YEAR’S RESULTS: Modest results and record demand for Gazprom this year

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

MOSCOW. Dec 29 (Interfax) – The gas sector in 2012 will be noted for peak demand, which gas companies dealt with honorably. It was also characterized but modest results, which only slightly topped the daily results posted during the first wave of the financial crisis. PRODUCTION According to Interfax’s calculations based on the Central Dispatching Department of the Fuel and […]

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Poor State of Housing Services Could Be Next Rallying Point

File Photo of Water Facet with Drop of Water Coming Out

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – December 27, 2012) Calls for honest elections and President Vladimir Putin’s removal might attract the urban middle class to rallies, but it is rusty pipes and the poor state of the utilities sector that might persuade thousands of disgruntled citizens of all classes to march in the streets. The possibility that higher […]

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Gazprom Facing Challenges at Home and Abroad

Russian Gas Facility file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – December 26, 2012) A landmark gas-supply agreement with Germany signed late last month by Norway’s Statoil put the challenges facing Gazprom’s business model in the spotlight and prompted a quick response from the Russian gas giant’s executives. It is just one of many recent setbacks for the country’s largest company that experts […]

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Scramble for the Arctic to Dominate Environmental Agenda

Map of Barents Sea and Polar Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Roland Oliphant – December 20, 2012) 2012 saw the climate-change-fueled dash for the Arctic’s riches dominate the environmental agenda. The debate over the high north, the annual nightmare of forest fires and continuing battles between activists and developers over roads, mines and the Sochi Olympics are only likely to intensify next year. Greenpeace activists stormed […]

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Utilities to go up as industry on brink of catastrophe

File Photo of Water Facet with Drop of Water Coming Out

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Evgeniya Chaykovskaya – December 19, 2012) Russia’s Federal Tariff Services asked the government to raise tariffs for heating (by 11.5 percent instead of 9.5 percent proposed by the Economic Development Ministry) and water supply (11-13 percent instead of 5-6 percent). If their wish is granted, households will face a 15 percent increase in utility payments, […]

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Minister Seeks Exemption From EU Energy Package for South Stream

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – Dec, 17, 2012) Gazprom’s $12.7 billion South Stream gas pipeline should be exempted from the European Union’s third energy package, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Friday. An updated Russian proposal arguing that the functioning Nord Stream pipeline and the planned South Stream pipeline should receive special treatment because they straddle both […]

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Russia Faces Economy Trap as Oil Decline Looms, EBRD Says

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer and Agnes Lovasz – Dec. 14, 2012) Russia, the world’s largest energy exporter, is becoming increasingly dependent on commodities and failing to prepare for falling oil output in 20 years, the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development said. Corruption, poor education, immigration barriers and state dominance in the economy, which curbs private innovation, all […]

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World’s Largest Profit at Gazprom Pays for Putin’s Pipes

Russian Gas Facility file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stephen Bierman & Anna Shiryaevskaya – Dec. 12, 2012) The world’s most profitable energy company is being punished by investors who are concerned it’s also the biggest spendthrift. OAO Gazprom (OGZD), Russia’s natural-gas export monopoly, will beat Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) to earn $37.9 billion in 2012, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Yet its shares […]

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Putin Kicks Off South Stream Construction

Russian Gas Facility file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – Dec. 10, 2012) VARVAROVKA, Krasnodar Region ­ President Vladimir Putin on Friday kicked off construction for the route to deliver Russian gas to Europe. A ceremony in which two pipes were welded together marked the South Stream pipeline’s graduation from the phase of talks between governments and corporations ­ and drew the […]

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Gazprom sends first LNG tanker via Northern Sea Route

Map of Barents Sea and Polar Environs

MOSCOW. Dec 5 (Interfax) – The Ob River liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker, chartered by the Gazprom Group (RTS: GAZP), successfully completed the world’s first LNG shipment via the Northern Sea Route on Wednesday, the Russian gas giant reported. The tanker, which departed from Norway’s Hammerfest Port on November 7, has arrived at the regasification terminal at Tobata Port in […]

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NEWSLINK: Russian Oil Industry at a Crossroads as Infrastructure Ages

Oil Well file photo

[Russian Oil Industry at a Crossroads as Infrastructure Ages – International Herald Tribune – Thane Gustafson –  Dec. 5, 2012 – Thane Gustafson is a professor of government at Georgetown University and a senior director at IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates. His latest book is “Wheel of Fortune: The Battle for Oil and Power in Russia.” – Click here for […]

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Gazprom Tops Russian ‘Dream Job’ List – Poll

Russian Gas Facility file photo

MOSCOW, December 3 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian state-controlled energy giants Gazprom and Rosneft, and state-run savings bank Sberbank top the list of where Russians most want to work, according to a poll published by the VTsIOM pollster on Monday. “Gazprom remains the most attractive employer for Russians. If respondents could choose a job in any large company operating on the […]

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Russia could try hand at shale gas production

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

MOSCOW. Nov 22 (Interfax) – The Russian Energy Ministry proposes taking the first steps towards developing the country’s shale gas resources, staring with licensing and incentives to produce this sort of gas. The proposals are in a protocol resolution for a meeting to be chaired by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and planned for Thursday, but which has been put […]

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EU warned against relying on shale gas, urged to invest in Russian project

Russian Gas Facility file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, 20 November) The European Commission’s investigation makes one wonder whether Brussels wants to be receiving Russian gas in increasing amounts, the deputy chairman of Gazprom’s board, Aleksandr Medvedev, told the Russia’s Gas forum. “The European Commission recently began an investigation in relation to Gazprom group (RTS: GAZP) and some of its partners, which makes one wonder whether […]

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No reasons for state to increase ownership of Russian oil sector – Dvorkovich

Arkady Dvorkovich file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 20 (Interfax) – Deputy Russian Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said he saw no reasons for growth in state ownership of the Russian oil industry. “We see no reasons for the state’s ownership in the oil sector to increase. There’s good competition between companies, companies are working well, with good profitability and substantial investments,” Dvorkovich said at a conference […]

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Khodorkovsky Criticizes Rosneft Takeover of TNK-BP

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 21, 2012) Jailed businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky has criticized Rosneft’s deal to take over British-Russian joint venture TNK-BP, saying President Vladimir Putin is leading the country toward “state capitalism” in an interview published Wednesday. Commenting on the deal, which Putin approved Oct. 22, the former Yukos head told Forbes magazine that the deal raises concerns […]

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Russia to Stay Raw Materials Based to 2030 ­- Survey

Oil Well file photo

MOSCOW, November 20 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia’s economy will remain primarily based on raw materials production until 2030, along with the remnants of high technologies like the nuclear and space industries inherited from the Soviet era, Rosiiskaya Gazeta reported on Tuesday, citing the latest forecast by Russian economists. The Global Strategic Survey 2030 was prepared by the Institute of World […]

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IEA Report: US to be World’s Top Oil Producer by 2020

Oil Well file photo

(Dr. Donald N. Jensen – Voice of America – Russian Service Crossfire – November 15, 2012) For decades US Presidents have called for American energy independence but have been unable to do much about it in the face of growing domestic energy consumption, popular fondness for gas guzzling vehicles and environmental restrictions.  Those dreams, however, may finally be fulfilled.  This […]

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Russia’s Arctic rush ­ a potential gravy train; Economic considerations have so far failed to stop the push for state-run oil and gas corporations to go north

Map of Barents Sea and Polar Environs

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Alexey Eremenko – October 29, 2012) It is cheaper to send a rocket into space than to drill a single oil well in the Arctic Sea. One Proton rocket launch costs from $80 million to $100 million, while offshore oil wells in the Arctic come in at $100 million to $150 million apiece ­ and […]

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Putin Strengthens his Grip on World Energy with TNK-BP Deal

Oil Well file photo

(oilprice.com – Marin Katusa – October 28, 2012) Exxon Mobil is no longer the world’s number-one oil producer. As of yesterday, that title belongs to Putin Oil Corp ­ oh, whoops. I mean the title belongs to Rosneft, Russia’s state-controlled oil company. Rosneft is buying TNK-BP, which is a vertically integrated oil company co-owned by British oil firm BP and […]

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Shuvalov Denies State Boosting Role in Oil

Oil Well file photo

BERLIN, October 26 (RIA Novosti)-State-owned oil giant Rosneft’s acquisition of TNK-BP does not signify an increase in state control of the Russian oil sector, and no one in Russia is building state capitalism, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said on Friday. “The sale of TNK-BP to Rosneft does not represent an increase in state control of the oil sector, […]

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TNK-BP Deal a Boon for State, Welcome Sign for Foreigners

Oil Well file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – October 23, 2012) Rosneft’s deal to take over TNK-BP masterfully achieves the dual purpose of strengthening the state’s hand in the oil industry to spectacular proportions and showcasing its benevolence to foreign capital at the same time. Officially confirmed Monday, the gradual $56 billion purchase of the country’s third-largest crude producer will […]

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Rosneft Deal Shows Ex-KGB Spy’s Influence Under Putin: Energy

Igor Sechin file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Matthew Campbell – October 24, 2012) As a small army of advisers from eight investment banks huddled in London last weekend to negotiate Russian state oil company OAO Rosneft (ROSN)’s agreement to acquire BP Plc (BP/)’s Russian venture, the deal’s most important player had already left the country. Igor Sechin, 52, a former Soviet spy and […]

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Rosneft to Replace Gazprom as Energy Driver on TNK Deal

File Photo Rosneft and Russian Flags Next to Rosneft Banner

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Shiryaevskaya – October 19, 2012) OAO Rosneft (ROSN)’s proposed acquisition of TNK-BP will accelerate the state oil company’s eclipse of OAO Gazprom (OGZD) as the dominant force in Russia’s energy industry. President Vladimir Putin used Gazprom, the world’s biggest natural gas producer, to assert Russia’s energy power over the past decade, winning pipeline deals and […]

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International Energy Agency: U.S. gas exports might reach a third of Russian exports in future

Russian Gas Facility file photo

(Interfax – October 17, 2012) The amount of gas that the U.S. exports might reach a third of the amount that Russia exports in the medium term, Laszlo Varro, Head of the Gas, Coal and Power Market Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), said at ‘Gas Day’ at Skolkovo. American gas exports will play an important role in the […]

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SUMMARY: Gazprom’s Gas Pipeline Lineup

MOSCOW. Oct 9 (Interfax) – Gazprom (RTS: GAZP) is ever more aggressively pushing itself onto the European market. Upon launching Line 2 of the Nord Stream gas pipeline on Monday, the Russian gas giant announced that additional capacity should be built in this direction. The new project could tentatively be called Nord Stream-2, although its potential participants and markets are […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia expects tax reforms to boost oil output

Oil Well file photo

Russia expects tax reforms to boost oil output – Reuters – October 9, 2012 – click here for original article: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/09/russia-energy-idUSL6E8L9PU620121009 Reuters covers Russian aspirations to expand oil output through tax breaks: Russia aims to bring on line 1.4 million to 2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day with new tax reforms designed to reduce the levy on future […]

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[TRANSCRIPT: Putin] Video address marking the inauguration of the second section of the Nord Stream gas pipeline

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Kremlin.ru –  October 8, 2012)  In his video address, Vladimir Putin congratulated the project participants on completing the second section and bringing it to design capacity. The official ceremony marking the pipeline’s completion took place at Portovaya Bay in Leningrad Region. The pipeline crosses the Baltic Sea, passing through the territorial waters of five countries, and links up to the […]

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Nord Stream Set to Grow After Second Leg Goes on Stream

Russian Gas Facility file photo

LENINGRAD REGION, October 8 (RIA Novosti) -Russia intends to sign memorandums on new Nord Stream gas pipeline routes to Europe by December 31, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said on Monday as the second leg came on stream. “Today Nord Stream shareholders considered a preliminary feasibility study for the third and fourth legs, their construction was recognized as economically expedient and […]

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Putin Targets Corruption at Gazprom

Russian Gas Facility file photo

Moscow Times –  themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos and Irina Filatova –  October 3, 2012 Signaling the start a long-awaited overhaul at Gazprom, President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday called for corruption to be eliminated at the state-controlled gas giant and said its business model should be improved. Gazprom has been criticized for years by minority investors who believe their lucrative shares […]

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NEWSLINK: Siberia placed to be the new Middle East

Oil Well file photo

Siberia placed to be the new Middle East – Asia Times – By Yong Kwon – September 24, 2012 – http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/NI25Ag01.html Yong Kwon is a Washington-based analyst of international affairs. Asia Times examines the impact of Middle Eastern instability on oil and the global economy, and Siberia’s emergence as a significant source of petroleum. Russia actually starting serving as a […]

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Battle between liberals, Siloviki heats up over Rosneftegaz cash

Igor Sechin file photo

(Business New Europe – September 21, 2012) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered his cabinet to draw up urgent plans to “seize” 95% of the RUB130bn (€3.2bn) sitting on Rosneftegaz’s accounts to meet President Vladimir Putin’s demands to increase spending on state salaries and infrastructure investment. The move would emasculate Rosneftegaz CEO and Kremlin insider Igor Sechin’s plans to […]

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