Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Black Sea. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Black Sea. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Τετάρτη, Δεκεμβρίου 17, 2014

Bulgaria to send delegation to Moscow to discuss South Stream (reports)

Bulgaria’s Cabinet plans to send a government delegation to Moscow on December 19 to discuss the prospect of reviving the South Stream gas pipeline project, Russian and Bulgarian media quoted Economy Minister Bozhidar Loukarski as saying in Belgrade on December 16, following meetings with Serbian officials.
“Bulgaria never intended to give up on the South Stream project and would like to hear the official position of the Russian Energy minister on it,” he is quoted as saying. He also said that the pipeline could be brought in line with the EU regulations, although it remains unclear to what extent Russia is willing to do so, given that EU rules were one of the main obstacles cited by Russian president Vladimir Putin when he announced the project’s cancellation in Ankara on December 1.

It is unclear, also, whether Russia has agreed on holding such a meeting, with Russian news agency Itar-Tass reporting on December 17, citing unnamed sources familiar with the situation, that Russian energy minister Alexander Novak was still deliberating on the issue of a meeting..........http://sofiaglobe.com/2014/12/17/bulgaria-to-send-delegation-to-moscow-to-discuss-south-stream-reports/


Πέμπτη, Δεκεμβρίου 11, 2014

Bulgaria ready to place gas hub for European consumers

Bulgaria is ready to place on its territory a gas distribution European-scale station, instead of the South Stream project, according to a verbatim account of a meeting of the Bulgarian government on Wednesday.

“We can build a gas storage facility in Varna, where /South Stream/ pipes were to come out of the Black Sea. The European Commission, under the plan /of its President Jean-Claude/ Juncker, may finance the construction of a liquefied gas storage facility. It will be filled there and pumped from there to Europe,” Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said. “The European Commission will sponsor this hub. We make a distribution centre of the Energy Union in Varna, and we are number one in terms of diversification. It is not in the interests of Turkey or Greece, or any other country. It is in our interests and in the interests of the European Union, and we must solve this problem. We offer the European Commission and the entire Europe a perfect option of placing a gas hub in Bulgaria, not in Turkey.”

Borisov instructed the ministers to notify all parties concerned about this initiative.

On December 1, after the talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia was ready not only extend the Blue Stream pipeline but also to build another pipeline system to satisfy Turkey’s growing demand and to build a gas hub at the border between Turkey and Greece to pump gas to Southern Europe.

On the same day, the Russian leader said that in current conditions Russia would not implement the South Stream project. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said the project was no longer topical. “The project is closed, and that’s it,” he told journalists, commenting on the results of the top-level Russia-Turkey talks.

The South Stream project estimated at 15.5 billion euro was meant to supply 67 billion cubic metres of gas a year. Now, the capacity of the Blue Stream gas pipeline that runs across the bottom of the Black Sea to Turkey is 16 billion cubic metres of gas a year. Turkey has repeatedly offered Russia to use its territory as a starting point for gas supplies to Europe.


Τρίτη, Νοεμβρίου 25, 2014

Turkey’s energy minister to negotiate gas discount with Russia ahead of Putin’s Ankara visit

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız is expected to meet Gazprom Deputy Chairman Alexander Medvedev to discuss a potential revision of gas prices from Russia to Turkey Nov. 25, ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to the country on Dec. 1.

In addition to a potential revision on the price of gas, the two sides are also expected to discuss the rise in capacity of the Blue Stream, a major trans-Black Sea gas pipeline that carries natural gas from Russia into Turkey, according to a source familiar with the situation.

“This is a process. It does not seem possible for us to decrease gas prices. Negotiations over discounts on prices are always tough. We want to have what we deserve,” said a high level official from the Turkish Energy Ministry.

Any possible revision of gas prices will come into effect on Jan. 1.

“A revision may be secured, though it will be hard. Any possible revision will be announced during Putin’s Turkish visit on Dec. 1,” said another source.

Yıldız asked for a discount on the price of gas Turkey buys from Russia during talks with Medvedev at the beginning of October.

Medvedev said they were working on a detailed price package in line with Turkey’s demand for a discount on the price of natural gas. 

hurriyetdailynews.com -Reuters

Πέμπτη, Οκτωβρίου 23, 2014

Mediterranean, North Atlantic prepares for UN-backed tsunami warning system test -- (Simulations will be carried out between 28 and 30 October)

UN, 23 October 2014 – Some 20 nations with coastlines on the North Atlantic, and Mediterranean and Black Seas are set to participate in a United Nations-supervised tsunami warning exercise to improve their ability to respond to an alert and enhance regional coordination in the event of a disaster.

In a press statement released today, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) – the body coordinating the warning test since its first implementation in 2005 – reported that four tsunami simulations will be carried out between 28 and 30 October in an effort to assess the overall reactivity of countries participating in the Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System for the North-eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and connected seas (NEAMTWS).

Although tsunamis are not as frequent an occurrence in this area of the globe as they are in the Pacific Ocean, the shores of the Mediterranean and North Atlantic are densely populated prompting concern that tsunami shockwaves could strike and cause widespread damage and fatalities. In 1755, for instance, a tsunami caused by an earthquake in the Azores-Gibraltar Fault Zone destroyed Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. 

Another devastating tsunami swept over Messina, Italy in 1908, claiming tens of thousands of lives. And, more recently, in 2003, an earthquake in Algeria set off a tsunami that struck the shores of Spain's Balearic Islands and the southern coast of France. 

UNESCO noted that due to the short distances they travel in small bodies of water such as the Mediterranean, tsunami occurrences there strike shores with “great speed.”
According to the UN body, the upcoming exercise, named NEAMWave14, is based on a scenario in which four earthquakes unleash two tsunami events in the Mediterranean, one in the Atlantic Ocean, and one in the Black Sea. 

The Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute in Turkey, the National Tsunami Alert Centre in France, the National Observatory of Athens in Greece and the Portuguese Sea and Atmosphere Institute, will send out the alerts, kick-starting the exercise, which set to involve a wide range of countries, including Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Monaco, Morocco, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. 

“The exercise will be an opportunity to test the efficiency of the communication systems in charge of transmitting tsunami alerts and, in some countries, to ensure that the authorities in charge of public safety are prepared to face such a threat,” UNESCO explained in its press release. 

NEAMTWS is one of four regional systems which are coordinated by UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) globally. Similar systems already exist for the Pacific and Indian oceans and for the Caribbean.

Τρίτη, Ιουλίου 08, 2014

Record number of NATO warships staying in Black Sea since Soviet times.(The Montreux Convention)

There are nine NATO warships in the Black Sea now, a record high number in decades, the RIA Novosti news agency reports citing a military-diplomatic source.

These include the US Vella Gulf Aegis-guided missile cruiser, the French Surcouf frigate and two reconnaissance ships – France’s Dupuy de Lome and Italy’s Elettra.

In addition, there’s a group of NATO minesweepers taking part in the Breeze-2014 naval exercises off the Bulgarian coast. Led by Italy’s ITS Aviere, it also comprises an Italian and Turkish minesweepers, ITS Rimini and TCG Akcay, and the Chiddingfold anti-mine ship of the British Royal navy.

"The American Vella Gulf missile cruiser arrived in Burgas on Tuesday morning. France’s Surcouf frigage re-entered the Black Sea on July 4 and has de-berthed at Batumi," the source said.

"That’s a record number of NATO warships in the Black See since the Soviet times," he added.

On July 4, the Russian Black Sea Fleet began large-scale drills involving about 20 ships and support vessels.

The Russian Navy has been closely watching NATO ship movements in the Black Sea.

  • Under the Montreux Convention, not more than nine warships of non-Black Sea countries can stay in the Black Sea simultaneously, not longer than 21 days each, with total tonnage not exceeding 30,000 tons.

This year, the US Taylor frigate stayed the Black Sea 11 days longer than allowed by the Montreux Convention.

  • Russian Navy Trains to Fight Assault as NATO Accumulates Ships in Black Sea 
Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has started training for fighting an amphibious assault in light of the high concentration of NATO ships in the area, a representative of the Russian Navy told journalists Tuesday. 
"Today, July 8, during a planned training of various Black Sea forces, coastal defense troops subdivisions have started drills for the defense of a coastal amphibious assault at the military training grounds on the Crimean Peninsula," the Russian fleet representative said.
The drills are taking place due to unprecedented NATO activity in the Black Sea, where the alliance has nine ships, the most in decades.
Russian missile and artillery troops have also been practicing attacking surface groups and assault troops from an aggressor at sea.

  • Some 20 military vessels are participating in the drills that started July 4. NATO's navy is holding a parallel training exercise at the same time near Bulgaria.
  • A source at the Russian Defense Ministry told RIA Novosti earlier that Russian naval aviation is tracking all NATO moves in the Black Sea.

The ships rotate in and out of the sea, because, according to the Montreux Convention, military ships from nations that do not have direct access to the Black Sea can only stay in the area for a maximum of 21 days. American frigate USS Taylor violated the convention earlier this year, exceeding the limit by 11 days.
[MOSCOW, July 8 (RIA Novosti)] 


Δευτέρα, Απριλίου 21, 2014

Dolphin wars in the Black Sea? - In recent years, U.S. Navy dolphins have been deployed to Iraq and Bahrain to patrol for enemy divers

The United States Navy has deployed military-trained dolphins to protect one of its warships in the Black Sea amid rising tensions with Russia over Ukraine, the Russian daily Izvestia reported.

A Russian fighter jet made multiple close-range passes near the USS Donald Cook, a Navy destroyer, on April 12, two days after it entered the Black Sea, passing the Turkish straits. As the crisis in Ukraine deepened, U.S. ship commanders considered the Russian action provocative and inconsistent with international agreements, prompting the ship to issue several radio queries and warnings.

According to Izvestia, the U.S. Navy has recently established a safe zone around the USS Donald Cook by deploying 10 military dolphins. Some Russians claimed on social media the two countries may soon engage in “a dolphin battle” in the Black Sea.

There were reported claims from the Crimean peninsula late last month that Russian forces had “taken control” of Ukraine’s secretive military dolphin program.

Starting in 2017, 24 of the U.S. Navy’s 80 military-trained dolphins will be replaced by a 12-foot unmanned torpedo-shaped vehicle, according to a report published by the San Diego Union-Tribune in late 2012.

In recent years, U.S. Navy dolphins have been deployed to Iraq and Bahrain to patrol for enemy divers and mark the locations of mines. Using their innate sonar, the mammals find and mark mines in shallow water, deep water when tethers are used and on the bottom where sediment cover and plant growth can hide the devices. 


Τετάρτη, Απριλίου 09, 2014

South Stream Pipeline More Urgent Amid Ukraine Crisis. – Russian Ambassador to EU

The South Stream gas pipeline project, currently under development, has become more urgent amid Ukrainian warnings that Russian gas flows to Europe could be halted, Russian Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov told RIA Novosti on Wednesday. 

“I believe the relevance of the South Stream project has risen amid the Ukrainian crisis, because we have already heard not threats, but hints from Ukrainian authorities, including interim Prime Minister Yatsenuk, of yet another attempt to disrupt the transit of Russian gas,” Chizhov said.

The South Stream project was discussed on Tuesday in Brussels by experts of the European Commission and Russia. Earlier in the day, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yury Prodan said his country would not recognize the current gas price, because it was unfairly high, which could lead to a halt in gas supplies to Europe.

Under an agreement reached in December, Ukraine paid $268 per thousand cubic meters of Russian gas in the first quarter of the year. That price was contingent on two $100 discounts that have now been cancelled, the first due to Ukraine’s refusal to pay its gas debt to Moscow, and the second due to the fact that a contract on the Black Sea Fleet's basing rights in Crimea is no longer valid.

The South Stream gas pipeline project was initiated in 2012 to transport Russian natural gas across the Black Sea to Bulgaria and further to EU countries, bypassing Ukraine. The pipeline is expected to come online by 2018.
[RIA Novosti]

Τετάρτη, Μαρτίου 19, 2014

Gazprom Seeks Access to Crimean Oil and Gas Deposits

MOSCOW, March 18 (RIA Novosti) – Russian energy giant Gazprom is seeking access to oil and gas deposits in the territorial waters of Crimea, which became Russian territory on Tuesday.
“Gazprom was the first to file its request,” Rustam Temirgaliyev, the region’s first deputy prime minister, said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
The Crimean parliament, which refused to recognize the new Ukrainian government and held a popular vote on secession and reunification with Russia on Sunday, ruled on Monday that all Ukrainian state property in the region is to become the property of Crimea.

  • Crimean leaders signed a reunification treaty with Russia on Tuesday.
  • According to Temirgaliyev, about 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas are extracted annually in Crimea, which has one of the biggest Black Sea shelf deposits of oil and gas.

EEZ map


  • Rosneft to defend its assets in Ukraine. -Sechin

TOKYO, March 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s oil company Rosneft will defend its assets in the Ukrainian territory, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin said at a plenary meeting of the sixth Russian-Japanese Investment Forum that opened in Tokyo on Wednesday.
“Our task is to defend our assets in Ukraine,” Sechin stressed. “The same applies to the Lisichansk oil refinery.” The Rosneft head noted that he paid “close attention to this project.” “Everything is all right so far, we are modernizing the plant,” he said. Sechin also expressed hope that “the crisis will not last for such a long time to impede the project implementation.”
Sechin expressed the view that “businessmen should try to take advantage in every situation.” “The Rosneft stock value decreased as a result of the markets’ volatility,” he said. “We bought the company shares at once and hope that it’s a very good investment - we invite our Japanese partners to do the same.” Continuing the Ukrainian topic, Sechin stressed that his company “is looking at the situation rather calmly, as it cannot last long."

Δευτέρα, Φεβρουαρίου 10, 2014

Bulgaria Gives Green Light to Sea Segment of South Stream

The Bulgarian Ministry of Environment and Waters has approved the environmental impact assessment for the sea segment of the South Stream gas pipeline.

The conclusion of the report is that the Russian-sponsored project would not affect significantly the environment.

The news was announced by the company South Stream Transport, which hopes to obtain all needed permits and start construction in mid-2014.

There are 200 planned measures to guarantee nature, cultural heritage and social and economic preservation, according to the announcement. 

A cited example is the decision to not carry out excavation works on the "Pasha Dere"
(Паша дере) beach on the northern Bulgarian Black Sea coast in order to lay the pipes, but to use micro-tunnels at a depth of 20 meters underground, which will prevent construction on the beach and will provide uninterrupted access to beachgoers.

The document has been approved by the Minister of Environment and Waters, Iskra Mihaylova.


Τετάρτη, Φεβρουαρίου 20, 2013

Bulgaria Govt Extends Oil, Gas Exploration Permit of Melrose Resources

Bulgaria's government has extended the oil and gas exploration permit of Scottish Melrose Resources for the Galata field in the Black Sea block by 166 days.
The oil and gas exploration permit was awarded to Melrose Resources in 2011, according to a media statement of the press office of the Council of Ministers.
Melrose Resources undertakes to conduct exploration activities in compliance with the working program approved by the Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism during the extension of the permit.

According to the press office of the government, another decision passed Wednesday allows a partial transfer of rights an obligations stemming from the 2012 oil and gas exploration permit for Block 1-21 Han Asparuh by Total E&P Bulgaria B.V. to its partners in the consortium, as a result of which OMV Offshore Bulgaria GMbH and Repsol Bulgaria B.V. receive 30% stakes and Total E&P Bulgaria retains a 40% stake.


Τετάρτη, Ιανουαρίου 02, 2013

Russian Navy to hold biggest war games in decades

The four major Russian Navy fleets will hold a joint exercise in late January in the Mediterranean and Black seas. It will be the biggest such event in decades.
­Commands for the Northern, Baltic, Black Sea and Pacific fleets have been preparing for the exercises since December of last year, the Russian Defense Ministry has announced. Warships detached for the event are currently sailing to those regions.

“The primary goal of the exercise is to train issues regarding formation of a battle group consisting of troops of different branches outside of the Russian Federation, planning of its deployment and managing a coordinated action of a joint Navy group in accordance with a common plan,” the ministry’s information department explained.
The exercise will include several scenarios, including the loading of amphibious troops from an unprepared coast in the Northern Caucasus onto transport vessels.
The announcement comes days after the launch of the nuclear-powered submarine Vladimir Monomakh, the third Borei-class strategic submarine cruiser produced in Russia. The vessel, armed with Bulava ICBMs, will become part of the country’s nuclear deterrence force after completing sea trials.
The Russian Navy's five fleets each have their own headquarters. The strongest, the Northern fleet is based in Severomorsk in north-west of the country. The Baltic fleet is based in Kaliningrad, the western Russian enclave on the coast of the Baltic Sea.
The Black Sea fleet is based in Sevastopol, Ukraine, from which Russia rents a naval base. The Pacific fleet is based in Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East. The Caspian flotilla is the smallest in the Russian Navy, but is the strongest naval force in the enclosed Caspian Sea.
Warships from the four main fleets conduct joint naval drills on regular basis to streamline command and control for  operations. Groups of ships detached from different fleets also often sail for joint missions in the high seas. The patrol in the Mediterranean in August 2012 drew worldwide attention amid rumors that the ships would become involved in the Syrian civil war.
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Τρίτη, Νοεμβρίου 20, 2012

Is South Stream too hard to handle for Gazprom?

The South Stream pipeline will be built via Bulgaria, ending in the north of Italy. The Russian gas giant has managed to obtain the consent of all the countries, through the territories of which the pipeline is going to be built. The construction may begin as early as in December of this year. Experts point out that the financial requirements of the project may undermine Gazprom's financial situation.
Bulgaria was the last to join the project. Last week, the head of Gazprom, Alexey Miller, and Bulgarian Energy Holding CEO, Michael Andonov, in the presence of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, signed the final investment agreement. The document has approved the construction of the Bulgarian section of South Stream gas pipeline.

The route of the pipeline has thus been finalized. The output from the Black Sea is planned for Bulgaria, then it is Serbia that serves as a manager for former Yugoslav republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina and also Croatia, where auxiliary branches of the pipeline will be built. Next on the route are Hungary and Slovenia. Italy will be the end point.
Just a day before, Russia and Slovenia also arranged the final investment agreement. According to the head of Gazprom Alexey Miller, the volume of investment in the construction of the pipeline in Slovenia is estimated at $1 billion. It was earlier assumed that the final point of the South Stream project could be Austria. However, the pipeline will go through Italy, where it will reach the northern town of Tarvisio.
Bulgaria will receive from Gazprom a discount of 20 percent on gas from January 1, 2013 for ten years. The preferential conditions stipulate that Sofia will buy about 2.9 billion cubic meters of gas a year, but may reduce the extraction by 20 percent without any penalties from Gazprom.
On November 15, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that Serbia asked for a multi-million loan from the Russian Federation. Belgrade gave concrete numbers: 300 thousand dollars this year, and the rest - in 2013.
Bulgaria will not spend anything on the construction of the pipeline through its territory. It was originally planned that Sofia and Gazprom would finance 30 percent of the Bulgarian part of the project together, whereas the remaining 70 percent will be borrowed. However, Bulgaria claimed that it could not afford it. As a result, Gazprom took care of the Bulgarian share in financing, and Bulgaria will provide free transit in exchange till 2030. The scheme seems unreliable, to say the least.
"In the proposed scheme, the more expensive the pipeline construction is, the longer Bulgaria will be deprived of transit fees. In practice, South Stream will be built at the expense of Sofia's lost transit revenues," says Valentin Stoyanov, the former advisor to the commission on energy policy in the Parliament of Bulgaria.
It is unclear what will make Bulgaria to follow the agreement after the launch of the pipeline. No need to go to Baba Vanga to predict that Bulgaria will feel robbed after the Bulgarian part of the pipeline is launched (in 2016, according to schedule).
In the case of Nord Stream, everything looks more or less certain. There is a supplier - Russia, Germany is the buyer and the manager in one person. As for South Stream, there are too many transit countries. One should bear in mind the fact that Bulgaria, as well as former Yugoslavian republics, often dances to the tune of Berlin, although it looks like a sovereign dance.
The cost of the project is growing by leaps and bounds, but Gazprom can only careless. A month ago, the number was 15.5 billion euros. Later, after all specifications and configurations, the price has increased to 16 billion.
As experts point out, Gazprom will spend about 10 billion euros more on expanding the unified gas supply system on the way to Russia's Anapa, where South Stream will dive under the water.
It is unlikely that such a sharp increase in capital expenditure in the long term will show a positive impact on the financial stability of Gazprom. All this is happening against the background of falling consumption in Europe.
"The main financial result of the construction of South Stream is a greater credit load for Gazprom. The net debt of the monopoly already exceeds 161.882 billion rubles. One would like to find out how Gazprom is going to give these loans back under the conditions of falling gas prices. Almost all European buyers of the Russian monopoly received substantial discounts in 2013. There is also the matter of a revolution in alternative energy - many European countries already receive up to a half of the energy balance from renewable sources," leading financial analyst of Kalita Finance, Alex Vyazovsky, told Pravda.Ru.
Gazprom increases its interest in European sales and energy companies that supply gas to end consumers. The need to ensure stabile supplies grows. As a result of the asset swap with BASF, Gazprom became the owner of three distribution companies in Europe. After the failure of the deal with RWE, this is definitely some positive news for the company. In addition, last year Gazprom bought Envacom Service, which specializes in the production of clean energy. The client base of the company makes up 500 thousand people. In addition to the retail market of Germany, Gazprom is presented in respective segments of the UK, France and the Benelux countries," Gregory Birg, an analyst with Investkafe said.
Vitaly Salnik

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