|TOPIC OF THE ISSUE|
|THE DILEMMA OF POST-SOVIET REFINING|
Oil Transit and Refining in the CIS and Baltic States ConferenCe highlighted important industry trends
Playing around with the concepts of refining, transit and diversification has already cost dear to Ukraine's oil products market. Generally greeted by politicians, the talk on Russian monopoly tactics on Ukrainian oil products market is being used as a key argument for promoting alternative crude supply routes. However, only few question the destination of alternative crude — the mostly aged Ukraine's refineries.
|PERSON OF THE ISSUE|
|ALEXANDER SHACUN: THERE IS A SENSIBLE ALTERNATIVE TO IMPORTS of ISOMERISATION TECHNOLOGY|
The issue of domestic technologies for crude refining is infant terrible of Russia's oil companies. Russia's refining industry is lagging behind the West both equipment- and standard-wise, which hits companies' export profits and poses risk for domestic markets. The same goes for gasoline quality issue. Some companies, Lukoil being one, select the established Western equipment-makers known for their reliability.
|PHOTO OF THE ISSUE|
Troll B floating semi-submersible of Norsk Hydro engaged in oil production on Troll offshore field in the Northern Sea, west of Bergen.
|EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION|
Salym Petroleum Development NV (SPD) announced the last stage of setup works — next comes large-scale production on Upper- and Western-Salym fields. Over the past six to twelve months, SPD set up the previously limping production at the Upper-Salym field. The company also launched production at the Western-Salym field, installed industrial infrastructure units and a pipeline linking the field to Transneft enter point.
|THE PIPELINE FORUM HIGHLIGHTS TECHNOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT|
The exhibition at Expocentre in Moscow on 25-26 May, organised by Euroexpo company, and 2005 Pipeline Transport conference, organised by RPI consultancy, highlighted the key trends in pipeline projects development in Russia and other countries of former USSR.
|TNK-BP IN KOVYKTA DEADLOCK|
NEGOTIATIONS OF GAZPROM AND TNK-ÂÐ ARE IN YET ANOTHER DEADLOCK
Gazprom denies its forming a gas consortium with ÒNÊ-ÂÐ. At a briefing held in Moscow on 14 June, the head of Gazprom's strategic development department Vlada Rusakova said the company is working out a program for the development of gas resources of Eastern Siberia and Far East. Though Rusakova noted «she has not heard» about the consortium, it's worth recalling her earlier statement, in which the manager has already shocked the business community saying that Gazprom was interested in Yukos assets. That statement, which appeared even before the sale of Yuganskneftegaz, formerly the crown production subsidiary of the disgraced company, turned out to be a prophecy of a kind.
|THE DUTY OF THE SON|
Bashkortostan energy complex remains controlled by the president’s son.
|THE CATALYST OF GROWTH|
RUSSNEFT LAUNCHED THE OIL TERMINAL IN BRYANSK REGION
In June 2005 the vertically integrated oil company Russneft launched the oil terminal on Zhecha station of Bryansk region, which will export crude via Belarus. At the opening ceremony, Russneft's president Mikhail Gutseriyev said in 2005 the company plans to double its output and export almost all crude it produces. Within the next 10 years, Russneft, which was established in 2002, wants to become the international company with the output comparable to that of the Russian oil giants.
|CPC: A CALL FOR FLEXIBILITY|
The CPC management believes it exercised enough flexibility in talks on capacity expansion with Russia. Further CPC expansion delays will hit the members of the consortium badly.
|WESTERN BALTIC READIES STAFF FOR ICE NAVIGATION|
Rapidly growing oil shipper Western Baltic Inc. of Nassau and Russia's Saint-Petersburg Admiral Makarov State Maritime Academy entered on May 23 into a broad cooperation agreement aiming to provide experienced personnel for crude and products loadings and shipments from the Russian Baltic and Arctic ports.
|GASOLINE PRODUCTION AS A MIRROR OF RUSSIA'S OIL REFINING CHALLENGES|
World practice and operating data of the oil majors illustrate that oil refining industry is almost as lucrative as oil production investment-wise. And yet, oil refining segment of Russia and other CIS countries still cries out for capital investments into the issues handicapping industry the most, such as fuel oil share in the total production volume yielded by Russia's refineries and the quality of produced gasoline. The future of the industry hinges on whether Russia's oil professionals can rise up to the challenges.
|A LONELY LUKOMOTIVE|
Lukoil is the first Russian company to reach Euro-4 diesel fuel standard
The low technical level of Russia's refineries is manifested by the quality of yielded oil products. Primarily, this concerns second largest after fuel oil fraction produced at the refineries — Russia's gasoil exceeds EU's sulphur content regulations by several orders of magnitude. At the same time, separate companies go to great efforts to bridge the quality gap between European and Russian oil products. In June, Lukoil became the first Russian company to start production of Euro-4 compliant diesel fuel.
|NORTGAZ IS BACK UNDER GAZPROM'S WING|
In June, the protracted conflict between Gazprom and Nortgaz finally boiled over.