UPI Energy Watch

By ANDREA R. MIHAILESCU, UPI Energy Correspondent  |  Sept. 12, 2007 at 1:23 PM
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Gazprom to select second partner at Shtokman

Gazprom plans to select a second partner to develop the giant Shtokman gas field in the Barents Sea before mid-October, Valery Golubev, Gazprom deputy chief executive, said at a conference Tuesday.

Gazprom plans to select a partner with experience working in the Arctic climate, Golubev said.

Gazprom unit Sevmorneftegaz expects gas output at the Shtokman field to amount to nearly 24 billion cubic meters annually by 2013 and 100 billion cubic meters by 2030, Golubev said.

"In 2007-2008 we need to prepare the feasibility study for the project, begin preliminary work at the site somewhere in the second half of 2008, and in late 2009 or early 2010 begin setting up production facilities at the field, in order to begin construction," Yury Komarov, the unit’s head, told reporters Tuesday in St. Petersburg.

Sevmorneftegaz plans to select a site for an LNG plant for gas from Shtokman no later than November, Komarov said. Two sites currently under consideration are at Vidyaevo and Teriberka.

"A decision on the choice of the best site will be made given that Gazprom must be able to acquire the site that is free of all encumbrances that might hinder project implementation," he said.

Gazprom plans to hold a tender on construction of the tankers needed to transport Shtokman LNG.

"All the contracts, allocation of orders for the ships -- that will be in 2009," he said.

The field is scheduled to be launched in 2013, according to earlier reports.

In July, Gazprom signed an agreement with France's Total to jointly develop the Shtokman field.

Gazprom to set up its own environmental watchdog

Russian gas giant Gazprom will set up its own environmental watchdog after organizing its own army and fleet, Russian media reports said.

Industry experts say Gazprom is cutting a dash, and there will be some use in having an internal environmental watchdog.

Shell and BP have already received environmental complaints from the Russian state authorities.

Gazprom unit Gaznadzor wants to resolve conflicts with environmental experts without making them public.

Establishing the watchdog is a PR campaign.

"Any large, world-famous company has some sort of internal inspectorate. It is quite common for businesses. But it does not replace a state regulator," Alexei Yablokov, a member of the council of the Environmental Policy Center, was cited as saying by RusData Dialine.

Gazprom's environmental program is unworkable and is aimed at cutting a dash. But it will be useful, Yablokov said.

Industry experts say the move could help reduce the volume of petroleum gas being burned into the atmosphere.

According to official data, about 26 percent of produced gas is being burned at oil refineries, but the real figure is approaching 65 percent, according to industry experts. Gazprom and Rosneft are the leaders in burning gas.

Canada can’t find client for nuke plant

Alberta plans to move ahead with plans for the proposed nuclear power plant even without a guaranteed customer for the electricity, the Calgary Sun reported.

Energy Alberta Corp. said two weeks ago it would construct the $6.2 billion, 2,200-megawatt Candu twin reactor near Peace River.

Energy Alberta said it already had an unidentified client lined up to assume up to 70 percent of the power generated from the plant, which would be the first in Western Canada, according to the report.

But Guy Huntingford, a spokesman with Energy Alberta, said Monday that the company did not have a client lined up.

"There was this sort of belief that we had made a commitment or that somebody had made a commitment to us. No. We have no signed agreement with anybody," Huntingford was cited as saying.

"What you heard at the press conference was that there are a number of people who have stepped up and they're interested and one of them had looked for up to 70 percent of that power ... there's lots of people that we've spoken to, but at this point we haven't signed with anybody," he said.

Energy Alberta had hoped to have the project up and running in approximately a decade, he said. "Absolutely -- subject to us raising $6 billion.”

"Let's be realistic. For this plant to get built, obviously we're going to need investors and at this point this is a private company, with private money."


Closing oil prices, Sept. 12, 3 p.m. London

Brent crude oil: $76.83

West Texas Intermediate crude oil: $78.74


(e-mail: energy@upi.com)

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