13 Aralık 2013 Cuma

Cyprus and Egypt sign unitisation deal on the joint exploitation


 Cyprus Mail

Cyprus and Egypt yesterday signed a unitisation agreement on the joint exploitation of hydrocarbon reserves, on the median line between the two countries’ respective exclusive economic zones (EEZ).

The seminal agreement paves the way for commercial interests to take advantage of any hydrocarbon reserves found in areas that could cross either side of the dividing line between the two countries’ EEZ.

In total, three bilateral agreements were signed yesterday during President Nicos Anastasiades’ two-day official visit to Cairo, marking an upturn in relations between Cyprus and the interim government of Egypt.

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides signed a Revised Aviation Agreement between Egypt and Cyprus while Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis signed a framework agreement for the Development of Cross-Median Line Hydrocarbon Resources.

A cooperation agreement was also signed between the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics and the Children’s Cancer Hospital of Cairo.

The unitisation agreement is a final agreement between two governments, and the first one signed between Cyprus and one of its neighbours, with significant implications for the development of the industry in the Eastern Mediterranean.

2 Aralık 2013 Pazartesi

Turkey says wants to draw Baghdad into Kurdish oil deal


Reuters       Humeyra Pamuk

Turkey said on Monday it stood by a bilateral oil deal with Iraq's Kurdistan region that bypassed central government but wanted to win Baghdad's support by drawing it into the arrangement.

Reuters reported that Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan signed a multi-billion-dollar energy package last week, infuriating a central Baghdad government which claims sole authority over Iraqi oil exports and is wary of any moves that could extend political autonomy to the region.

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz met Iraq's deputy prime minister for energy, Hussain al-Shahristani, in Baghdad on Sunday to try to mend ties with a federal government which says independent Kurdish oil exports would be illegal. The affair has soured relations between Ankara and Baghdad.

"We stand by the agreement we did with northern Iraq but we hope this can be carried out through a three-way mechanism," Yildiz told a conference in Arbil, the capital city of the Kurdistan region (KRG). "As Turkey, we are trying to move this forward in a careful and courteous way."

"We also would like to have the consent of the Central Government of Iraq for the commercial export of oil from the KRG to Turkey and start a trilateral cooperation scheme that will be beneficial to all."

The Kurdish north of Iraq has enjoyed autonomy since the 1990-1991 Gulf War when a U.S.-led coalition drove Iraqi occupying troops out of Kuwait.

29 Kasım 2013 Cuma

Iran says gold trade with Turkey to resume

 Reuters

* Gold trade seen less than last year
* Trade boomed in 2012 as Iranians bought gold
* More Turkish banks seen working with Iran (Adds quotes, Halkbank, background)

Gold trade between Turkey and Iran will resume, albeit at lower levels than last year, once sanctions on Iran are eased, Iran's ambassador to Turkey said on Friday.

Turkey's gold trade with Iran boomed in 2012 when Ankara was paying for its natural gas and oil imports with Turkish lira and Iranians were using those deposits held in Turkey's Halkbank to buy gold.

"Certainly the gold trade between Iran and Turkey will resume," the ambassador, Ali Reza Bigdeli, told reporters in the Turkish capital on Friday.

"Due to the problems in money transfers in 2012, the gold trade rose. I don't think that we are still in the same situation that would require us to trade in gold in those amounts," he said.

Some of the gold was held inside Turkey in the peak of the trade, while some was taken to Dubai by couriers to be sold for foreign currency which was much needed by Iran and to which it did not have access due to tight Western sanctions.

This trade had dried up as a provision of U.S. sanctions, made law in the summer of 2012 and implemented from Feb. 6, effectively tightened control on sales of precious metals to Iran and prevented Halkbank from processing oil payments by other countries back to Tehran.

"There are a lot of areas between Iran and Turkey that we could trade, we should revive those too," Bigdeli said.

He also said Halkbank will maintain an important role in relations between Ankara and Tehran and that other Turkish banks are expected to work with Iran as risks ease.

Source:  http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSL5N0JE1OR20131129?irpc=932

Turkey, Iraqi Kurdistan sign landmark energy contracts



Reuters

Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan signed a package of landmark contracts earlier this week that will see the semi-autonomous region's oil and gas shipped to international markets via pipelines through Turkey, sources close to the deal told Reuters on Friday.

The sources said the deals were signed during Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani's three hour-long meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday.

The move is likely to further infuriate Baghdad, which claims the sole authority to manage Iraqi oil and which said late on Thursday that any energy deal with Kurdistan would be "an encroachment on the sovereignty of Iraq".

Source:  http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/11/29/uk-turkey-iraq-oil-idUKBRE9AS06720131129

23 Kasım 2013 Cumartesi

US urges talks for energy in East Med


Hürriyet Daily News

The United States has called for continued dialogue between Turkey and the relevant parties in exploring energy resources both in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as in Iraq.

Carlos Pascual, the U.S. special envoy, called for dialog among parties on the potential resources that are yet to be explored in the Eastern Mediterranean, at the Atlantic Council Summit in Istanbul.
Discoveries of significant amounts of gas around Cyprus have brought with them political problems, as Turkey raised objections about exploration and ownership rights before a political settlement was reached on the divided island. Strains in Israeli–Turkish relations further complicated the transport of gas to a European market via Turkey, which experts agree will be the most commercial way.

It is too early to predict how Eastern Mediterranean gas will reach international markets according to Pascual, who said conversations between countries and companies would be critical to find the most commercially viable and politically acceptable solution.

Meanwhile Leonardo Bellodi, senior vice-president for public Affairs of ENİ said “things looked improved compared to a year ago,” when asked by the Hürriyet Daily News. Turkey had warned companies last year not to go ahead with exploration works in the Mediterranean or face consequences.

Greek Cyprus to auction gas exploration blocks

AFP

Greek Cyprus has entered talks with Italian-South Korean venture ENI-KOGAS on licensing two offshore exploration blocks, state media said, as the recession-hit island steps up its search for gas reserves.

The cabinet reportedly gave the green light for the negotiations on blocks 5 and 6 to begin, with a December 2 deadline ready to be extended. Government spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos confirmed ministers had discussed the issue but told reporters there was “nothing to announce publicly.”

Earlier this year, ENI-KOGAS secured permits to exploit possible hydrocarbon deposits in blocks 2, 3 and 9. The venture plans to start drilling in the third quarter of 2014.

Shah Deniz 2 awaits TANAP FID for project commencement

 

Hürriyet Daily News

Al Cook, the Vice President of Shah Deniz Development, emphasizes the importance for TANAP’s key shareholders, Turkey and Azerbaijan, to finalize their decision on investment plans to carry gas.

The Shah Deniz 2 consortium is awaiting the partnership heading the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline project to make their FID prior to making their own, with the FID required to trigger the execution of plans to develop Azerbaijani gas fields, according to a high level BP executive.

The TANAP oil pipeline will be carrying gas from Azerbaijan through Georgia and Turkey to European markets the year. Talking yesterday at the Atlantic Council summit in Istanbul, Al Cook, the Vice President of Shah Deniz Development, emphasized the importance for TANAP’s key shareholders, Turkey and Azerbaijan, to finalize their decision on investment plans in order for the FID required for the Shah Deniz 2 project to be made.Yet the reverse is also true for TANAP, according to energy experts, who said TANAP is also waiting for the Shah Deniz 2 consortium to make its final investment decision in order for the project to receive the green light.

“Shah Deniz 2 needs to make the FID before the end of the year because they can no longer delay it,” John Roberts, an energy security specialist, told the Daily News. Al Cook expressed confidence that the Shah Deniz 2’s final investment decision will be made before the end of the year, although admitting that “there will be few very busy weeks ahead.”

20 Kasım 2013 Çarşamba

Iraq Kurds to Pump Oil to Turkey in Truce With Baghdad



Bloomberg        Selcan Hacaoğlu & Onur Ant

Iraq’s Kurds plan to start pumping oil to Turkey next month via a pipeline controlled by the central government in Baghdad, signaling an easing of their dispute over resources, according to two people familiar with the plan.

The new line will take Kurdish oil into the existing pipe that runs from Kirkuk in Iraq to Turkey’s Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, initially carrying 150,000 barrels a day starting in December, according to the Turkish energy industry officials who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. An Iraqi energy industry manager, who requested anonymity for the same reason, said the state oil company has accounted for the extra oil in 2014 plans.

Ashti Hawrami, the Kurdish Regional Government’s natural resources minister, said at a press conference last month that the 40-kilometer pipeline will have a capacity of 300,000 barrels a day. Mehmet Sepil, president of London-listed Genel Energy, said at the same conference that the pipeline from Dohuk to Fishkabur on the Turkish border will carry 200,000 barrels a day from its Tawke and Taq Taq fields.

The Iraqi official said the Kurdish oil will be metered when it feeds into the main pipeline, at Fishkabur near the Turkish border, and again when it arrives at Ceyhan.

The agreement signals a truce on the issue between the Iraqi Kurds, who say they should have control over oil and gas resources in the north, and the Baghdad government, which argues that all energy transactions need central approval.

12 Kasım 2013 Salı

Iraq’s Kurdish region pursues ties with Turkey — for energy revenue and independence


The Washington Post   Ben Van Heuvelen

As the rest of Iraq descends into a crisis of deepening violence, the autonomous enclave of Kurdistan is enlisting the help of an unlikely ally, Turkey, to reach for a long-delayed dream of independence.

In many ways, Iraqi Kurdistan already acts like a sovereign state. Kurdish authorities provide all public services, command their own army and control their own borders — including their heavily guarded southern border with ­Arab-majority provinces of Iraq. In Irbil, the Kurdish capital, most government buildings fly the Kurdish flag — not the flag of Iraq — and many members of the younger generation never learned Arabic and speak only Kurdish.

Until now, however, the Kurds have remained tightly tied to Baghdad because they depend on the Iraqi treasury for the vast majority of their regional budget.

That could soon change.

Putting aside years of hostility, Turkish and Kurdish leaders are quietly implementing an energy partnership agreement, signed earlier this year, that promises to provide the Kurdistan region with an independent stream of oil revenue.

The first major step in the plan is a pipeline that runs directly to Turkey, beyond Baghdad’s reach, and that will begin operating by the end of the year, according to the Kurdistan region’s minister of natural resources, Ashti Hawrami.

“It is our duty as Iraqis to pursue export routes for oil and gas, to secure our future,” Hawrami said.

Israel set to become major gas exporter



The Financial Times   John Reed


The Tamar deepwater natural gas platform rises 290m from the seabed off Ashdod, in southern Israel, emerging above the waterline only for the last 50 metres or so.
 
The $3.5bn project is described by its investors Delek of Israel and Noble Energy of the US as the largest private sector infrastructure undertaking in Israel’s 65-year history. The gas from Tamar, which began sending its output onshore in late March, will contribute about a percentage point of the country’s gross domestic product this year.
Israel is on the threshold of becoming a major energy power in the Middle East – with potentially game-changing consequences for geopolitics and economic relations in a volatile region – after a court decision unlocked the path to exports.
 
Executives at Delek and Noble told the Financial Times they are fast-tracking discussions on a range of export options for the much larger, still undeveloped Leviathan field, which lies about 30km to Tamar’s west, and holds an estimated 19tn cubic feet of gas – one of the industry’s biggest recent deepwater finds of its kind.

They are moving forward following a decision by Israel’s supreme court in late October to reject petitions brought by civil society groups and opposition politicians who questioned the right of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to set aside 40 per cent of Israel’s gas windfall for exports without having consulted the Knesset, Israel’s legislature. 

8 Kasım 2013 Cuma

Iraq vows to work with BP on controversial oil field

AFP

Iraq said Wednesday it would proceed with work alongside British energy giant BP on a controversial northern oilfield, in a move likely to spark anger in the country's Kurdish region.

The development of the Kirkuk oilfield, which lies amid a swathe of disputed territory in north Iraq, is at the heart of a row over land, oil revenues and the powers of the central government that has been raging for years between Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdistan region.

Iraqi Oil Minister Abdelkarim al-Luaybi, Kirkuk provincial Governor Najm al-Din Omar Karim and BP chief executive Bob Dudley visited the field after holding talks in the province's eponymous capital.

"The contract with the British company will be executed by treating the decline in oil production at Kirkuk oilfield, which has reached 230,000 barrels (per day), and the company will work on surveying the fields and sites of Kirkuk oilfield throughout the contract period," Luaybi told AFP.

Current output represents a significant drop off from the field's peak, and Iraqi officials hope to increase production to 500,000 barrels per day in three years.
 

7 Kasım 2013 Perşembe

Turkey, Iraqi Kurdistan clinch major energy pipeline deals


REUTERS        Hümeyra PAMUK & Orhan COSKUN

Iraqi Kurdistan has finalized a comprehensive package of deals with Turkey to build multi-billion dollar oil and gas pipelines to ship the autonomous region's rich hydrocarbon reserves to world markets, sources involved in talks said on Wednesday.

The deals, which could have important geo-political consequences for the Middle East, could see Kurdistan export some 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil to world markets and at least 10 billion cubic meters per year of gas to Turkey.

Such a relationship would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, when Ankara enjoyed strong ties with Iraq's central Baghdad government and was deep in a decades-long fight with Kurdish militants on its own soil.

But Turkey imports almost all of its energy needs and growing demand means it faces a ballooning deficit, making the resources over its southeastern border hard to ignore.

During a visit to Istanbul last week by Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) prime minister Nechirvan Barzani, both sides agreed on the fundamentals of the deals and mapped out technical details for a second oil pipeline and a gas route from Iraq's north to Turkey, sources involved in the talks said.

1 Kasım 2013 Cuma

Iraq says Big Oil to spend $25 bln next yr, despite unrest



REUTERS     Peg Mackey and Ahmed Rasheed

 
* Foreign oil firms due to spend over $25 bln in 2014
* Oil output in south expected to rise by average 500,000 bpd
* Giant southern oilfields, central fields seen safe from attack
* Smaller Nineveh oilfields, Anbar gasfield more vulnerable
* China seeks over 1 million bpd of Iraqi crude

Big Oil is poised to spend over $25 billion next year to boost output from Iraq's giant oilfields towards record rates, Iraq's deputy prime minister for energy said, even as Baghdad struggles to control spillover from the civil war in Syria.

Far from harm's way, the prized oilfields of southern Iraq - drivers of the country's oil expansion - are expected to pump an extra 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2014, said Hussain al-Shahristani. Total output this year is set to average just over 3 million bpd, holding Iraq's rank as OPEC's no. 2 producer.

But Baghdad is raising its guard at the smaller fields of Najmah and Qayara - operated by Angolan Sonangol, which lie in the al-Qaeda heartland of Nineveh province in the northwest and at the Akkas gasfield, operated by South Korea's Kogas, in the western Anbar province near the Syrian border, he said.

"We are definitely concerned about the upsurge in violence, but our concern is for the Iraqi people throughout the country. Iraq is trying its best to combat terrorism," he said in an interview in his office in the heavily fortified green zone.

"The security situation has not affected the oilfields in the south and central Iraq and we haven't noticed any hesitation or slow down in investment by the companies."

Baghdad says still opposes KRG oil pipeline

Iraq PM Maliki and Iraq Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani

REUTERS   Ahmed Rasheed and Peg Mackey

Baghdad said it is still firmly opposed to Iraqi Kurdistan's plan for an independent oil pipeline through Turkey, insisting that only the central government has the right to export crude.

Iraq's deputy prime minister for energy, Hussain al-Shahristani, told Reuters he had conveyed Baghdad's views to Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz.

"Turkey is aware of Iraq's concern and total rejection of that (KRG pipeline) plan. We have reminded Turkey that this is in breach of the agreement between the two countries that regulates exports from Iraq through the Turkish pipeline," al-Shahristani told Reuters.

"Turkey assured us they respect that agreement and they will not allow any export of Iraqi crude without the permission of the federal government in

7 Ekim 2013 Pazartesi

Russian Oil Czar Reluctant to Change Buyout Offer


The Wall Street Journal       Gregory L. WHITE

Beyond his official post as chief executive of state oil company OAO Rosneft, Igor Sechin is a longtime confidant of President Vladimir Putin and widely seen as one of the most powerful people in Russia. So when his PR staff called the top editors of most of the country’s major newspapers late Friday night to summon them to an urgent briefing with him the next day, nearly all turned up.

But Mr. Sechin didn’t gather them at Rosneft headquarters in downtown Moscow to announce a new multi-billion-dollar deal with a global oil major or another giant project with customers in China. No, the reason he brought the editors, including two foreigners, out of bed on a Saturday morning was to respond to a complaint voiced a few days before by a small shareholder in one of Rosneft’s many subsidiaries.

Over the following two hours, ignoring the plates of fruit and Russian blini laid on the table, Mr. Sechin provided a window into the mindset of the man who runs the world’s largest publicly traded oil company by production.

He seemed less concerned about the substance of the shareholder’s complaint–the fund manager voiced a concern widely held in the market that Rosneft’s offer to buy out minorities was unfairly low–than the fact that the investor had taken it directly to Mr. Putin during a public question-and-answer session at an investment conference.

“This was an attempt to apply pressure, maybe even to manipulate the market,” Mr. Sechin said of the fund manager’s question to the president.

U.S. Is Overtaking Russia as Largest Oil-and-Gas Producer


Photo: AFP
The Wall Street Journal              
Russel GOLD  and Daniel GILBERT 

    The U.S. is overtaking Russia as the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas, a startling shift that is reshaping markets and eroding the clout of traditional energy-rich nations.

    U.S. energy output has been surging in recent years, a comeback fueled by shale-rock formations of oil and natural gas that was unimaginable a decade ago. A Wall Street Journal analysis of global data shows that the U.S. is on track to pass Russia as the world's largest producer of oil and gas combined this year—if it hasn't already.

    The U.S. ascendance comes as Russia has struggled to maintain its energy output and has yet to embrace technologies such as hydraulic fracturing that have boosted American reserves.

    "This is a remarkable turn of events," said Adam Sieminski, head of the U.S. Energy Information Administration. "This is a new era of thinking about market conditions, and opportunities created by these conditions, that you wouldn't in a million years have dreamed about."

    27 Eylül 2013 Cuma

    Chinese firm wins Turkey missile defence system tender



    REUTERS

    NATO member Turkey has chosen a Chinese defence firm that has been sanctioned by Washington to co-produce a $4 billion long-range air and missile defence system, rejecting rival bids from Russian, U.S. and European firms.
    nato
    The Turkish defence minister announced the decision to award the contract to China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp (CPMIEC) in a statement on Thursday.

    In February, the United States announced sanctions on CPMIEC for violations of the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act.

    It did not say precisely what CPMIEC had done, but Washington has penalised the company before. In 2003, Washington said it was extending sanctions on the firm for arms sales to Iran. It was unclear when those measures were first imposed.

    Officials at state-run CPMIEC, the marketing arm of China's missile manufacturing industry, could not immediately be reached for comment.

    Turkey, which has the second-largest deployable military force in the NATO alliance, has no long-range missile defence system of its own, but NATO has deployed the U.S.-built Patriot air and missile defence system there since 2012.

    The winning Chinese FD-2000 system beat the Patriot, the Russian S-400 and the French-Italian Eurosam Samp-T.

    Raytheon Co, which builds the Patriot missile system, said it had been informed about the Turkish decision and hoped to get a briefing soon. It said there were 200 Patriot units deployed in 12 countries, including Turkey.

    "NATO has long supported the system, deploying Patriots in five aligned countries and, in 2012, providing a requested Patriot deployment to Turkey. Given this strong performance, we hope to have an opportunity to debrief and learn more about this decision," Raytheon spokesman Mike Doble said.

    26 Eylül 2013 Perşembe

    High energy costs hamper EU industry - Commission


    REUTERS

    * EU industry share of GDP sliding as U.S. re-industrialises
    * Energy commissioner seeks 'industrial compact', industry summit
    * Industrial growth needs to be green, high-tech

    EU nations will be left far behind the United States unless they address high energy costs that are worsening the continent's industrial decline, the European Commission said on Wednesday.

    To tackle the issue the Commission, the EU executive, is preparing a policy document for later this year followed by an EU summit in February 2014 focused on industry, EU sources said.

    Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani said part of the answer is an industrial compact "to address high energy prices, difficult access to credit, a drop in investments, lack of skills and red tape".

    He drew a comparison with the fiscal compact signed in March 2012 by 25 EU leaders with a view to forcing euro zone countries to keep their budgets in surplus or balanced.

    Economic output generated by EU industry has fallen to 15.1 percent of GDP from 15.5 percent last year, short of the 20 percent informal goal the European Union should aim for by 2020, the Commission said in a report on industrial competitiveness.

    The United States, meanwhile, has been re-industrialising with the help of a cheap-energy boom following the exploitation of shale gas.

    Some industry, especially the chemical sector for which gas is a feedstock as well as an energy source, has been relocating to the United States to take advantage of it.

    The Commission has said natural gas prices in the European Union are roughly four times higher than in the United States. The gap could narrow, especially if the United States exports more, but that is complicated in terms of domestic politics.

    25 Eylül 2013 Çarşamba

    Turkey's pipe dreams


    Arabian Business       Lionel Mok

    Turkey has continued to make the headlines in the Middle East’s oil and gas industry over the last several months due to a number of factors which include the growing divide between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Federal Government of Iraq (FGI); and the recent signing of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeiline (TAP) and Trans-Anatolian Pipelines (TANAP).

    Despite its unremarkable national oil production industry that produces, on average, 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) from reserves that total approximately 270 million barrels of oil, the country has made itself critical to the world’s energy market, while also managing to satisfy growing domestic consumption of over 700,000 bpd.

    Turkey owes its gravitational pull in the energy market to its physical geography. As the only landmass standing between the Middle East and Europe, and also the Black and Mediterranean Seas, Turkey is well positioned to become an energy hub and a transit point.

    The country is in proximity to 71.8% of the world’s proven gas reserves and 72.7% of the world’s proven oil reserves. It neighbors Iran, Iraq the recently discovered Eastern Mediterranean reserves near Lebanon; and it is less than 250 kilometers away from the Caspian Sea, home of the world’s largest oil discovery in the last thirty years.

    By 2004, the Turkish straits of the Bosphorus and the Dardanalles, had the capacity to transit 3.4 million barrels of oil to European markets every day. At the same time, a terminal on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast at Ceyhan, facilitates oil exports from northern Iraq via a pipeline from Kirkuk and from Azerbaijan through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. The Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline is Turkey’s largest, with a capacity of 1.65 million bpd.

    The planned TANAP will include a natural gas pipeline system running from the Georgia-Turkey border to the Turkey-Greece border, while the TAP, will transport the same natural gas from Greece via Albania and the Adriatic Sea to Italy and further to markets throughout Western Europe.

    "Turkey may drill for oil and gas in Cyprus": Minister



    Hurriyet Daily News

    Turkey’s Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa seismic vessel, which has been conducting offshore oil and gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean, could enter Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone in three weeks to continue exploration pending prime ministerial approval, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız has said.

    “The Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa is drilling off the coast of the Mersin-İskenderun-Antalya region. It will work there, for three weeks more. Later, we will speak with Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] as to whether it will enter Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone. If the prime minister approves, the vessel could enter to the north or south of Cyprus because it has both a technical and political dimension,” Yıldız told private broadcaster A Haber in an interview early today.

    Yıldız also said they might buy a new vessel depending on the work load.

    Turkey has strongly protested against Greek Cyprus’ energy exploration in the Mediterranean, branding the moves illegal and starting its own exploratory drilling off Turkish northern Cyprus. The Turkish government says all revenues obtained from the drilling operations off the coast of Cyprus should be distributed between Greek Cyprus and Turkish Cyprus and have frequently warned that Turkey would undertake unilateral drilling in the event of any failure to equitably share revenues.
    Ankara has also said companies could be shut out of future Turkish energy investments if they become involved in Greek Cypriot energy exploration work.

    Turkey decided in March to suspend energy projects with Italian giant Eni in retaliation for the company’s involvement in oil and gas drilling off the coast of Greek Cyprus.

    Source: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-may-drill-for-oil-and-gas-in-cyprus-minister.aspx?pageID=238&nID=55114&NewsCatID=348

    Iraq to Turn up Oil Tap This Year - Output to Rise by 300,000 - 400,000 Barrels a Day by 2014


    The Wall Street Journal

    Output to Rise by 300,000 - 400,000 Barrels a Day by 2014

    Four years after war-scarred Iraq enlisted major oil companies to develop its oil fields, the country is about to turn up the tap.

    Output is set to rise sharply in coming months with help from new oil fields in the south, Hussein al Shahristani, the Iraqi deputy prime minister for energy, said in Dubai on Tuesday.

    The biggest contribution will come from the gigantic Majnoon field, where Royal Dutch Shell
    PLC last week began testing production. Output there is expected to rise to almost 200,000 barrels a day before the end of the year, Mr. Shahristani said at a conference in Dubai.

    The Halfaya field in southeastern Iraq should add another 50,000 barrels per day before the end of the year.

    "There are increases in other fields, so in total we should add at least 300,000, perhaps more like 400,000 barrels," he said.

    As Iraq is producing about 3.3 million barrels a day at present, that would make about 3.6 million or 3.7 million by the end of the year, he said.

    The best market for the new oil in terms of cost would be Asia, he said, adding that Iraq wants to ship to different places as insurance against interruptions in trade routes. Iraq is also looking to ship oil through Syria along an established route once the civil war ends there.

    Iraq Central Government Threatens to Cut Revenue to Kurds Over Pipeline to Turkey


    Bloomberg Business Week

    Iraq central government threatened to cut oil revenue to the Kurdish north in a deepening standoff over a new export pipeline that companies from DNO International ASA (DNO) to Genel Energy Plc (GENL) plan to use to ship crude from the region.

    The government in Baghdad may refuse to give the 17 percent of annual earnings from oil sales allocated to the semi-autonomous Kurdish provinces if they bypass central authorities and start operating a link through Turkey by year-end, Hussain al-Shahristani, deputy prime minister for energy affairs, said in an interview in Dubai yesterday.

    “We have our options, and you will hear them when we adopt measures, as this is a big loss for Iraq,” he said. “No Iraqi would accept that they take 17 percent of Iraq’s revenue from crude produced outside of Kurdistan and at the same time all of the revenue of the crude produced in Kurdistan.”
    The Kurdistan Regional Government halted crude exports through the government-run pipeline in December amid a dispute with the Oil Ministry in Baghdad over the sharing of crude sales revenue and payments owed to companies such as DNO and Genel Energy. The Kurds, who are building export pipelines as a step toward self-sufficiency, estimate their oil reserves at 45 billion barrels.

    The Iraqi government insists that the Kurds link their new crude export pipeline to the main government pipe at a metering station near the Turkish border, Shahristani said.

    “They refused and said they want to link it after the metering station to prevent the Iraqi government from knowing the quantity of crude they are exporting,” he said. “The real problem is that they don’t want anyone to know how much they are producing and selling.” 

    EU Diplomats: "Failed Nabucco West plan still on EU priority list"


    REUTERS

    The Nabucco West pipeline, which lost a contest to ship Azeri gas to Europe, is still on a list of projects eligible for EU cash, implying the European Commission still believes it could be built, EU diplomats said.

    The Commission, the EU executive, next month is expected to publish a final list of projects judged significant to more than one EU nation and entitled to accelerated planning approval as well as consideration for money from the EU budget.

    Commission officials declined to disclose the content of the list before publication.

    But the diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it included the Nabucco West scheme, led by OMV, as well as the Trans Atlantic Pipeline (TAP), which was selected to by the Shah Deniz gas consortium to carry gas to Europe.

    TAP includes Norway's Statoil, BP, SOCAR, Fluyxs, Total, E.ON Ruhrgas of Germany and Swiss company.
    Commission officials have repeatedly said Nabucco West is not dead and could one day be built if more Caspian gas becomes available.

    Other schemes on the list of roughly 200 Projects of Common Interest include a Baltic energy grid, aimed at ending the isolation of Baltic states and curbing their reliance on Russia.

    A feasibility study for a gas link from Cyprus to Crete and then Greece or Italy is also on the list.
    Cyprus has high hopes of rapidly developing its gas reserves to revive its broken economy, but export routes are complicated by its long-standing rift with Turkey.

    7 Ağustos 2013 Çarşamba

    Israeli gas group in talks on export pipelines to Turkey, Jordan, Egypt

    Reuters

    A group of energy companies that discovered large amounts of natural gas off Israel’s Mediterranean coast said they were in talks to export the gas to Europe via a pipeline to Turkey.

    They are also studying options to export gas to Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority, Avner Oil & Gas said yesterday.

    “The partners are negotiating with various officials,” Avner, one of the partners in the project, said.
    A spokesman for Delek Group, the parent company for Avner and for Delek Drilling, said the group - led by Noble Energy - was already in advanced talks with companies in Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority about buying Israeli gas and building pipelines.

    The talks show that the gas project is moving ahead, with prospects of eventually boosting Israel’s export revenue and economic growth. They also indicate reduced tensions between Israel and Turkey. A pipeline could improve relations between the two countries, which have been poor since 2010.

    Recoverable gas in the Levant Basin, which lies largely in Israeli and Cypriot waters in the eastern Mediterranean, hold some 3.5tn cu m of gas, the US Geological Survey has estimated.

    1 Ağustos 2013 Perşembe

    Turkey would struggle to cut Iran oil imports further: official

     Reuters

    Turkey would struggle to cut its crude oil imports from Iran any further, a Turkish official said on Thursday, after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to tighten sanctions on the Islamic Republic by further slashing its oil exports.

    "Turkey has already cut the amount of oil it buys from Iran as much as possible. A further cut after this would greatly stretch Turkey," the official said.

    Turkey's sole refiner Tupras has cut Iranian oil imports by around 40 percent to 110,000 barrels per day (bpd) and raised purchases from Saudi Arabia, Libya and Iraq.

    31 Temmuz 2013 Çarşamba

    No easy to break gas dominance of Russia


    Reuters         Henning Gloystein


    * Russia's EU market share to stay around 30 pct
    * New supplies seen, mainly from overseas LNG

    The European Union aims to diversify away from Russian natural gas supplies, yet Reuters research indicates the EU's biggest provider a decade from now could easily still be Russia.

    Billions are to be spent on piping gas from Azerbaijan while new finds in Africa and eastern Mediterranean also promise new supply for the EU, which currently buys mostly from Russia and Norway.

    Europe also gets liquefied natural gas (LNG), mostly from Qatar, and the U.S. shale boom could free up LNG exports from there in coming years, too.

    But growth in Europe's demand for gas will eat up much of the new potential supply, and the Russians show little willingness to fade away as they gear up to defend their position through massive projects, such as the $35 billion South Stream pipeline to Italy.

    "Russia will continue to remain Europe's primary energy supplier, including natural gas supplies, for many years and possibly decades," a U.S. congressional research paper on Europe's energy security said in March.

    Reuters' own research indicates that in 2023 Russia will likely remain the dominant supplier, as it boosts exports while EU and Norwegian output declines.

    OPEC's Oil Exports Revenue Breaks New Record But Split Deepens




    The Wall Street Journal   Benoit FAUCON

    Revenue from petroleum exports in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries broke a new record in 2012 but the earnings of some members are declining amid higher budgetary needs, underscoring a deepening rift between producers benefiting from higher oil prices and those who don't.

    Mounting inequalities within OPEC come ahead of an expected debate later this year over whether it should formally cut its production for the first time in five years.

    In its annual statistical report, OPEC said its oil exports revenue, which include crude, natural-gas liquids and products, rose by 9.2% to $1.261 trillion in 2012, compared to a previous record of $1.155 trillion the previous year.

    Gulf Arab monarchies took advantage of higher oil prices and of a gap left by Iranian sales hit by sanctions. While Saudi oil revenue rose by 6%, Iran's earnings from the commodity fell by 12%.

    But others have also been hurt by new competition from booming U.S. oil shale. Algeria's oil-export revenue fell by 6% as the price of its flagship Saharan Blend crude fell by 1.3% in 2012 amid weakening U.S. demand. The drop in revenue also stemmed from lower sales of its profitable products amid refining problems.

    BP, SOCAR, Total and Fluxys join the TAP project

    TAP

    The Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG (TAP) today announced that BP, SOCAR and Total - members of the international consortium developing the giant Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan - have exercised their option to join the Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG.

    BP and SOCAR have each taken a 20% share while Total has acquired 10%.  In addition, Fluxys, a major gas transit operator in Europe, has opted to join TAP, taking a 16% stake in the project. TAP’s shareholders, Axpo of Switzerland, Statoil of Norway and E.ON of Germany also continue their support of the project.

    TAP’s shareholding is now comprised of BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Statoil (20%), Fluxys (16%), Total (10%), E.ON (9%) and Axpo (5%).

    Kjetil Tungland, Managing Director for TAP said: “I would like to welcome the Shah Deniz shareholders and Fluxys to the TAP project. Our new shareholders will significantly enhance TAP’s strategic position in becoming an integral link between both their upstream and downstream businesses. This will further strengthen the integration of the entire Southern Gas Corridor value chain and support TAP’s delivery of the project on time and on budget. ”

    TAP’s shareholders remain open to further strategic partners joining the project in the future.

    Turkey's Sat-Launcher Plans Raise Concerns


    Defense News     Burak Bekdil 

    Turkey has approved construction of its first satellite launching center to cater for the country’s mushrooming satellite programs.

    But Ankara’s western allies worry that the Turks intend to use their own launching pad to fire the long-range missiles they hope to build in the medium- to long-run.

    Turkey’s procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), in early July signed a contract with the country’s national missile manufacturer, Roketsan, to build the Turkish Satellite Launching System (UFS) for pre-conceptual design work.

    Under the contract, Roketsan will design the UFS to be capable of launching, initially, satellites into low earth orbit (500 to 700 kilometers) through a launching center the company will build and the Turkish Air Force will operate.

    “We intend to end Turkey’s foreign dependency on launching military and [civilian] communications satellites,” one Roketsan official said. “We also think Turkey may launch other nations’ satellites with its own system in the longer-run.”

    An SSM official familiar with the program said one reason for the UFS project was that Turkish planners are aiming toward a compact space program, including a national launcher. “The government and military planners think that any space road map without an indigenous launcher would be incomplete,” he said.
    But diplomats and analysts think that the Turks may have other reasons for their desire to have their own satellite launcher.

    2 Temmuz 2013 Salı

    TAP outgunned Nabucco for Azeri gas on most fronts


     Reuters

    * TAP beat Nabucco on 7 of 8 criteria

    * The reason was not high gas prices in Italy, Greece
    * Government continues to support South Stream
    * GALSI pipeline important for Italy

    The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project outscored rival Nabucco West on virtually all fronts to win the race to carry Azeri gas into Europe, a junior minister at Italy's Industry ministry told Reuters.

    Azerbaijan's state energy company SOCAR and its partners in the Shah Deniz II gas field, including BP and Statoil , said on Friday they had selected TAP.

    The project, linking a Turkish pipeline to southern Italy via Greece and Albania, plans to deliver 10 billion cubic metres (bcm) of Azeri gas to Europe each year beginning in 2019.

    BP said there was a "substantial" commercial difference between the two competing pipeline projects, including the cost of shipping the Azeri gas and gas prices in the respective markets.

    The head of Austria's OMV, part of the rival Nabucco project, said last week the TAP project had been chosen because of high gas prices in Italy and Greece.

    "It was not for high gas prices in Italy and Greece," Claudio De Vincenti said in an interview.

    31 Mayıs 2013 Cuma

    Anglo-Turkish company discovers new oil in KRG

    Hurriyet Daily News

    Genel Energy, Anglo-Turkish oil and gas independent, has announced that it has discovered new commercial oil reserves in northern Iraq.

    In a written statement yesterday, Genel Energy confirmed the existence of a commercial oil discovery in the Ber Bahr 1 exploration well in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRG).

    “The Ber Bahr well adds a further commercial oil discovery to Genel’s already significant KRI resource base,” the statement said. The company plans to begin a phased development of the field in the second half of this year. Genel Energy holds a 40 percent working interest in Ber Bahr. Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd holds a 40 percent working interest and the KRG holds the remaining 20 percent interest.

    Genel Energy now operates in seven sites in the KRG, including Chia Surkh, Dohuk, Miran, Bina Bawi, Taq Taq, and Kewa Chirmila. However, there is a long-running dispute between the central government in Baghdad and the autonomous KRG over how to develop the country’s resources.

    Source: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/anglo-turkish-company-discovers-new-oil-in-krg.aspx?pageID=238&nID=47921&NewsCatID=348

    Turkey to begin negotiations on gas supplies from Turkmenistan

    Trend

    A framework agreement on cooperation for the supply of natural gas from Turkmenistan to Turkey can be called an illustrative result of the talks between the presidents of Turkmenistan and Turkey, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Abdullah Gul, who is on a state visit to Ashgabat.

    Ankara periodically expresses its interest in the delivery of Caspian energy to Europe through Turkey, and the issue has been on the agenda since the mid nineties.

    It is necessary to lay a 300-km pipeline under the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan for the delivery of Turkmen resources to Europe. From there, the fuel reaches Turkey, which shares borders with Europe. The Trans-Caspian project could become a part of several large-scale projects such as Nabucco, AGRI and TANAP in which Ankara takes an active part.

    The Trans-Caspian project at this stage is considered by experts as the most optimal way to deliver Turkmen gas to Europe.

    Official Ashgabat believes that the consent of the parties, territories of which are covered by the project (Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan), is sufficient for laying the pipe under the Caspian Sea.

    Baku has expressed readiness to provide its territory, transit opportunities and infrastructure for its implementation, as reported by the representatives of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR).

    Source:  http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/2156037.html

    Turkish Parliament opens way to oil market liberalization


    Hurriyet Daily News

    A petroleum market draft code has passed into law in General Assembly of the Parliament despite the opposition’s outcry over the measures which diminishes the role of state-owned TPAO in the market.

    The Turkish Parliament’s General Assembly has approved a draft code on the petroleum market that comprises regulations to boost the dynamism in the sector by easing the circumstances for private actors and to end rentiers in the sector.

    The new law, which is designed to regulate oil exploration and production operations in compliance with the country’s energy policies has passed into law late on May 29.

    The government says the new regulations would liberalize the sector significantly.

    But opposing groups say that it would leave the state-run Turkish Petroleum Company (TPAO) in a weaker position.

    During the discussion of the draft in Parliament, one of the main opposition Republican People’s Party deputies attacked the draft, blaming the government for “not thinking to make exploration and production more efficient and rather seeking ways to please foreign capital.”

    29 Mayıs 2013 Çarşamba

    Sudan and Turkey to cooperate in energy

    Hurriyet Daily News

    Sudan and Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding in the areas of mining, power generation and hydrocarbons, during Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız’s visit to the African country.

    Yıldız said May 26 that they would encourage private sector players active in the energy sector – particularly in wind, solar and hydroelectric power – to invest in Sudan.

    “We’d like to benefit from Turkey’s experience in industry, mining and transportation,” said Kemal Abdullatif, the Sudanese minister of mining. Also, Sudanese Electricity and Water Resources Minister Tabita Butros Shokia said they could cooperate with Turkey in wind, solar and nuclear energy.

    Turkey and Sudan are set to cooperate in mining, hydrocarbons and electricity generation, particularly renewable energy, in accordance with the deals signed by Yıldız, Abdullatif and Shokia, following negotiations between technical delegations.

    Yıldız said Turkey would assist with Sudan’s master power generation plan if help was requested. The minister also had talks about possible investment by the Turkish private sector to build a hydroelectric power station on the coast of the Nile river.

    Turkey may buy ‘2 mln tons of Yemen LNG’

    European energy exchanges compete for Turkish growth

    Reuters


    European energy exchanges ICE Endex and EEX are competing for a slice of Turkey's booming power market as the country prepares to open its first electricity exchange, executives from the companies said on Tuesday.

    Turkey, with $60 billion of annual energy imports, is liberalising its energy market and plans to open an electricity exchange by October to increase liquidity and become a leading trading hub between Europe and the east.

    Expected growth in Turkey's energy demand is second only to China, making the country a favourite investment market among European energy companies hit by stalling growth in their core markets.

    "We're looking at Turkey with interest as a new business opportunity," said Wouter de Klein, commercial director at ICE Endex, on the sidelines of the EMART Turkey energy conference.

    "We would be interested in participating in further developing the energy trading markets in Turkey and to work together with the relevant Turkish authorities in doing so."

    ICE Endex is a new European power and gas trading platform launched by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) this year to increase its presence in Europe's mature energy markets.

    Germany-based rival EEX has already signed an agreement with Turkey's transmission system operator TEIAS to cooperate on the creation of Turkey's energy exchange.

    Russian gas pipeline could doom Europe's Nabucco plan

    Reuters


    * Europe, U.S. support for Nabucco weakened
    * Azeri consortium expected to pick winner in June
    * Gas due to flow to European Union from 2019

    Europe's grand plan for a gas pipeline from the Caspian Sea that would make its eastern states less reliant on Russia may have been fatally undermined by Russia's even bigger project.

    As Azerbaijan nears a decision on which pipeline to choose for its future exports, the Nabucco plan that was long the European Union favourite could lose out to the more modest Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) across Greece to southern Italy.

    In a complex equation based on politics as much as economics, TAP is in the ascendancy over the Nabucco pipeline to Austria in the face of Russia's $39 billion South Stream plan.

    "The question is: 'Is Nabucco viable if South Stream is built?'" said Andrew Neff, Moscow-based principal energy analyst with research firm IHS.

    The decision between TAP and Nabucco is expected in June from partners in the Shah Deniz consortium, led by gas field operator BP and Azeri state energy company Socar.

    The European Union won't have a direct say in the choice, but its recent switch to "project neutrality" from support for Nabucco could make a big difference. It now says it would be happy with either pipeline or even both.

    "There has been a dramatic shift," TAP's External Affairs Director Michael Hoffmann told Reuters.

    Nabucco spokesman Christian Dolezal, however, said his project retained strong political support.

    27 Mayıs 2013 Pazartesi

    Turkey offers pipelines to Cyprus, Israel, Iraq


    Hurriyet Daily News

    Israeli and Greek Cypriot officials and representatives of Turkish Cyprus all agree on the reality that natural gas produced in the eastern Mediterranean will get its utmost feasibility by a pipeline passing through Turkey, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız tells the Daily News

    Energy-hungry Turkey has offered to cooperate with its oil and gas-rich southern neighbors for the exploration and transportation of their hydrocarbon products to world markets via Turkey. It has particularly called out to Israel and Cyprus, which recently had problems over the legality of the licenses issued for petroleum exploration in the eastern Mediterranean. 
    “Israeli officials, local officials in Greek Cyprus and representatives of the TRNC [Turkish Republic of the Northern Cyprus], they have all agreed on one reality: The natural gas to be produced from this region will get its utmost feasibility by a pipeline that will pass through Turkey. All relevant figures prove this idea,” Energy Minister Taner Yıldız told the Hürriyet Daily News in a comprehensive interview outlining the Turkish government’s energy policies regarding oil and gas reserves of its southern neighbors.

    Yıldız held substantial meetings with acting Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman and U.S. President Barack Obama’s special envoy for energy issues Carlos Pascual last week in Washington. The meetings were crucially important as the two allies found themselves on opposite sides on a number of issues related to Baghdad-Ankara tension over the latter’s growing interest in making deals with the Kurdistan Regional Government and to the Turkey-Cyprus quarrel over the Greek Cypriot government’s ambitious moves for oil exploration in the disputed areas of the Mediterranean.

    26 Mayıs 2013 Pazar

    Azerbaijan crucial for Greece to escape economic crisis


    Today's Zaman    Lamiya Adılgızı

    Greece’s growing interest in the energy resources of Azerbaijan, an oil-booming country on the shores of the Caspian Sea, is down to the belief Azerbaijan’s natural gas could rescue the country from the economic crisis it has been going through if Azerbaijan agrees to export its natural gas through the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline project (TAP), rather than its competitor Nabucco West.
     
    Both pipelines fully depend on the same source of gas, Shah Deniz II gas field in Azerbaijan, and will start at the western coast of Turkey and convey the Azeri gas transported via the Turkey-Azerbaijan initiated Trans-Anatolia Pipeline (TANAP) across Turkey to EU markets.

    “Greece considers TAP as a good opportunity to recover from its economic crisis and become a strategic energy terminal in the region. In order to materialize its ambition, Athens will try hard to persuade Baku to export TANAP gas through TAP, rather than the Nabucco-West option,” Emre İşeri, energy and security analyst at the İstanbul-based Kadir Has University, said in an interview with Sunday’s Zaman.

    Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras paid a visit to Azerbaijan this week on his way back from China, a month after Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos made a trip to the capital city of Baku for official talks on enhancing cooperation with Baku. The visit by Samaras has attracted a great deal of attention as it is the second high-ranking trip by Greece in a month.

    Being received by Azerbaijani President İlham Aliyev in Baku on May 20, both leaders had an opportunity to discuss boosting political, economic and cultural ties. The leaders’ tete-a-tete meeting, which reportedly mainly focused on important opportunities to further strengthen bilateral cooperation, especially in the field of energy, was described by Samara’s as “positive” while briefing Greek President Karolos Papoulias on May 21.

    23 Mayıs 2013 Perşembe

    Kurdish crude sales to rise as exports reach second Turkish port


    Reuters          Julia Payne and Peg Mackey


    * Taq Taq crude exports to reach about 60,000 bpd by end June
    * Kurdistan to start deliveries to second terminal in Turkey
    * Crude in steady stream to Northern Europe


    Iraqi Kurdistan's crude oil sales to world markets, deemed illegal by Baghdad, are set to rise by nearly 50 percent next month as trucks start deliveries to a second export terminal in Turkey, industry sources in the region said on Wednesday.

    Crude exports from the Taq Taq oilfield in the autonomous northern region to Turkey's Mersin port started at a trickle in early January and have risen to just over 40,000 barrels per day (bpd).

    They are expected to hit around 60,000 bpd by the end of June as trucks unload at the neighbouring Dortyol terminal in southern Turkey.

    Oil lies at the heart of a feud between the central government and Kurdistan. Baghdad says it alone has the right to control exports and sign deals, while the Kurds say their right to do so is enshrined in Iraq's federal constitution.

    In retaliation, Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO) sent letters warning customers not to touch any oil that had not been marketed by SOMO and the ministry intends to sue producers, namely Anglo-Turkish firm Genel Energy.

    Turkey eyes oil, gas deals with Iraqi Kurdistan

    Reuters


    Turkey is looking to sign commercial contracts this year with Russian and U.S. companies operating in northern Iraq for joint oil and gas exploration, Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told Reuters.

    Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan last week discussed U.S. concerns about Turkey's deepening energy ties with Iraqi Kurdistan during meetings in Washington with President Barack Obama.


    Minutes before his departure for Washington, Erdogan announced that a Turkish company already had a contract in place with U.S. energy company Exxon Mobil but declined to provide details until after the visit.
    Yildiz, who was in Erdogan's delegation, said the discussions with Obama and his team were very positive and fruitful.

    "We are likely to be involved with Russian and American companies in northern Iraq for different projects like oil and gas exploration. And this year, state-owned and private companies could sign commercial contracts with northern Iraq," he said in an interview.

    He declined to name companies.

    Exxon was the first to sign up for exploration deals with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Others including Chevron, Total and Russia's Gazprom Neft have followed.

    20 Mayıs 2013 Pazartesi

    Nabucco West and TAP: Going head to head


    Amanda Paul     Today's Zaman


    At the end of June, the long-awaited decision regarding which pipeline will be selected to transport natural gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field across Turkey to the EU market will be made.
     
    This decision will be followed by the final investment decision in late 2013. Production is expected to begin in 2018 at some 16 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year: 10 bcm for Europe and 6 bcm for Turkey.

    Last year the field of runners was narrowed to two: Nabucco West and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). The available gas is only enough to fill one of them. Both projects not only have economic but also political implications.

    Officials from both Nabucco West and TAP are currently engaged in major lobbying campaigns to promote their respective projects to the Shah Deniz partners, the Azerbaijani government and the developers of the proposed TANAP pipeline across Turkey that would feed into their projects. While the Shah Deniz II Consortium will present their opinion to Azerbaijan over which pipe should be chosen, Azerbaijan is not obliged to follow this advice.

    Nabucco West has always been labeled a geostrategic project. It would ship gas from Turkey’s western border via Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary and into the Baumgarten hub in Austria and into Central and Eastern Europe where it is badly needed with many of the countries heavily, or in some cases fully dependent, on Russian gas.

    SOCAR Turkey signs Star refinery construction agreement

    Cihan

    Today, Socar Turkey Company, a subsidiary of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) signed an agreement with the consortium that is going to build the Star refinery in Turkey worth $4 billion, Petkim petrochemical complex for which the refinery is planned to be constructed told Trend.

    From the Socar Turkey side the agreement was signed by the Petkim chairman Vagif Aliyev.

    The consortium which won the tender for the construction of the Star refinery consists of the following companies: Spanish Tecnicas Reunidas, Italian Saipem, South Korean GS Engineering & Construction and Japan's Itochu.

    As Yavuz noted previously, Star refinery's processing capacity will equal 10 million tons of oil and capable of processing such oil grades as Azeri Light, Kirkuk and Urals. Annual production at the refinery will equal 1.6 million tons of naphtha which will reduce Petkim's dependence on imports of this type of oil product to zero, he said.

    According to Yavuz, along with naphtha, the Star refinery will also produce 5.9 million tons of diesel fuel with ultra-low sulphur, 500 tons of aviation fuel, 630,000 tons of petroleum coke, 240,000 tons of liquefied petroleum gas, 415,000 tons of mixed xylenes, 75,000 tons of olefin liquefied petroleum gas and 145,000 tons of sulphur.

    Turkey-Kurdish oil deal reflects end of post-Ottoman order


    David Gardner      Financial Times

    Confirmation last week that Turkey plans to buy into the oil and gas wealth of the self-governing Kurdish region of northern Iraq has led to warnings – most stridently from the US – that Ankara is gambling with the break-up of Iraq. Indeed. But there is more at stake than that. Drop a rock in any pool in this febrile region – now hyperconnected in all the wrong ways – and the ripples will reach every shore.

    In Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government and the national authorities in Baghdad are nowhere near a pact for sharing the country’s potentially huge oil revenues, much less a working model of federal power-sharing – with the Baghdad government of Nouri al-Maliki, a Shia Islamist aligned with Iran, invariably favouring sect and faction above state and nation.

    But the future of Iraq is now just part of a discussion about the possible break-up of bits of the Middle East, given new urgency by the disintegration of Syria under the pulverising effect of two years of civil war.

    That conflict has prised loose the Kurdish region of northeast Syria, galvanising Turkey into making peace with its own Kurds and drawing Iraqi and Syrian Kurds into an economically dynamic Turkosphere.

    That this debate is only just starting suggests just how problematic it is – and how immense its possible consequences. What is in play is the state system that succeeded the Ottoman Empire almost a century ago in Syria and Mesopotamia.

    16 Mayıs 2013 Perşembe

    S&P Report: As Turkish Economic Growth Bounces Back, The Central Bank Faces A Familiar Quandary


    Standard & Poor's

    S&P EMEA Chief  Economist Jean-Michel Six says Turkish economy is on a sustained path to recovery.

    The Turkish economy saw the wind knocked out of its billowing sails in 2012, but it is making something of a
    comeback in 2013. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services expects the real economy to expand by about 4% this year--nearly double the rate of growth of 2012, but well below what we believe were unsustainably high growth rates in 2010-2011. Trends in global trade should provide a boost to Turkey's economy, given the way the country's export market shares have evolved over the past 10 years. Meanwhile, private consumption and fixed investment are likely to bounce back this year and next, after some retrenchment in 2012.

    Against this positive backdrop, continued expansionary monetary policies in the G7 and especially in Japan, could present renewed challenges for the Turkish central bank: namely, strong capital inflows into the country could spark a surge in asset prices, as they have done in the past. What's more, amid stronger domestic demand, the country's current account deficit is likely to widen this year and inflation could overshoot the central bank's target. In suc circumstances, we believe the central bank could well be forced to maintain a difficult balancing act between the demand for growth and monetary stability.

    Overview
    · The Turkish economy appears to be on a sustained path to recovery, owing to strong growth in its main export
    markets outside of Europe, improved prospects for consumer demand, and solid investment growth.
    · This recovery, however, could amplify existing external and inflatonary risks, and we forecast that Turkey's
    current account deficit will widen this year to about 7% of GDP.
    · However, in a complex global financial environment, we believe the central bank will not raise its policy rate
    earlier than the start of 2014.

    For Download the full report please click here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_--THmzd4TsSlBDYy1raXRzQ3M/edit?usp=sharing

    14 Mayıs 2013 Salı

    Turkey agrees energy deal with Kurdish north Iraq

    Daniel Dombey        Financial Times

    Turkey has defied both Washington and Baghdad by agreeing an energy deal with the north of Iraq that the US warns could further fracture the Middle Eastern state, but which Ankara sees as central to its own future.

    Several Turkish officials confirm Ankara struck a secretive framework agreement earlier this year with the autonomous Kurdish Regional Government of Northern Iraq for Turkish state energy companies to take stakes in the region’s oil and gasfields. They add the deal is still so sensitive that it is unlikely to be acknowledged publicly until after a visit by prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Washington this week, a trip that takes place against a backdrop of increased tension in Iraq itself.

    The agreement, together with Turkey’s political opening towards its own Kurdish population, is set to bolster Ankara’s influence in the energy-rich north of Iraq and could help it generate sufficient energy supplies to meet its ambitious growth targets. Mr Erdogan has previously described the deal as a “win win”.

    Kurdish officials welcome closer relations. “Let’s be honest: Turkey is our door to the world,” said one, pointing to the KRG’s problematic ties with other neighbours. “Look at the [strained] situation with Iran, Syria, the rest of Iraq . . . Turkey is a big power in the region and, if it follows good policies like at the moment, why not be an ally?”

    But the central Iraqi government in Baghdad says that without its permission the energy agreement violates the Iraqi constitution. A direct pipeline link to Turkey under the deal would give the KRG, which already has its own military force, much greater economic independence than before. At present, the only export pipelines available to the region are federally controlled and the KRG has halted exports through them because of a budget dispute with Baghdad.