UPI Energy Watch

By KRISHNADEV CALAMUR, UPI Energy Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Despite attacks, Ugandan oil project to continue

Heritage Oil and Tullow Oil have said they will continue work in Uganda despite the killing Friday of a British contractor during an attack by Congolese rebels.


"There is no suggestion of abandoning the project," Brian Smith, Heritage's vice president of exploration, told The New Vision newspaper. "We are grieving the death of our colleague, trying to come to terms with what happened. We expect to resume our operations soon. It is only a matter of days."

The British contractor was identified as Carl Nefdt, a geologist. He was killed during a 15-minute firefight on Lake Albert.

Smith said the company was assessing the situation and working out a security plan together with the government.

"We are going to deploy additional security before our people can go back in the field," he said.


Blast disrupts Russian gas supplies to Greece

A blast Monday near a natural gas pipeline in Bulgaria cut off the flow of Russian gas to Greece.

BTA reported that the blast in the area of Dolono Bulgarchevo Village near Blagoevgrad disrupted the flow of gas to Greece. There were no casualties.

"There is no risk for people: The gas is not harmful, but the fuel supply to Greece will be suspended until the breakdown is repaired," the fire service said.

Bulgarian officials said the blast may have been caused by a landslide that caused a rupture in the pipeline. Supplies were expected to resume two to three days after repairs were completed.

Bulgargaz supplied about 2.9 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to Greece through Bulgaria last year.

Iran optimistic on pipeline to India

Iranian Oil Minister Seyed Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh said Monday Iran, Pakistan and India would soon sign a final deal on a natural gas pipeline linking the three countries.

In an interview with the Fars News Agency, he said the three sides had come to agreement on major issues, including the price of gas, but, "Owing to the fact that it is a long-term contract, it includes a large number of terms, each of which should be discussed one by one.


"Price, term and volume of the contract, terms of price revision, quality of the supplied gas, etc. are among the main pillars of the contract," he told FNA.

He noted, however, that India and Pakistan are still discussing the issue of transit fees that India will pay its neighbor. He added that if no deal was reached between India and Pakistan, Iran would start exporting gas to Pakistan.

The $7.4 billion, 1,700-mile IPI pipeline would run from Iran to India via Pakistan and supply some 90 million cubic meters of Iranian gas to India and 60 million cubic meters to Pakistan every day.

The future of the pipeline is uncertain, however, because of strong U.S. opposition to the deal. Washington fears international agreements with Iran will only embolden the country to acquire nuclear weapons. Funding may also be difficult because of the countries the pipeline would traverse. Washington has said it backs a pipeline that supplies Turkmen gas to South Asia.


Closing oil prices, Aug. 6, 3 p.m. London

Brent crude oil: $75.91

West Texas Intermediate crude oil: $77.19


(e-mail: [email protected])

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