|TOPIC OF THE ISSUE|
|STEP BY STEP|
STATOIL STRENGHTEN ITS POSITION IN RUSSIA
Statoil regards Russia as a potential future core area and is prepared to invest in commercially attractive projects. In this connection the company is now expanding its activities and staff.
|TOPIC OF THE ISSUE|
|Russia's LNG Future — Multilevel Strategy|
The start of Russian LNG deliveries to international markets, so much talked about in the recent years, is finally taking shape.
|TOPIC OF THE ISSUE|
|THE LONG AND ICY ROAD|
A gradual shift in hydrocarbon production from onshore to offshore is underway around the world: the move makes economic sense regardless of higher production costs and slower returns on investment, which are inherent in such projects.
|PERSON OF THE ISSUE|
|George W. Bush,|
the president of the USA
Following the 2 November election of the US President George W Bush for the second term in the office, WTI futures jumped to $50.99/bl. George W. Bush, with all his virtues and shortcomings, remains the tenant of the White House for another term — the response of the US market to the news is illustratory. There is every reason to assume that the very fact of re-election will prop up soaring crude prices for at least first half of his second term.
|PHOTO OF THE ISSUE|
Mazejkiu refinery — the crown jewel of Lithuania’s economy.
|ON CONTRARY POSITIONS IN OIL BUSINESS|
The throughput capacity of Transneft, Russia's state pipeline monopoly, remains a major issue for private oil companies. Eager to expand crude production, they claim they are held back by a pipeline network filled to the limit. Transneft counters by saying that for the first time in many years it has capacity to spare, in no small part because the oil companies often fail to meet their shipping schedules.
|RUSSIAN CRUDE ENTERED THE CPC|
Russian company Naftatrans entered the systems of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) on 9 November, pioneering the start of Russian exports to this destination. Official sources named Russian producer Surgutneftegaz as the owner of crude, but the industry insiders insisted that crude was owned by Russia's pipeline operator Transneft and was supplied by Russia's battered giant Yukos as payment for the pipeline shipments.
|A BLACK SEA SMEAR|
In the past month, Russian and Ukrainian media have spared no effort in covering a supposed conflict that erupted between shareholders in Eximnefteprodukt, the owner of Odessa oil terminal. There were specious reports that a Kyiv court on 13 November ordered the seizure of the company's assets and accounts, resulting in the interruption of oil loading in the port. The supposed ruling was said to be a response to a suit — which also never existed — brought by Swiss oil trader Vitol.
|Setting New Standards|
Mazejkiu refinery: Leadership yesterday, today, tomorrow
Lithuania's Mazejkiu refinery is well-known in Russian oil circles. What is less known is how it reached such a high performance level. OilMarket recently visited the company, and learned that management hit upon a simple yet exacting formula for success. As one of the newest Soviet-era refineries, it benefited from the best that those times had to offer and shrewd management and investment policies. Since independence, the Lithuanian government has provided considerable assistance, with a view toward creating an elite eastern European refinery.
|It is of paramaunt importance to us to have a flexible production process|
An interview with Viktoras Vasilavicius, Mazejkiu Nafta's deputy general director for refining
|LUKOIL CHARTS LONG-TERM COURSE|
Lukoil's board of directors met 22 October at the Odessa refinery, the company's premier Ukrainian asset. Issues discussed went beyond refining, of course, although there was a certain tilt towards that aspect of the industry.
|CRUDE EXPORTS: NEW RECORD SHIPMENTS|
Crude exports via the Russia’s pipeline monopoly Transneft systems hit in October new record high level. Russian oil companies and exporters from the CIS countries exported 17.32mn t of crude via Transneft pipeline systems, 5.6% higher than in September and some 20% up from October 2003.
|CHINA: FROM COAL TO NATURAL GAS|
With its economy rapidly growing, China requires ever larger volumes of energy. In short, the issue is a pivotal one for the country. What does the future hold for Chinese utilities?
|A NATURAL GAS INDUSTRY IN TWO STEPS|
China sees natural gas and hydropower production as the main alternatives to coal consumption. Growing output of those two environment-friendly power sources will address the following.
|SEARCHING FOR STRATEGIC BALANCE|
The Russian oil industry broke new ground with a 21 September deal under which South Korean giant LG is to construct a petrochemical complex in Nizhnekamsk, Tatarstan. The agreement was signed at the Kremlin during a Russo-Korean summit, signalling its strategic importance.