Major events in Caspian countries' oil and gas industry for week

Azerbaijani State Oil Fund budget approved for 2013


Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has approved the budget of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) for 2013.


According to the approved budget, SOFAZ revenues for 2013 are estimated at 11.482 billion manat with expenses at 13.403 billion manat.


According to the revenue side of the budget for this year, the net proceeds from the sale of hydrocarbons are provided at a rate of 11.171 billion manat; acreage payments to investors is 1.833 million manat, income from transportation of oil and gas through Azerbaijan 9.223 million manat, income derived from the placement and management of the Fund's assets 287.448 million manat, bonuses paid by investors in connection with the signing or execution of oil and gas agreements 11.963 million manat and other income 500,000 manat.



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Nabucco, Shah Deniz partners to sign Equity Option and Funding Agreement


Nabucco gas pipeline project's shareholders, Nabucco Gas Pipeline International Gmbh (NIC) and the partners on Azerbaijani Shah Deniz gas condensate field development and Nabucco project's potential investors (SOCAR, BP, Statoil and Total), have agreed on Equity Option and Funding Agreement.


According to the Nabucco Gas Pipeline International Gmbh statement, the agreement, in particular, envisages joint funding of the development costs of the Nabucco West up to the pipeline selection decision for Shah Deniz' European export route, as well as the granting to Potential Investors of equity options of 50 percent to participate as shareholders in NIC following a positive pipeline selection decision by the Shah Deniz Consortium in favour of Nabucco West.


This agreement is being formalised in an Equity Option and Funding Agreement between the Nabucco Shareholders, NIC and the Potential Investors.


The Shah Deniz Consortium, NIC and the Nabucco Shareholders have also reached agreement in principle on a Cooperation Agreement for further development of Nabucco West and alignment with the Shah Deniz Stage 2 Project.


The Equity Option and Funding Agreement and the Cooperation Agreement are being finalised and will be executed shortly in Vienna between the relevant parties.


3D seismic survey completed for prospective Azerbaijani structure in Caspian Sea


Three-dimensional seismic work has been completed on the prospective Oguz structure in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, a source in the oil and gas market said.


According to the source, work was conducted aboard the geophysical vessel "Gilavar" based on a contract signed between the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) and the Caspian Geophysical Company.


"This recently carried out task was completed at SOCAR's request", the source said.


The source said that Caspian Geophysical will also process the received data. Interpretation of the materials will be carried out by the Geophysics and Geology Department of SOCAR.


The petroleum sharing agreement covering the Oguz structure was signed on August 1, 1997 between SOCAR and the American company Exxon Mobil. Shares were distributed 50-50. However, due to lack of commercially attractive hydrocarbons, the contract was dissolved.


Iran assigns $3.6 billion to petrochemical sector


Iran has allocated 3.6 billion dollars of the National Development Fund to complete 11 petrochemical projects, Abdolhossein Bayat, the managing director of the National Petrochemical Company of Iran, said.


Bayat went on to note that 17 projects have been introduced to the National Development Fund of which 11 have been approved and six are still under review, the IRNA News Agency reported.


"Once all the Mehre Mandegar projects in the petrochemical sector come on stream, 12 million tons will be added to the country's petrochemical production capacity," he said.


By implementation of the aforementioned projects, Iran's petrochemical production capacity would reach 66 million tons, Bayat added.


According to Bayat, 20 Mehre Mandegar projects are underway in the petrochemical sector of which six projects have made between 90 to 99 per cent progress while the other 11 stand at 50 to 80 per cent.


The Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said on December 23, 2012 that the country plans to build 70 new petrochemical production units.


State expertise endorses feasibility study for gas processing plant in Western Kazakhstan region


Kazakh state oil and gas company "KazMunaiGas" has received state expertise's positive conclusion on the feasibility study of "Gas processing plant in West Kazakhstan region" plant, KMG said.


This project is being implemented by "KazMunaiGas" and Italian company "ENI" within a cooperation agreement signed on November 5, 2009.


The project was managed by "Directorate of KMG Enterprises under Construction " - a 100-percent subsidiary of "KazMunaiGas" national company. Eni company finances the process of working out the feasibility study.


The next stage is to work out the design estimate, scheduled for 2013-2014. It will be implemented with participation of Kazakh design organizations. They will be chosen by late January 2013.


A gas processing plant with a capacity of five billion cubic meters will process sulphureous associated hydrocarbon gas produced at the Karachaganak field.


Kazakh KazMunaiGas reveals work plan for coming years


An extended meeting with participation of KazMunaiGas (KMG) Kazakh national oil and gas company and subsidiary organizations was held on Friday to discuss the address of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev 'Strategy of Kazakhstan-2050: a new policy of the established state', the company's statement said. During the meeting, chairman of the KMG board Lazzat Kiinov spoke on the current strategy of the company until 2022.


He said, under the current strategy, KMG plans to strengthen onshore and offshore exploration in order to increase hydrocarbon reserves, oil and gas production, create a flexible system of oil and gas transportation, increase capacity of refineries and improve the quality of petroleum products as well as create an effective and transparent system of asset management.


"In the next 10 years, the activity of KazMunaiGas's mining companies will be aimed at stabilizing the level of production and the growth of crude oil and gas condensate production from 21.1 million tons in 2011 to 35.4 million tons per year through Tengiz, Kashagan and Karachaganak projects," Kiinov said.


As for the gas segment, Kiinov noted that the company will mainly focus on several major projects: construction of Beineu-Shymkent-Bozoi pipeline with total capacity of 10 billion cubic meters of gas a year; construction of a 'C' line of Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline with capacity of 25 billion cubic meters per year. At present capacity of the pipeline is 30 billion cubic meters per year due to 'A' and 'B' lines put into operation in 2009 and 2010. Construction of Tobol-Astana-Kokshetau pipeline is planned with capacity of 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year and the cost of 213 billion tenge (150.61 tenge = $1)


UK to supply special equipment for major gas field in Turkmenistan


The Turkmengeology State Corporation plans to sign a contract with the Tobago Corporation LLP (UK) to purchase a complex of wellhead blowout equipment for production wells for drilling at the Galkynysh gas field, an official Turkmen source said.


Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov approved the deal by special decree.


Turkmenistan's law on hydrocarbon resources amended


The Turkmen law on 'Hydrocarbon Resources' has been amended. According to them, permission from the appropriate authorised state bodies is required to conduct blast operations onshore, offshore, as well as on the seabed, an official Turkmen source said today.


An item in the fourth paragraph of first article 44 of Turkmen law on 'Hydrocarbon Resources', adopted by the Majlis (Parliament) of the country in 2008, is as follows: 'It is forbidden to conduct blasting operations onshore, offshore, as well as on the seabed without the permission of the authorised state bodies'.