Major events in Caspian countries' oil and gas industry for last week (Nov. 4-8)

SOCAR, Botas select land for TANAP

The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) together with Turkish Botas specialists has begun choosing land for laying the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline (TANAP), SOCAR head Rovnag Abdullayev said.

According to Abdullayev, at present geologists are working on the area.

"The work on the detailed engineering of the gas pipeline project is being successfully conducted," Abdullayev added.

The TANAP project envisages gas transportation from the Shah Deniz field to Europe via Turkey. The initial capacity is expected to reach 16 billion cubic meters per year. Around six billion cubic meters will be delivered to Turkey and the rest to Europe.

Deputy Prime Minister: Kazakhstan reviews contracts for subsoil use

The Ministry of Industry and New Technologies of Kazakhstan is conducting a thorough inspection of all previously signed contracts for subsoil use to secure new commitments, Deputy Prime Minister of Industry and New Technologies of Kazakhstan, Asset Issekeshev said at a briefing in Astana.

According to him, agreements on many projects and programmes were concluded seven to 10 years ago and while completing the contracts, they included the understated liabilities of investors.

"Until late 2013 the contracts will contain $27 billion of liabilities that investors will be required to invest in the subsoil use of the republic," the minister added.

Issekeshev recalled that the Kazakh president instructed his department to bring order to the sphere of subsoil use and to give non-working fields to those who will actually engage in the development of subsoil.

"The ministry currently works hard on non-working fields and I think by late 2013 we will break at least 40 contracts on them," he said.

Iran eyes new markets for gas exports

Iran has started gas negotiations with Russia's Gazprom Company and the representatives of the Russian government, the Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said.

"Iran has also good relations with Algeria which is one of the world's biggest gas suppliers," the IRNA News Agency quoted Zanganeh as saying in a televised interview.

Zanganeh went on to note that Iran eyes new markets such as India, Europe, and Turkey for exporting gas.

"Iran's first priority is exporting gas to neighboring countries, since no country in the region except for Iran and Qatar has gas surplus," he added.

Kazakhstan removes restrictions on Russian petrol imports

Kazakhstan has removed restrictions on imports of Russian petrol by rail, the Kazakh Oil and Gas Ministry said.

According to the report, the relevant restrictions were made in May 2013 to protect the Kazakh market from oversupply.

Source: Cause of gas leak at Kashagan field delayed

The results of an examination to reveal the cause of a gas leak at the Kashagan field in Kazakhstan will be ready after December 15, a source close to the project said.

"According to an optimistic prognosis, oil production at the Kashagan field can be resumed after a year and according to the pessimistic prognosis after two years," the source said.

Talking about the reasons for suspension of production, the source said that this was related to the gas transportation system that links the islands to the Bolashak plant.

Signs of a gas leak were detected on October 9, 2013 in the sanitary protection zone during a planned inspection of the pipeline, which is constructed from Island D to the Bolashak plant at a distance of two kilometres from the plant.

Australian-British Rio Tinto invests in geological exploration

The Australian-British Rio Tinto consortium will invest about two billion tenge (153.77 = $1) in geological exploration in Kazakhstan in the first stage, Deputy Minister of Industry and New Technologies of Kazakhstan Asset Issekeshev said.

"By the year-end we will have four agreements with large international companies. One such is Rio Tinto and we plan to launch field works next year. In the first stage we will have around two billion tenge of foreign investments. We also have three other agreements with Japanese and Korean companies," Deputy Prime Minister said at the meeting of the round table 'Perspectives and main directions of development of geology and subsoil use in Kazakhstan'.

"We view technologies which can be obtained. There is also cooperation with other large mining companies worked out, such as KORES, Iluka Resources and JOGMEC," he said.

Construction of export gas pipeline in western direction intensified in Turkmenistan

The East-West gas pipeline, which is one of the most important objects of Turkmenistan, is being rapidly constructed, the Turkmen Ministry of Oil & Gas Industry and Mineral Resources said.

"Currently, the intensive work is being conducted in the sections of Belek-Gumdag, Bereket Gumdag, Bami-Archman-Baharli, Ashgabat-Baharli," a statement said.

Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov focused the attention on the need to accelerate the construction of the pipeline which should improve the reliability of the gas supply of new industrial facilities put into operation in various industrial fields.

"The implementation of the project is of great importance from the point of view of increasing exports of Turkmen energy resources to the world markets," the Turkmen leader said.

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