|TOPIC OF THE ISSUE|
|Gas flaring faces ban in Russia|
Gas flaring would incur sanctions — from fines to licence withdrawal
In Russian President's annual message to Russia's Federal Assembly, Putin proposed imposing tighter sanctions for gas flaring at the fields. Over 20 bcm of natural gas are wasted in gas flares, said Putin proposing more rigid licensing control and higher fines for gas flaring offenders.
|PERSON OF THE ISSUE|
|The burden of stabilisation|
Ukrtransnafta CEO Igor Kiryushin
The head of Ukraine's state-owned pipeline Ukrtransnafta fulfils a complex and highly responsible mission. Ukraine's government instructed the company to accumulate oil products stabilisation fund, in line with March agreement with TNK-BP. This requires Ukrtransnafta to ship at least 25,000 b/d of oil to Lisichansk refinery (the stabilisation fund is pencilled at 200,000t of light oil products).
|PHOTO OF THE ISSUE|
|A refinery on fire in Îklahoma|
A large fire shut down Wynnewood Refining Company refinery owned by Gary Williams Energy Corp and located in Oklahoma, US. No injuries were reported.
|First Caspian conference|
The First Caspian Conference on Oil Trade and Transportation was hosted by the UK-based Confidence Energy in Baku Hyatt Regency Hotel on 23–24 April.
|EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION|
|Looking the Black Sea shelf|
Chornomornaftogaz, the pioneers of shelf production in Ukraine, is looking for investments and technologies for developing Black and Azov Sea offshore projects.
|The flammable industry|
20% of Ukrainian pipelines are the «emergency stock»
On 7 May, a fire accident happened on Urengoi-Pomary-Uzhgorod trunk gas pipeline near a compressor station in Kyiv region, Ukraine. No casualties or damages had been reported, though some 30 metres of the pipeline had to be replaced while 34 villages stayed with no natural gas (that's 12,610 households). The losses are estimated at $170,000; natural gas flows had to be redirected to Soyuz pipeline, some 100km away from the accident location. The accident management had been completed now.
|Raising potential of energy partnership with Russia|
OMV and Gazprom boost cooperation in natural gas segment
A Memorandum of Understanding on further cooperation in the gas business between OMV and Gazprom has been signed by Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer, CEO of OMV, and Alexei Miller, Gazprom head on during the visit of Vladimir Putin to Austria.
|The inevitable morning after|
The refining industry of neighbouring Belarus is in the doldrums. The issue is aggravated by oil suppliers, who literally gave the Belarus refining «a cold shower» of market relations. Belarus loses up to $75 on each refined tonne of crude oil, specialists estimate. Though Russian experts doubt «agonizing conditions» of Belarus downstream, saying that all this lamenting is down to Belarus' industry being used to preferential treatment and simply trying to get back into the «good-old days». This is viable only if the country resumes tolling practice at its refineries, which had disappeared together with zero-rate duty on crude. Coming on 1 July hike of the duties would exacerbate the problem further. There is little doubt that political differences between Russian and Belarus Presidents would ensure no preferences for the time to come. While Russia's drive to diversify its exports could mean that Belarus appeal as oil export route would diminish.
|Diàmonds for Ukrainian Cinderella|
Shebelinka gas processing plant (Kharkiv region, Ukraine), a subsidiary of UkrGazVydobuvannya, has recently been transforming from stepdaughter-like figure into valuable «battle unit» of Ukraine's refining. And it is nobody's fault that the process is being delayed as usual. The head of state-owned Naftogaz Ukrainy oil&gas monopoly Yevgen Bakulin and his successor at the position of UkrGazVydobuvannya head Yuri Fesenko zoomed in on developing Shebelinka gas processing plant.
|UK gas stations are closing regardless of booming motor fuel sales|
The latest surveys conducted by the Energy Institute (EI), show that 2006 petrol sales reversed the progressive decline seen since 1997. The last year's sales grew 572,000t (3.1%) to 40.5mn tpa. Even more dramatically, 2006 diesel sales increased by 1.66mn t (8.4%). Registered UK vehicles also reached an all-time high of 33.1mn, a 0.6% gain on 2005.
|Rosneft swallows Yukos|
The state has recovered the ownership of Mikhail Khodorkovsky empire
The sale of Yukos assets is finally over. As was expected, Rosneft carved out the juiciest assets of Yukos, which instantly propelled the state-owned oil company to the top ranks by volume of reserves, production levels and refinery runs. Interestingly, Rosneft could well get the assets it didn't bid for during the auctions on selling the assets of beleaguered oil company.
|No expansion, strictly business|
Lukoil continues expansion abroad. Recently the company acquired from its long-term partner Conoco Phillips a retail business of 376 fuel stations spanning over six European countries — Belgium (156 sites, 8.3% of the market), Finland (49 sites, 5.5%), Czech Republic (44 sites, 4%), Hungary (30 sites, 4.3%), Poland (83 sites, 5%) and Slovakia (14 sites).
|Racing for the controlling stake|
German concern ditched its attempts to take over Spanish energy company in exchange for its European assets
|Promising future mobile nuclear energy projects|
Sevmash (Severodvinsk) makes first steps in a project on mobile nuclear-powered energy complexes.
|Associated gas utilisation issues|
Preserving 20 bn m3
Utilisation of associated gas is a pressing issue now looming over all Russia's oil companies. There are several utilisation options — OilMarket magazine starting up a feature series on this issue written by upstream and downstream experts. The first material is by Boris Rachevsky, NefteGazTop general director. He discusses specific approaches for utilisation of low-pressure and flare gas from oil&gas fields.