|TOPIC OF THE ISSUE|
Ukrainian refining 2005. Production decline as a result of administrative «coordination» and lack of investments
The recession experienced by Ukraine's refining industry in 2005 was the worst since the days of early 1990s. While the overall parameters of the industry are hardly critical, operation of some of the country's refineries is but a caricature of the prior period.
|PERSON OF THE ISSUE|
|Maestro of Oil trading business|
Sergey Buranov, Ufaoil commercial director
Ufaoil, oil trading company based in Bashkortostan capital Ufa, supplies oil products to dozens of Russian regions as well as to consumers in Kazakhstan. In February the company started shipping diesel fuel to lucrative but difficult Ukrainian market. Sergey Buranov, the commercial director of the company, is one of founders of Ufaoil. He witnessed gradual expansion of the company's business and made a large effort to transform the company into high-tech trading house compliant to all progressive western (or eastern?) practices of oil products trade. We state with full responsibility that trading department of ANY Russian oil company would envy diligent business management at Ufaoil.
|PHOTO OF THE ISSUE|
Saudi King Abdullah's picture is seen on a car parked near Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq oil facility 24 February. Suicide bombers in explosives-laden cars attacked the world's largest oil processing facility, but were prevented from breaking through the gates when guards opened fire on them, causing the vehicles to explode, officials said.
|Gazprom got Sibneft|
The buyer of Sibneft expects its production will dwindle but still counts for high dividends
At last Gazprom, the new owner of Sibneft, has taken over a former asset of Roman Abramovich. The head of Gazprom Alexei Miller was elected the chairman of Sibneft's new board of directors. The board also approved Sibneft 2006 business plan. The production fall is not seen as a surprise any more, rather as a fact to live and deal with. Nevertheless, the gas monopoly has no plans on giving up Sibneft's traditionally high dividends payment as this will offset the expenses invested in asset acquisition.
|The retail price freeze goes on|
Moratorium on higher prices will continue, announce oil companies
The price hike for oil products which oil industry experts promised would hit on 1 January this year has not been seen by other market players after all. Moreover, Lukoil announced it would continue its policy of «restraining» retail fuel prices at its gasoline stations. The time frame for «un-freezing» the prices has not been stated but it is most likely that this will coincide with approaching spring thaws. Other vertically-integrated companies which control in total over 60% of the retail market will also adhere to the same policy. In looking at the reasons prompting oil companies to adopt such practices, OilMarket dived into the economics of retail trade in Russia and the influence of seasonal factors. At the same time other interesting facts were uncovered making it possible to draw some founded conclusions.
|The clashes on capital's fuel market|
«Educational measures» with the federal surcharges
There is, finally, a light in the end of the tunnel in protracted battle between Moscow authorities and the local owners of gasoline stations. The Prosecutor's office voided decisions of Moscow government on tightening the quality of motor fuel sold in Moscow. And yet, though more than a fortnight passed since the prosecutor had stamped the paper, the decision is still in force. Also, Moscow authorities are unable to ensure much-desired sustainable fuel supply to the capital. The key reason — lack of demand, which thwarts all efforts aimed at upgrading the refining segment.
|BLACK GOLD COCKTAIL SHAKE|
How will NOC's and IOCs change the face of the petroleum industry
London plum trees usually start to blossom on the turn of the season. This year, one felt a certain concern for the trees: colder-than-usual weather caused by Siberian draughts were weakened by Atlantic currents but still reached the UK, resulting in colder-than-usual weather for Londoners. Symbolic in its own right. And while on 17 February, the closing day of IP Week, the sky was clear with up to +150C, the somber discussion topic did leave some aftertaste.