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Archive for Oil, Gas, Energy

The oil price is all that matters regarding Russia

Oil Well file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Chris Weafer – December 19, 2014) Chris Weafer is Senior Partner at Macro-Advisory, which offers bespoke Russia-CIS consulting. The key takeaway concerning the economy and the ruble from President Valdimir Putin’s press conference on December 18 is that the Kremlin does not have any strategy or plan to try

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Medvedev urges Russia to address dependence on world oil prices

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – December 11, 2014) In an address broadcast on Russia’s main TV channels, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said the country needs to wean itself off its dependence on oil prices. In order to accomplish this, Russia needs to develop innovative projects and use the

Kremlin to sell off 19.5% stake in Rosneft in bid to raise funds

File Photo Rosneft and Russian Flags Next to Rosneft Banner

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH- December 9, 2014) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed an order to sell off 19.5 percent of the shares in Russia’s largest oil company, Rosneft. According to experts, this might help the government generate extra cash amid falling oil prices and Western sanctions. However,

Business New Europe: Ukraine seeks power and coal from Russia and rebel-held east

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – December 5, 2014) Kyiv has started talks with Russia as well as with Russian-backed rebels in East Ukraine in order to source electric power and coal, as Ukraine’s national grid faces a critical shortage of fuel, Ukraine’s new energy minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn said on December 4.

Putin’s Luck Runs Out

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Seated at Desk

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – December 3, 2014) Vladimir Putin has been on quite a roll for about a year now. But December 1, 2014, just might turn out to be the day the tide finally turned against him. Ever since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March sparked the worst East-West showdown since

Oilprice.com: Ukraine’s Next Energy Minister Will Be Bought and Paid For, As Usual

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Oilprice.com – James Stafford – December 2, 2014) A month after Ukrainian general elections, there is still no new government, and elite power circles are playing a very dangerous game with the country’s most important ministry-energy. It’s a game from which Ukraine will not recover for decades in the best-case scenario. The past week has

End Of South Stream: Winners & Losers

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(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Daisy Sindelar – December 02, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin rarely makes an uncalculated gesture or concedes defeat. So his announcement on December 1 that Russian energy giant Gazprom was pulling out of plans to build the South Stream natural gas pipeline to southeastern Europe took many by surprise. Russia had

Five Forces Battering Russia’s Economy as Putin Faces Nation

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – December 4, 2014) President Vladimir Putin’s annual state of the union address on Thursday takes place at a time of economic pain and international isolation unprecedented during the Russian leader’s almost 15-year political dominance. More than 1,000 senior government officials will gather in the Kremlin to hear

Ukraine approaches energy crisis

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – December 3, 2014) Ukraine still has to pay for more than 1bn cubic meters of natural gas that it needs in December, worth some $385m, outgoing energy minister Yury Prodan said on December 2, as a cold spell hit the country. Power generators are introducing rolling

Questions appear as Russia drops controversial South Stream pipeline

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – December 2, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that Russia is calling off the South Stream project to construct a gas pipeline to Europe via the Black Sea. According to Russian experts, the recent dramatic increase in the project’s cost could have had

Interfax: Russia’s decision not to build South Stream increases Ukrainian gas transport system’s role – Ukrainian minister

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(Interfax – December 3, 2014) The Ukrainian gas transport system’s role has grown with Russia’s decision to stop the construction of the South Stream pipeline, says Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yury Prodan. “Surely, if there is no South Stream, our gas transport system’s role is increasing,” Prodan told journalists in Kiev on Tuesday.

Ukrainians Cannot Count on Sanctions or Falling Oil Prices to Stop Putin, Illarionov Says

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, December 2, 2014) Many in Ukraine and elsewhere think that falling oil prices or increased Western sanctions or more sensible people in his entourage will convince Vladimir Putin to change course and end his aggressive policies, but they are wrong because none of these things will affect

The US, Ukraine and Shale

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Pat Davis Szymczak, special to RBTH – November 28, 2014) Pat Davis Szymczak is the founder and editorial director of Oil&Gas Eurasia, a monthly, bilingual trade publication devoted to the application of western technology to Russian and CIS oil and gas fields. If relations between Russia and the

Russian Oil-Output Cuts to Support OPEC Seen as Unlikely

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stephen Bierman, Elena Mazneva – November 26, 2014) Each time oil takes a dive, the idea of Russia allying with OPEC to shore up prices gets an airing. It happened in the months after 9/11 and again during the 2008 financial crisis. Now it’s back on the agenda. Russia’s top two

NEWSLINK: Russia puts losses from sanctions, cheaper oil at up to $140 billion/year

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[“Russia puts losses from sanctions, cheaper oil at up to $140 billion/year” – Reuters – Nov. 24, 2014] Reuters reports on Russia’s claims about the extent to which Western sanctions and lower oil prices are impacting the Russian economy. The assertions were made by Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov at a Monday press conference. Lower oil

Russia’s energy ministry revises oil price to $80-$90 per barrel

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne/IntelliNews – November 20, 2014) Russia’s energy ministry has revised the outlook for global oil prices downwards from previous $95 per barrel to $80-$90 per barrel, deputy minister Kirill Molodtsov told the press, without specifying the time frame of the outlook. Currently the ministry is witnessing surplus demand in

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Low oil prices hurt Russia and the West

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Bryan MacDonald, special to RBTH – November 12, 2014) Bryan MacDonald is an Irish journalist who focusses on Russia and international geopolitics. Are Western and Gulf oil interests ganging up to break Russia? Is the country hopelessly addicted to black gold? Bryan McDonald find the truth is a

Kommersant Editor Steps Down Amid Rumors of Pressure From Above

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – November 11, 2014) The editor-in-chief of business daily Kommersant has resigned, triggering speculation Monday that he was forced out over a recent article in the newspaper about oil giant Rosneft. While theories behind the move multiplied and media reports fluctuated between calling it a dismissal and a

China Gets Upper Hand in Gas Deals Amid Russia-West Tensions

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – November 11, 2014) Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum on Monday, President Vladimir Putin vowed that Russia would develop all forms of trade with China, not just hydrocarbon exports. But the second-largest natural gas deal this year signed the previous day with Russia’s Gazprom suggests China

Russian oil could go into self-destruction mode on price fall

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – November 11, 2014) Russia’s oil industry runs the risk of repeating the death spiral of the Soviet oil industry, should prices stay below $90, according to research by brokerage Renaissance Capital. If the oil price were to stay well below $90 for long, Russia’s mostly state-owned oil industry could

Oil falls below $80 but floating ruble seen mitigating pain for Russia

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(Business New Europe – November 7, 2014) Oil prices fell below $80 for the first time in four years on November 5 after Saudi Arabia and other Opec members refused to cut production. But economists say despite the large movements in the oil price, the de facto freely floating ruble will mitigate much of the

Russia, Ukraine and EU sign gas deal

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(Business New Europe –  bne.eu – October 31, 2014) Russia, Ukraine and the EU have signed a trilateral gas agreement securing the resumption of Russian gas supplies to Ukraine from November. The deal followed a total of 30 hours in talks continuing into the night of October 30, when the sides announced an agreement. Russian Energy Minister

Russia offers EU a backdoor out of gas war

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 30, 2014) Russia’s Gazprom said on October 29 that it will seek to open talks with the new European Commission on expanding its access to the Opal pipeline, which carries gas from Germany to the heart of Central Europe. The move serves as a reminder to member states

RIA Novosti: Who and What Is Causing the Decline in Oil Prices, and Where Will It Lead?

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MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti) – With oil hovering around the $80-85 per barrel mark, down nearly 30 percent from a high of over $115 in mid-June, media and expert analysis about the causes and consequences of the price decline has been extensive. We present another, Russia-informed perspective. Saudi Machinations Against US Shale and the

How Slumping Oil Prices Hit Russia’s Sanctions-Struck Oil Industry

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – October 29, 2014) Three screws are tightening on Russia’s oil industry. International banks are calling in multibillion-dollar loans and refusing new ones due to sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine. Western oil companies are barred from handing over advanced drilling technology, also due to sanctions. And, unexpectedly, the

Business New Europe: Russia calls on EU to show money for Ukraine gas

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 29, 2014) Russia’s ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov called on the EU to show Russia it has the money to pay for Ukrainian gas, before Russia renews gas supplies to Ukraine, which were cut after a dispute over pricing and arrears. The EU is set to disburse

Oil drops below $80, implications for Russian budget

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 28, 2014) The price of a barrel of Texan light dropped lower than $80 for the first time in two years, but Russia’s economy minister has retained its forecast for the next three years of the oil price remaining within the corridor of $90-$110, according to Interfax. “It is not

Interfax: Ulyukayev: GDP likely to decline in 2015 if low oil prices persist

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MOSCOW. Oct 24 (Interfax) – If current prices for oil persist in 2015, Russian GDP, retail trade, real incomes and investment will all decline, Ulyukayev said at a business breakfast hosted by Rossiiskaya Gazeta.” “If the current price of oil persists, then as soon as this year there will be practically no growth in real

Russia and Ukraine jockey for position before another round of gas talks

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 21, 2014) Russia and Ukraine are meeting on October 21 to hammer out a new agreement over Ukraine’s debts to Russia and future pricing for Russian gas, as winter approaches and Ukraine desperately needs Russian supplies to be restarted. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian opposite number

Success of Russia-Ukraine Gas Deal Depends on EU’s Willingness to Pay

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – October 21, 2014) As the Russian and Ukrainian Energy Ministers sit down with European Commission chaperones to resolve their intractable natural gas dispute on Tuesday, the ball will be in the EU’s court, which is expected to finance both Ukraine’s and its own energy security. With the

Ukraine and Russia move close to gas agreement, want IMF to pay bill

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 20, 2014) Russia and Ukraine have moved a step closer to an agreement on gas supplies and pricing, but have called for the international community to help Ukraine pay its gas bill. “[We] reached an agreement,” Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko said on Ukrainian TV on October 17, immediately

Interfax: “Novak: oil price drop no ‘tragedy'”

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(Interfax – October 17, 2014) The current decline in oil prices is no tragedy, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said, adding that the average annual price of oil needs to be considered. “The price reached $120 per barrel at the beginning of the year, and averaged $100 per barrel in the three preceding years. If

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Ruble devaluation compensates for loss of oil revenue

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Maria Karnaukh, special to RBTH – October 17, 2014) Falling oil prices – and the falling ruble – have different consequences for the budget and consumers Oil prices – and the Russian ruble – continue to sink. As of Oct. 16, the price of a barrel of Brent

RIA Novosti: Putin: No Energy Crisis in Europe on Russia’s Behalf

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BELGRADE, October 16 (RIA Novosti) – President Vladimir Putin on Thursday reassured European partners that Russia would do everything possible to prevent any interruption of Russian natural gas deliveries to Europe. “We would’t want any crisis to occur during the winter period,” Putin told reporters following talks with Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade. “Russia

Interfax: Chief of staff says businessman’s arrest damaging Russia’s investment climate

File Photo of Sergei Ivanov, adapted from defense.gov image

(Interfax – October 15, 2014) Kremlin chief of staff Sergey Ivanov has said that the house arrest of billionaire businessman Vladimir Yevtushenkov is damaging Russia’s investment climate. In an interview with popular pro-Kremlin tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda, which was quoted by Interfax news agency, Ivanov said that “I agree, this [the arrest of Yevtushenkov] is having

RIA Novosti: Ukraine Facing Overall Energy Crisis as Internal Conflict Affects Both Gas, Coal: Expert

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

WASHINGTON, October 14 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine is not only facing a gas crisis this coming winter, but also a possible overall energy crisis due to disruptions in coal mining and transportation facilities, said Tatiana Mitrova, head of the Oil and Gas Department at the Russian Academy of Sciences Energy Research Institute (ERI RAS). “[It

Russia Plans Giant State Oil Services Company to Replace Western Firms

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin- October 14, 2014) President Vladimir Putin has approved the creation of a state-owned oil exploration drilling corporation that will replace Western oil service companies forced to reduce operations in Russia by sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine, a news report said Monday. In a time of “sharply escalating international

Russia Spending $6 Billion Not Enough to Stop Ruble Rout on Oil

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Vladimir Kuznetsov – October 13, 2014) The ruble extended its longest losing streak in more than a year as $6 billion of Russian currency interventions failed to stem the depreciation amid tumbling oil prices. The ruble weakened 0.6 percent versus the dollar-euro basket to 45.3423 by 5:15 p.m. in Moscow, taking

Russia’s Oil Field Actions to Take Edge Off U.S. Sanctions

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stephen Bierman, Elena Mazneva – October 10, 2014) U.S. and European Union moves to pressure Russia by threatening its oil output overlook one detail: a mass of conventional resources across Siberia, according to Natural Resources Minister Sergei Donskoi. Russia will distribute more oil and gas deposits found in traditional areas during

Will Western Sanctions Stop Russia’s Arctic Oil Expansion?

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – October 9, 2014) Igor Sechin, the most influential figure in Russia’s energy industry, announced last week that a new oil field discovered in the Arctic was to be christened “Pobeda” – the Russian word for victory. Speaking to reporters from a blustery drilling platform, the Kremlin heavyweight,

Gazprom proposes to pay for gas transit with Ukrainian debt

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – October 6, 2014) Russian gas monopoly Gazprom has proposed to pay for gas transit through Ukraine using debt owed by Ukraine’s national oil and gas company Naftogaz. According to experts, this decision is advantageous for Kiev, since it will speed up the renewal of

Interfax: Russian PM tells minister to seek compromise with Ukraine on gas

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(Interfax – October 6, 2014) Russian Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev said on 6 October that the search for a compromise with Ukraine over the gas issue needs to continue, with the understanding that the existing debts should be paid while the terms for Ukraine should be sufficiently acceptable to it. “It is necessary to continue

Record fall in oil prices threatens Russian budget

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – October 7, 2014) The price of Brent oil has tumbled to $92.2 a barrel, placing the Russian federal budget in jeopardy. Russian analysts believe that the decrease in oil prices is related to demonstrations in Hong Kong, the strengthening of the dollar, as well

RIA Novosti: Draft Three-Party Gas Deal Ready, Moscow Waiting for Kiev’s Answer: Novak

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

MOSCOW, October 6 (RIA Novosti) – The three-party gas protocol of Russia, Ukraine and the European Union is ready and Moscow is currently waiting for Kiev to answer, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Monday. “A draft protocol to be signed by the three sides – Russia, the European Union and Ukraine – has been

Russia Oil Production Near Record With Sanctions Yet to Bite

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Jake Rudnitsky – October 2, 2014) Russian oil output rose to near a post-Soviet record last month, a sign the biggest source of revenue for President Vladimir Putin’s government has yet to be eroded by U.S. and European sanctions. The nation increased output 0.7 percent to 10.61 million barrels a day,

Putin Doesn’t Make Decisions Under Pressure, Sechin Says

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov, Ryan Chilcote – September 30, 2014) President Vladimir Putin won’t be swayed by sanctions over Ukraine because he doesn’t allow such pressures to affect his decisions, said Igor Sechin, head of OAO Rosneft (ROSN), Russia’s biggest oil company. “He will never let himself be pressured into making a decision,”

Business New Europe: Russia has eager new oil and gas customers in Asia

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Chris Weafer of Macro-Advisory – September 25, 2014) Chris Weafer is Senior Partner at Macro-Advisory, which offers bespoke Russia-CIS consulting. The main focus of Western sanctions against Russia has been to cause disruption to the banking and oil sectors. The former has directly squeezed the availability of liquidity on

Stagnation looms for Russia as consumption and oil revenues fall

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – September 25, 2014) Consumer demand in Russia, around half of its $2 trillion economy, and the key growth driver over recent years, is stalling over the crisis in Ukraine, according to a World Bank analysis of the economy. Consumption growth will slow to 0.5% in 2015 and 0.6% in

Interfax: Sanctions against Russia already affecting production of tight reserves, could impact shelf

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KHANTY-MANSIISK. Sept 10 (Interfax) – The sanctions imposed by the EU and U.S. against Russia are already affecting the production of tight reserves, Russian Natural Resources Minister Sergei Donskoi said at a briefing in Khanty-Mansiisk. “The sanctions, first due to technology, have not yet impacted [the country’s economy], but are already affecting the production of

Gazprom’s Grip on Russian Gas Exports Weakens as Novatek Gets Export License

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – September 9, 2014) Novatek, Russia’s largest independent gas producer, has been granted a license to export liquefied natural gas, or LNG, marking the next step on Russia’s gradual liberalization of a market dominated by state-owned giant Gazprom. Deputy Energy Minister Kirill Molodtsov told the TASS news agency

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