|TOPIC OF THE ISSUE|
|Odessa gathers oil professionals|
New accents for Refining and Transit international conference
For the fourth time now, Odessa welcomed the international conference Oil Refining and Transit in CIS and Baltic States held on 7-8 June. The modest compared to our Moscow forum entry list was compensated by a record geographic spread of the visitors. Representatives of companies from 14 countries run through two days of sessions literally in a single go, finishing conversations well on into the small hours. There was much to talk about — FSU states develop rapidly, though at a somewhat different speed. Interestingly, keeping the same title, the conference is continuously expanding beyond the issues of refining and transit. This year, alternative fuels emerged as the main «side topic». Oilmen increasingly often turn to biofuel technologies, either on their own accord, or being forced by the government. At the same time, refining remained the paramount issue of the conference, with Ukrainian professionals intently listening to successful experiences of Russian and Kazakh projects.
|PERSON OF THE ISSUE|
Martin Gough, managing director and owner of UK-based Cal Gavin
Martin's business card has it that his company is engaged in process intensification engineering. Seeing is believing, though — sorcery is also «process intensification», in a way… The head engineers of the refineries and other techies, who were lucky enough to witness Martin's presentation, were left open-mouthed with surprise. A sort of sorcery, solving the bitter trouble of refinery operators, gas professionals, petrochemists — problem relevant for thousands of facilities and millions of people — the issue of seamless heat exchangers maintenance and cleaning.
|PHOTO OF THE ISSUE|
German drivers in rage: Super blend of gasoline now costs ˆ1.40 per litre. Germans envy the Uncle Sam and cheap American gasoline (equivalent of only ˆ0.63 per litre). Though, the US drivers are also resentful — for one year, gasoline prices climbed 12% up. The drivers spill their anger in wrong direction — oil majors have little to do with this. The main reason for ever-rising prices is political instability in the world.
|Black Sea energy meeting|
On 25 June, the 15th summit of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organisation opened in Istanbul’s Chiragan Palace, on the coast of the Turkish straits. The summit was joined by the heads of 12 member countries, as well as by the representatives of leading global organisations, including the UN, EBRR, EU, WTO, the World Bank, etc. Russian delegation was headed by the President Vladimir Putin.
|Facing the challenges|
Moscow hosted an international conference Modern Technologies and Equipment, Industrial Construction in Russia's Refining and Petrochemistry. On 6-7 June Moscow welcomed the international conference Modern Technologies and Equipment, Industrial Construction in Russia's Refining and Petrochemistry.
|EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION|
|OMV announces additional gas discovery in Pakistan|
OMV Aktiengesellschaft, Central Europe's leading oil and gas group, on 4 June announced a discovery and successful testing of gas in its Tajjal 1 exploration well in the Gambat Exploration Block in Northern Sindh province Pakistan.
|EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION|
|Norway's vast offshore experience for Ukraine's Black Sea upstream projects|
Chornomornaftogaz leadership established foundation for regular contacts with Norway's gas professionals
|EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION|
|Marathon lands in Ukraine|
US-based Marathon International Petroleum and Ukraine's state-owned oil monopoly Naftogaz Ukrainy inked an agreement on joint exploration project in Ukraine. Production potential will be estimated after initial exploration works, says head of Naftogaz Ukrainy Yevgen Bakulin. Meanwhile Russian analysts are left guessing on just why Marathon Oil Corporation agreed to invest in the politically unstable Ukraine. In any case, one of the largest US oil companies is prepared to fork out some $100mn for Ukraine's exploration projects right now.
|More oil products for Ukraine|
UkrGazVydobuvannya boosts crude and gas condensate processing
For 5 months 2007 Ukraine's Shebelinka gas plant (UkrGazVydobuvannya subsidiary) processed 414,000 t of feedstock, up 10.2% (38,200) y.o.y.
|Tax breaks could go on till 2009|
Gazprom and Rosneft could get tax breaks for the projects in the Arctic and Russia's Far East, though the benefits are unlikely to apply to Caspian Sea projects, said Viktor Khristenko, Russia's minister of industry and energy, on 1 June.
|Belarus tries to secure crude supplies on processing terms|
Belarus Oil Company plans its first oil product sales by the end of June, told a source in Belarus Oil Trading House (BNTD) to the OilMarket magazine.
|Itera's methane business|
The matter of middle-men
Swiss-registered RosUkrEnergo yet again risks getting a boot out of Ukraine. The President of Ukraine Viktor Yuschenko issued a decree stopping the CM resolution on changing gas supply procedure and challenged the act in Ukraine's Constitutional Court. «In early 2007, the government approved a decision which opens up the way to monopolisation of Ukraine's gas market by UkrGaz-Energo. This would provide super-profits for the company, at the expense of domestic industry operators, whose financial standing would deteriorate», said the President on 25 June.
|Mikhail Gutseriyev may lose RussNeft|
Mikhail Gutseriyev, the president and the majority owner of relatively small yet rapidly growing oil company RussNeft, has always been able to negotiate a compromise. In 2002, he lost a post of the head of then state-owned (at the time) Slavneft with a scandal. However, Gutseriev managed to acquire some of company's assets and built on them the dynamically developing company which quickly got into the list of ten largest oil holdings in Russia. The international trader Glencore became a shareholder of RussNeft's production subsidiaries. Finally, RussNeft acquired some assets of the disgraced Yukos. However, the good luck seems to have run out for Gutseriyev. He and several top-managers of his company have been charged with illegal business activity and tax evasion, while shares of RussNeft have been arrested. If the court acknowledges the accusations of the Federal Tax Service, which is challenging the transactions of RussNeft's shares, the controlling stake of the company can be confiscated in favour of the state.
|Adrian Binks: spot market will always exist|
Argus Media was the first of specialised agencies to recognise the need for broader coverage of the spot oil market deals. In April 1979 the agency started publishing price quotations for the main oil blends and European oil products, distributing the data via telex machines three times a week. For almost 30 years that passed since then, the agency evolved into the leading oil&gas price reporting service, publishing a broad range of newsletters covering markets for oil, oil products, natural gas and LNG in every region of the world. Argus methodology enabled the company to take a leading position at the global energy information market. The agency increasingly often used in contracts of such majors as ExxonMobil, Total and Shell, as well as by oil producers in India, Indonesia, etc. Russian government uses Argus pricing information to establish oil export duties and to asses the state of the domestic oil market. Argus brand is well-known in OPEC countries, too. Adrian Binks, Argus Media managing director and publisher, answers OilMarket questions.
|Ecros international dimensions|
Russian business is going global. Lukoil succeeded to acquire large fuel stations networks in USA, in Finland and other EU states; Transneft, Rosneft and Gazprom Neft are gearing up to pipeline construction project in Bulgaria and Greece; several Russian holdings invested heavily in Estonia loading terminals development.
|CNG-fuelled ferries use Rolls-Royce engines|
Rolls-Royce gas fuelled engines power five new ferries that went into service on two important routes on the west coast of Norway in January 2007. Traditionally, diesel powered ferries have provided this link and the decision to use compressed natural gas (CNG) as fuel was influenced by several factors.
|Associated gas utilisation issues–2|
Solutions for using low-pressure and flaring
(Final part. See beginning in OM No. 5).
Gas flaring is widely used at low-debit and remote oil fields with 5-50mn m3 pa associated gas resources, as such low gas reserves deem unfeasible any sub-projects on utilisation of associated gas. The challenge is to develop technologies and equipment to utilise associated gas volumes at practically any type of fields.