February 10, 2008 at 10:58 pm | Posted in Economics, Financial, Globalization, Oil & Gas, Research | Leave a comment









Shah Deniz gas field

Shah Deniz gas field is the largest natural gas field in Azerbaijan. It is situated in the South Caspian Sea, off the coast of Azerbaijan, approximately 70 kilometers southeast of Bakubat, at a depth of 600 metres. The field covers approximately 860 square kilometers. The Shah Deniz gas and condensate field was discovered in 1999. It is to bring gas into Europe without having to traverse countries seen as politically unreliable such as Russia or Iran.[1]


The Shah Deniz field is operated by BP Amoco which has a share of 25.5%. Other partners include Statoil Azerbaijan (25.5%), SOCAR Azerbaijan (10%), Elf Petroleum Azerbaijan (10%), LukAgip N.V. (10%), Oil Industries Engineering & Construction (10%), and Turkish Petroleum Overseas Company Limited (9%).

The Shah Deniz reserves are estimates to be between 1.5 to 3 billion barrels of oil, and 50 to 100 billion cubic meters of gas. Gas production at the end of 2005 was estimated to be approximately 7 billion cubic meters. The Shah Deniz field also contains gas condensate in excess of 400 million cubic meters.


The 692km South Caucasus Pipeline, operational from the end of 2006, transports gas from the Shah Deniz field in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea, to Turkey through Georgia, along the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline.

Recent developments

The Shah Deniz scheme started to produce gas at the end of December 2006 – three months later than expected – but was forced to close in January 2007. Azerbaijan then announced that the field had resumed output only to admit that it had been forced to shut down again with no definite date for supplies to be resumed.[2]

The shutdown has already caused problems for Georgia, which has been forced to buy emergency gas supplies from Russia at a very high price. Georgia is desperate to lose its energy – and political – dependence on Russia and saw Shah Deniz as an opportunity to do this.[3]


[1] Guardian 02-02-2007

[2] Guardian 02-02-2007

[3] Guardian 02-02-2007

Shah Deniz gas field


February 10, 2008 at 10:25 pm | Posted in Economics, Financial, Globalization, Islam, Middle East, Oil & Gas, Research, Russia, Science & Technology | Leave a comment









The Turkey-Greece-Italy (TGI)




10th Annual U.S.-Azerbaijan

Security Dialogue in Washington

The 1999 Baku-Suspa pipeline did not transit Turkey, but it buoyed Ankara’s hopes for larger projects.

The Russian-Turkish Blue Stream natural gas pipeline came online in November 2005

In 2006 the thousand-mile-long Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline opened.

The Turkey-Greece-Italy (TGI) pipeline, with a completion date of 2012, has a projected annual capacity of 11.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis (R) and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan celebrated the inauguration of the Greece-Turkey natural gas pipeline Nov. 18, 2007.

Turkey’s Energy Ministry announced Jan. 9 2008 that it had halted the new flow of Azeri natural gas to Greece so that Turkey could meet its own domestic needs after Iran cut off its alternative supplies.

The energy cutoff is the latest in a domino effect that began when Turkmenistan decided to raise natural gas prices for Iran, sparking tense negotiations that led to Ashgabat cutting off the only natural gas supply for northwestern Iran. Turkmenistan ships approximately 8 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas to Iran at a rate of $75 per 1,000 cubic meters (tcm); it was looking to raise that price to above $100 per tcm. Iran, suffering from the most severe winter it has seen in decades, cut natural gas exports to Turkey in order to use its diminished supply domestically. Iran supplies Turkey with 20 million cubic meters of natural gas a day — approximately 13 percent of Turkey’s domestic consumption. Turkmenistan has the upper hand in negotiations since there are many other places besides Iran it could send its natural gas, so if this situation is to be resolved, Iran will have to pay.


For now, in order to make up for its own shortage caused by the cutoff from Iran, Turkey has continued the series of cutoffs and has decided to use the natural gas from the newly opened Turkey-Greece Interconnector (TGI) pipeline that takes supplies from Azerbaijan to Greece. The TGI is an integral part of Europe’s plan to cut its dependence on Russian natural gas supplies, since the line bypasses Russia in bringing natural gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field through Turkey to Greece (and it will soon reach further, into Italy).

Turkey’s decision is likely to cause Europe to question how reliable its choices for alternatives from Russia are. Europe had been eyeing Turkmenistan and Iran as possible options for suppliers, but now it will be watching Ashgabat and Tehran — and now Ankara — in terms of their reliability as energy suppliers and transit states.

Iran and Turkmenistan have much to lose if their the potential for an energy relationship with both Europe and Turkey sours, because both have been champing at the bit to invest heavily in Iranian and Turkmen energy infrastructure as soon as they could politically afford to do so — but small squabbles such as the current one between Tehran and Ashgabat are already proving to affect Turkey and Europe.

Since the 1991 collapse of the USSR, resource-poor but strategically vital Turkey has sought to position itself as a major transit hub for burgeoning Caspian energy exports. For 15 years Ankara looked on helplessly as Russia, invoking its rights under the 1936 Montreaux Convention, turned the Turkish Straits into a tanker superhighway. Turkey derived no revenue from the transit even as its waters were put under increasing environmental threat.

Chafing under Moscow’s penurious transport monopoly, Azerbaijan and other Caspian states gradually warmed to the idea of alternative export routes bypassing Russia. The 1999 Baku-Suspa pipeline did not transit Turkey, but it buoyed Ankara’s hopes for larger projects.

In 2006 the thousand-mile-long Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline opened, allowing Ankara to receive transit fees on the one million barrels flowing through the region each day. Turkey hoped the funds would make up for the $40 billion Ankara claimed that it lost from transiting Iraqi crude because of U.N. sanctions. While Turkey’s transit revenue from BTC is estimated at $1.5 billion annually, a new natural gas project will finally realize Turkish aspirations for becoming a major energy transit hub.

On July 26 2007 Italian Minister for Economic Development Pier Luigi Bersani, Greek Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas, and Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural resources Turkish Hilmi Guler signed an intergovernmental agreement to build a $1.36 billion natural gas pipeline that will connect Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz gas field to Italy via Turkey and the Adriatic (Corriere Della Sera, July 26). The Turkey-Greece-Italy (TGI) pipeline, with a completion date of 2012, has a projected annual capacity of 11.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas. The Turkish-Greek link is expected to begin operations later this month, while construction of the 131-mile-long Greek-Italian undersea portion of the pipeline is to begin next year. Turkey will take 15%, or 1.74 billion cubic meters annually, of the TGI’s natural gas.

Bersani said that the TGI pipeline plan “is the first and the most advanced one, in a position to connect the area of the Caspian to European consumers” (Agenzia Internazionale Stampa Estero, July 26). Guler commented, “Turkey and Greece will become a bridge for the transmission of gas from Anatolia to the West. My earnest desire is to accomplish the tripartite agreement that includes Turkey, Greece, and Italy and to pull together a new collaboration for the south corridor” (Zaman, July 27).

Washington strongly supports the project. In a written statement, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, “The United States congratulates the prime ministers of Turkey, Greece, and Italy for today’s signing in Rome of the inter-state agreement for the construction of the Turkey-Greece-Italy (TGI) pipeline…The agreement constitutes the culmination of the joint efforts of the three countries, with the strong support of the USA and the European Union, to thus contribute so that Europe diversifies the sources of the supply of natural gas from the Caspian Sea, and to promote the economic growth of the region of Caspian” (ANA-MPA, July 27

Washington is certainly not thinking small. On July 9 Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew J. Bryza told an “on-the-record briefing” at the 10th Annual U.S.-Azerbaijan Security Dialogue in Washington, “Part of what we’re talking about here today is trans-Caspian security in a broad sense, and we have a challenge to make sure that market principles decide where the other great quantity of gas around the Caspian, which is in Turkmenistan, where that gas or how that gas makes it to market. There is a large — a huge supply of natural gas in the far western reaches of Turkmenistan, which, if the market decides, will make its way to Europe via Azerbaijan” (U.S. Department of State transcript, July 9 2007).

However, Washing is less pleased about other Turkish energy developments. On July 31 Iranian Oil Minister Kazim Veziri Hamane said that, following the recent preliminary agreement between Turkey and Iran, European states had begun negotiations with Turkey to purchase Iranian natural gas (Keyhan, August 1).

If Ankara’s negotiations with Washington are producing unease, there is little indication that Russia will quietly sit by as the West attempts to corral Turkmenistan’s natural gas assets, the world’s fifth-largest natural gas reserves, which Gazprom has been angling to monopolize as well.

Furthermore, Turkey remains vulnerable to Moscow’s pressure, most notably because of the Russian-Turkish Blue Stream natural gas pipeline, which came online in November 2005, with Gazprom last year delivering 8 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas. Russia already supplies more than 60% of Turkey’s natural gas and 20% of its oil, and Gazprom’s hardball tactics over natural gas supplies to Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, and Georgia cannot be very far from the minds of policymakers in Ankara.

Further increasing potential Russian political pressure on Ankara was the July 5 auction and sale of a 51% share in Turkey’s sole petrochemicals company, Petkim Petrokimya, to the newly chartered Transcentral Asia Petrochem Holding Kazakh-Russian company for $2.05 billion, outbidding the Azerbaijan state oil company SOCAR. The deal is Russia’s fourth-largest foreign investment ever and by far the largest Russian investment acquisition in Turkey. Petkim Petrokimya generates annual revenues of $1.6 billion and supplies most of Turkey’s domestic market with materials for its plastics, textile, and detergent sectors, with one-quarter of Petkim Petrokimya’s products then being sold on export markets.

It is one thing for Moscow to acknowledge that Azerbaijan has effectively slipped from its orbit, quite another to see it used as a transit bridge to tap Turkmen energy. In such an event, Moscow has some significant cards to play that could derail, if not kill, Turkish hopes of being a major east-west energy bridge in the 21st century.

The Turkey-Greece-Italy (TGI) pipeline


February 10, 2008 at 4:10 am | Posted in Economics, Financial, Globalization, Middle East, Oil & Gas, Third World | Leave a comment









OPEC could ditch dollars for euros:


Fri Feb 8 2008

LONDON – OPEC could switch the pricing of oil from dollars into euros within a decade, secretary general Abdullah al-Badri told a weekly magazine.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries could adopt the euro to combat the decline of the dollar, Badri told the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED), published in London.

“Maybe we can price the oil in the euro. It can be done, but it will take time,” he said.

Badri told MEED the change could happen within a decade, the magazine said.

MEED recalled that OPEC is under pressure from its members, who have seen their earnings decline sharply since 2000 due to its use of the dollar. The US currency has fallen 44 percent in value against the euro in that time.

The publication of Badri’s remarks coincided with the euro rising against the dollar on the foreign exchanges Friday. The euro peaked of 1.4547 dollars at around 1800 GMT, though it has since weakened.

“In oil exchanges in New York, Singapore or Dubai, you can see the currency is the euro or the yen,” Badri said.

“But as long as we see the final sign in dollar, that means the pricing is in dollars.

“It took two world wars and more than 50 years for the dollar to become the dominant currency. Now we are seeing another strong currency coming into the (frame), which is the euro.”

Some OPEC members, notably Iran and Venezuela, have been calling for the group to study the declining dollar’s effect on their economies. Iran has already begun pricing most of its oil in euros.

MEED recalled that the pricing of oil in dollars is a sensitive topic. Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal warned OPEC late last year that the dollar could plunge if OPEC publicly discussed abandoning it.

On Tuesday, Badri told reporters in London that several oil exporters were selling in dollars but buying other commodities in euros, calling the latter a strong currency.

The comments served to underline the difficulties currently facing oil exporting countries.

OPEC could ditch dollars for euros: chief

Fri Feb 8 2008


February 10, 2008 at 3:33 am | Posted in Africa, Earth, Globalization, Research, Science & Technology | Leave a comment








33rd WEDC International

Conference, Accra, Ghana

Access to Sanitation and Safe

Water: Global Partnerships and

Local Actions

Date: 7-11 April 2008

Water, Engineering and

Development Centre (WEDC)

By invitation of the Ministry of

Water Resources, Works and

Housing, Ghana and WEDC, UK

on behalf of Julie Fisher (

Sat 2/09/08

Julie Fisher (

Water Issues Announcement List (

33rd WEDC International Conference

Accra, Ghana

Access to Sanitation and Safe Water:

Global Partnerships and Local Actions

Date: 7-11 April 2008

Venue: La Palm Royal Beach Hotel –

By invitation of the Ministry of Water

Resources, Works and Housing,

Ghana and WEDC, UK.

Registration details are available at:

To take advantage of the most cost-effective registration rate, please register by 29 February. Other rates apply after this date. Regional rates also apply. Students rates are available on application. International delegates should contact:

Conference Administrator

Tel: +44 (0)1509 228304

Fax: +44 (0)1509 211079


Delegates from Ghana should contact:

Tel: +233 21673701

The concepts of global partnerships, alliances and networks have existed within the water and sanitation sector for several years and many working partnerships now exist which bring together government agencies, public and private institutions, professional organizations and multilateral development agencies. The benefits of this are varied and include identifying issues at the country, regional and global levels, and programme design to meet this demand. More importantly, they provide a mechanism for building strong alliances across the different stakeholder groups, and for capacity building through information exchange and skills sharing. This has important implications for improving practice at the local level and delivering change through the promotion and uptake of technologies and policies, and ultimately contributing to meeting the Millennium Development Goals. The WEDC International Conference is in itself a global partnership bringing together a wide range of sector professionals from many continents, providing a forum for practitioners, policy makers, academics and researchers from a wide range of disciplines who are working in the water and environmental sanitation sectors.


Dr. Julie Fisher BA, MA, PhD

WEDC International Conference Manager and Research Associate

Water, Engineering and Development Centre


The John Pickford Building

Loughborough University

Leicestershire LE11 3TU

Tel +44 (0) 1509 222393 or 222885

Fax +44 (0) 1509 211079

IISD Reporting Services for environment and sustainable development policy professionals

33rd WEDC International Conference-

register now

Sat 2/09/08


WEDC short course on accessibility of water and sanitation

on behalf of Julie Fisher (

Mon 1/14/08

Julie Fisher (

Water Issues Announcement List (

Improving accessibility of water and sanitation facilities for physically vulnerable people in low-income countries This 3-day introductory course will examine the range of ways that water and sanitation facilities in low-income countries can be designed, adapted and delivered to make them more user-friendly to the maximum range of users. This might include frail older people, disabled people, small children, pregnant women and people who are sick, including people living with HIV/AIDS.

Participants will improve their understanding of the obstacles and challenges facing physically vulnerable people in accessing and using water and sanitation facilities;

Possible approaches, including technical solutions and service delivery processes, to address these issues;

Plans and practical starting points for implementation to improve inclusion.

Dates: 17th – 19th March, 2008

Place: WEDC, Loughborough University, UK

For more information see:

Or contact WEDC on

or phone: +44 (0)1509 223412

IISD Reporting Services for environment and sustainable development policy professionals

WEDC short course on accessibility of water and sanitation

Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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