|TOPIC OF THE ISSUE|
|NORSK HYDRO: A LOOK FROM WITHIN|
Russia's Arctic shelf development is one of the Russian media's front-page darlings. Such feature stories about there shelf usually include a reference or two to prospective partnerships with Western companies. Norwegian companies are most often mentioned in this respect — and Norwegian companies themselves make no secret of their interest in Russian projects, to the point of being willing to invest their unique know-how gained in projects on Norway's shelf. Russia's oil industry conferences or exhibitions rarely take place without the participation of Norwegian companies and media outlets often cite Norway's offshore projects as examples of the newest technologies.
OilMarket journalists accepted an invitation from Norsk Hydro to learn about the company's production offshore the North Sea and the Ormen Lange project straight from the horse's mouth. The invitation also provided an opportunity to see many details that remain unnoticed in Russia but are quite impressive upon a closer look.
|PERSON OF THE ISSUE|
ROSNEFT VICE PRESIDENT
Zemlyuk’s presentation at MIOGE-2005 Congress was one of the most remarkable Conference events. The scope and geographic coverage of the projects mentioned by Zemlyuk do impress, though the industry has already heard about Rosneft's plans to enter the list of top five majors by 2015. Despite uncertainties with financing and engineering and technical challenges, bound to come up within the projects, Rosneft relies on itself and has no intention of giving up. The company’s plans include joining several giant projects both within Russia and overseas.
|PHOTO OF THE ISSUE|
|NOT WAITING FOR GAZPROM'S NOD|
A 60kt tanker with cargo of gas condensate pulls out of Vitino terminal in the White Sea. The terminal was put into operation by Novatek on 23 June 2005. The launch of the terminal, which coincided with finishing first stage of Purovskiy gas condensate plant, opens up wide export opportunities for the largest in Russia independent natural gas producer.
|EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION|
|A STEP TOWARDS VERTICAL INTEGRATION|
Alliance bought a 88.24% stake in Tatnefteotdacha
This urgent step, quite logical for the company that owns refining facilities and retail network, was made in a whiff of time as it should have been taken much earlier. In April, the annual meeting of shareholders decided that the company should target the production assets, and in mid-July it acquired 88% stake in Tatnefteotdacha. The sum paid in the deal has not been disclosed, but it is simple to estimate the value of 300,000 tpa oil company. However, seeing how the acquisition would reflect on Alliance refining business is much more fascinating.
London hosted a major industry conference: Kazakhstan Oil and Gas’2005
London has long since become a host of choice for oil&gas industry conferences. Still, few of those have had similar range of quality issues in the agenda and top decision-makers to 5th International Forum Kazakhstan Oil and Gas — 2005 that took place in London's Landmark Hotel on 29-30 June. The forum was organised by IBC Energy Conferences with assistance of Kazakhstan Embassy in the UK. The event raised a number of issues on UK-Kazakhstan bilateral cooperation and highlighted the most pressing topics in Kazakhstan oil&gas segment development strategy and economy development.
|SETTING UP THE PRIORITIES|
International Oil&Gas Exhibition MIOGE-2005 on 21-23 June hosted Third Russian Oil&Gas Congress organised by ITE GROUP. Traditionally, the Congress highlighted wide range of pressing issues, putting particular accent on development of new oil&gas provinces.
|REWARD FOR QUALITY|
Novatek launched Purovskiy gas condensate plant and White Sea Vitino terminal virtually at the same time.
|RETURN TO SENDER|
GSMs of Transneft and Transnefteproduct were delayed — the companies are waiting the government's directive on dividend payments.
|Linos upgrading set to go on|
Linos launches isomerisation unit
This marks TNK-BP's first significant step in refinery's development. Launched on 20 July production line enables the company to boost the share of high-octane gasoline in the total yield, in parallel with improving its environmental attributes to match the norms set in European regulations.
|GAZPROM AND ITS PRIORITIES|
NOTHING FANCY, OR STRICTLY BUSINESS
Russia's gas monopoly is after new crude acquisitions: the company plans to boost its oil assets share to 50%. Yet, first Gazprom's management wants to cut down the number of existing projects in order to concentrate on issues critical to company's development.
|THE PHANTHOM OF HIGH-TECHNOLOGY OVERDOSE|
Despite superior market conditions and sustainable growth over the recent years, oil industry falls short of being the engine for the country's economy. The OilMarket time and time again runs features on insufficient investments in oil refining; the same issue plagues exploration and drilling equipment industry, too. Contrary to common sense, growth of crude production failed to boost investments in segment of engineering that manufactures equipment for oil&gas industry
|GAZPROM'S THIRST FOR OIL|
GAZPROM ABANDONED ROSNEFT MERGER IN FAVOUR OF SIBNEFT?
The cancellation of merger with Rosneft will not prevent Gazprom from expanding its oil business. In the end of May it was already rumoured that the management of Gazprom negotiated a purchase of a controlling interest in Sibneft with principal shareholders of the oil company. In July these rumours proved true, as the President of Russia Vladimir Putin said that Sibneft's owners had informed him of their intention to sell the business, while Basmanny court of Moscow ordered a release of 14.5% company's shares owned by Yukos.
|THE PRESSURE OF TAXES…|
RUSSIA'S TAXATION POLICY TOPS LUKOIL AGENDA
Lukoil says that tax burden carried by Russia's oil industry may and must be slashed as soon as possible, to avoid erosion of investments. Although Lukoil is still interested in buying new assets both in Russia and overseas, the company indicates that it will develop its future investment strategies depending on Russia's tax policies.