|TOPIC OF THE ISSUE|
|WORN OUT CINDERELLA SHOES|
A critical view on investment strategies of CIS and Baltic refining industry
The participants of the International Congress «New Opportunities in Oil Transit and Refining in CIS and the Baltic States» took a closer look at the future of the industry. The downfall in oil transit volumes has turned in painful reality for the countries like Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Ukraine. Therefore it came as no surprise that some 150 representatives of oil transit and refining related industry from these countries, as well as from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and other countries, thirteen in total, positively responded to the invitation of the OilMarket publisher, UPECO company, to meet in Odessa on 10–12 June 2004 and discuss the problems of the transit, closely linked with crude and products exports, as well as to examine possible solutions to the maladies of refining sector in the post soviet countries.
|RUSSIAN LNG AND THE GLOBAL MARKET|
By 2004 the significant pace of the LNG industry development allowed it to become an independent branch of gas business. An increasing number of gas-producing countries located away from promising markets view LNG as a solution to problems related to the delivery of gas to remote markets. Consumers use LNG to diversify the sources of gas supply and to protect their economy against upsets in light of growing demand for this product. For Russian gas producers, realisation of LNG projects will help open up markets of North-East Asia and North America.
|Russia and Belarus: a gas compromise|
Russia and Belarus have settled a range of reciprocal demands. Mikhail Fradkov, PM of Russia, visiting Minsk on 8 June as a member of Russian delegation, has signed a number of significant documents on Russian gas supply to Belarus, cutting short the property dispute regarding the assets of Zapad-Transnefteproduct company.
|THE FIRST RUSSIAN MAJOR IN THE MAKING|
Lukoil plans to boost its overseas share of hydrocarbons production up to 20% of total production volume. In the world of the international oil-and-gas industry, the term «major» implies a company which has developed projects spanning the globe while also having the sufficient financial potential to attract required funding. Having enjoyed over three years of exorbitant oil prices, a number of Russian companies finally got the opportunity to enter the world's top league. Lukoil was the first to take resolute steps in that direction.
|EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION|
Saratov regional law-enforcing agencies decided to have a dig at Saratovneftegaz company. The authorities accused the subsidiary of TNK-BP of wrongdoing after discovering that for several years now the company operates in the region on expired licence.
On the 16th of June Lukoil officially put in operation the first stage of its oil terminal in Vysotsk. The implementation of the project has strategic importance for the company, which explains the high pace of work — the construction of the first stage started only in 2002.
|INDEPENDENT OIL PRODUCTION IN ORENBURG REGION: A SCIENCE OF SURVIVAL|
The condition of oil producing companies in Orenburg region largely mirrors overall situation of the oil industry in Russia. On the background of general upbeat in oil production, conditioned by several large companies, medium and minor oil producers experience common problems. This represents the very essence of local oil producers' experiences — as a rule, it can be successfully transferred to other regions as well.
Wholesale prices for motor fuel in Russia jumped by 9–11% in April, the ceiling is yet to be seen. Prices surged for Russian benchmark gasoline A-92 and gasoil to 12,024 rbl/t (some $415/t) and 8,954 (some $309/t) respectively, while average wholesale price for A-76 gasoline increased to 10,312 rbl/t (some $356/t).