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European Gas Conference Awards finalists announced Finalists ?honoured? to make the make the short list for top honours in Vienna
DMN Newswire--2013-1-17--BP?s Vice President for Shah Deniz, Al Cook, Gasunie?s CEO Paul van Gelder and Trans Adriatic Pipeline?s Managing Director Kjetil Tungland are the finalists for the coveted Executive of the Year Award at the European Gas Conference taking place in Vienna from 29 January.  More than 300 industry leaders will gather for the leading, annual European gas event as the industry faces significant developments.

?I am very honoured?, was Al Cook?s response to making the shortlist.  The BP Vice President for Shah Deniz has led the development of what is one of the largest gas projects in the world and the cornerstone of the Southern Corridor, integrating this vast undertaking from the reservoirs deep beneath the Caspian Sea to gas sales in the heart of Europe.  

Shah Deniz: 2012 a key year
Al Cook explains:  ?In April 2012, following three years of commercial negotiations, political agreements, drilling wells and conducting technical studies, the owners of Shah Deniz took a historic decision: to move the project into Front End Engineering Design (FEED) phase and to commit to a multi-billion dollar investment programme. This decision accompanies resolutions to progress 4000 km of pipelines through more than six countries. It also follows agreements signed for Shah Deniz in Turkey to allow the sale and transportation of 16 bcma of gas: the TANAP project was designed and Intergovernmental Agreements were signed.?  

He continues:  ?in Europe, both the Trans Adriatic Pipeline and Nabucco West Pipeline were selected as options to complete the Southern Corridor, and host governments signed agreements to support their development. Following this, technical cooperation and Shah Deniz equity agreements were announced for both the TAP and the Nabucco projects. All these steps are vital to building a successful, sustainable and secure Southern Corridor and providing European consumers with a new source of energy, heat and light. When first gas production starts in 2018, people will look back at 2012 as a key year in the development of this $40bn project.?

Gasunie?s Paul van Gelder
"This nomination is a great honour for Gasunie?, says the second nominee for the Executive of the Year Award, Gasunie?s CEO Paul van Gelder.  ?I took up the role of CEO of Gasunie in September 2010 and since then I have focussed on cross-border initiatives and the importance of natural gas in the sustainable energy mix of the future. Achieving my aims would be impossible without a modern internal organisation and a highly qualified management team.?
He continues:  ?2012 was a good year for Gasunie. Our network functions as the gas roundabout for our surrounding countries and ensured a highly reliable gas supply through the bitterly cold winter period in February. Our gas hub, the TTF, is the most liquid on the continent. The second Nord Stream pipeline came on-stream in October and we launched the European capacity platform Prisma with other TSOs in November."
Both Al Cook and Paul van Gelder are headline speakers at the European Gas Conference in Vienna later this month.  

Project of the year
BP?s Shah Deniz Development also made the shortlist in the Project of the Year award category.

The Austrian Regulator E-Control is another finalist in this category for developing a new market model to achieve efficient system access as well as harmonised rules for all market participants.   Mr. Walter Boltz, Managing Director of E-Control, who is also a speaker at the conference, says "it's a major honour for E-Control to be shortlisted for the European Gas Conference Awards.  The new regulatory framework set by E-Control and all efforts by the gas industry to create a liquid gas market under the new Austrian market model which was successfully implemented on 1 January 2013 would be awarded with this prize."  

Other projects shortlisted for this award category are:

-  OMV Petrom SA Power:  for Combined Cycle Power Plant Brazi in Romania: The plant commenced commercial operations on 1 August 2012 and has a capacity of 860 MW to supply up to 8-8% of Romania?s electricity demand ? that?s the equivalent to the electricity consumption of Bucharest.  The plant?s efficiency is twice higher than the sector average while CO2 emissions are significantly lower and below European average.

-  E.ON Gas Storage GmbH:  for facility in Friedeburg near the German North Sea coast.  Dr. Peter Klingenberger, Chairman of the Board of Management of E.ON Gas Storage emphasized in a statement: ?Thanks to state-of-the-art technology, Etzel meets the highest safety standards and offers our customers enhanced flexibility. With a storage capacity of some two billion cubic metres of working gas and an investment of over one billion euros, Etzel is one of the world's largest cavern storage facilities. Key to the successful realisation of the Project was setting up an integrated E.ON-Owners-Engineering-Team that was coordinating more than 250 vendors throughout the erection period achieving delivery on time and well under budget. Therefore we are delighted and feel very honoured for being nominated in the Project of the Year category."

-  Dunkerque LNG:  a new major import facility which contributed to a real integration of the north-western European market.   In response to the nomination, Dunkerque LNG says: ?we are very honored to be nominated in the category of the Project of the Year. This nomination highlights the contribution of what will be the largest LNG facility in continental Europe to the European security of supply and underlines the major step towards to a real integration of the French and Belgian gas markets.?

Outstanding contribution to the European Gas Industry
The finalists for the award for Outstanding Contribution to the European Gas Industry are as follows:
-  Gas Naturally - for its outstanding contribution for promoting the important role of natural gas as a safe, secure and reliable energy source, bringing together seven organizations within the gas industry:   EUROGAS, European Gas Research Group (GERG), Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE), International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP), International Gas Union (IGU), International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers (GIIGNL) and Marcogaz.

-  Dr Jonathan Stern, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.  Dr Stern was nominated for being a neutral analyst, who takes into account all options and considerations, when analysing current energy topics, in Europe and in an international context. Additionally, he constantly contributes with his fruitful statements to discussions at energy events.

- At the end of 2011, the Danish agreement launched an energy policy to make the Danish energy supply fully fossil free by 2050. Gas supply was set to stop around 2040.  Instead of arguing about the policy, has gone proactively into the challenge and explained that gas can become renewable and that gas and the gas system is even more critical in a more renewable and electricity based energy system

-  Institute For Energy And Finance (IEF): The main focus of the institute is researching the current state and development of the global energy sector, with special emphasis on the Russian and European gas markets.   In a statement the IEF said: ?we believe that our participation from the Russian Side in the GAC has contributed, and can continue to contribute, significantly to the prevention of those risks.?

Event dates and location:
Day 1:  29 January 2013:  LNG Focus Day
Day 2-3:  30-31 January 2013:  Conference days
Day 4:  1 February 2013:  Post-conference master class
Location:  Vienna, Austria

Event website:  

For more information, interviews and media accreditation:
Communications manager:  Annemarie Roodbol
Tel.  +27 21 700 3558      
Fax.  +27 21 700 3501   
Mobile: +27 82 562 7844
Email:  [email protected]

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Keywords:European Gas Conference, Vienna, Austria, OMV, oil & gas industry, BP's Al Cook, Shah Deniz, Gasunie Paul van GElder, Awards, Executive of the Year award
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