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Black Sea Energy and Economic Forum 2009


  • Frederick Kempe, President and CEO, Atlantic Council
  • Adriean Videanu, Minister of Economy, Romania
  • Yagshygeldi Kakaev, Director, State Agency for Management and Use of Hydrocarbon Resources, Turkmenistan
  • Alexander Khetaguri, Minister of Energy, Greece
  • Traicho Traikov, Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, Bulgaria
  • Metan Kilci, Undersecretary of Energy and Natural Resources, Turkey

October 2, 2009

MR. KEMPE:  I’m just going to test the translation to make sure this is working before we get going.  Can you hear me?  Can you hear me?  Testing, testing.  What channel – what channel is what language?  Yeah, I can hear you now.  Okay?  So it’s channel two?  What channel is for what language?  Okay.  So for the audience, two is for English, one is for Romanian.  And we’re going to get started.  

This is the “Ministers’ Roundtable:  Policy Responses to Energy Challenges.”  I’m just delighted to have this wealth of experience and knowledge about the region.  We will start with some questions here.  This is, as yesterday, an interactive meeting, and so there’ll be no long opening statements.  But on the other hand through my questions I’ll try to draw out from each of these gentlemen the priorities for his country in terms of energy security, how they view energy security, how they view key issues in the region, the role of the Chinese, the role of the Russians, the concerns about the resource base and where it’s going to come from, the differences between energy policies and views of energy security in the region.  So there’s just so much to talk about.  

My co-chair on this panel is Minister Videanu.  He will start with his own answer to my question and then we’ll work from there.  He will also – I will intervene to guide the conversation and Minister Videanu, as he wishes during the conversation, might intervene to throw in his own thoughts on some of the things he’s hearing as my co-chair.  Before I turn to Minister Videanu, let me just tell you who I’ve got, from right to left.  And as I turn to them, the first question, I may say just a little bit more about them as well.  

First of all, and on my far right, I have Minister Yagshygeldi Kakaev from Turkmenistan, director of the state agency for management and use of hydrocarbon resources.  It’s great to have you with us, sir.  I think Turkmenistan is a country that’s being talked about more and more certainly in Washington, but I think around the entire region, given some of the exciting changes that are taking place in your country, and with of course the resource base you have, which is so dramatic and so large.  

Sitting next to him to his left is the minister of energy of Georgia, Alexander Khetaguri.  And it’s great to have you with us, sir.  You obviously have also engaged in some very interesting changes.  

Minister Videanu, sitting to my right.  

Sitting to my left is Minister – is it Traicho Traikov –


MR. KEMPE:  – the minister of economy, energy and tourism of Bulgaria.  He has the distinction – for those Romanians in the audience – of speaking Romanian fluently.  But he also has other rich background, which I’ll go into as I introduce.  

And then of course the gentleman who will be one of our hosts next year – and we’ve had a very interesting conversation with him this morning and I hope you’ll bring out some of these fascinating points we heard this morning, talking with Sen. Hagel – Metin Kilci, the deputy minister of energy and natural resources of the Republic of Turkey.  

So a wonderful panel, lots of geographic spread and lots of different interests in this area.  

I think I’d like to start with Minister Videanu.  Energy security is a word that can mean a lot of things to a lot of people.  It’s high on the agenda of all governments but means something different to each government.  And so I suppose my questions for you would be what does energy security mean to you?  And also, everyone has a hundred priorities.  Within this heading of energy security, when you wake up in the morning what are your top two priorities?  

ADRIEAN VIDEANU:  First of all, thank you very much, Fred, for your insightful remarks.  And first of all, let me express my deep satisfaction for being the host country for this inaugural edition of Black Sea Energy and Economic forum; as well as my appreciation for this wonderful organization and my full support for the new Eurasia Energy Center.  

I wanted to co-chair this distinguished event to welcome all of you – to be among some of the most – decision makers of the greater Black Sea region.  Such a critical region in the global energy security map.  

I believe that energy security has become an essential component in the strategic policy of all governments.  In this context continuously for best way to cap, we treat such as political manipulation of energy resources, and even geopolitical distribution of resources – political instability of some energy supply in countries, increase in energy price, increased oil competition for energy due to the development of the less developed countries.  

In my opinion, the top elements of energy security are:  reducing dependence of any source of imported energy.  This is means it’s important to diversify both supply and transit routes, increasing in the same time the number of suppliers, as I say, and also the transportation routes – diversification of electricity sources, greater investments in renewable energies.  The use of nuclear power and other solutions could be a solution for a security energy of all governments.  

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you, Mr. Videanu.  And I think that the – so we’ll put on the floor already this idea of how reducing dependence fits into energy security.  We talk about that a lot in the United States as well, where dependence is not just an economic need, but it’s also an interesting – it’s an interesting geopolitical factor as well.  

I’m going to turn to Mr. Kakaev next.  Aside from the same question, which is how do you view energy security – how would you define it and what are your first two priorities – what are you going to do with all that gas?  

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you very much.  I think you put a very important aspect on the table for us, and I hope we’ll come back to that in some of the discussion.  I think your president indeed gave a very important address at the United Nations and I think many took note of it, and I think the voice of your country is increasingly important on these issues.  So it’s wonderful to have you add your voice here.  

I’d like to turn to the minister of energy of Georgia, Alexander Khetaguri.  He has worked extensively with our Romanian host to develop various gas infrastructure projects such as an LNG terminal most recently a couple months ago, if I’m not mistaken.  

MR. KEMPE:  You’ve attended programs at the University of Florida and Portland in the United States, so you also know that side of the Atlantic pretty well.  And your first degree received was in computer systems and then energy management.  So Mr. Khetaguri, I turn to you for the same question.  Obviously, energy security looks somewhat different in Georgia than it does in Turkmenistan.  I wonder if you could tell us your different perspective and what your top two priorities would be.  How would you define energy security and what are your top priorities?  

MR. KHETAGURI:  The top priority for our country is the diversification, diversification, diversification of energy supply sources.  So the main is that we are, step by step, increasing our transit capacity.  And that of course, will help us to increase the energy flows from east to west.  And this will have his own (foot ?) into increasing the energy security of the country.  

Same in, let’s say, in electricity sector.  We are increasing the connections to our neighborhood countries, and we are starting the construction of the high-voltage transmission lines, which we help then the private sector to invest in the utilization of hydro and wind potential of Georgia, which is incredible high.  And let’s say at this stage, only 14 percent of our total hydro resources only utilized.  

So this is our main priorities:  the development of infrastructure; attracting more and more investment for the construction of power plants, like in hydro and wind; increasing the transit capacities; constructing and maintaining the gas main pipelines, especially from east to west; creating the legal environment for the investment, like in construction of LNG terminals.  

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you very much, sir.  And I think again we’ll come back to some of these questions that you’ve already laid on the table once we get through our first round of questions.  

Mr. Traikov – at any point, Mr. Videanu, you want to jump in.  

MR. VIDEANU:  May I, Frank, just a few words.  

I think in this chain, to have an energy security, it’s more or less the same importance for consumers, transit routes – transit countries and suppliers.  And I think it’s very important to have an important commitment to the Black Sea region – according the big energy projects, like Nabucco from our side and the other countries’ side.  It’s one of the most important projects.  But in the same time, to discuss about another projects like South Stream, like White Stream, like EGPI or others project.  I think from the political point of view, we’d be so interested to have discussions and to find solutions because from my point of view – will be impossible to manage all this big projects in this area.

MR. KEMPE:  Before I go to my left, I wonder if I could turn to my colleague from Turkmenistan again and also to my colleague from Georgia.  You have quite different – when one talks about diversification, diversification, diversification – or when one talks about regulating legally better – or when one talks about which project is most interesting, which project is not most interesting – very often we have to talk about absent parties.  One of the absent parties for this panel is the Russian government, which we expect very much to be part of this initiative over time and also present in Turkey.  

But how do you see – and it is the energy giant in the region.  Clearly, sir, you’re also an energy giant in the region.  And I wonder how you see your relationship with Russia developing and what projects are most interesting or least interesting in that respect.  And so let me turn to the two gentlemen to my right and then we’ll go – then we’ll go to the left and move the conversation.  But I wonder if you can briefly address that.  

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you very much.  Mr. Khetaguri, from the – your view on this?  

MR. KHETAGURI:  Relationship with giant – Russia.  In our case we have war with them last year, but at the same time we were exporting electricity.  We are transiting natural gas to our neighborhood country, Armenia.  And why we are – we have done it and why we are doing it?  Because we are not mixing the energy and economy with the politics.  So we are – we will – we are and we will fulfill all our contractual obligations and do not pay attention who is our contractual partner.  

But at the same time, another side is quite often mixing the politic with energy sector and economy.  I want to tell real story about our experience.  

In 2004, the gas price of the Gazprom was 65 U.S. dollars for the thousand cubic meter  for Georgia.  And Gazprom was only supplier.  Only 31 December of 2005 it was doubled, in just one day, to 110 (dollars).  Then in January 2006 there was some mysterious explosions of the pipelines.  And during 10 days Georgia was without any gas supply.  Thanks – our friends in Azerbaijan, which assist us through those days and begin the gas supply to our country.  

Then one year later, in 2007, the 31 of December, the gas price was doubled again, from 110 (dollars) to 235 (dollars).  So out of this we work a lot and we work hard and we make the diversification of our supply.  And now, in January of 2009, Georgia was only the state – only the state in Eastern Europe – practically who do not suffer with the gas crisis – so-called gas crisis because we had the good partner – Azerbaijan – and we have increased the diversification of supply.  

So year by year, if Europe and – the customers in Europe will not make diversification, year by year, the situation – I’m almost 100-percent sure there will be worse and worse.  And without no doubt, the January gas crisis in January of this year, this is the beginning of a new Russian story.  

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you very much.  Mr. Traikov, let me give the audience a little bit of a background because I think you’re very much a businessman as well as now a policy maker.  But in the mid-’90s you helped privatize Electrica Oltenia and Electrica Moldova by the Romania Electricity Distribution holding company.  In Bulgaria you were a senior manager of EVN, an electricity distribution company.  So you know security and – energy security both from the private sector and public sector.  What is your view in Bulgaria?  What are your top two priorities?  And have you heard anything so far from your other panelists where you want to say, no, you’re wrong, it’s really this way?  

MR. TRAIKOV:  Thank you, Mr. Chair, Mr. Co-chair, ministers, dear guests. (In foreign language.)

Well, traditionally in Bulgaria there have been two things defining energy security.  And those have been generate as much electricity as we can – enrich our relationship with the main source of primary energy, which was Russia.  For some years we have been looking for solutions beyond these two obvious ones, and these have been diversification and increasing energy efficiency.  

Bulgaria is a highly dependent country for its energy sources; over 70 percent.  The main primary energy source that we have in the country is lignite.  And these apparently pose some questions related to the new global agenda of cutting greenhouse gas emissions.  So with a diversification, the greatest potential lies in the natural gas field.  And therefore, we have taken a very active role in the two major international projects, both Nabucco and South Stream.  The first one solves both of the issues we have with natural gas supply.  These are diversification both of source and transit routes.  And the second one solves at least the transit route issue.  

Nevertheless, overall we have extremely large potential in improving energy efficiency.  We have set ourselves a target which is more ambitious than the average European, which is improve energy efficiency until 2020.  

In the last few years, we have undertaken measures which have shown us that for 230 million euros invested in energy efficiency measures, we have economized the equivalent of what we would have got from building a new 440-megawatt capacity, which clearly shows the economic sense of following this route.  

Otherwise, coming back to natural gas, in an ideal world there would be a clear set of rules for supply countries, transit countries and consumers alike; in which case there would be a very easy answer to your question to Minister Kakaev – what they would have done with all this gas.  It would have been sell it to whomever pays the right price.  

MR. KEMPE:  Mr. Kakaev, we may come back to you on that question, is it really so simple?  But thank you so much for your intervention, which I think gives us another point of view.  

I want to turn to Metin Kilci.  Mr. Kilci, first of all, we’re looking very much forward to coming to Istanbul next year and working with you to prepare what I think will be a very interesting follow-up on this year.  You also have some real knowledge of the business side of things as well as the policy side of things; previously general manager of the privatization administration.  And apparently, I think, you were responsible for privatizing billions of dollars worth of private companies, if I’m not mistaken.  

I wonder if you could give us your view of energy security, top two priorities – same question as the others.  But really give us a feeling of how Turkey views itself right now.  There’s a lot of discussion how Turkey views itself in this energy world where you’re so geographically – you have this fascinating geographical position with the Middle East, with Central Asia, with Europe, and of course, in the Black Sea region.  

MR. KEMPE:  Okay.  Thank you very much.  I’m going to turn to the audience for questions at this point.  I see one already, so let me turn to you first.  And if you could identify yourself clearly and to whom you would like to address your question.  

Q:  Good morning.  My name is Dan Annan.  I’m coming from Ernst & Young, Switzerland.  My question is simple and is addressed to energy leaders and government leaders that we have tonight.  This forum – Black Sea Energy and Economic Forum – I participate since – two days now.  And I have the feeling that we are talking about gas and oil, although we should talk about energy.  

My question is, when you’re talking about diversification, you think about from whom I will buy the gas and the oil or how I will transport it, and not your – not thinking about the unconventionable (sic) sources of energy.  I didn’t hear about solar energy or wind energy.  I have the feeling that everything is concentrate on oil and gas resources.  
My question is for the leaders, do you think that there will be, in the next 50 years, an interest for this unconventional resources, and for the governments, what they want to do on that – from that point of view?  Will they encourage this unconventional resources?  Thank you.  

MR. KEMPE:  I think you’ve just heard that everyone thinks it’s a good question.  The Atlantic Council did a report – “Global Trends 2025” – or worked on a report that the National Intelligence Council produced.  And looking into the future, people always look at key certainties and key uncertainties.  And the key certainty was that fossil fuels would still play a huge role.  The key uncertainty is how quickly alternatives would develop to replace that.  And then, would that be quick enough, considering the dangers of climate change?  And the National Intelligence Council clearly saw this as one of the great uncertainties.      

I’d like to turn to the gentlemen on the panel.  If you could look at alternatives and how this is going to affect your energy mix and how crucial you see this to each of your situations – particularly as some are suppliers here, some are consumers, and I’d like to get the difference of view.  I know Mr. Kilci, you and I were talking this morning about nuclear, among other things.  But what role do alternative energy supplies play for you?  And then I’ll look around to see which of the others of you would like to deal with that as well, maybe after Mr. Kilci.  Mr. Videanu can deal with this as well.  Please.  

MR. KEMPE:  Mr. Videanu.  

MR. VIDEANU:  Yes.  I say before, in my opinion, the top elements for energy security are reducing dependency of any one source of imported energy; increasing the number of suppliers and transportation routes; a very tough policy for energy efficiency; and the last but the not the least – diversification of electricity sources.  

I want to mention here the Romanian government support a lot the greater investments in renewables – in renewable energy, and I want to give you some information.  Today we have requests from the private sector of around 18,000 megawatts in wind energy.  And I believe in the next 10 years the renewables will be a very important – will play a very important role in all Romanian energy – electricity production.  

MR. KEMPE:  And let me just turn to Mr. Trakov, particularly, as you talked about lignite, and certainly answer renewables and otherwise.  But because of the amount of coal that you use – lignite – which is a huge issue, obviously, for many countries, do you expect some breakthroughs in liquefaction, clean coal, et cetera, and what are you doing in that area?  But also, obviously in nuclear, Bulgaria’s also quite an interesting country.  

MR. TRAIKOV:  Mr. Chair, it’s a very fair question, and I’m sure no one underestimates this question.  Indeed, they have been on the forefront of every international discussion of energy source.  
Straight to your question about lignite.  Yes, we very much hope that the CCS technology evolves fast enough at economically sensible price.  And we are actually planning to have a new capacity in the lignite field – Maritza-Iztok in Bulgaria – that we have.  And it will very likely take some time until the technology comes full speed in the market.  

Otherwise, in renewables we also have very ambitious targets.  Currently around 10 percent of the final consumption in Bulgaria comes from renewable energy sources.  Our target in 2020 is 16 percent, and we have taken a broad range of measures to encourage that.  Like Minister Videanu said, we also, in Bulgaria, we have applications for around 7,500 megawatts of wind capacity, which proportionately to the size of the country, I think is roughly around the same as Romania.  

We have also discussed the potential for further exploring the hydro capacity of the Danube.  We are encouraging solar as well in Bulgaria.  So the whole range gets the right attention.  

MR. KEMPE:  Because – this is a good question, and I’ve heard in the hallways also that we should have gone more deeply in the renewable area, which I can promise you in Eurasia Energy Center in Washington we do, and we will next time.  But because this is so important, let me see if the other two gentlemen want to give a brief comment.  I do want to get to other questions from the audience.  

You’ve already spoken about hydroelectric capacity in Georgia.  Is there anything you’d like to add to this in your goals for renewables, Mr. Kakaev?  I don’t know whether Turkmenistan, with all its rich resources, whether you’re also looking at renewables or whether that’s not really something that is high-priority for Turkmenistan.  Mr. Khetaguri?  

MR. KHETAGURI:  Quite a good question.  But on the same time, there is – I think that there is no comment and there is no place around the world under whose priorities is not the development of the renewables and alternative energy sources.  

But – there is one simple “but.”  This long perspective, and it’s – it will – difficult to replace all the energy consumption based on the renewables.  So in all countries’ priorities, there is development of renewables, but it’s a long perspective.  And the people is freezing now.  And we will not speak about the diversification of oil and gas supplies now, nobody will be left for the future, when the level of the renewables will be almost 100 percent.  

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you.  Mr. Kakaev, do renewables play a role in your national policy?  

MR. KAKAEV:  (In foreign language.)

MR. KEMPE:  Very interesting point – 270 days a year of sun.  Interesting.  

There’s a question in the back, please, here, and then front, and then I’ll come back to you.  

Q:  Hi.  Jennifer Coolidge, Caspian and Gulf Consultants.  My questions is for Director Kakaev.  We all know that Turkenistan has enormous hydrocarbon resources, and just yesterday Reuters reported the following – and I quote, this is President Berdymukhamedow.  He said, “Azerbaijan is our good neighbor.  We have always been and will remain brothers.  We will continue diplomatic dialogue on this issue which may lead to a compromise.”  That statement was about the delimitation issue of the Serdar, Kyapaz and Azeri-Chirag-Gunashliarah fields, which are disputed between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.      

And I think in that light of such a recent statement, I wanted to get any view you may have on how this situation could proceed forward, whether we could see some sort of compromise outside of an arbitration court or whether that compromise might come in an arbitration court – and any timeframe you may have for that.  Thank you.  

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you for your good question.

MR. KAKAEV:  (In foreign language.)

MR. KEMPE:  Please.  
Q:  Thank you.  Ron Freeman, Troika Dialog, Moscow.  Question first for our respected guest from Turkey, but really for all panel members – concerns the Nabucco and South Stream pipelines.  Do you believe either will get built?  If so, which one, or both?  Any why?  Thank you.  

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you for putting such a complicated question in such easy terms.  I think we heard from Dinu Patriciu last night that there’s the danger of one pipeline being financially viable but having no gas, and the other having gas but not being financially viable.  So we can also put it in those terms, please.  Mr. Kilci, what do you think of Mr. Freeman’s question?  

MR. KILCI:  (In foreign language.)

MR. KEMPE:  Does anyone else on the panel want to deal with this question; the South Stream and Nabucco – either, neither?  

MR. VIDEANU:  Just a few words about Nabucco.  From Romania point of view, Nabucco will be a very feasible and viable project.  This inter-governmental agreement, signed in Ankara – it’s a political sign to support this project.  And Romania believe 100 percent in this project.  

MR. KHETAGURI:  Nabucco is diversification of the supply sources.  And South Stream is only the technical diversification of the pipeline – one more pipeline to Europe.  So better will be to negotiate with Russia to – for the (third-party basis ?) then to construct one more pipeline which will not make any value-added at all.  

MR. KEMPE:  This sounds like a pro-Nabucco panel.  Yes?  

MR. TRAIKOV:  Well, the data that we’ve seen shows that where the gas comes from there is enough for both, subject to other issues.  And as far as South Stream is concerned, we are in the stage of preparing for a pre-feasibility study, based on which, the countries – our country and Russia – will decide how they proceed on this project further.  But we do believe that there is place – economic feasibility in the region behind both projects.  

MR. KEMPE:  Mr. Kakaev, is there enough gas for both?  And let me lay on another question.  You mentioned China in your initial remarks.  What role does the rising demand from China play in your calculations about what to do with your gas?  

MR. KAKAEV:  (In foreign language.)

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you very much, sir.  Please.  If you could wait for a microphone.  

Q:  Mr. Chairman, diversification of those supply is the key for security of the supply.  But same time, diversification of the route is the – for security of the supply.  Because of this explanation, if you look at that South Stream and Nabucco, one is for security of the route, one is for security of the supply for the same reason.  I believe in – that these two is not competing with each other.  And if you look at from Russia, if we should remember that in January a big crisis that – in the Bulgaria, Turkey and most of European countries because of the crisis in Ukrainia (sic) – and that was big trouble.  And so that’s why this is one of the alternative solutions to security of supply for Europe is important to security of the routes, you know.  So one of the alternatives is the South Stream.  

So that’s why – what is the position of the Turkish government for – I know this is outsides – they are not part of this project.  But still is – I believe is important – is related to Turkish government.  What is the position of the Turkish government for South Stream?  They are against it or they are supporting it or they are not have any opinions?  

MR. KEMPE:  Mr. Kilci, a very, very simple question.  

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you, Mr. Kilci.  And I’m sorry.  I saw this gentleman next, and then you after that, please.  And if you could identify yourself and whom you want to pose a question.  

Q: I have one question for the – Minister Videanu and the Bulgarian minister of economy.  The European Union has quite recently decided to create an agency for cooperation of energy regulators.  This is not only a ordinary new European institution.  This will be more than an ordinary institution – a kind of symbol of free markets, of market-oriented behavior, of the need to have market rules in the energy field.  There are three lovely European cities bidding for hosting this institution, one of them being located in the Black Sea area.  And this is Bucharest.  The other two – one is Bratislava, the other one is Ljubljana.  

Now, the question for the Bulgarian minister.  Does the Bulgarian government want to have this new European institution just near the Bulgarian border in the Black Sea region, or do you prefer to have it in another part of Europe?  And for the Minister Videanu – Minister, it’s a tough and friendly competition.  Are you optimistic that you can win this competition?  

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you for that very good question.  Mr. Traikov?  

MR. TRAIKOV:  Well, thank you, too.  Whatever the outcome, it will be – it will be a city which is culturally and economically linked to the Black Sea area.  I think, as you very well know, the process has gone some steps into – towards the final solution and we think the outcome will be one that will make all of us happy with that.  

MR. KEMPE:  You are a very good diplomat.  (Laughter.)

MR. VIDEANU:  And personally, I feel optimist.  I hope at the end of the day this agency will be hosted in Bucharest.  Thank you.  

MR. KEMPE:  Does anyone in the audience want to place on a bet on this?  Please let me know.  But I see John Roberts there, and I’m still looking for other questions as well after that.  

Q:  Thank you.  A question, if I may, to Mr. Kakaev.  What do European companies and European governments and institutions like the European Union have to do in order to develop gas exports to Europe?  

MR. KAKAEV:  (In foreign language.)

MR. KEMPE:  But specifically, what do you think the European governments need to do?  Are they not doing what they need to do in relation to you, or do they need to do something?  I think that was the question.  

MR. KAKAEV:  (In foreign language.)

MR. KEMPE:  Yes.  I understand.  Thank you for your clear answer, Mr. Kakaev.  Your – the question was asked.  Here, please.  Sir.  

Q:  Justin Berg from the U.S. Embassy.  One of the buzz words that I’ve heard a couple of times – and the Turkish vice minister mentioned it again – is interdependence.  And when I think of interdependence, I think country A has tires and country B makes cars, and they sell the cars to one another.  How, when the relationship is gas and dollars, do you foster interdependence between producers and suppliers?  

MR. KEMPE:  And I think there’s an interesting question behind that.  It’s very different with oil than it is with gas, because with gas the consumer has, perhaps, a little bit more leverage than the supplier, simply because there’s just so many pipelines you can build; and once you’ve got a consumer in place, I think that also is a little bit behind that as well.  Who would like to deal with this question of the relationship between the supplier and the consumer?  Mr. Kilci, and then maybe Mr. Kakaev on this as well, how you view this relationship.  
MR. KILCI:  (In foreign language.)

MR. KEMPE:  Yeah.  Yeah.  Mr. Kakaev, this question of diversification s interesting, that’s been up here so much, because I think Justin’s question is a good one, where – we’re not really so much interested in diversification.  What’s behind diversification is reliability of supply.  And so how do you see the relationship between supplier and consumer in terms of gas, and how does that differ in your mind in terms of – in terms of oil?  

MR. KAKAEV:  (In foreign language.)

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you very much.  Please.  Right here first, then – yeah.  

Q:  I have a simple question – or maybe not, for the minister from Bulgaria.  Will the Burgas-Alexandropoulos oil bypass pipeline get built?  

MR. KEMPE:  Say that again.  

Q:  The Burgas-Alexandropoulos oil bypass pipeline; will that get built?  Will that make progress?  

MR. KEMPE:  And let me park that because I’m going to take two last questions on top of that as well, please.  

Q:  Now, we have heard a lot about pipeline projects and LNG infrastructure projects in the last two days.  And in that context, the Balkan region has been pictured as sort of a Klondike for energy investments project, recently.  Well, I’m just wondering whether there is enough market for all their projects to be realized.  And if the market is limited in that sense, are the companies and the countries gambling in investing so much resources in projects?  Because at some point, whichever project happens first maybe is going to be successful, while the rest of them not.  Thank you.  

MR. KEMPE:  And I’ll turn to Mr. Kilci maybe for that.  But we’ll park that as well and we’ll take one more question.  Here.  I hope I caught everyone.  If I didn’t, I do apologize.  

Q:  Hi.  Jennifer Coolidge again.  Director Kakaev, thank you for such a clear answer on the pipeline question, that pipelines must be built to the Turkmen border.  My question is in light of international oil companies’ need to book reserves, if they will be able to build, along with the EU or other governments, a pipeline to the border, will there be an opportunity for contracts onshore with bookable reserves?  I think this is – it’s obviously the way that European and Western companies work differently, potentially, in comparison with Chinese companies, that there are these trade-offs that may be necessary.  And I just wonder if this may be possible.  Thank you.  

MR. KEMPE:  So in the shortness of time, I’ll turn to the three gentlemen to whom these questions have been posed for quick answers, and then to Mr. Videanu for a final reflection.  Please, the question of the Bulgarian project.  

MR. TRAIKOV:  Burgas-Alexandropoulos is well advanced in terms of feasibility study.  Of course, construction has not started.  There are issues to be solved in a way which is favorable to the Bulgarian areas concerned.  But for the time being it is not likely that we pull out of this project.  

MR. KEMPE:  You have a lot of business experience.  You see all these flurry of projects all over the place.  You’ve heard the question:  can they all be economically feasible?  Will many of them drop by the wayside, or will some of them drop by the wayside?  

MR. KILCI:  (In foreign language.)

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you.  Mr. Kakaev.  

MR. KAKAEV:  (In foreign language.)

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you.  I don’t know – Mr. Khetaguri, do you have any 30-second comment or one-minute comment on this question of can so many projects flourish, or do you think it’s really going to come down to one or two?  

MR. KHETAGURI:  I think in any case, that maybe there are a lot of projects, but the consumer should choose only those one which is increasing all of the sources of supply.  

MR. KEMPE:  Thank you very much.  Let me turn to Mr. Videanu to give a final reflection and comment.  We’ll have a chance to thank you later on today.  But let me just thank you initially for bringing together and helping us bring together this meeting.  

MR. VIDEANU:  Thank you very much, Fred.  Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.  

I hope this format was helpful and constructive, too, for achieving a deeper understanding of one another’s views on essential issues that we all confront.  Such as open debate can only further assist all of us in achieving a common goal, that of aligning our strategic priorities.

Thank you very much, again, all of you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

Transcript by Federal News Service, Washington, D.C.

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