Cablegate: Bp Briefs Senator Lugar On Caspian Energy
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK
DE RUEHKB #0815/01 2410857
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 280857Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAKU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5905
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHMZ/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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Thursday, 28 August 2008, 08:57
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BAKU 000815
EUR FOR MATT BRYZA; E/EEB FOR SE BOYDAN GRAY, STEVE MANN;
DOE FOR KATHY FREDRIKSEN
EO 12958 DECL: 08/27/2018
TAGS ENRG, EPET, EINT, PREL, AJ, TX, TU, GG
SUBJECT: BP BRIEFS SENATOR LUGAR ON CASPIAN ENERGY
REF: A. BAKU 810 B. BAKU 787 C. BAKU 765 D. BAKU 761
Classified By: Ambassador Anne E. Derse, Reasons 1.4 (b,d)
1. (C) Summary: The Russia-Georgia conflict, according to BP, may be forcing Azerbaijan to re-examine needs for regional stability and security, perhaps with leaders concluding that a large foreign presence in Azerbaijan and the region is necessary to create an environment of greater security, predictability and dependability. Azerbaijan’s overland pipelines are relatively well protected; offshore assets are much more vulnerable. The GOAJ is not well coordinated internally or with regional partners to address emergencies. BP reports that, in their view, the Russians did not target the BTC or Baku-Supsa pipelines in Georgia. However, terrorists were responsible for the BTC explosion earlier this month in Turkey. Future oil and gas projects in the region depend on security of existing infrastructure, particularly BTC. Turkey must now act constructively and come to terms with Azerbaijan on Shah Deniz Phase I pricing and Shah Deniz Phase II volumes for purchase. The Nabucco project may be more realistically pursued on a piecemeal basis, with existing infrastructure patched together in Europe, fed by a “two-country inter-connector” across the Caspian Sea. In BP’s analysis, there is a great deal of natural gas in the South Caspian, but “Nabucco may be ten years too early.” End Summary
2. (C) BP Azerbaijan President Bill Schrader briefed Senator Richard Lugar and staff on developments in Caspian energy August 25, highlighting the current status of offshore operations and regional transport in light of the ongoing Russia-Georgia conflict and previous disruption of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline. BP External Affairs Vice President Seymour Khalilov and BP Vice President for Pipelines and Terminals Rashid Javanshir were also present. Ambassador Derse accompanied Senator Lugar; DCM and Pol-Econ Chief also attended.
Georgia Crisis Changes Azerbaijan’s Tune
3. (C) Schrader noted that BP Managing Director Andy Inglis visited Baku from London the previous week, meeting with President Aliyev, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) and others. The purpose of that visit was supposed to be discussions on BP reinvestment in Azerbaijan’s economy; instead, given the ongoing crisis in the Caucasus, regional security concerns dominated the talks. Schrader said that previously Azerbaijan’s leadership had been sounding increasingly self-confident -- even arrogant, at times -- and had downplayed the need for foreign investment in the next generation of projects. With events in Georgia, and heightened Russian activity in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan “may now be changing its tune.” Schrader suggested that the Russia-Georgia conflict is forcing Azerbaijan to re-examine needs for regional stability and security, with leaders apparently coming to an early conclusion that a large foreign presence in Azerbaijan and the region creates an environment of greater security, predictability and dependability.
Security Concerns Resonate
4. (C) Javanshir said that overland pipeline routes within Azerbaijan are reasonably well protected, with BP leading efforts to monitor. The offshore sector is more vulnerable, as it is much more difficult to protect. XXXXXXXXXXXX Azerbaijan
5. (C) Javanshir said that the BTC explosion and Georgia crisis served as a “wake-up call” for Azerbaijan, which finds itself with few transport options and mounting losses in export revenues. In the opinion of BP, the time has come for
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“less gamesmanship and chess playing” and more serious cooperation among Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. XXXXXXXXXXXX
6. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX
Criticism of Turkey, Acts of Terror
7. (C) BP was also highly critical of Turkey’s BOTAS, which built the BTC on Turkish territory as a turn-key project. Construction was delayed and over-budget and BP has always suspected quality-control issues. Moreover, the Turks are responsible for pipeline security, including protection against illegal tapping and terrorism. XXXXXXXXXXXX
Turkey Must Cooperate on Shah Deniz I, II
8. (C) Javanshir said that future gas projects, like the trans-Caspian and Nabucco pipelines, “are now dependent on BTC security. If BTC cannot be protected, governments and private investors will not come forward to promote additional Southern Corridor projects.” Schrader emphasized that there is “lots of gas in the South Caspian region,” between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. Time, however, is needed to bring this gas to markets. The Nabucco project “may be ten years too early,” Schrader and Javanshir said. In the nearer term, the Turks must realize that they “cannot be greedy.” Azerbaijan is willing to sell Turkey approximately 4 billion bcm of Shah Deniz Phase II gas, but a minimum 6-8 bcm, as demanded by Ankara, is not possible.
9. (C) Schrader reported that Shah Deniz Phase II’s “technical path” is still on target for 2014. All depends, however, on a commercial deal with Turkey on transit and sales. SOCAR, rather than StatoilHydro, will have the lead on that front. Complicating the matter, however, is ongoing negotiations on sales price under the current (Shah Deniz Phase I) contract. BP underscored the need for Turkey to reach agreement with suppliers on pricing as soon as possible, as contractual terms expired in April. “SOCAR is now selling gas to Turkey at $130 per thousand cubic meter (tcm), while the Russians are shipping gas through Blue Stream at $450/tcm.” In all likelihood, Turkey is amassing large debts to SOCAR. BP stressed that negotiations on this issue must be completed by the first quarter of 2009.
ACG Deep Gas Could Be Developed
10. (C) Following the visit of Andy Inglis, BP now sounds relatively optimistic about an extension of the ACG
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production sharing agreement, which would allow the AIOC consortium to extend production of oil at offshore fields (and book the reserves to increase company values). BP also retains hopes of clinching a separate agreement to develop non-associated or “deep gas” at the ACG fields. Azerbaijan had been holding a firm line in negotiations on PSA extension and “deep gas,” criticizing BP for Shah Deniz production delays XXXXXXXXXXXX Recent events in Georgia, however, may be causing Azerbaijan to reconsider its line, according to BP’s representatives.
More on Nabucco
11. (C) Schrader noted that Nabucco, as a grand vision, is still rather hard to imagine. A single pipeline -- “a 48-inch pipe” -- running from Turkmenistan to Vienna, may never be realized. Rather, it is more constructive to look at the Nabucco project as a piecemeal project, with “capillaries” connecting existing infrastructure. This could begin in the Caspian, with a “two-country inter-connector” sufficing as a “Trans-Caspian Pipeline.” Much of this work has already begun in Central Europe. BP, which has interest in investing in Turkmenistan, now worries that Ashgabat may “get scared off” from such a project because of Russia’s actions in Georgia. Returning to the “10 years too early” comment, Schrader and Javanshir expressed confidence that “substantial volumes of gas” would be moving from Turkmenistan’s and Azerbaijan’s offshore to the West by 2030.
12. (C) The crisis in Georgia, and the myriad of oil and gas transport problems that resulted from it, has caused Azerbaijan’s leadership to reconsider security and energy issues. Aliyev’s expressed intention to re-open discussion with BP on PSA and ACG deep gas, after a long period of inaction, is significant, and likely a result of a new appreciation for the security benefits of a significant western presence in the energy sector in the wake of regional developments. Still, we expect Azerbaijan to maintain a tough negotiating line on ACG PSA extension and access to ACG deep gas, as well as natural gas pricing, supply and transit with Turkey. Embassy agrees with BP’s assessment that the future of energy projects in the region depends critically on improving the security of existing infrastructure, and on visibly heightened cooperation in this respect among Caspian/Caucasus states. DERSE