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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Why Gazprom’s ‘Monopoly’ in Europe is Far from Over

Gas Flame file photo

(Oilprice.com – Ilana Stav – April 4, 2016) The first U.S. shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) arrived in Portugal last week and Gazprom did not immediately cut its own gas prices for Europe. While European media has hailed the entry of U.S. gas into the market as a game-changer and a monopoly-breaker, in the short term, nothing has changed […]

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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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Atomic energy and political power in Russia

Nuclear Plant File Photo

In Russia, the space for environmental activism and advocacy is changing under increasing state pressure. An interview with one of Russia’s leading ecological organisations about the prospects for anti-nuclear activism today. (opendemocracy.net – EDITORS OF OPENDEMOCRACY RUSSIA, VLADIMIR SLIVYAK, NAILYA IBRAGIMOVA – April 25, 2016) In the coming days, much of the coverage of the Chernobyl disaster in Russia is […]

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Three-quarters of Russians believe modern NPPs safe

Russian Nuclear Plant

(Interfax – April 26, 2016) The attitude of Russians to the atomic energy industry has drastically changed over the past quarter of a century: 56 percent opposed its development (14 percent voiced their support) in 1990, and now atomic energy is welcomed by 58 percent (and opposed by 28 percent), the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) has said. Seventy-three […]

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Why Ukraine is at risk of forgetting the lessons of Chernobyl

Chernobyl File Photo

Thirty years after the explosion at the nuclear power plant in the Ukrainian city of Chernobyl, one Russian expert argues that, by using American fuel in Soviet-built reactors and pushing the power-producing capabilities of its nuclear plants, Ukraine is putting itself at potential risk of another disaster. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ANDREI RETINGER, SPECIAL TO RBTH – […]

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NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “How Ukraine’s new prime minister can put Kiev on a European path. Ukraine’s new government has a tough task ahead: It must deal with a controversial legacy of governance, improve its image abroad and fulfill plans for EU integration – all while reducing the nation’s dependence on Russian gas.”

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine » Read more

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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NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “Russia might be the first casualty if nuclear terrorism becomes reality. RD Interview: Alexey Arbatov, the head of the Carnegie Moscow Center’s Nonproliferation Program, discusses nuclear security challenges and the risk of terrorist groups getting access to nuclear weapons.”

Radioactivity Symbol » Read more

Trump’s New Russia Adviser Has Deep Ties to Kremlin’s Gazprom

Donald Trump

Carter Page brings a “real-world” resume-and says his close relations with Russian business are a strength. (Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Zachary Mider – March 30, 2016) A globe-trotting American investment banker who’s built a career on deals with Russia and its state-run gas company, Carter Page says his business has suffered directly from the U.S. economic sanctions imposed after Russia’s […]

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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

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(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 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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Nord Stream 2: Is Russian gas politically incorrect?

Gas Flame file photo

A lobbying campaign against the extension of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, spearheaded by Gazprom together with five European energy majors, has now engulfed the European Parliament. What are the arguments of the opponents and are they business-focused or politically motivated? (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – VLADIMIR MIKHEEV, SPECIAL TO RBTH – March 4, 2016) Twelve members […]

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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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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Meeting with Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller

Gas Facility file photo

(Kremlin.ru – February 29, 2016) The head of Gazprom briefed Vladimir Putin on the company’s results in 2015, and discussed, in particular, gas supply figures for the domestic and European markets and the programme for connecting Russia’s regions to the gas network. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Miller, I have several questions to start our discussion, and then we […]

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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

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

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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NEWSWATCH: “Weak Oil Prices Fuel Ukrainian Hopes of a More Conciliatory Russia” – Wall Street Journal

Oil Well file photo

The Wall Street Journal covers Russian economic vulnerability amidst falling oil prices and its possible impact on efforts to resolve the Russo-Ukrainian conflict . Ukraine’s political elite is hoping that plummeting oil prices will restrain neighboring Russia’s interventionist ambitions—and give Western sanctions on Russia a bit more bite. … diplomatic overtures have raised hopes in Kiev that Moscow—which annexed Crimea […]

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When Baikal water will be more expensive than oil

Lake Baikal and Environs Satellite Photo

The average price of a bottle of drinking water in Moscow has become more expensive than what a bottle of Brent crude would cost. RBTH asks experts if it would be worthwhile for Russia to start exporting water from Lake Baikal. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – GLEB FEDOROV, RBTH – February 5, 2016) [Charts here rbth.com/politics_and_society/society/2016/02/05/when-baikal-water-will-be-more-expensive-than-oil_564923] In January, […]

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Investment in oil and gas exploration may drop 10-15% in 2016

Gas Facility file photo

(Interfax – February 7, 2016) Investment in geological exploration for oil and gas in Russia may reduce 10-15% in 2016, Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Sergei Donskoy said in a program aired by the NTV television channel. “Investment in hydrocarbon [exploration] will reduce somewhere between 10% and 15%, somewhere between these two digits,” he said. The minister said that […]

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Can Russia Be More Miserable? Judging by Oil, the Answer Is Yes

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

Combining inflation and unemployment, Russia is among the world’s unhappiest economies (Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Elena Popina – February 4, 2016) [Charts here bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-04/can-russia-be-more-miserable-judging-by-oil-the-answer-is-yes] The sinking price of crude has Russia hostage over a barrel of oil. For an inkling of how unhappy everyday Russians have gotten as Brent crude heads further south, take a look at the Misery Index […]

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Putin Opens Asset Sales to Foreigners as Budget Gap Widens

Empty Boardroom

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov and Andrey Biryukov – February 2, 2016) President Vladimir Putin will allow foreign investors to bid for stakes in some of Russia’s largest companies as the government prepares its most ambitious asset-sale program in years to close a widening budget gap. “Russia was and remains open for foreign investment and Russia is interested in […]

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Oil prices could reach $40 a barrel if Russia made deal with OPEC

Oil Well file photo

Analysts say that if Russia reduces its oil production by 5 percent, black gold prices may increase to $40 a barrel and over. However, the Russian government admits that it has no real control over production policy in private companies, though firms may reduce production themselves due to the fall in hydrocarbon prices. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – […]

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Who benefits and who loses from revocation of anti-Iranian sanctions

Iran Map and Flag

If Moscow plays its cards correctly, it will be able to strengthen its positions not only in Iran but also throughout the entire Middle East. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – GEVORG MIRZAYAN – January 29, 2016) The lifting of sanctions against Iran has generated an entire wave of speculation about the upcoming reformation of the Middle East. However, […]

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