Europe & Eurasia Energy News Articles for February 21, 2013

Energy Technology and Governance Program

             

 Weekly collection of energy news articles for the region.  Click on the links for access to original publications.

 

Albania

TiSUN installs its first solar thermal project in Albania – (PV Tech) TiSUN, an Austria-based solar thermal specialist, has installed its first solar thermal project in Albania… 

ČEZ investment abroad at CZK 72bn, has problems in Albania - Czech energy group CEZ has made Kc72bn worth of foreign investments since 2005, when it launched foreign expansion, and all of them bring the expected return on investment except for Albania, CEZ spokeswoman Barbora Pulpanova has said… 

Greece, Italy, Albania ink gas deal to secure European energy supplies – (Gantdaily) In order to establish the safety of energy supply, three European nations Wednesday signed a gas pipeline deal to bring natural gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe… 

Stream Signs Gas Sales Agreement for Delvina Production – (News Wire) Stream is pleased to announce that it has signed a gas sales agreement (the "Agreement") to sell gas production from its Delvina field to Thermo Energy Albania Shpk ("Thermo Energy")… 


Bulgaria 

Bulgaria to revoke Czech power company license – (Huffing Post) Bulgaria announced Tuesday that the license held by a Czech company for power distribution in parts of the Balkan country will be revoked following allegations it systemically broke procurement rules…

Bulgarian government resigns amid clashes – (RAPSI) Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov stepped down from his office Wednesday and took his government with him, according to a statement released on the government’s official website. His resignation comes amid large-scale protests that have left dozens injured… 

Energy Group CEZ Rejects Regulatory Noncompliance in Bulgaria – (Novinite) Czech energy group CEZ has argued that its activity in Bulgaria is in line with all regulatory and statutory requirements and there is no reason for a withdrawal of its license… 

Energy Minister Dobrev Launches Probe into CEZ  -(Standart) “Energy utility CEZ may be deprived of its license, if it is found out that breaches have been committed,” Bulgaria’s Energy and Economy Minister Ivaylo Moskovski said… 

Chair of Bulgaria's Energy Watchdog Hints at Power Rate Reduction – (Novinite) Yuliana Ivanova, newly appointed Chair of Bulgaria's State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR), has suggested that electricity prices could drop… 

Bulgaria PM pledges power price cut to stop protests – (Focus) Bulgaria's prime minister proposed an 8 percent cut to electricity prices on Tuesday and said Czech company CEZ's transmission and distribution licence would be revoked after nationwide protests against rising power prices, Reuters reported… 

Bulgaria Energy Minister Rules Out Nationalization of Power Distributors – (Novinite) Bulgarian Economy and Energy Minister Delyan Dobrev has said that a nationalization of power distributors, which has been proposed to appease public discontent with high electricity bills, is out of the question… 

Bulgarian Opposition MPs Boycott Discussion on Energy Act Amendments – (Novinite) Representatives of three opposition parties have boycotted the session of Bulgaria's Parliamentary Economic Committee during a discussion of amendments to the Energy Act concerning the appointment of the members of the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR)… 

Brand New Chair of Bulgarian Energy Watchdog Kicked Out – (Novinite) Yuliana Ivanova, the new Chair of the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR), has been dismissed just four days after her appointment… 

Bulgaria Energy Minister: Oversight of Power Distributors is Insufficient, Inefficient – (Novinite) Bulgarian Economy and Energy Minister Delyan Dobrev has argued that oversight of the operations of power distributors is partial, insufficient, and inefficient…


Croatia

Croatia could lose special rights in energy group INA to Hungary's MOL – (Portfolio.hu) As part of a slew of changes related to Croatia's EU-accession, the government is proposing to amend the law pertaining to the privatization of energy company INA, Croatia's Energetika-Net website reported…


Macedonia

Lack of electricity encourages windmill projects in the region – (Setimes) Balkan countries are working on using wind as an alternative source of generating electricity and to satisfy EU accession requirements, experts said… 

Capacity of 10 EVN Macedonia HPPs up 10% since 2002(Hydro World) SKOPJE (Macedonia), February 6 (SeeNews) - EVN Macedonia said that the capacity of ten of its hydro power plants (HPPs) has been boosted by 10% since 2002…


Montenegro

Montenegro needs to build power lines worth EUR 20mn in northern regions – (Hydro World) Montenegro needs to construct a network of 35 kV transmission lines in its river-rich north as soon as possible in order to connect the newly-built small hydropower plants to power utility EPCG 's grid, a report of Portalanalitika.me indicated…


Romania

Power play: the sorry saga of Romania's energy projects – (The Diplomat) Romanian politicians, at least those in charge of the energy field, are very ambitious. They have all stated that Romania is or can clearly be a power in the field all over the region and that the country will achieve energy independence… 

IdeemaSun energy completes 2MW PV facility in Romania – (PV Tech) IdeemaSun energy, a Germany-based specialist in large-scale solar projects, has installed and connected a 2MW PV project in Romania… 

Romgaz lands option for Black Sea field – (UPI) Romania's state-owned Romgaz has acquired a 10 percent participation option from OMV Petrom and Exxon Mobil in a Black Sea natural gas exploration effort… 

Chevron Moves Closer to Romania Shale Gas Exploration – (Energy tribune) U.S. energy major Chevron is moving towards exploration for shale gas in eastern Romania but still needs at least two more permits before it can start drilling, the environment ministry said on Thursday…

Is Europe Next for a Shale Natural Gas Boom? – (Oil Price) Chevron (NYSE: CVX) and Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) are getting an early start on shale exploration campaigns in eastern European countries. With the United States fast emerging as a shale natural gas leader, European economies eager to bolster their own energy independence are working to follow suit. Shell plans to spend more than $400 million to tap into Ukrainian shale, while Chevron has similar ambitions in eastern Romania… 

Rompetrol agrees to buy back part of Romanian state’s shares in refinery company after historic debt issue – (Romania Insider) Romania’s oil and gas group Rompetrol, majority owned by Kazakh company KazMunayGas, reached an agreement with the Romanian state on the dispute over the Rompetrol Rafinare bond conversion…


Serbia

Serbia's SHPPs public call to last Feb 19-Apr 5 – (Hydro World) The public call for the construction of small hydro power plants (SHPPs) in 317 locations in Serbia will be open between February 19 and April 5, the country's energy ministry said on Monday… 

Serbia Seeks Investors to Develop 317 Small Hydro Plants – (Bloomberg) Serbia offered 317 locations for building small hydro plants, giving investors until April 5 to apply for permits. The facilities planned in nine municipalities in central, western and southeastern Serbia will be mostly smaller than 1 megawatt individual capacity, according to the invitation published in Politika newspaper… 

Serbia to Seek Offers for 319 Hydro-Plant Locations – (Bloomberg) Serbia will offer investors 319 locations to build hydro plants as it seeks to boost power generation, a government minister said…


Armenia

Hovsep Shahinyan appointed Armenia’s new energy and natural resources deputy minister –(ARKA) Aram Harutyunyan, Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Armenia, was removed from his office by Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, the government reported Monday… 

Government Pushes Ahead with $350 Million Hydro-Plant on Arax River – (hetq) The government is pushing ahead with its plan to build two large-scale hydro-electric plants on the Arax River with financial assistance from Iran…

EBRD provides $25m for hydropower in Armenia – (Energy Live News) A $25 million (£16m) loan from a London-based bank is set to help finance the rehabilitation of seven hydropower plants in Armenia… 

Armenia’s power production rose by 8.1% to 8bln kWt/h in 2012 – (ARKA) YEREVAN, February 14. /ARKA/. Electricity production totaled about 8bln kWt-hours in Armenia n 2012, which is an 8.1% increase against the level of the year before, Armenia’s national statistical service reported…

Natural gas price in Armenia rose to $232 per 1000 cubic m in 2012: press digest – (ARKA) Even though Armenia’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Armen Movsisyan had been stating all year around the price for the imported natural gas remained the same--$180 per 1000 cubic meters, it actually rose to $232 in 2012, according to the article published Tuesday in Orakarg (Agenda) newspaper…


Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan’s energy operator works on further improvement of financial management quality – (ABC)  The energy operator of Azerbaijan continues developing its own system of financial management… 

Goldman Sachs: Azerbaijani energy operator ready to enter global capital market – (Trend) A qualitative development way passed by "Azerenergy" company (production and distribution of electricity in Azerbaijan) allows it to enter… 

EU and Azerbaijan will meet to discuss Energy, Transport and Environment – (APA) The 8th EU-Azerbaijan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) Sub-Committee on Energy, Transport and Environment will be held in Baku on 19 February 2013…

Azerbaijani delegation to raise Metsamor issue at winter session of OSCE PA – (Trend) The danger posed by the Metsamor nuclear power plant in Armenia will be raised at the 12th winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, member of the Azerbaijani delegation, MP Eldar Ibrahimov said… 

Azerspace satellite to be used for security of export energy routes from Azerbaijan – (Trend) The resources of the first Azerbaijani satellite Azerspace/Africasat-1a will be used for ensuring safety of such projects as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) and other oil pipelines used to deliver energy resources to Europe, Azerbaijani Communications and IT Minister Ali Abbasov told media today… 

Fuel consumption for power generation in Azerbaijan falls to 225.3 g of oil equivalent – (ABC) The State Statistics Committee reports that efficiency of Azerbaijan’s electric power industry continued to grow in 2012…


Georgia

Juniors Strike Georgian Gas Deal – (Rig Zone) Energy juniors Range Resources, Red Emperor Resources and Strait Oil and Gas UK have reached an agreement with Georgian Industrial Group for the joint development of a coal-bed methane (CBM) project in the Republic of Georgia… 

SOCAR Georgia Gas to settle problem of gas supply to high-mountain regions – (News.az) SOCAR Georgia Gas, the affiliate of SOCAR Energy Georgia, representing the interests of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, will ensure gas supply to Georgian high-mountain regions… 

Oil & Gas Sector: Range Resources up on Georgian coal project – (Stock Market Wire) Range Resources' [LON:RRL] shares rose after it and its joint venture partners - Strait Oil and Gas UK and Red Emperor Resources - executed a heads of agreement with the Georgian Industrial Group…


Russia

Russian Energy Ministry to investigate embezzlement at RusHydro – (Hydro World)  The Russian Energy Ministry will investigate the embezzlement of billions of rubles at hydropower company RusHydro following orders by President Vladimir Putin, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Friday on the sidelines of the Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum… 

Putin to declassify, de-monopolize Russian energy – (Russia behind the Headlines) The idea of ending Gazprom’s export monopoly gained further traction today following President Vladimir Putin’s recognition of the idea…

Energy Journal: Russia’s Slow-Burning Energy Sector – (The Wall Street Journal) In Russia, loosening state control over the energy sector continues at a glacial pace.  The new poster company of Russian energy, oil company Rosneft, has broadened its Arctic shelf cooperation with U.S. major Exxon Mobil, The Wall Street Journal’s James Marson reports… 

How fracking weakens Gazprom, the bedrock beneath Putin’s feet – (The Globe and Mail) When the head of Bulgaria’s state gas company sat down with officials from Russian energy giant OAO Gazprom a couple of months ago to negotiate a new supply contract, it should have been an unremarkable event… 

Gazprom in project to develop LNG bunker market – (Bunker World) 'LNG is a solution for the transport sector, in particular for shipping,' says project partner… 

Russia Sees Expanding LNG Market – (Energy Tribune) Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said the market for liquefied natural gas from Russia is outpacing traditional resources.  Russia is the largest natural gas producer in the world. Its ability to reach overseas markets with LNG is limited to one plant that’s controlled by a Gazprom-led consortium…


Turkey

Turkey defies allies to pursue Iraqi Kurd energy ties – (News Straits Times) Turkey is defying Washington and Baghdad in developing a broad energy partnership with Iraqi Kurds as it pushes to secure affordable oil and gas supplies to fuel its rapid economic growth… 

U.S. Supports Turkey’s Smart Energy Efforts – (Smart Meters) At the United States–Turkey Smart Grid Workshop in Istanbul, United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) Director Leocadia I. Zak reasserted the Agency’s commitment to assisting Turkey achieve its energy sector expansion goals… 

Turks’ shale gas hopes attract foreign interest – (Daily News) Turkey is hoping to find shale gas reserves big enough to help reduce its energy import dependency and is in talks with foreign firms about widening exploration after encouraging early signs, industry officials said…

Turkey•MENA Renewable Energy Congress 2013 sees huge potential of renewable energy in Turkey and MENA – (AME info) The Turkey•MENA Renewable Energy Congress 2013 will be held from 25 to 26 September 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey… 

Research Completed for Turkey’s First Nuclear Power Plant – (Energy tribune) The seismic research for Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, which is slated to be built in Akkuyu in the southern province of Mersin, have been completed, according to the constructor firm, Russian Rosatom… 

Turkey's second nuke plant to cost $25 billion – (Daily News) Turkey’s second nuclear power plant, slated to be built in the northern province of Sinop, will cost around $25 billion, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız said at a press event Feb. 12… 

Turkey eyes buying gas from Qatar – (Daily News) Turkey looks to sign a long-term contract with Qatar to buy natural gas, if they agree that the consensus over prices will be maintained…


Ukraine

Energy minister: Ukraine counting on direct Turkmen gas delivery starting this year – (Kyiv Post) Ukraine is counting on direct gas deliveries from Turkmenistan beginning this year, Energy and Coal Industry Minister Eduard Stavytsky said… 

Ukraine sees independence in shale gas – (UPI) There's enough natural gas in Ukrainian shale plays to satisfy the country's needs without imports, said Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov… 

Ukraine Counting To Resume Direct Gas Supplies From Turkmenistan By 2014 – (UN.UA) Ukraine counts to resume direct gas supplies from Turkmenistan in 2013, Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Eduard Stavytskyi told a press conference… 

Ukraine Can ‘Double, Triple’ Gas Production – (energy Tribune) At the extremes, Shell Ukraine is either part of the nation’s salvation or the big villain in its next environmental calamity. More likely, the multinational energy giant will be neither…

Klitschko believes shale gas can help resolve Ukraine's energy issues – (NRCU) MP Vitali Klitschko, leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR) and the namesake opposition faction in parliament, believes that shale gas could help Ukraine resolve its energy problems as well as many political issues… 

Chevron: Ukraine shale on par with U.S.  –(UPI) Chevron aims to drill as many as 15 wells in Ukraine to tap into shale natural gas reserves similar to those in the United States, an executive said…

  

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