|TOPIC OF THE ISSUE|
|NPPI — the price of integration|
Signed by Putin on 18 August legislation on removal of VAT for CIS-bound oil exports is undoubtedly one of the key developments in the industry over the recent period, for Russia as well as for its partners in Common Economic Space (EEP by Russian acronymic). «For Russia this step was uneasy, but we made it intentionally. We hope that our partners will have adequate reaction», stressed Putin during the recent meeting in Sochi with Leonid Kuchma, the President of Ukraine. For Russia's oil industry, the move holds both positive and negative consequences, some of which are real twisters.
|TOPIC OF THE ISSUE|
|DIFFERENTIATED NDPI: SPEAKING STRAIGHT|
The issue of differentiated tax on natural resources production (NDPI) is getting increasingly important, particularly in the context of looming rise of NDPI base rate (from 1 January 2005) and shift of tax provision burden onto the NDPI after removal of export duty on hydrocarbons shipped to the CIS destinations. The OilMarket publishes here the viewpoints of the representatives of executive and legislative branches.
|TOPIC OF THE ISSUE|
|NATIONAL TAXATION SCHEMES: DISTINCTIONS AND PECULARITIES|
In order to review and categorize taxes imposed upon producers of hydrocarbons, it seems appropriate to address the world experience. The development of various taxation schemes throughout the world is determined by differences in nations' levels of reserves, standards of jurisprudence, investment climate and corruption. Thus, in some countries there is a fix-rate royalty, some countries impose a varying royalty rate which depends upon production volumes/project complexity, some employ an individually determined royalty, and some either do not have any royalty at all or plan to cancel it in a foreseeable future. Besides, a number of countries use complex schemes that can be a combination of all or some of the above-mentioned variants.
|PERSON OF THE ISSUE|
The President of Venezuela
The leader of Venezuela managed to do what even Saddam could not: send crude prices at NYMEX to the record highs near $50/bl. In Latin America, just as in the rest of the world, there aren’t many stubborn politicians paying little regard to the opinion of the White House — one of those is Hugo Chavez, incumbent President of Venezuela. The compatriots call the President «El Commandante» not for nothing — province born and bred professional soldier became the President in 1998. The new President almost instantly indicated to Washington that his country requires no US advice and that he can adequately cope with his powers.
|PHOTO OF THE ISSUE|
|On the road to the big transit oil volumes|
n August 2004 TNK-BP has started filling Odessa– Brody pipeline with its volumes of crude. This is paving the way to the start of commercial shipments of Russia's crude, pencilled for October this year. Ukrainian pipeline operator Ukrtransnafta is readying for the start of shipments. Pictured: a new double-walled 75,000 m3 reservoir at the company's tank farm in Brody.
|EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION|
|Russian OIL service market: Puzzle of the Booming Time|
The history of the Russian oil industry servicing market only started in the end of the last century, and according to the Western experts, still has some 5-7 years to go before taking its final shape. However, foreign companies are already eagerly bite into the market, where the estimated turnover reaches some $3-4bn a year. In Russia many doubt the figure saying that the market is opaque and credible information is hard to come by.
The oil refining industries of Russia and Ukraine are linked not only by direct and indirect association with shareholder capital in large vertically integrated oil companies, but also by a very low level of technologies. In striving to export crude at any possibility to any foreign land, oil companies have practically forgotten about the need to upgrade oil refineries. But oil professionals tend to agree that the main reason for the decline in post-Soviet oil refining lies in the lack of a state strategy, which would stimulate the sector. The latest chapter in the history of large-scale capital investment into oil refining in CIS, as strange as this may seem to many in Moscow and Kiev, has been written by Belarus, which depends on oil deliveries no less than neighboring Ukraine.
|SURPRISE? QUITE PREDICTABLE|
Russia experiences a surge in domestic crude and oil products prices. According to Moscow Fuel Association, from the beginning of the year gasoline retail prices hiked by 19–20% (Goskomstat, government's statistic arm, puts the figure at 16.8%), while wholesale prices gained some 27–30%. The government has already admitted that it has little if no control over the situation. An array of state agencies tries to influence the situation: the list of offered remedies features diverse options, but it is clear that none alone will be sufficient.
|Facing up to grant|
Crude exports are steady as prices hover at record high levels close to $50/bl.
|The gas ternary|
On 18 August prime ministers of Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement on strategic cooperation in gas industry. The Agreement crowns a number of documents outlining the relations of Russia and Ukraine in gas industry for several decades.
|TRANSNEFT: VAINSHTOCK'S FIVE YEARS|
In the recent years, many in Russia's oil industry linked Transneft's expansion with construction and development of the Baltic Pipeline System (BPS). Transneft's launch of 5th stage of the BPS, which increased the pipeline's throughput to 47.5mn tpa (some 950,000 b/d), shows that the company has a «soft spot» for the route.
|Odessa: After the rail war|
The volumes of oil transit via Ukraine's marine terminals are rapidly deteriorating. Business in Odessa is in serious trouble, as June volumes of rail transit fell by 45 times compared to the same period last year. The situation is no better in Feodosia. «It takes years to build up the oil transit and only a moment to have it ruined. Regretfully, Ukraine has learned this from its own experience» — reckons Aleksei Kosmin, chairman of supervisory board at Eximnefteproduct terminal in Odessa