April 2013
Albanian Energy Sector: Squeezed Between Hope And Reality

The decision of Azerbaijan to opt for the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as the preferred route of its natural gas transportation to Europe brought into the limelight Albania, a player on the continental energy market in its own right. So far, due to relative isolation, this country has not been part of the mainstream debate on energy issues raging on in the industry. In fact, the economy of Albania has its own peculiarities, so different from what is happening in the neighbouring countries. In 2004-2008, the GDP in this relatively not well-to-do country has been rapidly increasing at a pace of 6% per year. Yet, the global crisis had an impact on Albania as well. In the next two years, the tempo slowed down twofold to 3%, and by 2011 went down to 2%. Last year, the GDP growth was recorded at only 0.5%. Unemployment jumped to 12%. As for income per capita, Albania remains one of the poorest countries on the continent: in 2012, it totaled $8000. Foreign investments are meager, but the migrant’s remittances are a factor to be counted with. According to official data, migrant’s remittances make up some 10% of GDP, although it is apparent that not all money transfers are incorporated into the statistics.

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Lebanon’s Uncertainty Looms Over Levant Basin Energy Riches

Lebanon is not yet directly involved in the diplomatic and public quarrels over who owns what in the East Mediterranean shelf areas. Yet, the recent developments in this former flourishing financial center of the Middle East bear serious consequences on the chances of all parties concerned to find a solution to conflicts over the right to the newly-found hydrocarbon wealth. The reason of the current aggravation of tension inside Lebanon is the raging “mother of all battles” pitting the Sunnis against the Shiites in the broader region.

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Romania Places Bets On Shale Gas

Will shale gas provide the much needed energy security to the European Union? Can an unconventional gas bonanza similar to the shale boom in the USA be replicated in the Old Continent? While in Europe the debate on the expediency of shale gas is gaining momentum, Romania decided to plunge headlong into these unchartered waters. The ruling circles in Bucharest chose to lay aside the controversies for a while. Prime Minister Victor Ponta is now saying that he is not against exploration of shale gas, although some time ago he was on the opposite side of the fence. Before coming to power in May 2012, the current governmental coalition, while staying in the opposition, attacked the previous government for giving permission to oil and gas companies to prospect for shale gas.

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Bulgaria Drags Its Feet In Addressing The Looming Energy Crisis

The month of July did not bring any soothing news or consolation to the citizens of Bulgaria still frustrated by the outcome of the “electricity revolution” which brought down the previous centre-right GERB-based Boiko Borisov government. Manifestations of angry citizens continued in the middle summer month, mostly in the capital city, Sofia, and on a smaller scale. Yet, intense hostilities between political clans are in full swing. The minority government led by socialists, who rely on co nditional support of a p olitical formation of the Turkish minority and the nationalist party Ataka, remained in disarray and kept sending controver sial signals on its capability to alleviate the immediate woes of the public. The uneasy coalition in power proceeds with getting rid of former Borisov’s appointees and rolling back their policies and practices while attempting to pursue the “Oresharski plan”, named after Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski but already labeled by critics as a “hodgepodge of promises.”

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In Hope of More than Just Smiles

The Greek opposition party, Syriza has once more reiterated its intention to cancel the privatization of state energy companies and reestablish them under the control of the Greek government. The pro-European leftist party recently declared its strong opposition to the sale of Greek state gas provider Desfa to Azeri state energy company Socar at the price of €400.000. Syriza characterized the sale as a ‘give away’ and noted that Russian companies have recently offered to pay €1 million to buy Desfa. Meanwhile, experts in the energy sector suggest the European Union’s DG Competition will react negatively to the sale of Desfa to Azeri Socar, as contrary to EU regulations the latter will be producer, transporter as well as distributor of natural gas in Greece. Experts note that Greece is to become Turkey’s ‘hostage’ due to tight Ankara-Baku relations and the fact that Azeri gas needs to be transported through Turkey to reach its destined Greek households. Given a very long history of wars, occupation and tensions between Greece and Turkey, analysts have started pointing to the immediate need to solve bilateral problems which are, amongst others, the issues of hydrocarbon explorations in the Aegean, the continental shelf disagreement, EEZ and the Cyprus issue.

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Iran Boosts Energy Export Potential

Despite multilateral and unilateral sanctions affecting, in particular, the development of oil and gas resources, the Iranian government is overcoming these hurdles against all odds. Recently, Rostam Qasemi and Abdul Kareem Luaibi, ministers of oil from Iran and Iraq, signed an agreement stipulating Iranian gas supplies to the neighbouring country. Initially, the deliveries will total up to 7 mln cubic meters per day with a gradual increase to 25 mln when the pipeline throughput capacity reaches its designated target. Almost two years of negotiations preceded this deal. The pipeline stretching 270 km is in its final stage of construction and the day of commissioning is already visible. The actual deliveries will begin after Iraq confirms its technical readiness to accommodate these volumes of gas. Gas will source two power generation plants. One is located near Baghdad, the other at Al- Mansouriah. According to Iranian sources, the deal is worth $3.7 bln.

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MENA: Thorns Of Arab Spring Start Showing

The hidden implications of the ill-designed and fault-ridden execution of operation “Arab Spring” are becoming not only evident for the general public but also to the community of energy companies which still remain one of the main clusters of foreign investors with a high stake in the stability of the region. There are two sets of news which happened lately, having a direct impact on the comprehensive overview of the MENA gas reserves and export potential.

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Συνέντευξη του Υπουργού Περιβάλλοντος και Ενέργειας, Γιώργου Σταθάκη στο www.liberal.grκαι στους δημοσιογράφους, Γιώργο Φιντικάκη και Βασίλη Γεώργα
Υπό απόλυση και ο ομογενής προσωπάρχης του Λευκού Οίκου!
Aνακοίνωση της δεξαμενής σκέψης BiE/ Ελληνο-Βρετανική Πρωτοβουλία για το δικαίωμα παραμονής των Ελλήνων στη Βρετανία μετά το Brexit (
Drop the Target: Theresa May accused of 'sabotaging' Government plan to explain benefits of immigration
Μίχαλος: Τι θα συμβεί στις επιχειρήσεις και την οικονομία μετά το Brexit
Δύο ώρες είχε «στην απομόνωση» ο Κοτζιάς τον Μπόρις και του ξεκαθάρισε – «Εάν θες να είμαστε φίλοι…»
O ΥΠΕΞ Ν.Κοτζιάς για τα δικαιώματα των Ελλήνων της Βρετανίας
Η προστασία των Ελλήνων από το Brexit, η γεννοκτονία των Ποντίων στη Βουλή των Λόρδων και τρεις Έλληνες συγγραφείς
Ένας Ελληνας καθηγητής υψώνει ασπίδα προστασίας στα ‘θύματα’ του Brexit
Διαμαρτυρίες ομογενών εναντίον της ελληνικής πρεσβείας Λονδίνου
Αγωνία για το μέλλον των Ευρωπαίων φοιτητών στη Βρετανία εκφράζει ο πρύτανις της Οξφόρδης
Ο "Πατέρας της ΑΟΖ" έχει κέφια και εμείς ανταποδίδουμε!
WSJ: Ο Φλιν θέλει να καταθέσει για Τραμπ – Ρωσία με αντάλλαγμα ασυλία
ΑΛΦΑ: Το ανεπίσημο όργανο προπαγάνδας της ΣΙΑ και του αμερικανικού πενταγώνου ενδιαφέρεται για την Ελλάδα;
Οι δυσκολίες στην αξιοποίηση των ενεργειακών αποθεμάτων μας
Σταθάκης: Μοντέλο στους υδρογονάνθρακες η σύμβαση για το οικόπεδο 2 – Ξεκινούν άμεσα οι επαφές με ΕΛΠΕ για το οικόπεδο 10
Χατζηδάκης: Να προχωρήσουμε σε νέους διαγωνισμούς υδρογονανθράκων για οικόπεδα στο Λιβυκό Πέλαγος
Χ. Φλουδόπουλος: Νέες έρευνες σε Κέρκυρα, Κρήτη και Κύθηρα για υδρογονάνθρακες
Ενεργειακό Συνέδριο ΕΒΕΑ, ΗΑΕΕ και ΕΔΕΥ
Μίχαλος: Η αξιοποίηση των υδρογονανθράκων αποτελεί ζήτημα εθνικής σημασίας

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