For the Record
New Spanish gas tariffs start Wednesday
Spanish gas suppliers will begin to charge households an average of 4.2% less from Wednesday, when new “tariffs of last resort” (TURs) come into force. The new system is aimed at deregulating the gas market. A similar scheme is also commencing on 1 July in the power sector.
Consumers are divided into two categories: T1 and T2. The former refers to customers without heating, while T2 is for those with heating in their homes. T1 households will see a 0.1% reduction from 1 July, equivalent to an average of €0.13 per month, while T2 consumers will see a 5.4% cut, equal to €2.3 per month.
Snam Rete Gas buys Stogit and Italgas
Snam Rete Gas, the Italian gas transmission operator controlled by incumbent Eni, has finalised the acquisitions of storage operator Stogit and gas distribution company Italgas for €1.6bn and €2.9bn respectively. Both companies were previously fully controlled by Eni.
Eni decided unilaterally to sell its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Stogit and Italgas, to its transport arm Snam (see ESGM 13 February 2009). The rights issue, on 1 June, was a complete success, but concerns were raised by analysts when only three days later, the Italian antitrust authority and energy regulator published the result of their storage enquiry, asking for more competition in the storage sector by possibly reducing Stogit’s 97% market share. With the operation, Eni will keep a controlling stake in Stogit, minimising potential loss that may be triggered by any regulatory intervention in the future (see ESGM 5 June 2009).
Algeria offers new E&P blocks
Algeria is tendering 27 new oil and gas exploration blocks, said the National Agency for the Valorisation of Hydrocarbon Resources (ALNAFT), the Algerian authority that oversees upstream activities. This comes after a previous bidding round proved unsuccessful last year.
In December, ALNAFT awarded only four licences out of 16 in its seventh exploration and production (E&P) bidding round, a disappointing outcome to a long sought-after tender. This was attributed to the impact of the financial crisis combined with tough contractual terms that had made economic conditions unattractive to foreign investors.
ALNAFT is officially launching the second tender with a presentation due on 27 July and final contracts signature scheduled on 16 January.
SPP appoints new board chairman
Jean-Jacques Ciazynski will replace Bernd Wagner as board chairman of Slovak gas incumbent Slovenský plynárenský priemysel (SPP) as of 1 July, SPP said on Tuesday. Wagner will remain a board member.
Ciazynski has been with GDF, SPP’s shareholder, since 1978 and became director of GDF’s Slovak division in 1993. In 2006, Ciazynski took the post of board chairman at Slovak company Nafta. He became an SPP board member in September 2008. Under Wagner’s lead, SPP signed a 20-year supply contract with Russia’s Gazprom in 2008 and concluded a 10-year supply deal with its shareholder, Germany’s E.ON Ruhrgas, on Monday (see ESGM 29 June 2009).
Tesla well plugged
The Tesla well, drilled in the central North Sea, has been plugged and abandoned after no gas was encountered. The well 22/24c-11 was drilled to a depth of 15,291 feet (4,634m), near the Elgin Franklin field.
Endevour holds a 15% interest in the well, having reduced its original 25% position to minimise risk. “While we are disappointed by the Tesla news, Endeavour has drilled a string of 13 consecutive successful wells, which is considered an uncommon feat in the North Sea,” said William Transier, chairman and CEO of the company.
Other Related Stories