Iran Daily December 25, 2004 8 Russia's proposed takeover of state-owned oil compa- complex, and this is not even possible now," Shuvalov A ny Rosneft by the state-controlled natural-gas monopoly Gazprom is close to completion. On November 11, the Russian cabinet gave its approval to the proposal, under which said. Many oil-and-gas analysts and politicians, however, think that globalization is not the key issue driving these developments. Instead, they point out how the Kremlin Energy Conquest Rosneft will be traded for an increase in the government's has used Gazprom to advance its political goals in such stake in Gazprom to 50% plus one share. places as Belarus, Georgia and Armenia, and say it intends On November 2, Gazpromneft, a fully owned subsidiary to use the newly formed Gazpromneft for the same. of Gazprom, was registered in St Petersburg with 30 mil- lion rubles (US$1 million) in capitalization. Gazpromneft 'Lever of influence' will unite all of Gazprom's oil-sector holdings, including Last February, the Moscow Times reported a speech Rosneft and, according to some reports, state-owned Zarubezhneft. Rosneft president Sergei Bogdanchikov was appointed general director of the new company, whose main activities will include oil-and-gas-condensate production, transportation and storage, atimes.com report- Begins At Home Putin delivered at a reception marking the 10th anniver- sary of the founding of Gazprom. "Gazprom, as a strate- gically important company, should be kept, and has been kept, as a single organism," Putin told the gathering. "Gazprom is a powerful political and economic lever of ed. influence over the rest of the world." Gazpromneft is expected to produce 34 million tons of The use of Gazprom as a "lever of influence" has not oil in 2004, while Bogdanchikov told Interfax that gone unnoticed throughout the region. At a Polish parlia- "Rosneft plans to produce 8 billion cubic meters and mentary hearing last month, former Polish foreign-intelli- Gazprom 540 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2004". gence chief Zbigniew Siemiatkowski said, "We are facing Gazprom chief executive officer Aleksei Miller has said a restoration of the Russian empire through economic the company intends to boost oil production to 45 million means and by the principle of 'yesterday tanks, today oil'." tons annually over the next few years. A recent study by the Organization for Economic On November 3, embattled Yukos, Russia's largest oil Cooperation and Development titled "Russia's Gas Sector: exporter, informed its shareholders that it will hold an The Endless Wait for Reform" points to yet another rea- extraordinary shareholders' meeting on December 20 to son the Kremlin is taking oil companies under its control discuss initiating bankruptcy proceedings in the wake of a by subsuming them into Gazprom. Production at new Russian government demand that it pay $9 billion in Gazprom's major gas fields is declining dramatically and back taxes. Yukos CEO Steven Theede told Interfax that to offset this, it is critical for new supplies to come from the 2002 tax claim of $11.5 billion against Yukos and low-cost sources within Russia and abroad. "This points to Yuganksneftegaz, its largest production unit, was strange an increasing role for the oil companies and the indepen- since Yukos's total revenues that year amounted to just dents," the study concludes. $11.4 billion. An important goal for the Russian government is to sup- Adding to the sense of the impending doom for Yukos plement Gazprom's current production with associated gas was an announcement in late October by the State from oil drilling. Therefore the merger with Rosneft, Many oil-and-gas analysts and Property Fund that Yuganskneftegaz would be auctioned politicians point out how the which is currently producing 8 billion cubic meters of gas off with the starting price considerably less than the $18 Kremlin has used Gazprom to annually, will help to make up for Gazprom's future pro- billion evaluation made by investment bank Dresdner advance its political goals in jected production declines. This is the cheapest way for such places as Belarus, Kleinwort Wasserstein. Many observers in Russia have Georgia and Armenia. Gazprom to make up for dwindling production, one that predicted that Yuganskneftegaz will be sold to Gazprom avoids spending billions of dollars that it does not have for and that it will go for far below its market value. The sell- start-up costs and new pipelines. off has been seen as the beginning of the breakup of Apparently, Putin has mastered Lenin's axiom of com- Yukos. Government officials have said other Yukos sub- bining internal and external policy goals. The addition of sidiaries could go under the hammer as well. break up Yukos and gain even greater control over that the merger of Gazprom and Rosneft is connected to Gazpromneft, with or without Yuganskneftegaz, could Reacting to the spate of articles in the world press criti- Russia's energy sector, presidential aide Igor Shuvalov Russia's integration with the global economy. "We are not turn the notoriously opaque Gazprom into a much more cizing President Vladimir Putin's apparent decision to told a conference in Moscow toward the end of October striving to gain full control over Russia's fuel-and-energy "powerful political lever" than anyone has imagined. US Group Eyes Global Goal: Coal ne big dirty secret about US energy production is New York Times survey, are up for approval nationwide on this issue from the rest of the world. With Russia's Synthetic Gas O that coal is about to play an even larger role. Already more than 50 percent of US electricity comes from plants burning coal, the fossil fuel that emits will be expected to meet up-to-date federal requirements on such pollutants as nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide. But unless Congress passes the bipartisan bill spon- recent ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, the treaty will go into effect in less than three months. Nations will begin taking steps to cut back ushing to boost nat- pipeline authority heard a the greatest amount of the most common greenhouse sored by Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman greenhouse gas emissions and trading credits for doing P ural gas exports, the state should also consider a possible future in synthetic gases derived from coal, accord- pitch from Clear Energy Solutions LLC, which wants to develop synthetic fuels from Wyoming coal. "Our problem is the infra- gas, carbon dioxide. Coal's share in the power picture is that curbs global warming by regulating carbon emis- so while the United States goes on a spree of new coal plant production. In the past year, US companies have planned more new coal plants than they did in the previ- ous 12 years. One organization that is leading a campaign to rally ing to the Wyoming Natural structure we need to reach support for the McCain-Lieberman bill--whose limits on Gas Pipeline Authority. the market. We want to go carbon emissions are much milder than Kyoto's--is The group will ask the south and west of here. And Environmental Defense. Its director, Peter Goldmark, Legislature next month to we need transmission spoke convincingly to leaders of Boston's business and expand its bonding authori- access, because we cannot investment community last Monday on the scientific ty to include pipeline con- rely on rail transportation," consensus behind global warming and the role that car- struction for "syngas" and said Daniel Fessler, manag- bon dioxide is playing in it. Just one of the effects he possibly other enhanced- er of Clear Energy cited is reduced grain production in three of the world's coal products. Solutions. breadbasket areas, including the North American plains "Our country is dependent Fessler said region. upon incremental energy Environmental Protection Goldmark said that if he were speaking anywhere infrastructure, and the state Agency standards to lower except the United States he would not have to explain is dependent upon moving emissions from vehicles the science behind climate change, so universal is accep- its mineral resources to mar- will boost the synthetic fuel tance elsewhere of the role of man-made gases. But ket. I think that is, in market in the next five there continue to be skeptics in the United States, espe- essence, what we're looking years. His company's goal is cially in the Bush administration, who believe that to assist other industries in," to construct a 25,000-bar- action to curb carbon emissions is either unnecessary or said Bryan Hassler, execu- rels-per-day-capacity plant unaffordable. tive director of the pipeline here by 2008. That would There are also more than 50 global-warming ostriches authority, casperstartri- consume 7 million tons of in the Senate. The last time that body voted on McCain- bune.net reported. coal annually. Lieberman, just 43 senators backed it. Environmental Sen. Bill Hawks, R- The process also provides Already more than 50 percent of US electricity comes from plants burning coal. Defense and other backers of carbon limits have their Casper, will introduce the opportunities for super-low- projected to spike upward in coming years as utilities sions, there is nothing in federal law to force the power work cut out for them. If they fail and 100 coal plants legislation, according to the emissions electrical genera- turn to coal as an alternative to increasingly scarce nat- companies to limit the carbon dioxide they will pump bloom, the planet's attempt to stop its uncontrolled pipeline authority. tion and sequestration of ural gas. into the atmosphere, boston.com reported. experiment in climate change will suffer a severe set- The group has $1 billion in carbon dioxide, which helps The more than 100 new coal plants that, according to a Lamentably, the United States is further isolating itself back. bonding authority to help in secondary oil recovery. finance new pipeline con- struction aimed at pumping more Wyoming natural gas to market. As natural gas Pliable Solar Cells on a Roll production rises in the state, magine wearing a Solar (H-AS). H-AS cells are only newscientist.com report- atoms. Electrons in the micrometer thick it is The Swedish and export capacity must keep up, or intense competition for available space on I jacket or rucksack that charges up your mobile phone while you The new solar panels will be cheap, too, because they can be about 7% efficient. The researchers think effi- ciency is worth sacrific- ed. Electron knockout phosphorus-doped (N- type) layer migrate across the boundary to flexible," Kroesen says. Today's solar panels are typically somewhere Dutch-owned company Akzo-Nobel, a partner in the H-AS research, pipelines can drive down take a walk. Or a tent mass-produced in rolls ing for a cell that is going Conventional solar pan- occupy holes left in the between 4 and 10 mil- already has a pilot plant the wholesale prices that whose flysheet charges that can be cut as to be more generally use- els are made of pairs of boron-doped (P-type) limeters thick. producing rolls of silicon Wyoming producers batteries all day so required and wrapped ful, though they still hope sheets of semi-conduct- material, setting up a The process of produc- cells 40 centimetres receive. campers can have light around clothes, fabrics, eventually to reach 10% ing silicon, doped with voltage across the bound- ing H-AS films involves wide. A projected full- Wyoming exports about all night. Or a roll-out furniture or even e f f i c i e n c y , phosphorus and boron ary between the two lay- temperatures of up to scale manufacturing 4.3 billion cubic feet of nat- plastic sheet you can rooftops. "This technolo- ers. When photons hit the 200°C, which would melt plant would produce pan- ural gas every day. That's place on a car's rear win- gy will be a lot easier to silicon in a cell they a plastic substrate. So els at a cost of about 1 enough gas to serve 43,000 dow shelf to power a handle than the old glass knock electrons out of its instead of depositing the euro per watt. An A4- homes for one year. child's DVD player. solar panels," claims crystal structure, generat- doped layers directly size panel sewn onto the The Wyoming Legislature Such applications could Gerrit Kroesen, the ing a current that is col- onto plastic they are first back of a jacket and cost- revived the pipeline authori- soon become a reality physicist from lected by a mesh of metal deposited onto aluminum ing less than 10 euros ty in 2002 in the interest of thanks to a light, flexible Eindhoven University of contacts. foil. would charge a mobile maintaining competitive solar panel that is a little Technology in the The H-AS solar panels After the assembly has phone during a summer prices, which in turn gener- thicker than photographic Netherlands who led the are constructed in a simi- cooled, a plastic carrier stroll. The company has ate more revenue to the film and can easily be development team. lar way, but they are layer is added underneath not yet decided to go state. However, the group's applied to everyday fab- Kroesen's team has made just 1 micrometer it and the aluminum is ahead with the plant. bonding authority does not rics. The thin, bendy made its solar cells bendy thick by depositing poly- removed and recycled. Jeremy Leggett, chief include syngas. solar panels, which could simply by making them morphous silicon at high Contacts are then added, executive of the UK solar Hassler said it's apparent be on the market within thin. But this has pressures and tempera- followed by a protective cell supplier Solar that Wyoming's exports will three years, are the fruit involved a trade-off. tures. "Polymorphous sil- plastic layer on top, too. Century, is impressed, someday include gas of a three-nation While the best solar cells icon is as rigid as crys- This sequence lends itself describing the 1 euro per derived from coal. On European Union research are now working at effi- flexible solar panel is a little thicker than photographic film and can talline silicon. But to continuous production watt price point as Tuesday in Casper, the project called H-Alpha ciencies above 20%, the easily be applied to everyday fabrics. because it is less than a on rolls of plastic film. "breathtaking".
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