Gazprom and Srbijagas address cooperation issues

A working meeting between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, and Dusan Bajatovic, Director General of Srbijagas, took place in Belgrade today.

The parties addressed the ongoing bilateral cooperation, including, inter alia, joint efforts in the expansion of the Banatski Dvor UGS facility, promotion of the use of gas as a vehicle fuel in Serbia, and scientific & technical partnership between the companies.

Gas transmission in Serbia

Gas transmission in Serbia

Background

Gazprom’s partner in Serbia is Srbijagas, a state-owned company focused on gas transportation, storage and distribution in Serbia.

In 2015, Gazprom and Srbijagas signed the Memorandum of Understanding promoting cooperation in the areas of underground gas storage, use of gas as a vehicle fuel, and small-scale LNG, including as part of scientific & technical cooperation. On June 3, 2017, Gazprom and Srbijagas inked the Memorandum of Understanding to conduct the technical and financial feasibility studies for the expansion of the Banatski Dvor UGS facility.

In 2013, a long-term contract was inked for Russian gas supplies to Serbia for the period of 10 years. In 2016, Gazprom exported to Serbia 1.75 billion cubic meters of gas, a 4.3 per cent increase from 2015.

 



Press release: Government commits to continue funding its share of Europe’s flagship UK-based nuclear fusion research facility

  • government pledges to meet its fair share of funding for the JET project until the end of 2020
  • payment assured if the EU extends the UK’s contract to host the Oxfordshire-based facility beyond 2018
  • announcement underlines government commitment to maintain high quality research in the UK and continued collaboration with EU partners

The government has signalled its willingness to maintain research collaboration with European partners after the UK leaves the EU by committing to underwrite UK funding for the Joint European Torus (JET) project, the Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark has announced today (27 June 2017).

Subject to the EU extending the UK’s contract to host the world-class nuclear fusion facility beyond 2018, the UK has agreed to underwrite its fair share of JET’s running costs, which is based at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in Oxfordshire.

The move supports the UK’s ambition to be the go-to place for scientists and innovators across the world, and secure the right outcome for the UK’s research base as we exit the EU.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

JET is a prized facility at the centre of the UK’s global leadership in nuclear fusion research, which is why the government is taking every possible step to secure its future and to maintain highly-skilled jobs in the UK.

Combined with our Industrial Strategy and investment of £4.7 billion for research and development, today’s funding commitment highlights the importance we place on this partnership and our desire for this valuable work to continue uninterrupted.

The JET project is home to the world’s largest and most advanced nuclear fusion reactor and has led global efforts to develop a clean, safe energy source. It supports 1,300 jobs in the UK, 600 of which are highly skilled scientists and engineers.

Science Minister Jo Johnson said:

For nearly half a century, the UK has hosted national and international researchers who have brought us closer to realising one of science’s greatest prizes – a clean, safe and virtually inexhaustible energy source.

Our exit from the EU has not altered our desire and willingness for the UK to continue playing a leading role in furthering our scientific understanding, and today’s announcement aims to provide the necessary reassurance for us to continue this partnership.

The UK’s contract to maintain and run the JET project is managed by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and is due to end in December 2018. As part of this contract, the EU currently provides around £60 million of funding per year, which represents 88% of JET’s running costs. The UK’s commitment to continue funding the facility will apply should the EU approve extending the UK’s contract to host the facility until 2020. A discussion will then take place on the appropriate funding split.

Professor Ian Chapman, CEO of UKAEA said:

International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) is the largest scientific endeavour mankind has ever undertaken and JET is undoubtedly the best place in the world to prepare for ITER’s successful operation. UKAEA are pleased that the UK Government is committed to exploiting JET as we prepare to break fusion records in the next few years.

Today’s announcement follows previous UK commitments to continue European research collaboration. In 2016, the government announced UK businesses and universities should continue to bid for competitive EU funds, such as the EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme, while the UK remains a member of the EU, and the government will work with the Commission to ensure payment when funds are awarded - even when specific projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU.

Pipe-laying of TurkStream gas pipeline in deep water commenced

Gazprom today started laying the TurkStream gas pipeline in the deep-water area off the coast of Anapa. The operations were launched with the command given by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to the Pioneering Spirit pipe-laying vessel.

Pipe-laying of TurkStream gas pipeline in deep water commenced

Pioneering Spirit pipe-laying vessel

Pipe-laying of TurkStream gas pipeline in deep water commenced. Photo by RIA Novosti

Photo by RIA Novosti

Pipe-laying of TurkStream gas pipeline in deep water launched with command given by Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) during his visit to Pioneering Spirit pipe-laying vessel. Photo by RIA Novosti

Vladimir Putin and Alexey Miller. Photo by RIA Novosti

Vladimir Putin and Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, explored the machinery and equipment of the vessel, including its gas pipeline construction facility used for welding and applying protective coatings to pipes.

Pipe-laying of TurkStream gas pipeline in deep water launched with command given by Russian President Vladimir Putin (center) during his visit to Pioneering Spirit pipe-laying vessel. Photo by RIA Novosti

Photo by RIA Novosti

Pipe-laying of TurkStream gas pipeline in deep water launched with command given by Russian President Vladimir Putin (center) during his visit to Pioneering Spirit pipe-laying vessel. Photo by RIA Novosti

Photo by RIA Novosti

Pipe-laying of TurkStream gas pipeline in deep water launched with command given by Russian President Vladimir Putin (center) during his visit to Pioneering Spirit pipe-laying vessel. Photo by RIA Novosti

Photo by RIA Novosti

“Pioneering Spirit, the world's largest construction vessel, will have an important task to solve, namely to build the deep-water section of the TurkStream gas pipeline. This is a new direct and reliable route for Russian gas supplies to Turkey and further to southern and southeastern Europe.

For Turkey natural gas is the key energy source accounting for 38 per cent in the country’s electricity generation and used for heating and cooking in upward of 12 million households. TurkStream will substantially increase energy security in the region.

Natural gas is of equal importance to southern and southeastern Europe. The declining indigenous gas production and the necessity to reduce coal's share in electricity generation across the Balkan countries create the potential for sustainable growth in natural gas demand in that part of Europe,” said Alexey Miller.

Pipe-laying of TurkStream gas pipeline in deep water launched with command given by Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) during his visit to Pioneering Spirit pipe-laying vessel. Photo by RIA Novosti

Photo by RIA Novosti

Pipe-laying of TurkStream gas pipeline in deep water commenced. Photo by RIA Novosti

Photo by RIA Novosti

Pipe-laying of TurkStream gas pipeline in deep water commenced

TurkStream gas pipeline

Background

TurkStream is the project for a transit-free export gas pipeline stretching across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey and further to Turkey's border with neighboring countries. The first string of the gas pipeline is intended for Turkish consumers, while the second string will deliver gas to southern and southeastern Europe. Each string will have the throughput capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas per year. On October 10, 2016, Russia and Turkey signed the Intergovernmental Agreement on the TurkStream project. South Stream Transport B.V., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gazprom, is responsible for the construction of the gas pipeline's offshore section. On May 7, 2017, the Audacia vessel started the construction of the TurkStream gas pipeline near the Russian coast.

Allseas Group is the world's leading company in offshore pipe-laying and subsea construction. The company is focused on comprehensive project implementation, including design, material and equipment procurement, construction, and commissioning.

Pioneering Spirit is the world’s largest construction vessel, the dimensions being 477 meters in length and 124 meters in width. The vessel is designed to lay pipelines in deep-water areas, as well as to install and dismantle large oil and gas offshore platforms.

 



Guidance: ESF Action Notes: 2014 to 2020 Programme

ESF Action Notes are formal communications issued to inform all Grant Recipients (GR) about specific issues they need to act on.

Action Notes may support updates of Eligibility Rules and Programme Guidance documents drawing attention to specific rules or requirements that are either new or have been modified. Others may focus on more technical information or one off requests/opportunities the Managing Authority needs to make GR aware of or potentially act on.

Action Notes are separate from and do not replace Funding Agreements terms, published ESF (or ESIF) Eligibility Rules, Programme Guidance or other requirements in documents published on GOV.UK.

If you have queries about ESF Action Notes please email ESF.2014-2020@DWP.GSI.GOV.UK or if you are an ESF GR contact your Contract Manager.

News story: Jobs boost as North Sea field makes first oil delivery

Located around 125 km east of the Shetland Islands, the £2 billion investment in the Kraken oilfield by oil and gas development and production company EnQuest, was made possible by the UK Government’s support for the sector.

The oilfield is expected to contain around 128 million barrels of oil and support more than 1,000 jobs in the UK for each year of its more than 20 year lifespan.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said:

This is a landmark project for EnQuest and the UK oil and gas sector as one of the largest new oil fields to come on-stream in the North Sea in a decade.

This has been made possible through significant UK government support worth £2.3 billion over two years to encourage investments of this type in the North Sea, supporting thousands of highly-skilled jobs.

We’ll continue to build on this support for the oil and gas sector as it looks to seize the significant opportunities that lie ahead.

The North Sea currently supports around 330,000 jobs across the UK with a supply chain that had an estimated turnover of £28 billion in 2016.

Scottish Secretary, David Mundell said:

This is fantastic news and will help ensure skilled, secure jobs in the vital North Sea oil and gas industry, which is very much still open for business.

The UK Government is committed to helping the oil and gas industry maximise future prosperity. We stand ready to continue to support the industry as its seizes this tremendous opportunity.

The UK Government is continuing to encourage investment to ensure industry is able to maximise the recovery of oil and gas from the UK Continental Shelf in the North Sea.

The Kraken Area (Kraken and Kraken North) is estimated to have 3% of remaining UK oil reserves, 2% of total oil and gas reserves and, at peak in 2019, to be responsible for 3% of total UK oil and gas production.

Policy paper: EU (Approvals) Bill: summary factsheet

The purpose of the Bill is to approve 4 draft decisions of the Council of the European Union. This is to fulfil a requirement in section 8 of the European Union Act 2011, which requires Parliament to approve draft decisions made under Article 352 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Parliamentary approval will enable the UK to vote in favour of the draft decisions.

The first draft decision relates to the participation of the Republic of Albania as an observer in the work of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights.

The second draft decision relates to the participation of the Republic of Serbia as an observer in the work of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights.

The third and fourth draft decisions relate to the signing and conclusion of an agreement between the EU and the government of Canada that will allow enhanced cooperation between the European Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau on competition matters.

Press release: Christine Tacon reappointed as Groceries Code Adjudicator

Consumer Minister Margot James has today (26 June 2017) announced the reappointment of Christine Tacon CBE as the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA).

Covering the UK’s 10 largest supermarkets, the Groceries Code was introduced in 2010 to ensure a level playing field between supermarkets and their direct suppliers. The Groceries Code Adjudicator was set up to enforce compliance with the Code in 2013. The news comes ahead of the Groceries Code annual conference on Monday 26 June.

Having held the role of Groceries Code Adjudicator since its launch, Ms Tacon has overseen significant progress in compliance with the Groceries Code.

A recent survey showed an 8% fall in suppliers reporting breaches of the Code in the last 12 months in 2015 and a 17% decrease compared to 2014, with both large retailers and small suppliers reporting improvements in awareness of the Code.

Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility, Margot James, said:

This reappointment recognises the significant and valuable contribution of Christine Tacon in ensuring suppliers get a good deal when doing business with supermarkets.

Under Christine’s guidance, the Groceries Code Adjudicator is now recognised internationally as a model example of modern enforcement. It is vital the government retains this expertise, which is why I am delighted to reappoint Christine and thank her for her work so far.

In 2015 Ms Tacon investigated alleged Code breaches by Tesco, which resulted in the supermarket adopting fairer payment practices and improved transparency in all its dealings with suppliers.

As a statutory requirement, the government reviewed the GCA’s performance in October 2016, and a full report will be made public later this summer.