Here is what’s going on in the natural industry around the world:
Ukraine, which has for decades relied exclusively on natural gas supplies from Russia, has started importing small volumes of the fuel from Western Europe as part of its strategy to diversify energy sources.
The country has relied exclusively for decades on natural gas supplies from Russia.
The former Soviet republic’s government, which has tried in vain to negotiate a lower price for Russian gas for the last two years, signed a deal with Germany’s RWE last May allowing for alternative shipments.
Ukraine is paying more than $432 per 1,000 cubic metres for Russian gas in the current quarter, up from $264 at the start of 2011. Under its 2009 contract with Russia’s Gazprom the price is linked to global prices for oil and oil products.
Russia, which uses Ukrainian pipelines to ship most of its gas bound for Western Europe, insists it will only cut the price if Gazprom is allowed to buy into Ukrainian pipeline network.
Kiev, which considers the pipelines its strategic asset, has instead decided to cut gas imports by switching to coal where possible, seeking alternative suppliers and, in the longer run, developing its shale gas deposits.
This month, the government plans to sign production sharing agreements for two shale gas fields with energy majors Shell and Chevron.
Jordan will begin importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) from “several exporting countries” in June 2014 following the completion of a gas terminal in the Red Sea Port of Aqaba.
It is widely believed that Jordan will rely heavily on Qatar, who entered advanced negotiations over a gas deal with the Kingdom earlier this year.
Although Qatari gas is unlikely to come at a favourable price similar to a previous natural gas deal between Jordan and Egypt, officials say the move aims to provide the country with a constant and reliable energy source.
The drive for liquefied gas comes amid ongoing disruptions in Egyptian gas, which as recently as 2010 provided over 80 per cent of the country’s electricity generation needs.
Due to a series of acts of sabotage and diplomatic wrangling, Jordan’s Egyptian gas supplies have dropped from some 250 million cubic feet (mcf) per day to under 40mcf over the past three years, forcing the Kingdom to rely on costly heavy oil imports which have ballooned annual energy subsidies to over JD1.7 billion.
Kuwait Energy, one of the fastest growing independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in the Middle East, announced recently that its joint activity agreement with “Ukrgasproduction,” a subsidiary of the state-owned Naftogaz, has been restored, enabling continued development of the Bilske and Kulychykhynske gas-condensate fields located in the Poltava region in Ukraine.
The Ukraine Supreme Commercial Court made a final ruling to resume operations under the JAA 429 agreement, following over a year of court proceedings that put Kuwait Energy’s interest from the gas fields on hold during that period.
Kuwait Energy owns a 25percent working interest in the fields, Ukragasprodution owns a 50 percent interest, and the remaining 25percent is owned by the operator Favorit System LLC. Resuming operations as per JAA 429 is estimated to add 460 barrels of oil equivalent per day to Kuwait Energy’s working interest production, which represents the Company’s share from the restored total production from the gas fields.
Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi has lifted a ban on the export of petrochemicals and issued an order detailing new regulations for petrochemical exports, ISNA quoted Deputy Oil Minister Abdolhossein Bayat as saying.
Previously, IRNA quoted Iranian Organization for Supporting Consumers and Producers announced that the administration has banned the export of petrochemical products, including polymers, as a measure to “support national production”.
The list, which included polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride and PET, was part of the 50 industrial and agricultural products restricted for export sales.
The U.S. and Europe recently stepped up sanctions against Iran in an attempt to curb its nuclear program. The West accuses the Islamic Republic of trying to build nuclear weapons, but Tehran says generating electricity is the sole aim of its nuclear program.