Major events in Caspian countries' oil and gas industry for last week (April 30-May 5)

Major events in Caspian countries' oil and gas industry for last week (April 30-May 5)

IMF welcomes change in investment policy of State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) appreciates the change in investment policy of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) in 2012, the deputy director of the IMF Middle East and Central Asia Department (MCD), Nadeem Ilahi, said at a press conference in Baku. "We have had discussions with the government about the changes in the investment portfolio of SOFAZ. These changes are not too big and carried out quite professionally. If they are based on the diversification argument, then we support them," Ilahi said. In general, according to Ilahi, SOFAZ worked in a professional manner. Some 85 per cent of the investment portfolio of the State Oil Fund in 2012 will be formed by money market instruments and the debt market. It is provided in the Fund's investment policy for 2012, approved by the President of Azerbaijan.

Nabucco works on formal proposal to Shah Deniz Consortium

Nabucco Gas Pipeline International is working on a formal proposal to be submitted to the consortium of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field development by mid May. "We are confident to submit the most convincing proposal: technically, legally and commercially," Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH spokesman, Christian Dolezal said. Earlier BP's Vice President for Shah Deniz Development Alasdair Cook said that the Shah Deniz consortium waits for the formal submission from the projects on Central European pipeline route - Nabucco West and South East Europe Pipeline West (SEEP) by May 16. According to Cook, the proposals will enable consortium to make a fully informed decision for Central European route in June.

Implementation of SOCAR oil refinery construction project starts in Kyrgyzstan

Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan made a final decision on construction of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan's (SOCAR) oil refinery in Kyrgyzstan during the Kyrgyz-Azerbaijani intergovernmental commission session, President of the Kyrgyz Association of Oil Traders Zhumakadyr Akeneev said. "We can say that implementation of the project has already started," Akeneev said. He added that the exact place of the oil refinery is still among the issues remained open after the session. Kyrgyzstan proposed three options for the oil refinery's placement - three in the north of the country and two in the south, and Azerbaijan will decide where to build it, Akeneev underscored. "After Azerbaijan makes its decision, Kyrgyzstan will provide support to country in this regard," he said. Akeneyev added that Bishkek proposed preparation of the feasibility study of the project, providing area for the construction and infrastructure for the project.

Drilling on large offshore field launched in Azerbaijan

The work on the sidetrack drilling of the first exploration well on the Absheron field in the Azerbaijani sector of Caspian Sea has been launched. It is planned that the sidetrack will be drilled to 1,500 meters. The work on the well will be fully completed by autumn. The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) first vice-president on the geology, geophysics and exploration Khoshbakht Yusifzade said earlier that sidetracking will be made at a depth of 4,800 meters. Drilling will be done from a floating Heydar Aliyev drilling rig, operated by the Danish Maersk Drilling. The decision to drill a sidetrack was taken in order to obtain more information about the field. Drilling of the main hole had been completed earlier, resulting in Nadkirmakinsk sand formation opening in a depth of 6875 meters. Potential reserves are estimated at 350 billion cubic meters of gas and 45 million tons of condensate.

Tehran, Bishkek study possibility of Iranian energy resources import to Kyrgyzstan

Tehran and Bishkek study the possibility of importing Iranian oil and gas to Kyrgyzstan, Iranian ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Manouchehr Moradi said. The ambassador added that Kyrgyzstan has no access to a number of resources and this makes the country dependent on neighboring countries and as the result the country has difficulties in getting energy resources and reaching the transportation links. "We held negotiations with Kyrgyzstan in this regard and now we assess several Kyrgyz proposals," Moradi said.

Exxon Mobil plans to enter development of Turkmenistan's fuel and energy complex

U.S. oil company Exxon Mobil has expressed interest in active participation in the implementation of large scale programmes for the further development of the new Turkmen fuel and energy complex, including exploration projects, development of hydrocarbon deposits and oil refining. This was stated by the company's vice-president for Europe and the Caspian region, Phil Mulhall, who specially arrived in Ashgabat to participate in the exhibition of the U.S. companies and the Turkmen-American Business Forum. Mulhall held a meeting with the government of Turkmenistan during which both sides discussed the most important aspects of cooperation in the near future in view of the increasing attractiveness of the Turkmen market for foreign capital.

Kazakhstan to continue supplying gas to Kyrgyzstan only in case of debt repayment

Kazakhstan will continue supplying gas to Kyrgyzstan only if the Kyrgyz party has repaid all its debt , Nurbol Sultan, Director General of Kazakh National gas transporting company KazTransGas said. "The current contract between KazTransGas and Kyrgyzgaz on gas sale from September 21, 2011 expires on April 30, 2012. However, KazTransGas is ready to consider the possibility of additional agreement on gas supply to the north regions of Kyrgyzstan only in the case of full repayment of the debt," Sultan said. Earlier reported with the reference to Deputy General Director of the Kyrgyz gas company Kyrgyzgaz Eugene Orlenko that Kyrgyzstan plans to reach an agreement with Kazakhstan on purchase of 90 million cubic meters of gas in May-August at the price envisaged by the previous contract. As KazTransGas' head said, taking into consideration the great receivable accounts of Kyrgyzgaz, as well as receiving its money, KazTransGas does not exclude the possibility of gas price increase for Kyrgyzstan. The amount of extra pay will directly depend on the amount of repayment.

First oil from Kashagan expected at year end

The first oil from the Kashagan field is expected later this year, chairman of the board of JSC NC 'KazMunaiGas' Lyazzat Kiinov said. "The beginning of the development of Kashagan and extraction of the 'first oil' is expected as planned in late 2012. We have no doubts at this point," Kiinov said. He added it would be "the beginning of the trial". "Then a stop is possible due to testing and inspection of equipment, but it does not take much time. So no doubt receipt of the 'first oil' will be in accordance with the schedule which is late 2012 - early 2013," Kiinov said. According to Kiinov it is too early to speak about the second stage. Minister of Oil and Gas of Kazakhstan Sauat Mynbayev expressed hope for a speedy resolution of problems with the budget of the experimental, industrial phase of the development of the Kashagan field last week. "We are in negotiations to amend the plans and the budget of the experimental, industrial phase," Mynbayev said earlier.

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