|TOPIC OF THE ISSUE|
|KazMunaiGaz goes South|
Over the recent years, Kazakh state oil&gas holding KazMunaiGaz has been making accent on expansion abroad. Finally, the efforts of this dynamically developing company will start paying off, as became apparent in March.
|PERSON OF THE ISSUE|
President of Complex Oil
Complex Oil, registered in 2000 (Kstovo, Nizhny Novgorod region) with assets in Nizhny Novgorod, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kurgan and Smolensk regions, for the past three years has become Russia's most rapidly developing independent oil company. Complex Oil 2006 revenue reached $264.15mn; on 1 January 2006 the company's net assets worth stood at over $52mn. By the end of 2007 the company plans to have $200mn capitalisation.
|PHOTO OF THE ISSUE|
|We might be very good friends, but our tobacco is of different brands|
Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, left, smokes a cigarette as he is accompanied by his Greek counterpart Dora Bakoyannis outside the premier's office in Athens on 15 March, 2007. Russia, Greece and Bulgaria signed a deal to build a pipeline to transport Russian oil to a port in northern Greece. The 280km (175-mile) link from Bulgaria's Black Sea port of Burgas will transport crude to the port of Alexandroupolis. The project will improve networks in southeastern Europe that transport crude from the Caspian Sea region to the European Union, bypassing the Turkish straights.
|The decade's achievements|
Having been formed ten years ago, KazTransOil, a transportation subsidiary of Kazakh state-owned oil&gas company KazMunaiGaz, worked hard to get reputation of a modern, fast-paced pipeline operator. Today, KazTransOil is the largest oil pipeline operator of Kazakhstan, with a powerful and extensive pipelines network that transports some 60% of oil produced in the country. Over 50 Kazakhstan producers use the company's services for oil transportation domestically and for export.
On 21 February the Board of Directors of Greece's largest downstream operator Hellenic Petroleum S.A. approved an ˆ850mn investment project at the company's 100,000 b/d Elefsina refinery. The investment will go into a 40,000 b/d hydrocracker unit and 21,000 b/d flexicoker unit construction projects, as well as upgrades and additions to other refinery equipment . The project is slated for completion in 2010.
|A refining stratagem|
Priorities of the global oil&gas industry are rapidly changing. Soaring oil products prices, lack of refining capacity in EU and USA, open up new exciting options for refiners in other regions of the world. Development of Russian economy combined with new trends at global markets present new challenges to Russia's refiners and companies of petrochemical industry. The OilMarket raised the issue in a recent meeting with Vladimir Kapustin, one of the gurus of reforming and modernisation of Russian refining industry, general director of VNIPIneft institute, head of refining department at Russia's Gubkin University of oil and gas, Doctor of Engineering.
Gasoline is not the only option
As a cheaper and more environmentally-friendly LPG-powered cars gain market share, the issue of multifuel stations begins to loom over Russia. Solving this question would boost the LPG fuelling capacity to some 2.6 bcm, or 400,000 vehicles, annually.
After intriguing everyone a few months ago with a statement on plans to build a refinery in Turkey, Lukoil has announced the project would be postponed until better times. Meanwhile, plans to develop a Lukoil retail chain in Turkey remain in force. The Russian giant decided it would rather increase the capacity of its Bulgarian refinery in order to supply the future chain of 500 filling stations. Besides the Turkish direction, this plan also has a European outlook which Lukoil does not plan to ditch despite bruises along the way. A European retail chain together with bigger output in Burgas promises to be a highly lucrative business for the oil giant.
|Moving around Detroit motorshow|
The battle for cubic centimetres
Sustainable growth of fuel prices forces the US citizens to consider a car with «budget» gasoline, or even a diesel engine. Even recently this was seen in USA as «bad manners». Ford, which is struggling off Toyota trying to remain the second largest (after GM) car seller in the US.
|Echo of Erika|
A French court is studying a case on Erika tanker accident. This will be the largest in France environmental pollution trial.
|The ice-to-fuel technology|
Tapping into Arctic energy
Millions of dollars are invested in gas hydrate research projects by countries keen on developing alternative energy sources. Scientists from Japan, USA and Canada are developing low-pressure drilling technology for methane hydrate production. India and Korea are also active in relevant research.