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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
02ANKARA8986 2002-12-16 13:17:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

BP STILL ANALYZING COMMERCIAL VIABILITY OF SHAH

Tags:   ENRG ECON EPET AJ GG KZ TU 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 008986 

SIPDIS


STATE FOR E, EB/CBED, EB/ESC, EUR/SE
STATE PASS NSC FOR QUANRUD AND BRYZA
USDOC FOR 4212/ITA/MAC/OEURA/CPD/DDEFALCO
USDOE FOR PUMPHREY/ROSSI


E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/12/2012
TAGS: ENRG ECON EPET AJ GG KZ TU
SUBJECT: BP STILL ANALYZING COMMERCIAL VIABILITY OF SHAH
DENIZ


REF: (A) BAKU 2227 (B) ANKARA 7575


Classified by ADCM Scot Marciel, Reason 1.5 (b,d)




1. (C) Summary and comment: BP's gas analyst is struggling
to make the commercial case for Shah Deniz -- although he
claims top management is committed to the project, he
believes the Turkish gas market is still oversupplied and the
project is too expensive. He also maintains that
transporting Caspian gas through Turkey to Europe is not
economically viable. This current market review by BP may
just be due diligence in the run-up to February sanction, or
another negotiating tactic on the part of BP; however, given
BP's November proposal to delay first gas to Turkey (ref a),
and that its analyst is still crunching numbers in Turkey, it
appears that BP's top management may still have some
reservations about the project. End summary and comment.




2. (C) Brian Dodson (strictly protect), a gas analyst for BP,
told econoff he is looking at the numbers from "every
possible angle" to try to make Shah Deniz a more attractive
project commercially for BP. Dodson said BP's top management
"wants to do this project," that it made "strategic and
political sense" given their other interests in the region;
however, the numbers kept coming up wrong. Dodson stated
there were real problems with Shah Deniz -- the Turkish
market still looked oversupplied and there was no Turkish
Treasury guarantee, the contract was not "robust," the cost
of the project had soared to roughly USD 3 billion, and SOCAR
had significant financing and government coordination
problems. At this stage, he said, BP was proceeding with the
project based on trust that these problems would be resolved,
and USD 3 billion was a "lot of trust."




3. (C) Dodson conceded that, assuming the GOT purchased Shah
Deniz gas according to the terms in the gas sales purchase
agreement (SPA), BP would not lose money. But at the current
profit margin, there were better places for BP to invest.
Dodson noted that the Turkish gas market looked far better
than it did six months ago, due to BOTAS' successful
negotiations with Russia and Iran. Still, even after
revising the supply figures, he estimated a gas surplus in
Turkey from 2005-2011.




4. (C) Dodson noted that several factors could make the
commercial equation more appealing. One was the gas transit
tariff that the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA)
sets. He noted that an entry/exit-based tariff would help
make Caspian gas competitive in the Istanbul market as well
as onward to Europe. (Note: BP has commissioned a study on
the benefits of an entry/exit tariff, which we have provided
to TDA consultants advising EMRA on the transit tariff. End
note.) Another factor could be BOTAS further reducing its
supply from Russia -- Dodson thought that Turkey might have
some contractual flexibility in either the Russian West 1 or
2 sales purchase agreements that it had not yet divulged.




5. (C) Commenting on Turkey's desire to be a transit country
for Caspian gas to Europe, Dodson said the numbers did not
add up. Caspian gas would cost roughly USD 2/mmbtu at the
Turkish border. If that gas was going to get to a European
gas hub, he estimated an additional 1300 kilometers of
pipeline needed to be built, at an approximate cost of USD 2
billion. Assuming the pipeline added an additional USD
0.60/mmbtu to the price of Shah Deniz gas, and that Turkey
applied a very low transit tariff of USD 0.20/mmbtu, an
optimistic estimate put Caspian gas at USD 2.80/mmbtu by the
time it reached a hub in Europe. Since gas was currently
trading at USD 2.30-2.50/mmbtu at European hubs, the math
didn't work for Caspian gas. (Note: Dodson added that he
was not an expert on the European gas market, and these were
his "napkin" calculations, adding that he would ask BP's
European analysts to look into this issue.)




6. (C) Comment: Dodson's current market review may just be
due diligence in the run-up to February sanction, or another
negotiating tactic on the part of BP; however, given the
concerns expressed by BP at the November partners' meeting
(ref a), and that its analyst is still crunching numbers in
Turkey, it appears that BP's top management may still have
some reservations about Shah Deniz. Dodson was careful to
emphasize that he was looking only at the numbers, while top
management was considering Shah Deniz in a much broader
context. (Note: BP execs told us previously that BP's top
management agreed that Turkey had resolved its gas surplus
problem (ref b).) As recently as last week, one BP exec told
econoff the company was committed to Shah Deniz, while
another said the company needed to "get its story straight"
on gas. End comment.
PEARSON