27 Eylül 2013 Cuma

Chinese firm wins Turkey missile defence system tender


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.
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


* 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"


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.