|TOPIC OF THE ISSUE|
|Ukraine's sky-blue pearl|
Ukraine's largest gas condensate field has marked its 50th anniversary. The enterprise's difficult recovery from its glorious Soviet past has affected Ukraine's Shebelinkagazvydobuvannya gas company not in the best way. Nevertheless, the experience of developing the company over the past years shows the sprouts of market initiative can make it through state administration and populism just as well as through a layer of asphalt.
|PERSON OF THE ISSUE|
Lukoil-Overseas regional director, Kazakhstan
Lukoil is leader in Russia's upstream and downstream sectors as well as most active Russia's oil company abroad. The operations of its subsidiary Lukoil Overseas Holding Ltd span over 25 countries, including Middle East, Western Africa and Latin America.
|PHOTO OF THE ISSUE|
|France helps Lebanon to clean up oil spill in Mediterranean|
France supplied Lebanon with oil spill response equipment.
|Ear-rings for Cinderella|
Modernisation of refining assets is an increasingly pressing issue for Russia and the CIS. The period of record high profits in crude oil exports is over. Russia's oil export duty hikes, Ukraine's spiralling growth of fuel prices, Kazakhstan's perpetual need of fuels import… The market forces oil companies to take up projects aimed at modernisation of refining segment, the «Cinderella of the industry».
|Pavlodar spreads wings|
The CIS refiners reap the fruits of free from export duty lucrative refining
|At the whim of the market|
Fuel prices to stay competitive
The domestic market expected the authorities to put lid on fuel prices after meeting of oil companies with government in Moscow on 12 September. Observers speculated the result would be a repeat of last year's scenario — «freezing» prices at current rates until the end of the year. But while last year's slogan was «freeze prices», this year's is «don't raise them». So conclusions from last year were drawn, but it appears no new levers of influence have been found. What is surprising is something else: the government's arguments its move demanding only that price growth is kept in line with inflation.
|Oil, gas and crime|
The judge acquitted the oil company of its debts
Up till recently, the judge of the Moscow arbitration court Olga Daugul has been specialising in tax cases and was treated by colleagues as an experienced professional. Yet, Russia's MPs were deeply wounded by her dashy yet elegant solution of the case on state tax claims against TNK-BP's «grey» subsidiary Alfa group. Fairly so — the judge cut the state tax claim to TNK-BP from $150mn down to $150,000.
|Solvent wisdom of diversification|
On the dawn of Kazakhstan independence President Nursultan Nazarbaev announced multivectoral economy development strategy, which now generates multibillion investments. Much has been contributed by the country's largest pipeline operator KazTransOil (KTO), a subsidiary of state-owned oil&gas firm KazMunaiGaz. KTO investment effort helps Kazakhstan to achieve its ambitious goal spelled out in the Strategy of Entering the Top-50 Competitive Countries List. The company successfully uses both internal financing and credits from abroad to solve the challenges of oil shipments diversification and providing sustainable supplies of Kazakh energy resources to the global markets. KTO projects are vital for proper operation of partners in Russia, China and other regional players.
|Lukoil's Vysotsk-2 terminal|
New Lukoil's project illustrates impressive capacity and environmental safety
If you happen to take a boat trip around the Gulf of Finland, a curious structure on the shore, a huge 108 metres high tower, is bound to capture your attention. Local fishermen are already familiar with the giant, which is a part of Lukoil's new terminal Vysotsk-Lukoil-2 completed in August.
|Burgas-Alexandropoulos: Bypassing the Bosporus|
Russia, Greece and Bulgaria have agreed to sign an agreement in support of building an oil pipeline to ease to load on the Bosporus by the end of the year. This brings the partner-countries a large step closer to the project they have been discussing for 14 years. Russian companies believe they are the ones who should take the shelf under the project, since the Russian side is the one which will fill the pipes. At the same time, Chevron, which expects growth in Kazakhstan extraction, has still not decided on its participation in the Russian-Greek-Bulgarian project. On the other hand, even if the American company prefers an alternative route for its oil supplies, the Russians themselves can build and fill a pipeline with their own volumes, circumventing the Turkish straits. This is what experts are saying as they caution against the ruinous consequences of further delay.