Major events in Caspian countries' oil and gas industry for last week (may 7-12)

Analysis Materials 14 May 2012 12:35 (UTC +04:00)

SOCAR: Azerbaijani energy security fully ensured

Azerbaijan's recoverable oil reserves have hit 4 billion tons, SOCAR head Rovnag Abdullayev said in an interview with the Azerbaijan newspaper.

He said that the recoverable gas reserves were brought up to 6 trillion cubic meters.
"Oil production, increasing each year, passed the psychological threshold of 50 million tons and gas production is close to 30 billion cubic meters," Abdullayev said.

The company head said that over the past period foreign companies invested about $50 billion in oil and gas sector in the country.

Energy security of the republic has been fully ensured. The country has turned from an importer to an important gas exporter in the region and the world.

Indian corporation intends to import oil from Azerbaijan

The Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) board will consider signing crude import agreement with the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), K Murali, Director Refineries, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. said.

"The Azerbaijani company has come forward to supply crude and the proposal will be taken up with the HPCL Board," he said.

Murali said negotiations with SOCAR are already underway. If everything goes well, import of crude oil may start from this year, he said.

SOCAR constructs new gas stations in Georgia and Ukraine

The total number of gas stations in Georgia, operating under the brand of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) will reach 125 units this year, SOCAR said.

At present, the number of SOCAR gas stations in Georgia is 96 units.

"The construction of new stations continues in order to achieve plans set for this year regarding the number of gas stations," the source said.

The total number of petrol stations under the brand SOCAR in Ukraine is projected to reach 50 until the end of the year, a source at SOCAR said.

The source noted that currently there are 26 stations under SOCAR brand in Ukraine.
"Currently the process of rebranding a number of stations is implemented and it is planned to increase the number of stations to 50 in Ukraine before the end of the year," the source said.

The source added that two large gas stations in Kiev will be commissioned soon."

Fitch assigns Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation's notes 'BB-(exp)' rating

Fitch Ratings has assigned JSC Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation's (GOGC) debut $250 million senior unsecured notes, due 2017, an expected rating of 'BB-(exp)'.

Proceeds from the bond issue will primarily be used to fund GOGC's capex plans notably with regard to the construction of a planned hydroelectric power project.

The final rating is contingent upon the receipt of final documents conforming to information already received.

GOGC's current ratings are as follows:

Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs): 'BB-'; Outlooks Stable
Short-term foreign and local currency IDRs: 'B'

Foreign currency senior unsecured rating: 'BB-'

The ratings are based upon the linkage of GOGC to Georgia's sovereign rating. GOGC's role as national energy company will remain critical to the Georgian economy given the country's position at a crossroads of supply between the landlocked Caspian basin and western markets.

Iran discovers big oil field in Caspian Sea

Iran has discovered a big oil field on its part of the Caspian Sea, Mehr reported.

Early reports indicate that the newly discovered oil field contans from 8 to 10 billion barrels of oil. Iran's oil minister Rostam Qasemi will reportedly make an official announcement on this discovery later.

Turkmen law on hydrocarbons amended

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has approved amendments and changes to the Turkmen law on hydrocarbon resources.

According to the document, the State Agency for Hydrocarbon Resources has been entitled to establish an enterprise to acquire shares and stocks of other enterprises to open branches, representative offices and other units on Turkmen territory and abroad.
According to real law and the development rules, the agency has the right to charge the appropriate state agencies to examine the program and plan of petroleum work of the contractor free of charge to determine their effectiveness and compliance with the Turkmen legislation.

The order of interaction between the agency and state bodies is determined by an act signed by the Turkmen president.

Article 47 states that the agreements on import and export of goods, materials and equipment for execution of work, as well as contracts for the sale of goods, materials and equipment, concluded within the petroleum operations are exempt from registration at the Turkmen State Commodity and Raw Materials Exchange.

The provisions of this article apply to the activity of the agency and enterprises, subsidiaries, representative offices and other units on the territory of Turkmenistan, if this activity is related to the implementation of petroleum operations and implementation of their functions and powers in accordance with this law.

The law also stipulates that at any stage of the contract, the agency or person recommended as a contractor, is entitled to acquire at least 15 percent share in the contract.

Regulations on 'Turkmenneftegazstroy' state concern approved

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov approved regulations on the State Concern 'Turkmennebitgazgurlushyk' (Turkmenneftegazstroy).

This is done in order to successfully address tasks set before the country's oil and gas industry in the 'National Programme of socio-economic development of Turkmenistan for 2011-2030' and further improvement of the state concern's activity.