Russia’s nonconventional reserves seen more promising than Arctic in next decade

Russian Gas Facility file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 26 (Interfax) – The development of nonconventional reserves of oil and gas in Russia in the next decade holds more promise than the Arctic, Gazprom Neft (RTS: SIBN) first deputy CEO Vadim Yakovlev told reporters. He said nontraditional reserves will be developed before the Arctic. “They are no less important than Arctic reserves, but are now the priority […]

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Russian Natural Resources Ministry to study shale gas

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

(Interfax – February 27, 2013) The Russian Natural Resources and Environment Ministry will carry out an analysis and geological study of resources and reserves in non-traditional gas deposits, including shale gas. There is a lot of focus on extraction of shale oil and gas in the mineral material base preservation program, which was drafted by the Natural Resources Ministry. The […]

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Be Careful: Russia is Back to Stay in the Middle East

Middle East Map

(Oilprice.com – Felix Imonti – February 25, 2013) Russia is back.  President Vladimir Putin wants the world to acknowledge that Russia remains a global power.  He is making his stand in Syria. The Soviet Union acquired the Tardus Naval Port in Syria in 1971 without any real purpose for it.  With their ships welcomed in Algeria, Cuba or Vietnam, Tardus […]

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Russia may create Arctic oil and gas field reserve

Map of Barents Sea and Polar Environs

MOSCOW. Feb 20 (Interfax) – Russia would form a reserve of oil and gas fields in its Arctic zone under a proposal contained in the Strategy for Development of Russia’s Arctic Zone and Ensuring National Security to 2020 published on the government website on Wednesday. The fund would help guarantee the nation’s energy security and ensure the steady development of […]

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Rosneft revenues threaten Gazprom’s top spot; Rosneft is preparing to steal Gazprom’s crown as Russia’s largest company.

Igor Sechin file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Galina Starinskaya, special to RBTH- February 14, 2013) CEO Igor Sechin directed massive growth for state-owned Rosneft in 2012, developing international partnerships in offshore projects, a merger with TNK-BP and a move toward direct long-term contracts. If Gazprom loses its monopoly on exports of liquefied natural gas, as Rosneft expects, the latter will […]

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Russian Cabinet spars over oil profit investment

Oil Well file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Irina Granik, Moskovskiye Novosti – February 11, 2013) Old arguments have risen again in the government, after the publication of the “Five Years of Effectiveness” economic program earlier this month. The themes, as before, are how much money should remain in the state reserve in case of a crisis, and how to finance investment projects […]

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The Past, Present and Future of Russian Energy Strategy

Russian Gas Facility file photo

(Strategic Forecasting/STRATFOR – Geopolitical Weekly – Lauren Goodrich and Marc Lanthemann – stratfor.com – February 12, 2013) The future of Russia’s ability to remain a global energy supplier and the strength the Russian energy sector gives the Kremlin are increasingly in question. After a decade of robust energy exports and revenues, Russia is cutting natural gas prices to Europe while […]

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Russia to soon present UN with scientific research on continental shelf

Map of Northern Japan, Kurill Islands, Sea of Okhotsk, Portions of Russian Far East

MOSCOW. Feb 7 (Interfax) – Russia will soon present the UN with the results of its research on the extent of the continental shelf in the central Sea of Okhotsk, and later in the Arctic Ocean more than 200 miles from the shore, official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich said at a Thursday briefing. “Russia has long […]

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$60 Oil Price Will Eat up Russia’s Oil Fund ­ Survey

Oil Well file photo

MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia’s Oil Wealth Fund will be totally consumed if world oil prices plunge to $60 per barrel and stay at that level for a year, experts from the Russian School of Economics (VSE) said on Tuesday. That scenario presents “a shock not only for the budget system but also for the economy as a […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Dmitry Medvedev’s interview with CNN

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – January 27, 2013) Fareed Zakaria: Mr Prime Minister, thank you for agreeing to this meeting. In 2009, when you were President of Russia, you wrote a very interesting and important essay about Russia’s future. You said that the two major problems of the Russian economy were excessive dependence on oil and excessive corruption. A look at current statistics […]

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Russia to Submit Arctic Claims by Year’s End

Map of Barents Sea and Polar Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Roland Oliphant – January 24, 2013) The federal government will submit its final Arctic territorial claims with the United Nations by the end of the year, the country’s leading Arctic scientist said. Artur Chilingarov, the veteran explorer who led the expedition to plant a Russian flag on the seabed at the North Pole in 2007, […]

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Global Oil Market Slump Key Threat to Russia – Medvedev

Oil Well file photo

DAVOS, January 23 (RIA Novosti) ­ The danger of a global slump in the raw material markets remains a key threat to the Russian economy, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday. That means the Russian economy remains vulnerable to negative changes in global markets, the premier told the World Economic Forum in Davos. “That is why we continue to […]

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Russia to Keep State Control of Shelf – Dvorkovich

Map of Barents Sea and Polar Environs

MOSCOW, January 22 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia has no plans to allow foreign companies to work independently on the country’s continental shelf but will let them develop offshore deposits there in partnership with Russian state firms, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said on Tuesday. “As for the admission of foreign companies, no changes are planned, which means foreign companies can […]

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Russian Energy Review in 2012: Consolidating State Control in an Uncertain Market

Oil Well file photo

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 10 – Jamestown Foundation: jamestown.org – Margarita Assenova – January 18, 2013) Increased state control and consolidation of the oil and gas sector marked Russia’s energy developments in 2012, while the state budget remained heavily dependent on energy revenues. At the same time, Russia’s markets in Europe are shrinking due to the economic crisis […]

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BP Says U.S. to Outpace Russia for Oil Production

Oil Well file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky -January 18, 2013) The United States could become the world’s biggest crude producer this year, overtaking Russia, according to a BP report. The breakthrough would come on the back of rising U.S. output of biofuels and unconventional oil, the company said in its annual Energy Outlook 2030. Saudi Arabia would slide to the […]

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Russia Seeks to Rev Up Shelf Exploration Effort

Map of Barents Sea and Polar Environs

NOVY URENGOI, January 15 (RIA Novosti) – Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday called for more intensive exploration of Russia’s oil- and gas-rich continental shelf, stressing that all shelf development projects should be long-term. “The [current] pace of geological surveys on the continental shelf is insufficient,” he said. Medvedev listed a number of reasons for the slow progress, including the […]

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Whatever happened to Russia’s economic miracle?

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

(Dmitry Travin – www.opendemocracy.net – January 7, 2013) Dmitry Travin is Research Director at the European University in St. Petersburg’s Centre of Modernization Studies. The first eight years of the last decade were incredibly successful for Russia’s economy, but the crisis of 2008 hit hard and growth remains decidedly sluggish. Dmitry Travin wonders whether the country’s economy will ever be […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia’s Syria Support said to be a Losing Proposition

Middle East Map

[Russia’s Syria Support Said to be a Losing Proposition – Vedomosti – Vladislav Inozemtsev, doctor of economic sciences, director of the Center for Study of the Post-Industrial Society – December 24, 2012 – no accessible link] Vladislav Inozemtsev writes in Vedomosti on Russia’s Syria policy, also focusing strongly on economic factors such as oil, gas and Syrian debt. At the […]

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YEAR IN REVIEW: Cold war – state and private companies lock horns over Arctic shelf

Polar Map Showing Permafrost Areas, Adapted From NOAA.gov Graphic

MOSCOW. Dec 31 (Interfax) – The standoff between state and private oil companies over access to Russia’s continental shelf over the past year recalled the cold war of the early 1980s. It was also a combination of clashing ideologies and ambitions, coalitions of allies, war on the periphery, scare tactics, a search for compromises and absurdity. As in the cold […]

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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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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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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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PM Medvedev Says Corrections in TNK-BP Deal Possible

Oil Well file photo

MOSCOW, November 29 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said corrections are possible in the recently inked deal on the purchase of Russia’s third largest crude producer TNK-BP. Russia’s largest oil company Rosneft announced in October it had reached agreements to buy 100 percent of TNK-BP from British oil major BP and the AAR consortium of Russian billionaire […]

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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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U.S. to Be World’s Biggest Oil Producer, Overtaking Russia, Saudi Arabia By 2020 – IEA

Oil Well file photo

LONDON. Nov 12 (Interfax) – The boom in shale production will turn the United States into the world’s biggest oil producer by 2020, overtaking current leaders Russia and Saudi Arabia, the International Energy Agency said in its latest World Energy Outlook. Only a year ago the IEA was saying that Russia and Saudi Arabia would be the only candidates for […]

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NEWSLINK: The Putin Crackdown: First he went after the punk rockers. Then the activists.

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

(“The Putin Crackdown: First he went after the punk rockers. Then the activists.” – Wall Street Journal Editorial – November 1, 2012 – http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204840504578087152147315198.html) A Wall Street Journal editorial calls for Congresss to pass the Magnitsky Act: Congress should get over its gridlock and pass the Magnitsky Act that bars Russian human-rights offenders from traveling to or banking in the […]

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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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Russian Puzzle: Change Inevitable, Evolution Impossible, Revolution Implausible

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org –  Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 9, Issue 197 – Pavel K. Baev –  October 29, 2012) The Moscow rumor about President Vladimir Putin’s health problems appears well-informed and confirmed by several cancellations of long-scheduled visits and by the postponement of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) summit in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, but it is remarkable how little […]

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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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NEWSLINK: Hand-wringing at dinner with Putin

Cash, Calculator, Pen

Hand-wringing at dinner with Putin – Financial Times – Neil Buckley – October 25, 2012 – http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ced25a3a-1deb-11e2-901e-00144feabdc0.html The Financial Times examines growing limitations on Russian economic prospects, and the resulting impact on the latest “Valdai Discussion Club” dinner: … the event, and the context, has changed a lot. In Valdai’s early years, Russia was growing at 7 per cent a […]

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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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The return of Sechin: An apparent compromise in a government rivalry places Putin’s key ally back in the picture

Igor Sechin file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – October 15, 2012) President Vladimir Putin has reportedly okayed a plan by the state-owned Rosneft oil company to buy BP’s 50 percent stake in TNKBP ­ and this may be part of a larger compromise with Putin’s key ally, Igor Sechin, who controls Rosneft. That compromise, analysts said, could affect everything from […]

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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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NEWSLINK: Kremlin oil control drive could backfire

Oil Well file photo

Kremlin oil control drive could backfire – Reuters – By Dmitry Zhdannikov – September 27, 2012 –  click here for original article Reuters reports on the Russian government’s efforts to bring more oil assets under state control.  Critics charge that growing state control could cripple industry, strain budget resources and even cause social unrest. Some observers warn that paradoxically the […]

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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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