Latviski English По-русски
Sunday 18.03.2018 | Name days: Ilona, Adelīna

Oil deposit exploration in Latvia's waters; project managed by people close to Lembergs

(No Ratings Yet)

The company responsible for oil deposits surveying in the Baltic Sea in Latvia’s economic zone near Liepaja – Balin Energy with its Ocean Nomad drilling platform has reached 525 m depth below sea level.

The planned depth of the oil well is 1 500 m below sea level. It is expected that works will continue until the second half of June, Balin Energy reports.

The drilling is being carried out where the sea depth is 132 m.

Following an in depth evaluation of results – Q3 of 2013 – Balin Energy plans to announce the results of the survey. The average success rate in locating oil deposits is approximately 25%, and a detailed evaluation of the site chosen by Balin Energy will yield results whether the site is commercially viable.

The Representatives of Balin Energy have previously noted that “the company could invest up to $1.6 billion in a survey and production in the next five years. The recently initiated drilling stage of the project offers hope that the initiative will allow us to come close to our goals”.

The works in the sea are being monitored by Latvian institutions: Latvian Economy Ministry, Foreign Ministry and the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry.

It should be added that the representative of Balin Energy is non other than Aivars Lembergs’ son-in-law Janis Austrins. Even though Lembergs has publicly stated that his son, daughter and son-in-law are not considered his family members, fact show the opposite. The politician provided help for his relatives’ businesses many times in the past. Example, during last year’s Ventspils Board meeting on November 14, a decision was made to authorize the 717 588 LVL worth contract with Baltimar VT for the supply of diesel fuel to the ships of the free port. Lembergs also participated in the vote on this matter, even though two of his family members are among the managing Board of the firm – son Anrijs Lembergs and son-in-law Janis Austrins. Information available on the website of the Procurement Monitoring Bureau states that Baltimar had received rights to supply diesel fuel to a municipal company – Ventspils Labiekārtošanas kombināts. It should be added that Lembergs’ response to this matter was rather short – he “didn’t know anything”.

Also, Chairman of PBK – another company associated with the project – is Martins Bondars, Ojars Kehris is a Board member there.

The fact that Bondars is on Lembergs’ side could be shown by his wish to take over Reform Party (RP) from its leader – ex-president Valdis Zatlers. He announced this request when the party was considering him to be its candidate for the post of Mayor of Riga. Bondars had requested to exclusive rights to “made radical steps aimed at ministers, the faction and Board” without having to consult with the party’s board or Saeima faction. Bondars was also highly critical of the actions of the party’s Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Edmunds Sprudzs. Specifically Sprudzs, who turned against now the dismissed Mayor of Ventspils Aivars Lembergs.

Kehris, on the other hand, is one of the people who are suspected of being involved in illegal transactions in regard to Ventspils nafta‘s privatization. The largest shadow of suspicion of bribery in regard to VN’s privatization falls on none other than Lembergs himself. Suspicion of accepting bribes falls on to then the government forming party TB/LNNK, Latvijas ceļš and the Democratic Party‘s leading politicians or other related persons, including Kehris.


Leave a reply

Week in Lithuania. Some 5,000 gather in protest rally outside Lithuania's Parliament

Some 5,000 people gathered outside the Lithuanian parliament in Vilnius on Thursday, March 15, to express discontent with the failed parliamentary vote to impeach MP Mindaugas Bastys and the performance of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union.

BNN summary of the week: oligarch talks’ ownership; scandals in Lithuania; Estonia wants direct democracy

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Progress; Scandals; Invitation; Fight; Opinion; Decline.

Remembrance day of Latvian Legionnaires passes with shouts and two arrests

The Legionnaires’ remembrance procession in Riga on Friday, 16 March, passed peacefully. Nevertheless, several conflicts did take place among differently-minded people near the Freedom Monument. Two individuals were arrested by police.

Influenza intensity in Latvia – moderate when compared to other European nations

A comparison of influenza activity in Europe shows that it is high or very high in several countries. Latvia’s influenza intensity is considered moderate, as noted by epidemiologist Raina Nikiforova.

Hourly labour costs in Latvia grew 7.3% in 2017

Compared to Q4 2016, in Q4 2017 hourly labour costs rose by 54 cents or 7.3 %, reaching EUR 8.02. Seasonally adjusted data show identical changes – rise of 7.3 %.

Rietumu Banka claims it has not worked with high-risk clients for years

Rietumu Banka has been steadily rejecting high-risk clients for years and has significantly reduced the volume of transactions, as mentioned by the bank’s representatives.

Lithuanian and Estonian businessmen are ahead of Latvia in terms of investments

In Latvia, 36% of small and medium-sized companies have plans to invest in the development of their business this year. In Estonia and Lithuania, on the other hand, the proportion of businesses with development plans is 42% and 46%, respectively, according to results of a recent study performed by SEB Bank.

Russia pledges maximum pressure on UK amid ex-spy poisoning row

Russian top diplomat in the UK has envisaged on Friday, March 16, that the Kremlin would use maximum pressure on London as Moscow insists it has not been involved in the poisoning of a former Russian-British double agent with a Russian-made chemical weapon, as has been found by British investigators.

Latvia’s ministry: Crimea’s annexation is illegal

18 March 2018 will mark four years since the Russian Federation violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by annexing the Crimean Peninsula and causing military aggression in the country’s eastern region. With its actions the Russian Federation has violated international law and basic principles of international relation, says Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Building gas pipe to Finland, Estonia to organise works for EUR 135 million

Continuing the works on the Balticconnector gas pipeline between Estonia and Finland, the Estonian natural gas network company Elering has stated that around 135 million euros, including a 98-million-euro funding from the European Union, will be invested in the project.

Replacement of cash registers rejected by SRS would cost half a million euros

The State Revenue Service has declined 18,000 cash registers as unfitting for requirements established by the Cabinet of Ministers. Fixing the problems found in them would cost half a million euros, as reported by LNT News.

Latvian Anti-Nazi Committee presented with protest restrictions on 16 March

Administrative District Court has compiled a shortened ruling, in which it rejected Latvian Anti-Nazi Committee’s application and preserved the decision imposed by Riga City acting CEO on 13 March 2018 on establishing restrictions on the planned gathering and protest act for 16 March unchanged.

U.S. introduces Russian sanctions for election meddling and cyber-attacks

Washington has introduced sanctions against 19 Russian individuals and five entities blaming them for attempts to sway the 2016 U.S. election and perceived cyber-attacks.

Slovakian PM Fico replaced with fellow party member

Slovakian head of government Robert Fico has stepped down after the murder of a journalist shed light on corruption in Slovakia, prompting nationwide protests. The long-standing Prime Minister had offered to resign earlier this week if the ruling coalition was allowed to finish its term.

Weekends will be cold and sunny in Latvia; next week will have volatile weather

Starting with Sunday, 18 March, air temperature in Latvia will rise above zero in most of the country, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Lithuania’s ruling LFGU party remains unscathed by scandals

It seems that, for now, Lithuania‘s ruling Farmers and Green Union has been nearly damage-proof despite the lambasting.

Latvian Civic Alliance: non-government sector should aim towards cooperation

Latvian Civic Alliance has invited the management of Latvia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry to meet to discuss ongoing cooperation between organizations representing the business sector and the NGO sector.

Saeima rejects National Alliance’s proposal to make 16 March an official remembrance day

Latvia’s Saeima has decided to reject the proposal submitted by the National Alliance on making 16 March an official remembrance day.

43.6% of Latvian households have difficulties with making ends meet

In 2017 the share of households admitting that pay for usual necessary expenses with difficulty or great difficulty constituted 43.6 %, which is 1.5 percentage points more than in 2016.

Saeima voices support for Rail Baltica project’s progression

On Thursday, 15 March, the Saeima made a decision to support Rail Baltica project’s progression. In its decision, the parliament invited Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers to provide all the necessary support for the project’s successful realization to ensure the project is realized in accordance with established terms and does not lose funding or support from the European Union, as reported by Saeima’s press-service.

Fast snow shovelling linked to cardiac fatalities, Finnish study finds

In Finish doctoral study, it has been concluded that snow should be shovelled calmly, not provoking stress and increased adrenaline in human blood that could lead to cardiac arrest.

Riga’s mayor spent at least eight million euros of residents’ money to promote himself

Over the course of the past three years, at least EUR 8 million of residents’ money has been used to promote the image of the Mayor of Riga Nils Ušakovs. This money was used to buy media, employ young members of Harmony, and finance ‘in-house protestors’ and using social networks, as estimated by Re:Baltica research journalism center.

Slovenia's head of government resigns amid protests and struggling railway investment

The Slovenian head of government Miro Cerar has stepped down from office in reaction to troubles with an expensive railway project and mounting opposition by trade unions.

NAF Commander: Latvia and Estonia have joint military procurements planned

Latvia and Estonia have joint military procurements planned, Commander of Latvia’s National Armed Forces Leonīds Kalniņš told journalists after his meeting with Commander of Estonia’s Defence Forces Riho Terras.

Estonia's switch to free higher education proved right choice, says Ratas

The switch to free higher education made by Estonia in 2013 has proved to be the right choice for a small country, even though critics have pointed to potentially less motivated students, has stated the Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas.

Newest comments