|TOPIC OF THE ISSUE|
|WSR merges with Alyans|
A new vertically-integrated oil company created in Russia
The banner event in Russia's oil industry at the beginning of 2008 was the appearance of a new player — West Siberian Resources, which has been carrying out oil production projects for several years in Siberia and the Timano-Pechora and Volgo-Ural provinces. WSR is merging with the Alyans oil company which owns refineries and sales outlets in the Russian Far East. The union will result in a new vertically-integrated company.
|PERSON OF THE ISSUE|
|Reading the market|
Mark and Leonid Eivin
Last year proved to be turbulent for the oil transit business in Estonia. Political storms led to a significant drop in crude and product volumes shipped via the Baltic state's ports and several terminals were sold to oil and oil trading companies including to Russia business interests.
Against the backdrop of this dominant trend, plans to build a completely new storage facility and LPG loading terminal in Estonia are quite a surprise. The project is being carried out by the Eivin brothers, who own the Letofin trading company.
|PHOTO OF THE ISSUE|
Tymoshenko's direct word to Barroso
«The corrupt and unscrupulous shadow mediators should be liquidated», declared the Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko in Brussels on January 28 at a joint news conference with President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso. Tymoshenko believes «this complex situation would be resolved through developing the Trans-Caspian and Black Sea ways of energy resources transit providing the European Union and Ukraine additional diversification and strengthening energy safety»; she also noted the EU manifesting its support of the initiative.
|EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION|
|Will the Russian shelf ever use Russian-made equipment?|
Offshore equipment is one of the key issues discussed at every conference and forum covering the continental shelf, Russia's maritime activities and the development of the fuel and energy complex (and there are between 8 and 10 such events a year in Russia alone).
Central Asia suppliers raise gas prices
After Turkmenistan raised its price of gas for Gazprom, Uzbekistan is set to follow suit. In 2007, the monopoly bought gas in Uzbekistan for $100/1,000 m3. In the first half of this year, the price of gas for the Russian company will rise to $130/1,000 m3, and in the second half, to $160/1,000 m3, the national holding company Uzbekneftegaz announced on 15 January. Uzbekneftegaz representatives announced their intent to raise prices for Gazprom right after it became known the three-year contract to supply Turkmenistan gas to Russia would be reviewed before it ended.
|Nataliya Kalustova: Today is the day of great opportunities|
The growing volume of marine shipments of crude and oil products has brought the owners of tanker fleets
face-to-face with the task of preparing qualified crews for their vessels. Higher demands on shipping safety only increase the demands on training members of these crew. OILMARKET discussed contracting highly-skilled crew members for tankers fleets with Nataliya Kalustova, the general director of the Sevastopol crewing agency Guiding Star.
The Russian Economic Development and Trade Ministry (MERT) has started an ad hoc investigation over pipe imports from all countries. The investigation will mainly focus on Chinese and Ukrainian manufacturers of seamless, stainless steel pipes and should limits be imposed, Ukraine's Centravis holding and Interpipe corporation could lose a $50mn/yr sales
|Diversification or diversion?|
Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko has offered the European Union to build a new gas pipeline from Turkmenistan called White Stream. She announced this on 28 January, speaking at a meeting of the European parliament's foreign affairs committee. Ms Tymoshenko said many gas pipelines are being built now which do not always make it possible to diversify supplies of energy resources. Some of them, she said, in fact strengthen dependence on one exporting country.
|The difficult autumn of 2007|
Lessons from the crisis on Russia's domestic oil products market
Autumn 2007 will go be remembered by everyone on Moscow's oil products market: wholesale traders, petrol station owners and end corporate consumers. The severe lack of products and galloping growth in prices for diesel fuel overturned everyone's ideas about the bounds the wholesale diesel fuel market could exceed. Events centered in Moscow, but repercussions were felt from St. Petersburg to Kamchatka. OILMARKET
discussed the hard lessons learned from the crisis with Aleksey Burakov, the general director of trading company «Algoritm. Fuel Integrator».
|Unreliable Nigerian gas|
Gazprom's global strategies
Gazprom is offering Nigeria investments in its energy infrastructure in return for access to developing large gas fields. Moreover, the Russian company is offering better conditions than the Chinese, Indians or Americans.
|Convertible roubles outlook|
A rouble zone for hydrocarbons
Lukoil head of analysis and investment Andrey Gaidamaka stated in the beginning of December in New York that the company planed to move its accounts to roubles: «When your earnings are denominated in dollars and your expenditures in roubles, and your earnings fall as the currency falls, you have to do something about it». The dollar has fallen since 2003. From a maximum of 31.85 roubles/$1, the Russian central bank rate has fallen 23.4% to the current 24.44 roubles/$1.
|Did Serbia have a choice?|
At the end of January, nearly all of Serbia's leaders visited Moscow. On 24 January, Prime Minister Voislav Koshtunitsa visited, and on the 25th, the republic's president Boris Tadich joined the delegation. While the head of the government was formally at the Kremlin to sign a significant oil and gas agreement, the head of state was in the city for political consultations ahead of the second round of the presidential election.
|The audit risk|
Vagit Alekperov: Lukoil net clear profit in 2007 is $8bn
Preliminary data shows Lukoil's net profit under US GAAP for 2007 will be $8bn, company president Vagit Alekperov said at a 12 January news conference in Moscow. He added «This is not finalised data, it is preliminary and has not yet been audited».
|No vapour about!|
Environment safety and energy saving technologies
Large tank farm operators in Russia, Italy and other countries express growing interest in 2007 in Carbovac company products (France), which were developed to provide for environmental safety and energy saving solutions.
|Raising heat efficiency|
Setting up in-house gas turbine sources of heat at oil refineries
Higher energy consumption and prices coupled with higher prices for consumer heating and electricity forces experts to find new ways to cut back waste on energy at oil refineries. One solution to this problem was proposed by the general director of the RIFIN International Consortium, Vadim Potemkin, in a presentation at the Unifying Strategies forum in November in Moscow.
|IPnet communication solutions for the oil and gas industry|
OILMARKET discussed the possibilities and advantages of satellite communications for the oil and gas industry which has sites in various Russian regions including distant locations and off-shore sites with IPnet General Director Murad Sofizade.
|Without losing quality of gasoline|
Ukrbudmash, a Poltava, Ukraine company, developed a new, improved «gasoline mixing unit» which it presented in December. The unit can be installed at oil refineries, food industry enterprises and petrol stations.