UPI Energy Watch

By ANDREA R. MIHAILESCU, UPI Energy Correspondent  |  Feb. 22, 2008 at 3:04 PM
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Gazprom to extract oil, gas condensate in Iran

Russian gas giant Gazprom subsidiary Gazprom Neft has secured an agreement on its participation in the development of two or three sectors of the South Pars gas condensate field in Iran.

The news followed a visit to Iran by a Gazprom delegation led by its chief executive, Alexei Miller.

The company said a meeting with Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hosayn Nowzari took place during the visit. The two sides discussed opportunities for developing cooperation between Gazprom and Iranian companies in oil and gas.

"Exploration and development of oil and gas fields, and cooperation in the transportation, processing and marketing of gas were listed as the main areas in cooperation."

"The two sides agreed on the joint participation in the development of two or three sectors (vernacular: bloki) in the South Pars field, and on Gazprom Neft's participation in an oil extraction project in Iran," the press release said.

The parties reaffirmed their wish to strengthen mutually beneficial long-term partnership between Gazprom and Iran in the sphere of energy.

Moldova seeks to increase stake in joint gas company

The Moldovan government is interested in increasing Moldova's share in the authorized capital of the Moldovagaz company in order to turn it from a Russian-Moldovan into a Moldovan-Russian joint venture, Moldovan Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev was cited as saying by Infotag.

Tarlev said: "When Moldovagaz was set up in 1998-99, Chisinau, unfortunately, sacrificed its national interests having agreed to less than 35 percent of shares."

He said Moldova made all investments in the construction of gas pipelines over last several years.

"We agreed that Russia will also invest in Moldova's gas supplying network, but it does not mean that it will increase its share in Moldovagaz," Tarlev said.

A working group headed by the deputy chairman of Gazprom's board of directors, Valeriy Golubev, will analyze the proposal put forward by the Moldovan Industry and Infrastructure Ministry until the end of February.

According to Tarlev, Moldova will not agree to Russian investments in return for writing off debts.

"It is inefficient and incorrect to exchange basic capitals or investment projects for debts. We are ready to offer investment projects to both Russia and other investors from friendly states, but only for money. Exchange for historical debts is ruled out," Tarlev said.

Gazprom outlines timetable for Shtokman

Gazprom, Norway's StatoilHydro and France's Total have signed an initial agreement on the creation of the Shtokman Development AG, which will implement the first phase of development of the Shtokman gas condensate field.

According to Vesti, the board of directors of the new company includes five representatives of Gazprom, two representatives of StatoilHydro and two representatives of Total, including StatoilHydro CEO Helge Lund and Total CEO Christophe de Margerie, while Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller is the chairman of the board.

According to a joint statement by the three companies, Shtokman Development AG is registered in Zug, Switzerland, and Gazprom has a 51 percent stake, Total 25 percent and StatoilHydro 24 percent, Interfax reported.

Vesti cited Miller as saying: "The work on the technological design of the project starts today. It will be completed in the second half of 2009. Simultaneously, along with the completion of this stage, the final investment decision will be made."

Miller continued: "The first supplies of pipeline gas from the Shtokman field will be available by the end of 2013, and the first supplies of liquefied natural gas will be available in 2014."


Closing oil prices, Feb. 22, 3 p.m. London

Brent crude oil: $97.30

West Texas Intermediate crude oil: $98.68


(e-mail: energy@upi.com)

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