comments follow a week in which Europeanspot gas prices surged due to supply shortfalls in Poland,Austria, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria and Greece. Accordingto the European Commission, Austria received 30% lessgas than ordered, Italy received 24% less, and Poland8% less.According to Kruglov, Gazprom is meeting its con-tract obligations, despite the increased volume of orders.“We see that the volume of orders has increased. Wehave an approved schedule of gas deliveries to WesternEurope,” Kruglov said.Kruglov also mentioned that in Ukraine, Gazpromsupplied more gas than stipulated by its contract obliga-tions. “In Ukraine last week, there was an overuse of gascompared to the contract,” he said.Last week, Ukraine took between 150 million and170 million cubic metres per day (MMcm/d) instead ofthe 135 MMcm/d stipulated by the contract, he said.Gazprom confidentCommenting on the situation within Russia, Kruglovstruck an altogether more confident note on Gazprom’sability to meet soaring domestic demand during thecold snap. According to Kruglov, Gazprom companiesare producing 1.6 billion cubic metres per day of gas.Kruglov reported that, in contrast with last year,production is up by roughly 300-400 MMcm. “We arealso taking out 630 million from underground storagedaily,” he said.The amount of gas being taken by utilities provid-ers is up by 200 MMcm from a year ago, Kruglov said.“We are satisfying all requests, and there have been nocut-offs. We are working with industrial enterprises inaccordance with the contracts,” he added.Supplies stretchedDespite Kruglov’s comments however, domesticsupply in the country is stretching the country’sgas balance.According to Interfax data, for the past 10 days,gas supplies to Russian consumers have exceeded thethreshold (1.82 bcm/d) that was set by last year’s supplyquota enshrined in the Law Schedule No.1.Schedule No.1 stipulates restricting gas suppliesto industrial consumers in favour of maximising thesupply to household consumers, and the housingand public utilities sectors. With gas supplies on1 February 2012 reaching unprecedented highs of2.04 bcm, last year’s imposition of a gas supply caphas been broken.For Russia’s power sector, gas supplies to Russia’spower companies also peaked this year with702 MMcm/d compared to 637 MMcm/d last year,according to Interfax figures.According to Igor Yurgens, chairman of the Institutefor Contemporary Development and first vice-presidentof Renaissance Capital Investment Group, while Putinis likely headed for victory in March, “he will reassumethe presidency with lower support and be on the defen-sive,” he told Interfax.Whether Russia’s energy sector will be able to balancean increasing domestic focus with its contractual obliga-tions in Europe remains to be seen as further pressureis set to mount in the coming months – both on thestreets of Moscow and the industrial heartland ofthe country.Contact Ahmed at Russia’s elections matterA major part of last week’s European gas supply shortfall was due to Gazprom’s focus on Russia’s domestic needs. With politicalpressures on the streets of Moscow, a strategy is needed to satisfy these demands. Ahmed Mehdi and Alexey Novikov reportTotal gas supply in Russia including supplies for technical needs*MMcm1,5001,7001,9002,1002,3002,50004-Feb30-Jan25 Jan20 Jan15 Jan10 Jan5 Jan1 JanSource: Interfax2012 2011*Pipelines and underground storage facilities“The main task of theenergy sector ingeneral and Gazpromin particular is to satisfyRussian domesticdemand”Russian Prime Minister VladimirPutin
  5. 5. Russia & the CaspianGas transit via Belarus 44.2 bcm in 2011 – GazpromA total of 44.2 billion cubic metresof Russian gas was transportedvia Belarus in 2011, Gazprom toldInterfax.The company said in a pressrelease following a board meetingthat “31.3 bcm of Russian gas wastransported via the republic in2011, 21% of all exports to Europe.”The Belarusian Energy Ministryhas said the transit of Russian gasfell by 3.1% to 43.2 bcm in 2010.Therefore, using the 44.2 bcm figurethe amount of Russian gas trans-ported via Belarus grew by 2.3% in2011 compared with 2010.Gas supply to Belarus forinternal consumption was 20.6bcm in 2011, Gazprom said. “It wasnoted at the meeting that Belarus isthe second-biggest market amongformer Soviet republics for Russiangas. Belarus received 20.6 bcm ofgas in 2011 – 29% of overall sales toformer Solvet Union countries,” thecompany said in the press release.Belarus bought 21.6 bcm of gasin 2011, 22.7% more than in 2009,so gas imports from Russia fell by4.6% last year.Gazprom also said that, in thefuture, it will conduct an audit ofthe technical condition of Belt-ransgaz plant and equipment; draftproposals to improve the operationof gas transport and storage facili-ties; and put together developmentprogrammes for the company forthe next three and 10 years, aswell as a general plan for gassupplies to Belarus.It also said that the paperworkneeded to change Beltransgaz’sname to OJSC Gazprom TransgazBelarus has been prepared.The governments of Russiaand Belarus signed an agreementon 25 November 2011 regardingprocedures for setting prices for gassupplies to Belarus and transporta-tion of gas via pipelines in Belarus,as well as an agreement on theterms of the sale of shares in Belt-ransgaz and the company’s futureoperations.At the same time, contracts weresigned for gas supplies to Belarusand transportation through itsterritory in 2012-2014, as well as apurchase-sale agreement for 50%of shares in Beltransgaz. Gazprom,which had already acquired 50%of Beltransgaz between 2007 and2010, thus became the sole ownerof the Belarusian company.At the beginning of 2011,Belarusian officials said that theamount of gas transshipmentsthrough the country would not de-crease in coming years, and wouldremain at about 43 bcm.However, on 8 November 2011Gazprom launched the NordStream pipeline, which bypassesBelarus. The pipeline now carriesabout 27 million cubic metres ofgas per day, or the annual equiva-lent of 9 bcm.With the launch of NordStream, Gazprom has reduced gasshipments via Yamal-Europe. TheYamal-Europe pipeline carried1.755 bcm of gas to Germany in theperiod from 1 January to 5 Febru-ary 2012, down by 37% from 2.773bcm in the same period of 2011.Contact editorial at staffsupply & demand | belarusMET increase to impact Gazprom profits in RussiaThis year’s increase in the mineralextraction tax (MET) on gas willreduce Gazprom’s profits on Russia’sdomestic market, the state-con-trolled company said in a statementfollowing a board of directors meet-ing on Monday.On 1 July, regulated prices onRussia’s gas market are expectedto grow by 15%, which will boostGazprom’s revenue by 50 billionrubles ($1.66 billion) for 2012.However, a rise in the MET willdent Gazprom’s expenditure byAlexey Novikovpolicy & regulation | RussiaNatural gas production tax(Gas MET)Gazprom and its subsidaries2012 $16.88/Mcm2013 $19.30/Mcm2014 $20.63/McmIndependent gas producers2012 $8.32/Mcm2013 $8.79/Mcm2014 $9.22/McmSource: Troika Dialog02550751001251501752002252501Q15*1Q14*1Q13*1Q12*1Q111Q104Q093Q092Q091Q094Q083Q082Q081Q084Q073Q072Q071Q074Q063Q062Q061Q064Q053Q052Q051Q054Q043Q042Q041Q0405001,0001,5002,0002,5003,0003,5004,0004,5005,000RR/MMcmHistorical and forecasted regulated price increases for Russian domestic gas%changeinregulatedprice* According to the new Russian government decree on 22 February 2011, full liberalisation is targeted for 2015 (a one year delay fromprevious plan); 2012 tariff increase based on preliminary draft proposal for 5% increase 1 January 2011 and 9.5% in April, or 12.5%average increase for the yearSource: NovatekIncrease in regulated priceAverage regulated price23.4%18.8% 10.6%15%25% 5%7% 7%6.2%15%15%12.5%15%15%??%$16.88/Mcm, in 2013 it will pay$19.3/Mcm, and in 2014 it will pay$20.63/Mcm. For independent gasproducers, the rate will be $8.32/Mcm this year, $8.79 next year and$9.22 in 2014.Gazprom’s board of directors or-dered management to lobby for taxparity with independent producersas well as differentiating the METfor gas from condensate in order toboost production at new fields.According to the statement, inorder to implement gas projectsin the east of the country, it wouldbe expedient to provide discountscomparable to those granted tooil producers, the statement said.Most importantly, the MET for gasproduction on the Far Eastern shelfand in Yakutia should be cancelledfor the projects’ pay-off periods.Contact editorial at$3.78 billion, according to a com-pany statement.“In 2012, the company will payto the budget not only all of its ad-ditional revenue earned as a resultof an increase in the wholesale priceon the domestic market, but also 64billion rubles [$2.12 billion] of itsprofit,” the statement said.Gazprom supplied gas to thedomestic market at a loss duringthe period 2000-2008.In 2009, the company was able torecover its costs and achieve a lowlevel of profitability in sales. “Thisprofit subsequently grew, but itslevel is still low and does not allowfor forming sources to ensure thereliable development of Russia’s gassector,” the company said.For Gazprom, the MET increasewill lead to additional tax paymentsof $14.59 billion compared to 2011,it said.Last year, Gazprom paid a METof $7.86 per thousand cubic metres(Mcm) of gas. This year it will payNatural Gas Daily6 February 2012 | 5
  6. 6. particular have been very activein the power sector and I can’tsee them winding that activitydown unless they see a drasticescalation in violence. The op-portunities are very attractive inIraq, especially as a lot of thesecompanies are struggling in otherareas they operate in. The con-tract opportunities are quite slimat the moment in the electricitysector in general, so the opportu-nity Iraq presents may outweighthe security challenge. However,if there was a civil war that wouldof course put projects on hold,”she said.For now the violence is mainlyconfined to the cities, with neitheroil and gas developers, nor powercompanies, pinpointed as targets.Trailing behind demandPower demand in southern Iraqis around 10,000-14,000 mega-watts. Although southern Iraq’snameplate generation capacity isaround 16,500 MW, much of theequipment is outdated and plantsare operating at only 50% of theircapacity, according to BMI data.While output reached a recordhigh of 6,990 MW in July 2011– an improvement on the 4,500MW generated in July 2008 – it’sstill significantly under the 14,000MW peak demand.As a temporary measure toease the supply gap last summer,the government struck a dealwith private power operators,offering them free fuel providedthey capped charges for custom-ers. Under this agreement, privategeneratorswere able to meet around 30-40%of peak demand. The governmentwill likely repeat the arrangementthis summer.As a further short-term fix, theministry contracted South Korea’sSTX Heavy Industries to installnine 100 MW diesel-fired unitsacross the country last year. Theunits are due online in June.However, the major, long-term improvements will comefollowing the start-up of the1,400-2,000 MW gas-fired powerplants, awarded to internationaldevelopers over the last twoyears. Around 4,410 MW ofnew gas-fired capacity is due tostart-up in 2012 and 4,428 MWin 2013, according to BMI data.However, this is dependent onplant construction running ontime – few companies are willingto comment on the status of theirprojects – and availability of gassupply.“There are plans to add an-other 35% [of generation capac-ity] in the coming three years,”Ghazi Faisal, chairman engineerof the New Iraq Develop Group, aconsortium of engineers formedin 2003 to help in the recon-struction of Iraq, told Interfax.However, demand is expectedto hit 25,000 MW by 2020, headded. The current generationcapacity will need, therefore, toincrease by more than 257% overthe next eight years to keep pacewith the rise.Aside from the plants them-selves, supporting pipeline andstorage infrastructure will need tobe brought online in tandem withthe start-up of gas fields to supplythe generators, as well as newtransmission and distributionlines to bring the power to con-sumers. Developing supportingpower infrastructure has perhaps,“been neglected by the govern-ment and is now one of the big-gest constraints to bringing newcapacity online”, said Karavias.Rehabilitating and expandingthe gas and power grid wouldrequire billions of dollars ofinvestment, and, although thegovernment has the cash as aresult of increased oil exports, “it’sa case of dispersing it correctly;getting it to the right ministriesand to the right projects. That’sbeen a major issue; although thegovernment assigns the money,they never quite get round tospending it”, she added.“Iraqi oil revenues jumped by60% to $83 billion in 2011, yetimproved earnings have failed totranslate for the most part intotangible improvements for Iraq’spopulation,” Gerald Butt said.“Power rationing still hinders eco-nomic activity and underminesIraqis’ satisfaction with theirgovernment. Central governmentand legislative institutions arelargely frozen bythe sectarian conflict at the heartof government.”Over the last six months theelectricity ministry has appearedto place a higher priority onensuring electricity distributionis more reliable and fair. For ex-ample, the ministry has drawn upplans to replace decrepit overheadtransmission lines in Baghdadwith underground lines to protectthem from weather and unau-thorised interfering, has steppedup its campaign to stop illegaltapping from the grid, and hasreceived bids from companies forthe construction of distributioncontrol centres in seven provincesto help monitor the more evendistribution of power and im-prove the technical performanceof the grid.The development of support-ing electricity infrastructure, “issomething that the Ministry ofElectricity is well aware of, as isthe Ministry of Oil. The infra-structure of both the electricityand oil sector needs to be im-proved and a number of contractsand projects are being awarded toimprove it,” Naher said. The NewIraq Development Group has, forexample, been contracted to buildseveral electrical substations forSiemens, and further contractsare expected.Gas supplyIraq is at least now poised toramp up gas production to feedthese plants. The signing of theRoyal Dutch Shell-led Basra GasCompany (BGC) gas-gatheringagreement in November 2011,and the preceding approval ofcontracts to develop Iraq’s threemajor non-associated gas fields,were major steps towards guaran-teeing reliable future gas suppliesto the country’s power stations.Contact Leigh at East & AfricaA gas processing facility in Basra province, Iraq. (PA)Turkmenistan has cut gasexports to Iran by 50%, from 20MMcm/d to 10 MMcm/d, Irani-an mass media have reported.Meanwhile, Bloomberg quotedhead of National Iranian GasCo. Javad Owji as saying thatTurkmenistan has reduced gassupplies to the country to 6MMcm/d, which is less thancontracted volumes.Egyptian gas supplies to Jor-dan have stopped after a bombattack in the north Africancountry, Jordan’s Minister ofEnergy and Mineral ResourcesQutaibah Abu Qura told Petranews agency on Sunday.Middle East &Africa in brief»Continued from page 1Natural Gas Daily6 February 2012 | 6
  7. 7. Asia/PacificIndian LNG projects. (Interfax)Canadian Prime MinisterStephen Harper headed to Chinaon Monday with the leaders ofseveral oil and gas majors, in aneffort to strengthen ties with theAsian heavyweight, The Globeand Mail reported. Shipping oiland gas to Asia is “a nationalpriority” for Canada, Harper hassaid.Work on Indonesia’s Donggi-Senoro LNG plant in centralSulawesi is 33% complete andahead of schedule, The JakartaPost reported on Monday. Thedeveloper, Medco EnergiInternasional, had been aimingto have the 2.9 mtpa plant 26%complete by now, with a start-up expected in late 2014.Iran has given India’s state-runOil and Natural Gas Corp. aone-month deadline to sign thecontract for the developmentof offshore Farzad B gas field inthe Persian Gulf, Iran’s Press TVreported.Asia/Pacific inbriefterminals will need to be builtalong India’s east coast.”India’s east coast has emerged asa hub of industrial and commercialactivity over the past few years,thanks in large part to expectationsof strong and prolonged outputfrom the Krishna Godavari Basinand Reliance’s D6 Block. About700 megawatts of new generationcapacity is planned for the region.The deep-water D6 Block has,however, disappointed, with itsoutput in 2011 standing at abouthalf the anticipated 80 millioncubic metres per day (MMcm/d)rate (see India’s 2011 gas initiativesdriven by falling output, 3 January2012).The country’s total gas outputis about 120 MMcm/d, while de-mand hovers around 220 MMcm/dand is expected to more thandouble in five years, according tothe petroleum ministry.The effect of this falling produc-tion on India’s LNG imports isalready visible, with Petronet’sregasification volume of 45MMcm/d between September andDecember setting a new record forthe company.The change has also driventalks over several new terminals inthe past few months. Along withPetronet’s Gangavaram project,three state-run companies areplanning terminals on the eastcoast – India Oil Co.’s Ennoreproject in Tamil Nadu and theBharat Petroleum-Minerals andMetals Trading Corp. Paradipfacility in Orissa.In addition, the newly createdBP-Reliance joint venture, IndiaGas Solutions, is rumoured to belooking at setting up as many asthree LNG terminals with a focuson eastern India, while ReliancePower and Shell are said to bein talks about their own eastcoast facility.Meanwhile, GAIL signed anagreement last month with thestate government of AndhraPradesh to set up a $1 billionimport facility at Kakinada orVishakapatnam in the state.“The LNG terminal of 3.5 to5 mtpa is likely to be the first suchfacility on the east coast of thecountry,” GAIL said in a statementin mid-January. The company esti-mated that its gas import needs willrise to seven times that of its 2010level, to 187 MMcm/d by 2015.Contact Sara at’s falling output drives east coast LNG plansPetronet LNG, India’s largestLNG importer, has decided tobuild a third regasification terminalin an effort to tap into the country’sfast-growing reliance on im-ported gas to make up for its fallingdomestic output, Chairman GCChaturvedi has told Interfax.The state-owned companyannounced in late January that ithad approved plans for a 5 millionton per annum (mtpa) terminal atGangavaram, in the central-easternstate of Andhra Pradesh. Petronethas commissioned the Frenchconsultant Tractebel to carry outa feasibility report on the project,estimated to cost around INR 45billion ($917.3 million).“Overall, we expect to raiseLNG regasification capacity bythree times the current level by2015-2016,” said Chaturvedi, whois also secretary of India’s Ministryof Petroleum and Natural Gas.Petronet already operates theDahej terminal in the north-western state of Gujarat, whichgrew from a capacity of 5 mtpa to10 mtpa in 2009 and is beingexpanded to 15 mtpa. The com-pany is also building the 5 mtpaKochi facility in the south-westernstate of Kerala, set to be completedby July and begin operating byOctober.India has one other opera-tional LNG terminal, the Total-Royal Dutch Shell Hazira facilityin Gujarat. State-run companiesGAIL, Maharasthra State Electric-ity Board and National ThermalPower Corp. are also buildingthe Dabhol terminal near Mumbai,which is scheduled to beginoperating in mid-2012.But with production fromIndia’s Krishna Godavari Basin inthe eastern Bay of Bengal decliningsignificantly, India needs to buildimport terminals on the other sidetoo, Chaturvedi said. “As the localgas supply is going to fall woefullyshort and transporting gas fromthe west coast of India is expensive,Siddharth Srivastava and Sara Stefaninilng | indiaDahej*MundraHaziraKochi*DabholEnnoreGangavaram*Kakinada/VishakapathamParadipINDIAOperationalProposed/planning stagesUnder construction*Projects owned by Petronet LNGNatural Gas Daily6 February 2012 | 7
  8. 8. ChinaCNPC and Sinopec to expand CTG transmission from XinjiangChina’s two largest gas produc-ers will raise their combinedcoal-to-gas (CTG) transmissioncapacity in the Xinjiang UyghurAutonomous Region to 161billion cubic metres per yearby 2015.China’s surging demand forgas has piqued interest in CTGprojects in coal-rich Xinjiang.The cost of the fossil fuel inthe region is around RMB 150($23.80) per ton, significantlylower than prices of $95.20 to$126.93 per ton in east China,Zheng Chunlin, an analyst withAsiaChem Consulting, told Inter-fax on Monday.The potential of Xinjiang’sCTG sector is drawing attentionfrom non-energy firms as wellas established industry players.State-owned coal miner XukuangGroup is constructing a CTGplant in Tacheng City, while state-owned coal chemical producersHenan Coal Chemical IndustryGroup and Xuzhou Coal MiningGroup also have CTG projectsunderway.Coal gas will help meetChina’s gas demand, but theproduction process requires largequantities of water and emitscarbon dioxide, Zhou Hongjun,a professor at the China Univer-sity of Petroleum, told Interfaxon Monday.China National PetroleumCorp. (CNPC), the country’slargest gas producer, expects tohave 113 bcm of annual CTGtransmission capacity by 2015,the company announced onMonday, citing remarks made byLiang Peng, deputy general man-ager of CNPC unit Natural Gas &Pipeline, at an industry meetingin Xinjiang on Friday.CNPC will transmit coal gasproduced in Xinjiang via itsWest-East Gas Pipeline (WEP)network, which will have a 257bcm/y transmission capacity inthe region by 2015.CNPC plans to invest morethan $15.87 billion on buildingfive trans-provincial gas pipelines,eight CTG gathering stations, and14 CTG branch lines with a totallength of 430 km.Meanwhile, Sinopec’s CTGtransmission capacity in Xinji-ang will likely reach 48 bcm/yby 2015, Liu Yan, director ofSinopec’s Development PlanningDepartment, said at the samemeeting. The company agreed tosource coal gas from nine firmsfor two cross-country syntheticnatural gas pipelines, Interfaxreported in January.The nine suppliers togetherhave a total of 10 CTG projectsplanned or under construction inXinjiang that will be capable ofproducing a combined 50 bcm/yby 2020.Contact editorial at LeeExploration & productionCNPC unit to invest $475 mln in Hebei Province gas projectHuagang City Gas Group,a unit of China NationalPetroleum Corp. (CNPC), hassigned a strategic cooperationframework agreement for agas project in Handan City,Hebei Province, local mediareported on Monday. Huagangsigned the agreement with theHandan municipal governmenton Friday.The RMB 3 billion ($475.38million) project will include a gasliquefaction plant capableof processing 2 million cubic me-tres of gas daily and a 270 kmgas pipeline running fromJincheng City, Shanxi Provinceto Handan, according to a reportin the Handan Daily. Some 50LNG refilling stations will alsobe built, the report said.In December of 2011, HuagangGas agreed to invest $379.13 mil-lion to build an LNG liquefactionplant, 50 LNG refilling stations,three city-gate stations and a150 km pipeline in JinchengCity in Shanxi, Interfax previ-ously reported.Handan has seven CNG refill-ing stations, a source with localrefilling station operator HandanHuaxin Natural Gas Utilisationtold Interfax on Monday.Huagang Gas plans to build150 LNG refilling stations duringthe 12th Five-Year Plan period(2011-2015), according to a com-pany announcement released on28 December. Huagang plans tosupply the stations with gas fromCNPC’s Jiangsu LNG terminal,as well as coal-bed methane re-sources in Shanxi and LNG froma liquefaction plant in CangzhouCity, Hebei.CNPC plans to have morethan 2,000 LNG refilling stationsacross China by 2015, Shanghai-based analyst Han Xiaoqing,from energy consultancyC1 Energy, told Interfax onMonday.Contact editorial at Dongpipelines & storageChina will halve its oil importsfrom Iran in March because ofdispute over payments and pric-es, Reuters reported on Mondayciting industry sources involvedin the deals. China is the largestremaining buyer of Iranian oil andhas been critical of Western plansto impose further sanctions onthe country.China in briefChina’s growing gas demand has increased interest in CTG projects in coal-rich areassuch as the Xinjian Uyghur Autonomous Region. (PA)Natural Gas Daily6 February 2012 | 8
  9. 9. Natural Gas Daily6 February 2012 | 9Americas“Long-term energysecurity is the name ofthe game for the sector,and diversification is theappropriate strategy”CERA’s Verónica VázquezColombia is likely to enter the global LNG market as anet importer, despite its parallel pursuit of regasificationand liquefaction projects.A group of government agencies is expected to presenta feasibility study of LNG imports this week, which maydrive the process forward. The Colombian governmentand local power industry want to begin importing the fuelby December 2014.It appears to be too early for a liquefaction plant, whileColombia’s largest private producer, Canada-based PacificRubiales, is stalling over plans to build a small floatingLNG (FLNG) to export gas to the Caribbean market bymid-2014.“Given Colombia’s current alternative between LNGimports or exports, the first scenario is going to prevail,”Verónica Vázquez, an associate director at the CambridgeEnergy Research Associates (CERA) consultancy, toldInterfax last week.The tightness of Colombia’s gas market makes LNGimports necessary for power generation flexibility. Mostof the country’s electricity is provided by hydropower.Colombia produces about 29 million cubic metresper day (MMcm/d) of gas for commercial consumption.Its domestic market accounts for 85% of this, with theremaining 15% exported to Venezuela under a contractrunning until 2014. CERA forecasts that Colombia’s gasexport potential will disappear in 2016 in the absence ofmajor new discoveries.“[The] Colombian gas supply and demand balanceremains very tight. Long-term energy security is thename of the game for the sector, and diversification is theappropriate strategy,” said Vázquez.New gas supplies could come from Colombia’s promis-ing coal-bed methane resources, or from Venezuelanpipeline imports. However, LNG imports should consti-tute part of the overall gas supply for increased energysecurity, according to Vázquez. “I think the government isputting real effort into this issue,” Vázquez added.The Colombian Ministry of Mines and Energy,upstream regulator Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarburos(ANH), and its gas and power counterpart Comisiónde Regulación de Energía y Gas (CREG) are currentlyevaluating the potential cost, size and location of a regasi-fication plant, a CREG spokesman confirmed to Interfaxlast week. A report on their findings is expected to bepresented soon, he added.The regasification terminal is likely to be a floatingfacility with an import capacity of 7-10 MMcm/d, ac-cording to a separate pre-feasibility study of LNG importscommissioned by CREG in 2011. The terminal is likelyto rely on spot cargoes to meet peak demand ratherthan being locked into long-term supply agreements,the study concluded.LNG import plans are supported by local utilitieskeen to secure back-up for their hydropower plants. Thishas become more urgent in recent years because of theincreasing volatility of the El Niño warm weather pat-tern, which has exposed the vulnerability of Colombia’shydropower-dependent generation mix.The share of gas in power generation jumpedfrom 15% to 34% during the 2009-2010 El Niño season,which forced distributors to ration supplies to industrialconsumers.Juan Guillermo Londoño, the president of Colombia’sfourth-largest power generator, Colinversiones, told theBNamericas news agency in December 2011 that Colom-bia needed to import LNG by 2014-2015 to avoid a moreserious supply crunch.Colinversiones is part of a group of power companiesthat are considering sites for a potential regasificationterminal. Shortlisted locations include Cartagena on theCaribbean coast, and Buenaventura on the Pacific coast.Just south of Cartagena in the Lower Magdalena Basin,Pacific Rubiales is working on an export project from itsLa Creciente field via small-scale FLNG. The Colombiangovernment allowed private companies to export LNGas long as the country maintained enough gas reservesfor at least eight years. However, Pacific Rubiales and itsmarketing partner, Belgian company Exmar, are yet tosecure any supply agreements for their export venture.The plant’s launch has been delayed from 2012 to 2014as a result.“We believe LNG import projects are more critical andstrategic for Colombia than such export schemes,” saidVázquez. “The development of LNG imports is a strategic,rather than purely market decision. Even if Colombiaeventually unlocks its unconventional resources, diver-sification of supply will remain a policy priority for thecountry,” she added.Contact editorial at imports are Colombia’s priorityDespite its pursuit of LNG liquefaction projects, Colombia will need to import LNG by 2014-2015 to avoid a serious shortfall.A government report due this week should drive the process forward, reports Anatoly KurmanaevColombia’s LNG conundrumbcmSource: BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2011Production Consumption02468101220102009200820072006200520042003200220012000Despite gas productionoutstripping consumption,Colombia will need to importLNG to meet demand
  10. 10. AmericasProducers feel heat in Argentina as subsidies fail againThe Argentine government hasasked oil and gas companies tooperate fields at full output.The decision is likely to putfurther pressure on the hydro-carbon industry, which also sawits $461 million tax break wipedout last week as Buenos Airesimplemented a host of austeritymeasures. However, the ‘Gas Plus’subsidy in the country looks safefor now, despite its reported inef-fectiveness in terms of increasingproduction.Planning Minister Julio de Vidourged companies to maximise fieldoutput on Friday, just one day aftercancelling the ‘Petróleo Plus’ and‘Refino Plus’ tax benefits for largehydrocarbon companies. “Thesuspension of these programmesis a symptom of changing localmarket conditions and current oilprices, which makes it unnecessaryto give any benefits to ‘Big Oil’,” deVido was quoted as saying by state-owned Telam news agency.Both of these programmes,which were adopted in 2008, wereinitially suspended at the beginningof 2012. The oil and gas compa-nies affected by the suspensionof ‘Petroleo Plus’ include BP-subsidiary Pan American Energy(PAE), Repsol-owned YPF, China’sSinopec, Pluspetrol, Total Austral,Enap Sipetrol and Brazilian state-controlled Petrobras. At the time ofpublication, none of the companieswas available for comment.The Argentine government isunhappy with the pace of explo-ration and production, and the inef-fectiveness of oil and gas subsidies.“Companies took advantage of the[Petróleo Plus] benefits and addedreserves, such as Apache, Medanito,Roch and several smaller compa-nies, but unfortunately could notreverse the overall decline [in pro-duction]. This is because the largestoil company in our country, YPF,has not invested in exploration, norhas it managed to commercialise oilshale deposits,” de Vido added.De Vido said that YPF’s produc-tion decline wiped out the benefitsof the country’s Gas Plus incen-tives, an Argentinian governmentprogramme allowing conventionaland tight gas wellhead output tobe priced at above the nationalaverage. He said Gas Plus allowedproducers to add 10 million cubicmetres per day of production in2011, but that YPF’s productionslipped by 9% last year, whichrequired increased LNG imports.Apache, Total and other produc-ers have already signed deals in Ar-gentina for selling Gas Plus outputat between $4 and $5 per millionBtu (MMBtu). The national averageprice for gas output is now runningat $2.60/MMBtu. However, analystsare concerned about the sustain-ability of the subsidy environment,as well as the lack of a regulatoryframework governing the country’shuge shale gas resources. The mainproblem is finding an economicequilibrium that incentivises thecountry’s producers, while protect-ing squeezed consumers.“Like oil, we need to extract im-mediate value from unconventionalgas to put it at the disposal of Ar-gentine industry and consumers,”said de Vido. “We should thereforemake all necessary efforts to in-crease production in the frameworkof existing rules,” he added.Political pressure on large oiland gas companies, rather than aremoval of their subsidies, appearsmore likely. Only last week, aconsortium of companies led byPAE was granted a new conces-sion to produce gas in Argentina’sSalta Province. Other companiesauthorised to participate in theproject include Apco Oil and GasInternational, WPX Energy unitNorthwest Argentina Corporation,YPF and Royal Dutch Shell unitO&G Developments.Gas reserves in Argentina fell byhalf between 2000 and 2009, andproduction from mature fields hasbeen declining since 2004. Thishas forced Buenos Aires to importrecord cargoes of LNG to satisfy de-mand. Argentina may soon launchits third tender in three monthsto secure the cargoes it needs. Thegovernment is seeking ways of pass-ing on these costs to consumers.State energy firm Enarsa has saidit wants to import up to 80 cargoesthis year, which is 21% more thanin 2011, but both internal and ex-ternal disagreements over price arethought to be hindering the pro-cess. Enarsa has turned down bidsfrom suppliers after they exceededits ceiling of around $16/MMBtu.The news is a sign that thegovernment is leaning towards along-term import regime to coverdemand, rather than attemptingto relax regulation to encourageexploration and production.“[President Cristina] Kirchner’sadministration appears commit-ted to continued LNG importsrather than providing incentives forproducers. History supports thistheory; the government cappedprices back in 2002, and with everynew government, there’s a discus-sion about whether these will belifted, but it hasn’t happened yet,”Fitch analyst Ana Ares told Interfaxlast month.“Now we have this governmentfor another four years, and there’sbeen no discernible change to [up-stream] energy policy. Caps havebeen removed in some regions,but it’s too early to tell if this willbe enough, or if there will be aChris Noonpolicy & regulation | argentinaMonday 6 February• EMEA Unconventional GasE&P Forum, Istanbul (until 7February)• E&P Information & DataManagement conference,London (until 7 February)Tuesday 7 February• BP Q4 earnings release• E-world conference, Essen(Until 9 February)Wednesday 8 February• TNK-BP event about oil andgas projects in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Districtand northern Krasnoyarsk• BHP Billiton interim resultsfor half year 2011-2012• Statoil Q4 earnings release• Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Q32011-2012 resultsThursday 9 February• Maria das Graças Silva Fosterto be indicated as Petrobras’chief executive at boardmeeting• Royal Dutch Shell 2011 Q4earnings release• GDF Suez 2011 Q4 earningsrelease• BG Group Q4 earnings release• Oil and Natural Gas Corp Q4earnings release• 2012 Japan Petroleum Explo-ration Q3 earnings releaseFriday 10 February• Total Q4 earnings release• Essar Oil Q3 2011-2012 resultsSaturday 11 February• Columbian hydrocarbonagency ANH to release moredetails on June’s licencinground• Kuwait Oil and Gas confer-ence (until 15 February)Monday 13 February• Dubai Electricity and WaterAuthority to announce finalshortlist of bidders for theHassyan 1 power projectWeek Aheaduniform application of incentives.“Either way, the Argentine gov-ernment is cash-constrained, andits larger LNG requirements thisyear are going to make it difficultfor them,” she added.Contact Chris at energy regulator theNational Energy Board (NEB)has approved BC LNG Export’sapplication for an LNG exportlicence from Kitimat in BritishColumbia. The licence permitsBC LNG to export 36 milliontons of LNG over 20 years.Americasin briefNatural Gas Daily6 February 2012 | 10