Russian expansion into European energy industries stands poised to cross a new threshold with the stealthy acquisition of a large stake in Hungary's privately owned MOL by Russia's Kremlin-controlled Surgut Neftegaz. This move entails a number of bold novelties.
On October 16, 2007, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran signed an agreement to lay 700 kilometers of railroad track from Uzen in Western Kazakhstan to Gorgan in Iran transiting Turkmenistan. However, his railroad might be delayed for more than eighteen months for financial reasons.
Russia's independent natural gas producers (IGPs) account for a growing share of domestic output, but they are now facing turbulent times amid the global financial crisis and the subsequent domestic economic downturn, as well as problems with sales and gas transit. The role of independent gas producers in Russia has increased over the past decade. Novatek and others have begun contributing significant volumes to the domestic market. In addition to the gas monopoly Gazprom, some 30 Russian companies produce more than 10 million cubic meters (mcm) a year.
The attempts of Russia to participate in Iranian gas supplies to Europe will hardly be successful. This point of view was sounded by the Senior Researcher of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations Ivan Danilin.
If Teheran manages to agree with Brussels, gas for the “Nabucco” pipeline could flow from Iran to the EU, comments Armenian analyst Armen Hanbabian for Deutsche Welle.
Today the Iran-Armenia pipeline has a regional importance and is in a way an alternative to the supplies of Russian gas by the pipeline via Georgia. But the Iran-Armenian pipeline could also transport “blue fuel” from Iran to European countries. Moreover, if Teheran manages to agree with the European countries, then gas for the “Nabucco” pipeline could flow from Iran, considers the expert Armen Hanbabian.
The President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow evaded signing the agreement on the East-West gas pipeline construction with Dmitry Medvedev.
On March 10 in Moscow, Hungary's privately-owned MOL oil and gas company signed an agreement with Gazprom Export in Moscow to jointly establish a gas storage company in Hungary. Prime Ministers Vladimir Putin and Ferenc Gyurcsany witnessed the signing. This project is separate from and, in all probability, independent from Gazprom's South Stream pipeline project, one section of which is planned to traverse Hungary. MOL is not participating in South Stream (Interfax, March 10, 11).
Feodosiya import increased oil transferring in 2,8 times. Up to May, monthly oil processing volume will comprise not less than 200 thousand tons.
According to the press service of the Ukrainian Ministry of Transport and Communications, in January the transshipment port increased the transfer up to 216,5 thousand tons, in comparison with the previous January value of 75,1 thousand tons.
Russia’s Prime Minister said he’s unhappy his country was not consulted on a European Union decision to help Ukrainian modernize its gas supply network. Putin warned that the slight could jeopardize Russian-EU relations.
The Government of Estonia has approved the programs of energy and electric economies, according to which Estonia plans to build nuclear power plant by 2023. The General Director of the National Foundation for Energy Security Konstantin Simonov commented on the situation.