Oil, Gas & Petroleum

Russia to Attract More Foreign Investment

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Sept. 20 – Foreign investors are optimistic about Russia’s future attractiveness, according to Ernst & Young’s first Russia Attractiveness Survey published on the company’s web site.

A total of 75 percent of international business leaders interviewed by Ernst & Young said Russia had an attractive domestic market, with about one-third of them calling it “very attractive,” the consulting company said in the survey. Continue reading…

Oil Tax Reforms to Be Set in Weeks

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Sept. 19 – Oil tax reforms should be set shortly, a senior Exxon executive told reporters last Friday.

Russia’s top oil producer Rosneft signed a major deal with ExxonMobil last month to drill for oil and gas in the Russian Arctic without a clear tax regime for the potentially capital-intensive project.

The initial commitment was US$3.2 billion, but the costs could run into double digit billions. Russian oil companies pay some of the world’s highest taxes on their mature onshore production, but breaks are granted for new fields or difficult conditions. Continue reading…

Russia Wants to Boost Trade with Korean Peninsula

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Aug. 16 – In a message to North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said his country is willing to step up cooperation with both Koreas including a trilateral project in gas, energy and railway construction, North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency reported Monday.

“[The project] will contribute to stabilizing the situation in Northeast Asia and denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula,” KCNA quoted him as saying. Continue reading…

Lithuania to Break Gazprom Control Over its Energy Market

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Jul. 15 – Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite has signed a new law that will break the Gazprom gas monopoly’s control over supplies and distribution in the Baltic state.

In doing so, Lithuania has become the first European Union country to begin implementing new regulations seen as a major test of the EU’s determination to slow the Russian company’s advance into Europe.

According to the law, Russian energy group Gazprom, which bought a 37.1 percent stake in Lithuania’s gas utility Lietuvos Dujos in 2004, will have to give up its ownership of the country’s pipelines within the next two coming years. Continue reading…

Russia and China to Create Green Energy Joint Venture

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Jun. 23 – Inter RAO Unified Energy Systems and China’s National Bio Energy Co. agreed to create the Green Energy Corporation joint venture by the end of 2011 to overhaul inefficient power plants that run on coal and fuel oil to include the use of biomass, according to the Russian state-run corporation’s web site.

Green Energy’s activities will include building power plants that run on various types of biomass to generate thermal and electric energy, as well as biogas, reconstructing coal and oil-burning power plants with low indicators of energy and resource efficiency to integrate energy saving technologies and technologies of biomass-based fuel blends, creating plants to make briquette fuel pellets of peat, waste wood and other types of biomass. Continue reading…

Russia’s Economy Ministry Forecasts Economic Growth to Slow Down

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Jun. 3 – Russian economic growth may slow more than previously forecast next year as oil prices stagnate and the government uses its energy revenue this year to rebuild the nation’s sovereign wealth funds, the Economy Ministry said.

The ministry revised down its growth forecast to 3.5 percent in 2012 from the previous estimate for a 3.9 percent increase, Deputy Economy Minister Andrei Klepach told reporters in Moscow.

“Practically all of the increased revenue from higher oil prices is going to the Reserve Fund and the National Wellbeing Fund instead of toward boosting expenditures,” Klepach said. Continue reading…

Indian Businesses to Enter Russia’s Oil Market

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Jun. 1 – Indian ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd, is in talks with four other state-run oil firms to acquire 25 percent equity in an entity that is proposed to be formed with Russian oil-to-telecom conglomerate AFK Sistema, The Times of India reports.

Sistema owns a large stake in Russian production and refining group Bashneft, which has a market value of US$10.5 billion that the Indian company wants to buy.

Pooling of assets will allow ONGC to spread exploration risks in its 100 percent subsidiary Imperial Energy, which has assets in Russian Siberia’s Tomsk Region. Continue reading…

Russia Increases Export Duties to Keep Gasoline at Home

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May 3 – The Russian government has increased the gasoline export duty by around 44 percent starting from May to curb exports and fight a fuel shortage at home as companies preferred to sell gasoline overseas due to capped domestic prices.

The tariff, tied to international prices for gasoline, will stand at US$408.3 per ton instead of the previously planned US$304 per ton, the government said on Friday. The decision had been made after two dozen Russian regions reported gasoline shortages. Continue reading…

Gasprom, Japanese Companies to Build LNG Plant near Vladivostok

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Apr. 28 – State-run gas Gazprom and a consortium of Japanese companies led by Itochu Corp. have agreed to study building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant and a gas chemical complex in Russia’s Far East city of Vladivostok, as Japan seeks to boost fuel supplies after its worst nuclear accident.

The companies will carry out a feasibility study for a plant with the capacity to produce 10 million tons a year of liquefied natural gas. Continue reading…

Russians to Send Oil to China via Northern Sea Route

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Apr. 21 – OAO Sovcomflot, Russia’s largest shipper, and OAO Novatek will send 3-4 cargo of gas condensate on a second voyage across the so-called Northern Sea Route rather than the Suez Canal, a senior Sovcomflot official said on Wednesday.

Last August, Sovcomflot shipped a high-tonnage Aframax tanker with 70,000 metric tons of condensate cargo along the Northern Sea Route for Russia’s largest independent gas producer Novatek in the first ever voyage by a large vessel along the route. Continue reading…

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