By Innocent Adyasov;
Western investors, receiving illegal ways of the technical documentation for the development of “super-giant” fields “South Iolotan-Osman,” questioned the estimates of Turkmen specialists.
Russia has gone virtually unnoticed event that can radically affect the fate of alternative pipelines bypassing Russia and greatly increase the chances of the “South Stream”.Western investors, receiving illegal ways of the technical documentation for the development of “super-giant” fields “South Iolotan-Osman,” questioned the estimates of Turkmen specialists.
The field “Southern Yoloten-Osman” in the last year acquired the status of “super-giant.”(November 18, 2011, Turkmen President signed a decree ordering the name field Southern Iolotan-Osman, Minar and its surrounding field gas field “Galkynysh”). Turkmen authorities before the event liked to refer to the results of an “independent audit of gas reserves” held by the British company Gaffney, Cline & Associates, the optimal estimate of the field was 6 trillion cubic meters, which put the “Southern Yoloten-Osman” in its size at the fifth or fourth in the world. Before its opening all of the proven natural gas reserves in Turkmenistan did not exceed 3 trillion cubic meters.
Recently, estimates have been confirmed by British experts state corporation “Turkmengeologiya”, which tested three new exploration wells in the field. Soon, however, revealed that the gas reserves are overestimated by several times. And the inflated results were confirmed by the auditors of Gaffney, Cline & Associates simply because they did their calculations are not based on independent analysis of the results of drilling, but on the basis of data obtained by the Turkmen specialists.
Turkmen authorities are now trying to find the source of information leakage, but it is clear that for the development of the above deposit will have to conduct a new and truly independent examination.
Experts have long doubted the possibility of producing gas from the field at low cost. Thus, the Russian expert Sergey Pravosudov pointed out that the gas from South Iolotan contains large amounts of hydrogen sulfide, which significantly increases the cost of its production. According Pravosudova, “this is about the same gas as the Astrakhan deposit in Russia, where the reserves are more than two trillion cubic meters. Production there – instead of 70-100 billion cubic meters of gas per year produced a total of 15 billion, because it is very expensive gas, it is very deep, at a depth of more than four kilometers.Even if all the favorable conditions of the project once implemented and Turkmen gas to Europe will fall by NABUCCO, or some other project, this gas is very expensive, at least, it will not be cheaper than the Russian, and probably even much more expensive ” .
In addition, it is the largest Turkmen gas field is actually “laid” Ashgabat Chinese investors.China’s CNPC, along with “Turkmengas” – the main operator of the South Iolotan. According to experts, China’s investment in the development of this field may be more than five billion dollars. Beijing has confirmed that he was ready to take all of the export volumes of Turkmen gas by the mid 2012 shipments will increase to 30 billion cubic meters by 2015 to expand the capacity of Turkmenistan – Uzbekistan – Kazakhstan – China to 65 billion cubic meters.
At the same time, South Iolotan together with the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz regarded the EU as its main resource base for the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline and NABUCCO. In the framework of the “Shah-Deniz 2″ Azerbaijan will deliver 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe. At its peak, as the first stage of this gas field, the amount of stock which amounts to 1.2 trillion cubic meters, it was supposed to produce about 8.6 billion – nine billion cubic meters of gas.
It is not extracted volumes were pre-contracted by Turkey, Greece and Georgia. It is expected that the peak production of the first stage of “Shah-Deniz” was supposed to go next year. But those plans went awry – in 2011 began in Azerbaijan godkov severe downturn in oil and gas. According to the SSC of the country, the amount produced in Azerbaijan in 2011 crude oil amounted to 45.4 million tons, up 10.7 percent less than in 2010. Last year it was produced only 25.7 billion cubic meters of gas, which is 2.5 percent less than in 2010. In general, the GDP of the oil sector of Azerbaijan in 2011 declined by 9.3 percent over the previous year. The fall in production and affected the “Shah-Deniz”.This is confirmed by data published by the operator of the project – the company «BP-Azerbaijan». According to these data, in the last year of the contract area, “Shah Deniz” managed to get just 6.67 billion cubic meters of gas, which is 222 million cubic meters less than in 2010. Over the past year has also dropped the amount of condensate production: it produced 1.8 million tons of condensate (14 million barrels), against 1.9 million tonnes in 2010.
That is not in Central Asia or Azerbaijan are no free resources for NABOCCO (China intends to contract not only the main exports of Turkmen gas, but all the volumes of gas exports to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan). As is known, the minimum required for the pipeline NABUCCO 30 billion cubic meters of gas annually. Under these circumstances, greatly increase the chances of the Russian project “South Stream”, which was clearly slipping in recent years. But Russia will have to find the free volumes of gas for this project because a monopoly on the transit of Turkmen in Moscow and the whole Central Asian gas, unfortunately, a thing of the past....