Why Arctic Oil Is Crucial For Russia’s Future

Arctic Satellite Image and Map

(Oilprice.com – Irina Slav – August 23, 2016) The Arctic – a cold wasteland that has shattered the expansion dreams of many an oil company by proving to be too difficult and too expensive to tackle. And, of course, Arctic exploration is the target of major environmentalist opposition to any intervention in this wasteland that is in fact home to […]

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Goldman Sees Russian Oil Output Topping Soviet Record by 2018

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stephen Bierman – July 20, 2016) Russia’s oil output will exceed the former Soviet record set almost 30 years ago by the end of 2018 as low-cost fields allow producers to defy the slump in prices, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Production will climb by 590,000 barrels a day over the next three years to […]

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Putin Debt Binge Indulged While Russia Looks Good Next to Europe

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Vladimir Kuznetsov, Natasha Doff – July 20, 2016) No one’s complaining about record debt in Russia next year as an influx of foreign investors helps the government borrow its way out of recession. The Finance Ministry plans to quadruple domestic debt issuance to $20 billion in 2017 to fund a growing budget shortfall and avoid depleting […]

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Oil Must Go to $40 and Stay There to Buy Russia Some Reforms

Oil Wells File Photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova, Andre Tartar – July 18, 2016) [Charts here bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-17/oil-must-go-to-40-and-stay-there-to-buy-russia-reforms-at-last] At an oil price of $40 or below, Russian President Vladimir Putin introduced a flat income tax, built a sovereign wealth fund and delivered speeches to the Bundestag in German. When it was over $100, he fought two wars with neighbors and splashed over $40 […]

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Putin Isn’t About to Let Go of the Crown Jewels After Alrosa

Empty Boardroom

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova, Andrey Biryukov – July 12, 2016) Hatched in harsh economic times, Russia’s latest wave of privatization is off to a mixed start, and a sequel is by no means guaranteed. The sale of a 10.9 percent stake in Alrosa PJSC was the biggest divestment of a state asset since the government reduced its stake […]

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Russia’s Savior From Oil’s Drop Is Now Snuffing Out Recovery

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Andrey Biryukov – July 6, 2016) Russia is finding the flip side of a flexible currency less and less appealing. A free-floating ruble, its antidote to the crash in oil prices, is now working against an economy mired in the second year of recession. As crude soared by more than a third in March and April, […]

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Russian Oil Exports Set for Record as Europe Competition Grows

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stephen Bierman and Dina Khrennikova – July 3, 2016) Russian crude exports are on track to set a record this year, which is intensifying competition in Europe as Iran boosts shipments to the region. Exports rose 4.9 percent to 5.55 million barrels a day in the first half of the year from the same period in […]

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Russia Seeks to Reassure Over Brexit Volatility

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

(Voice of America – voanews.com – Daniel Schearf – June 29, 2016) As Britain and Europe struggle to come to terms with the British vote in favor of leaving the European Union, financial markets are roiling across the globe, including in Russia. Even before the vote for a British EU exit, the head of Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, warned that […]

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Sechin predicts oil price to reach $50-55 per barrel by end of 2016, $65 per barrel by end of 2017

Igor Sechin file photo

MOSCOW. June 22 (Interfax) – Oil prices will reach the levels of $50-55 per barrel by the end of 2016 and $65 per barrel by the end of 2017, Rosneft (MOEX: ROSN) CEO Igor Sechin said during an interview with Rossiya-24 television. “The current volatility will continue. We think that by the end of the year we will stably reach […]

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Putin Said to Weigh $11 Billion Rosneft Sale to China, India

File Photo of Rosneft and Russian Flags Next to Rosneft Banner

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Elena Mazneva, Ilya Arkhipov – June 19, 2016) Vladimir Putin is considering selling part of Russia’s corporate crown jewels to China and India as the president struggles to meet spending commitments before his possible re-election bid in less than two years. Russia has been seeking buyers for 19.5 percent of state oil champion Rosneft OJSC and […]

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Investments in Russia’s economy declining both because of structural problems, oil price drop – Putin

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ST. PETERSBURG. June 18 (Interfax) – A decline in investments in Russia’s economy can be explained by both the lower oil prices and investors’ worries about problems in Russia’s economy, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “It’s both this and that,” Putin said while meeting with top managers of international news agencies in St. Petersburg on Friday, when asked whether the […]

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Russian Oil Producers Care More About Rubles Than Barrels

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stephen Bierman – June 16, 2016) For Russian oil companies, the value of the ruble matters more than the price of a barrel. While OPEC celebrates the rebound in crude, Rosneft OJSC and Lukoil PJSC must keep one eye on the stronger Russian currency. That’s because the ruble’s 12 percent gain this year against the dollar […]

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International Economic Forum opens in St. Petersburg

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Russian observers expect dialogue and possible progress on the softening of EU sanctions against Russia from the forum, as well as Gazprom and Shell’s joint launch of an enormous LNG plant in Russia’s northwest. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ALEXEI LOSSAN, RBTH – June 16, 2016) Leading world economists have gathered at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum […]

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The Kremlin’s Arctic Plans: More Gutted than Grand

Arctic Map

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Sergei Medvedev, Professor of Politics; Deputy Dean for International Affairs Higher School of Economics, Moscow – June 7, 2016) Article also appeared at ponarseurasia.org/memo/kremlin-arctic-plans-more-gutted-grand Over the past decade, Russia has launched a diplomatic and symbolic offensive in the Arctic, supported by increased military activity, grandiose economic plans, and showy assertions of sovereignty. Russian officials have […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia expects economic growth in a year; Ministers warned early this year a return to $50 per barrel oil could create headwinds – UPI

Alexei Ulyukayev file photo

It may be another year before the Russian economy recovers from deep recession and returns to growth, the country’s economic development minister said. With a 3.7 percent decline in gross domestic product last year … Ulyukayev said the country was in a deep recession. The Russian Central Bank, however, said earlier this week that inflation was stabilizing and the economy […]

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Putin Should Heed This Russian’s Warning on Oil

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – May 20, 2016) [Chart here bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-05-20/petr-aven-warns-about-the-dangers-of-oil-dependency] Oil prices follow cycles, and so does the thinking about the future of oil-producing countries. This week, Russian billionaire Petr Aven and two Moscow economists published an article dissecting what they call the “twilight of the petrostate” which echoes the concerns of the Saudi Arabian elite — […]

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Russia eyes $12.6 billion windfall from privatization of state companies

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

In 2016 the government intends to sell a part of the shares in its large raw commodity companies. The buyers can be foreign investors, but on certain conditions. It has already been announced that shares in Russia’s largest diamond mining company, Alrosa, will be sold through the Moscow Stock Exchange. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ANNA KUCHMA, RBTH […]

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Russia Retools After Crash as Post-Oil Economy Takes Shape

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – May 18, 2016) Call it a stealth overhaul. With none of the fanfare that greeted Saudi Arabia’s plan for the post-oil era, the Russian economy is quietly getting its biggest makeover under President Vladimir Putin. A trail left by crude’s collapse has turned up some unlikely survivors and even industries that found a […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Economic Pain Reveals Limits to Putin’s Power” – New York Times

Vladimir Putin

Pikalevo, about three hours east of St. Petersburg, and the rest of Russia are now mired in the country’s longest recession since … Putin came to power at the end of 1999, with the World Bank warning … that the nation’s poverty rate would increase this year to 14.2 percent of the population, “undoing nearly a decade’s worth of gains.” […]

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Putin’s Decade-Old Dream Realized as Russia to Price Its Own Oil

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Eduard Gismatullin – April 27, 2016) Russian President Vladimir Putin is on the verge of realizing a decade-old dream: Russian oil priced in Russia. The nation’s largest commodity exchange, whose chairman is Putin ally Igor Sechin, is courting international oil traders to join its emerging futures market. The goal is to increase revenue from Urals crude […]

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Despite Claims, Ukraine Not Free Of Russian Energy Dependence

Oil Well file photo

(Oilprice.com – Colin Chilcoat – April 25, 2016) Now more than two years on since the revolutionary events on Maidan and Russia’s subsequent annexation of Crimea, Ukraine is still largely without its footing. Political infighting is again on the rise and the specter of massive corruption persists, stymying what have been positive, albeit small, steps toward reform. The country’s energy […]

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Interfax: Business confidence rises in Russian extractive, manufacturing sectors

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MOSCOW. April 26 (Interfax) – The business confidence index in the Russian extractive industry grew for the third straight month in April, while the index in the manufacturing sector also grew, the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) said. The business confidence index in the Russian extractive sector improved to minus (-) 2% in April, from -3% in March, -4% in […]

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Oil prices remain stable despite lack of progress in Doha

Offshore Oil Rig file photo

While the recent talks between the world’s oil exporters of crude were inconclusive, the preceding two months have seen verbal interventions send oil prices up, while fundamental factors have revived demand for crude. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ANNA KUCHMA, RBTH – April 20, 2016) Despite the world’s leading oil producers’ inability to reach an agreement on the […]

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Interfax: Growth of oil, gas reserves in 2016 to exceed their production – Rosnedra

Gas Flame file photo

MOSCOW. March 29 (Interfax) – The growth of oil and gas reserves in 2016 will exceed their production, head of the Federal Subsurface Resources Agency (Rosnedra), Yevgeny Kiselev, told journalists. “I think that we will keep the parameters that were set down in the state program. Simple reproduction, an increase in production levels will be provided. As a rule, we […]

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Putin’s $50 Billion Oil Cache Gives Russia Luxury to Ignore ECB

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – March 13, 2016) Russian central bankers have fewer reasons to offer relief to their recession-wracked economy than you might think. Their decision whether to resume an interest rate-cutting cycle this week is almost beside the point as the government of Vladimir Putin lubricates the economy in the background with oil wealth amassed in […]

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Russia’s Government Doesn’t See the Economic Downslide As a Threat

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In his latest comment on key developments impacting the Russian economy, Sergey Aleksashenko, nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former deputy chairman of the Russian Central Bank, reviews the government’s controversial efforts to battle the economic crisis. (Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – March 3, 2016) Unnecessary Government? Today, it seems the Russian government itself no longer […]

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Russia’s Oil Dilemma Explained

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stephen Bierman -March 8, 2016) [Charts here bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-09/russia-s-dilemma-squeeze-oil-industry-without-strangling-growth-ilk2y8i4] While the world focuses on Russia’s oil-freeze talks with OPEC, there are discussions behind closed doors in the Kremlin that will have a much more significant impact on the nation’s energy industry. The petrodollars that underpin Russia’s national budget are evaporating. When crude prices were high, increasing revenue […]

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Will Russia End Up Controlling 73% of Global Oil Supply?

Oil Well file photo

(Oilprice.com – Rakesh Upadhyay – March 6, 2016) Russia has played a master stroke in the current oil crisis by taking the lead in forming a new cartel, but it’s a move that could spell geopolitical disaster. The meeting between Russia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela on 16 February 2016 was the first step. During the next meeting in mid-March, […]

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Russian oil companies approve production freeze

Oil Well file photo

The country’s top oil bosses have agreed to keep production at January levels in a deal with the government, which is hoping the move will see oil prices increase. However, analysts say that the move may not necessarily lead to a recovery. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ALEXEI LOSSAN, RBTH – March 3, 2016) The heads of Russia’s […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Thinks It Has Solved the Oil-Price Crisis; But it may just be more wishful thinking” – Fortune.com

Oil Well file photo

The world’s major oil exporting economies have been putting together an agreement to freeze oil production levels, and Russia’s energy minister is optimistic that it will be effective in finally stopping the slide in oil prices ….  * * * The news seemed to buoy the oil market…. But there’s plenty of reason to doubt that the action will bring […]

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Interfax: Novak considers $50 per barrel most appropriate from supply-demand standpoint

Offshore Oil Rig file photo

MINSK. Feb 25 (Interfax) – Oil prices are unlikely to rise above $60 per barrel and a price of $50 is optimal, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said. “Speaking fundamentally, the price cannot be high, above $50-$60 per barrel, because in this situation robust investment activity would resume, those projects where investment and production volumes are now falling would be implemented, […]

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Can Things Get Any Worse for Russia? You’re About to Find Out

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Investors who’ve made a fortune in the country say that with oil’s plunge, the ruble’s collapse, and Putin in power, all bets are off (Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ksenia Galouchko and Henry Meyer – February 23, 2016) [Charts here bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-24/putin-s-oil-despair-drives-lucky-few-investors-toward-the-exits] For a decade, Dmitri Barinov has been following the volatile economy of his homeland from the safe distance of Union […]

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Russia and OPEC trio agree to freeze oil production, but no cuts

Oil Well file photo

Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela have announced their readiness to freeze oil production volumes at January levels but fell short of agreeing to cut production by 5 percent as was earlier anticipated. Market analysts believe this agreement is a loss for Russian diplomacy – as a result of the deal, oil prices and the related value of the ruble […]

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RBTH: Even if Russia and OPEC tango, oil prices won’t budge an inch

Oil Well file photo

As Russian officials consider trying to forge an agreement with OPEC in order to help push up oil prices, they are missing an unfortunate truth – factors such as the discord within the oil producers’ body, the positions of Saudi Arabia and Iran and the strength of the dollar all mean that the price of oil is unlikely to bounce […]

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Agreement between Russia, three OPEC countries concerns average oil output for year – Energy Ministry

Oil Well file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 16 (Interfax) – The agreement that Russia and OPEC nations Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela reached at meeting in Doha on Tuesday not to exceed January’s level of output applies to average figures for the year, not daily output, the Russian Energy Ministry said in a revised statement following the meeting. The meeting was between Russian Energy Minister […]

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