Bank Commerciale Italiana, Black Sea, Black Sea pipeline, Blue Stream Pipeline B.V., BOTAS, BOTAŞ Petroleum Pipeline Corporation, Bulgaria, debt, energy, Eni, Erdogan, European Gas Infrastructure, Gazprom, Hungary, Italian-Russian relations, Italy, natural gas, Prime Minister Draghi, Putin, Rosneft, Russia, Salvini, Serbia, Southeastern European Gas Infrastructure, state owned companies, TBP, TransBalkan Pipeline, Turkey, Turkey sovereign wealth fund
“Figure 1. Southeastern European Gas Infrastructure
Source: Created by CRS using data from U.S. Department of State, IHS, ESRI, European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas, and Bulgartransgaz. “ https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IF/IF11177/1
The government of Italy is the largest owner of Eni and has controlling shares. Gazprom is majority owned and controlled by Russia. Gazprom and Eni are Blue Stream Pipeline joint venture partners. Thus, the governments of Italy and Russia are business partners in Blue Stream pipeline. In early March, Eni claimed that it would sell its stake to Turkey. But, what would that help? Turkey is in NATO and it faces Ukraine on the Black Sea. And, at what price? Thus, Eni probably wants to go back to “business as usual”. The same is probably true of Exxon, BP, Shell, and other Russian partners. Since Putin’s not been toppled, that would mean giving Putin Ukraine and anything else that he wants. Therefore, it seems plausible that Eni may be behind the apparent coalition “coup” against/resignation of Italian Prime Minister Draghi, and BP and Shell may be behind the apparent cabinet “coup”/resignation of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, at least in part. BP is the largest non-Russian government owner of Rosneft. Eni and Rosneft had partnered to explore the Black Sea. Exxon, BP, and Shell all have maintained stakes in Russia’s Sakhalin projects, despite the 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2022/07/24/bp-still-largest-private-shareholder-of-russian-govt-controlled-rosneft-months-after-promising-to-exit-19-75-stake/
Last year, Eni stated that they “have a 50% stake in the Blue Stream submarine pipeline, connecting Russia to Turkey through the Black Sea, reaching a total of 774 kilometres on two lines with a transport capacity of 16 billion cubic metres per year. Blue Stream, a joint venture created to sell gas from Russia on the Turkish market, is an asset that generates a stable flow of operating income, thanks to the long-term sale of the associated transport rights.” https://web.archive.org/web/20210724203124/https://www.eni.com/en-IT/eni-worldwide/eurasia/russia.html
Gazprom and Italy (Eni) Blue Stream joint venture: “Blue Stream is a major trans-Black Sea gas pipeline that carries natural gas to Turkey from Russia. The pipeline has been constructed by the Blue Stream Pipeline B.V., the Netherlands based joint venture of Russian Gazprom and Italian Eni. The Blue Stream Pipeline B.V. is an owner of the subsea section of pipeline, including Beregovaya compressor station, while Gazprom owns and operates the Russian land section of the pipeline and the Turkish land section is owned and operated by the Turkish energy company BOTAŞ” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Stream
Turkey is also a Blue Stream business partner through BOTAS. Turkey is a Russian partner through Turkstream.
The initial Blue Stream agreements pre-date Putin, though he was President when construction started. It’s probably not yet paid for. Gazprom and/or Eni almost certainly still owe money to the Italian bank “Bank Commerciale Italiana”, and other lenders.
BOTAS is owned by Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BOTAŞ Erdogan is Turkey Wealth Fund chairman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey_Wealth_Fund
Gazprom“is majority-owned by the Russian government, via the Federal Agency for State Property Management and Rosneftegaz, while remaining shares are traded publicly.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gazprom
Blue Stream: “Preparations of the pipeline project started in 1997. On 15 December 1997, Russia and Turkey signed an intergovernmental agreement on construction of the subsea pipeline. At the same time, Gazprom and BOTAŞ signed a 25-year gas sale contract. In February 1999, Gazprom and Eni signed the Memorandum of Understanding to implement the Blue Stream project. Blue Stream Pipeline B.V., a joint venture of Gazprom and Eni was registered in the Netherlands on 16 November 1999. On 23 November 1999, contracts on designing, equipment supply and the offshore section construction were signed with Saipem, Bouygues Offshore S.A., Katran K companies and the consortium of Mitsui, Sumitomo and Itochu. The construction of the Russian land section took place in 2001–2002 and the offshore section in 2001–2002. The offshore section of the pipeline was built by Italian constructor Saipem and the Russian onshore section by Stroytransgaz, a subsidiary of Gazprom. The offshore pipe was laid by the pipe-laying vessel Saipem 7000. Gas flows from Russia to Turkey started in February 2003. However, because of the price dispute between Russia and Turkey, the official inauguration ceremony at the Durusu gas metering station took place only on 17 November 2005. Attending the inauguration were Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Stream
“Blue Stream Pipeline Co BV
Blue Stream Pipeline Company B.V. constructs pipeline carries for natural gas. The Company operates throughout the Netherlands.
INDUSTRY Oil & Gas
SUB-INDUSTRY Oil & Gas Producers
ADDRESS Strawinskylaan 845 Amsterdam, 1077 XX Netherlands
S A Emeliyanov
Alexander I Medvedev “ https://www.bloomberg.com/profile/company/3457249Z:NA
Italian Prime Minister Draghi has been supportive of Ukraine. Like UK PM Boris Johnson, another Ukraine supporter, Draghi resigned even after surviving votes of confidence in parliament.
Perhaps Salvini played a role, but one shouldn’t underestimate the potential role of Eni in Italy and BP/Shell in the UK:
“Did PUTIN order the collapse of Italy’s government? Matteo Salvini is forced to deny press reports Russia told his party to end support for PM Draghi
* A Kremlin official allegedly met with Salvini’s aide in May in a secret meeting
* Moscow is said to have asked the Lega Nord to resign from the government
* Last week, Mario Draghi’s coalition collapsed when Lega Nord withdrew support
* Salvini has rubbished the claims as ‘fake news’ despite close ties with Putin
By JACK NEWMAN FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 16:54 BST, 28 July 2022 | UPDATED: 16:54 BST, 28 July 2022”
“The Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance has de facto control of Eni SpA by virtue of interests held either directly or via the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA (CDP).”
Public Holding 30.334%
Institutional Investors 50.439%
Treasury shares 1.128%
Identity of shareholders not provided 0.015“
And, Italian shareholders are the majority (over half).
Eni, from March 5, 2022:
“Our work in Russia
Eni currently has a marginal presence in Russia. The existing Joint Ventures with Rosneft, linked to exploration licenses in the Arctic area, have already been frozen for years, due also to the international sanctions imposed since 2014. Eni intends selling its share in the joint and equal shareholding with Gazprom in the Blue Stream gas pipeline (connecting Russia to Turkey).” https://web.archive.org/web/20220305013118/https://www.eni.com/en-IT/eni-worldwide/eurasia/russia.html They fail to mention their Black Sea exploration partnership (see below).
Map of countries were Eni is present. They have Russia listed under Asia: https://web.archive.org/web/20220620123103/https://www.eni.com/assets/documents/mappa-business-eni-eng.pdf
From July 2021:
“Our work in Russia
We have been operating in Russia since the 1960s, when we started importing the first crude oil into Italy. We are active in the Exploration & Production, Global Gas & LNG and Refining & Marketing and Chemical sector.
Exploring the depths of the sea
We are partnered with the Russian oil company Rosneft for the realisation of exploratory projects that we are developing in the Russian Barents Sea and the Black Sea.
Gas supplies through Blue Stream
We have a 50% stake in the Blue Stream submarine pipeline, connecting Russia to Turkey through the Black Sea, reaching a total of 774 kilometres on two lines with a transport capacity of 16 billion cubic metres per year. Blue Stream, a joint venture created to sell gas from Russia on the Turkish market, is an asset that generates a stable flow of operating income, thanks to the long-term sale of the associated transport rights.
An Eni service station in the capital
We are active in the Russian retail market (oil and non-oil) and in the wholesale market of lubricants through our subsidiary Eni Nefto. The company has a service station in the city of Moscow which is located on the road connecting Sheremetyevo Airport to the city centre. The property includes a shop, a cafe and a car wash. Opened in 1991, it was the first foreign-branded operator in the then Soviet Union. In addition to our retail activities, we also sell Eni-branded lubricants in the Russian wholesale market.” https://web.archive.org/web/20210724203124/https://www.eni.com/en-IT/eni-worldwide/eurasia/russia.html
“World’s Deepest Pipeline Set To Open” November 17, 2005 08:48 GMT https://www.rferl.org/a/1063012.html
Blue Stream agreements pre-date Putin, though he was President when construction started.:
“The Blue stream is intended for deliveries of the Russian natural gas to Turkey going under the Black Sea… At a time of construction of the Blue stream pipeline the Gazprom’s strategic partner Italian ENI Company had vast experience in construction of sea gas pipelines and the world’s largest pipe-laying fleet…. Many experts abroad doubted the mere feasibility of a gas pipeline construction at water depths down to 2,150 meters in aggressive hydrosulphuric environment.
On 15 December 1997, the intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Turkey was signed. Within the framework of this agreement Gazprom has concluded a commercial contract with Turkish firm Botas to supply 365 bcm of gas to Turkey by the Blue stream gas pipeline over 25 years.
In February 1999, a Memorandum of mutual understanding between Gazprom and the Italian ENI company on mutual participation in realization of the Blue stream project was signed.
On 16 November1999, Gazprom and ENI registered in the Netherlands the Russian-Italian Blue Stream pipeline B.V. company. At present, this company acts as the owner of a sea section of the gas pipeline, including Beregovaya compressor station. Gazprom owns and the operates a land section of the gas pipeline.
On 23 November 1999, Blue Stream Pipeline B.V. company signed the contract with the Saipem, Bouygues Offshore S.A., Katran K companies and the Japanese consortium consisting of Mitsui Co. Ltd, Sumitomo and Itochu on designing, delivery of equipment and turnkey construction of a marine section of the Blue stream pipeline. On 20 December 2000, the contract came into force.
On 27 November 1999, an Intergovernmental protocol to the Agreement of 15 December 1997 was signed providing for the Blue Stream project, among other, tax benefits. On 16 June 2000, after ratification of the Protocol by the parliaments of Russia and Turkey, it came into force.
In April 2001, all preconditions to start a full-fledged financing of the project were fulfilled. In May of the same year credit agreements under the project for a total sum of USD billion 1.7 came into force with first drawings carried out.
In February 2000, construction was started of a land section of the gas pipeline on the Russian territory.
In August of 2001, construction of the Beregovaya compressor station was commenced.
In September 2001 through August 2002, a tunnel under the Mare ridge was constructed.
In September 2001, construction of a sea section was begun. Castoro-8 ship was involved in construction of a two-line gas pipeline in the shallow waters near the Russian coast.
From October 2001 through May 2002 Saipem-7000 pipe-layer accomplished construction of a deep-water part of a marine section. In June 2002, construction of a marine section was completed.
In May through September 2002, construction of a tunnel under the Bezymyanny ridge was completed.
On 30 December 2002, at the Durusu terminal in Turkey a protocol on commissioning the starting complex of the Blue stream pipeline was signed. It has marked the fact that the Blue stream pipeline was ready to start gas supplies….
The total cost of the Blue stream pipeline is USD 3.2 billion, including USD 1.7 billion to construct the marine section of the pipeline and Beregovaya compressor station.
For realization of the project Gazprom and Blue Stream Pipeline Company BV have signed a USD billion 1.13 loan agreement with the bank consortium consisting of Bank Kommerchiale Italiana, Mediocredito Centrale and Westdeutsche Landesbank Zhirocentrale.
USD million 627 have also been drawn for construction of the gas pipeline from the Japanese bank for International cooperation and the bank consortium headed by bank FUDZHI with participation of Japanese insurance company NEKSI/MITI for the construction financing.
The total sum of loan facilities drawn by Gazprom amounted to USD billion 1.7. This provided Gazprom with money to finance the marine section of the project construction and the land section of the project in part. Part of financial resources for a marine section of the Blue stream project was due to sponsors of the project of Gazprom and SNAM S.p.A funding, as well as loans in a sum of USD million 866 drawn under the SNAM S.p.A.’s guarantee.
Gazprom provided the rest part of financing of the land section of the project construction due to debt recovery. In particular, in December 2000 Gazprom drawn for these purposes the medium-term facilities in the sum of Euro 250 million from the consortium of international banks led by Hipovereints Bank AG.
Gazprom managed to attract these funds under sharp decrease in investment rating of the Russian companies. In 2000, the Project Finance Magazine recognized Gazprom’s potential to attract financial facilities as the Project of the Year »…
Commissioning the Beregovaya compressor station is planned in the third quarter of 2003. Putting into operation of the Stavropolskaya compressor station is set for the first quarter of 2004…“ https://web.archive.org/web/20060107071147/http://www.gazprom.ru/eng/articles/article8895.shtml