Russia

Russian Maritime Oil Exports Fall For First Time In 2017

23 Jun 2017   Russia

Russia exported 4.822 million bpd of crude oil by sea in May, down from a record 5.21 million bpd in the previous month, energy data provider Kpler has said, adding that this is the first monthly decline in Russia’s crude oil exports this year—another tentative gleam of hope for oil bulls, after the Energy Information Administration yesterday reported a 2.5-million-barrel decline in crude oil inventories. What’s more, Kpler says, this month should see another draw in Russian exports. The data provider sees them, based on loadings until now, at between 4.2 million and 4.4 million barrels daily. This, the company notes, is the lowest since August 2016. Further falls are also likely: preliminary loadings data seen by Reuters suggests that loadings from Russian ports on the Baltic Sea are set for a decline in the first 12 days of July. The decline is seen at 300,000 tons of crude, […]

Russia claims new oil field discovered in the Arctic

20 Jun 2017   Arctic, Russia

Preliminary data indicate a new oil field has been discovered in an area said to hold at least a dozen promising reservoirs, Russian oil company Rosneft said. Rosneft said three core samples from the Tsentralno-Olginskaya-1 well in the northern Laptev Sea showed “high oil saturation.” “On the basis of primary studies already, it can be concluded that a new oil field has been discovered, the volume of the resource potential of which is increasing as the drilling continues,” the company said in a statement . The well was the first drilled into the area by Rosneft, which holds 28 licenses in the Russian Arctic. The company boasted that it’s success in the region has been “excellent” so far and said the preliminary […]

US oil groups feel Russia sanctions freeze more than Europeans

20 Jun 2017   Russia, USA

Russian President Vladimir Putin this month made an emotional tribute to Christophe de Margerie, the former boss of France’s Total who was killed in an accident in 2014.  At the launch of a new gas tanker named after Mr de Margerie, Mr Putin declared him a “great friend of our country”, a sentiment that extends to many executives at Total’s European oil and gas peers.  While US energy groups stepped back from Russia in response to a sanctions regime that Washington lawmakers moved to tighten this month, rivals in the EU have held fast, ducking through loopholes in Brussels’ restrictions to keep joint ventures running.

Elizabeth Rosenberg, a sanctions expert formerly at the US Treasury and now with the Center for a New American Security, points to the “regulatory arbitrage” between the EU and US sanctions. “US firms see an uneven playing field,” says Ms Rosenberg. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has been a glittering prize for foreign oil companies. With proved reserves of 110bn barrels of oil and 32tn cubic metres of gas, according to BP, it is one of the world’s largest holders of economically producible hydrocarbons.Sanctions slapped on Moscow in 2014 by the US, EU and other countries in response to Russia’s invasion of Crimea were aimed at cutting off the development of its new oil frontiers from western help.

Russia’s Rosneft says oilfield discovered offshore Eastern Arctic

19 Jun 2017   Russia

Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft said on Sunday it had found an oilfield in the Laptev Sea in the eastern Arctic. “The result of the drilling at the Khatanga license block allows Rosneft to be considered the discoverer of (oil) fields in offshore Eastern Arctic,” the company said in a statement. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Mark Potter)

Are Russia And The Saudis Planning A Natural Gas Cartel?

The fledgling production cut strategy of OPEC (Saudi Arabia) and non-OPEC (Russia and the FSU) shows that a new strategy is needed to counter the ongoing doubts in the markets. At the same time, Russia and Saudi continue to give indications of a possible OPEC 2.0 scenario, in which a possible Russian membership is on the table. This would confront the market with a renewed and stronger oil cartel, although the overall strategies need to be adjusted. At the same time, Saudi Arabia, via its oil giant Aramco has openly stated to be interested in global gas investment opportunities, starting in Russia’s Siberian region. While the media still looks at the current discussions as a pure crude oil cooperation strategy, some see another development on the horizon. The real power of OPEC, non-OPEC cooperation would increase if they would not only include a crude oil production cut, but also […]

Russia’s Central Bank sees mid-term risk from oil prices

17 Jun 2017   Russia

Russia’s Central Bank cuts its key lending rate, saying there are mid-term risks present from lower-than expected crude oil prices. File photo by DyMax/Shutterstock June 16 (UPI) — Crude oil prices are lower than expected following a decision to extend an OPEC-led production deal, presenting a risk to growth, Russia’s Central Bank said. Contrasting a decision from the U.S. Federal Reserve this week to raise its rates, Russia’s Central Bank said Friday it was cutting its key rate to 9 percent annually. “Mid-term risks remain elevated,” the bank’s press secretary said in a statement . “First, they are connected with the further dynamics of oil prices, which [under the agreements reached] began to take shape at a lower level than expected.” Russia is party to an agreement led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to offset supply-side strains by trimming production. Russia is the largest contributor among non-OPEC […]

Russia’s Central Bank Sees Oil Prices Down To $40 In 2018-2019

17 Jun 2017   -, Prices, Russia

In view of the current price movements and the oil market outlook, Russia’s central bank is keeping its oil price forecast for this year at US$50 per barrel, and still believes that the price of oil will drop to roughly US$40 in 2018-2019, Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina said in a statement on Friday, after the bank cut the key interest rate to 9 percent annually. Although the pace of economic recovery has somewhat exceeded the Bank of Russia’s expectations, medium-term inflation risks remain in place, governor Nabiullina said. In the medium-term, “ The external economic situation will likely remain unstable, as confirmed by the volatility of oil prices. We do not rule out that [oil] production in the US will grow and other countries, which are not parties to the agreement, will expand their supplies to the global market. Demand-side risks are also in place. They result […]

Russia’s Gazprom gas exports to Europe up 13.2 percent year-on-year so far in 2017

16 Jun 2017   Russia

Russia’s largest natural gas producer Gazprom said on Thursday its gas exports to Europe and Turkey rose 13.2 percent year-on-year between January 1 and June 15. (Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Edmund Blair)

Putin’s Newest Oil Play: Russia Gains Foothold In Iraqi Oil Patch

14 Jun 2017   Kurdistan, Russia

The Kurds of Iraq are going through one of their most tumultuous periods of history. On the verge of finally seeing the much-heralded independence referendum, through Erbil is doing everything it can to stay financially afloat, squash the Islamic State and expand its oil sector – and it is a pretty thin line to walk with all the events going on simultaneously. The latest developments in Kurdish-Russian relations might be indicative of even deeper cooperation and convergence between the two nations, as new petroleum deals will inevitably have political ramifications. Rosneft and Gazprom Neft, Russia’s leading state-owned oil companies, seem very intent on increasing their presence in Kurdistan, with the former walking an extra mile by venturing into Kurdistan’s infrastructure segment. The KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government)-Rosneft pre-payment deal, signed this February, has successfully laid the groundwork for future rapprochement. Under the conditions of the deal, Rosneft is reported to […]

Could Russian Hackers Cause Power Outages In The US?

14 Jun 2017   Russia, USA

Hackers believed to be allied with the Russian government have devised a cyberweapon that has the potential to be highly disruptive against the world’s electrical systems, researchers have reported. The malware, which researchers have dubbed CrashOverride or Industroyer, is known to have disrupted the electrical system in Ukraine in December, briefly shutting down one-fifth of Kyiv’s electric power. Dragos, one of the cybersecurity firms that identified the malware in a report on June 12, said Russian government hackers had shown an interest in targeting power grids in other countries as well, including the United States. The malware is capable of attacking power systems across Europe and Asia, and “with small modifications” could be used in the United States to cause outages of up to a few days in portions of the grid, Dragos said. With modifications, the malware could also attack other types of critical infrastructure, including local transportation […]

Russia, Saudis See Oil Inventories Falling After Price Drop

12 Jun 2017   Prices, Russia

Market to be balanced in first quarter of 2018: Russia’s Novak Saudi minister sees stockpiles falling faster in coming months A deal among oil-producing countries to curb production and balance an oversupplied market will achieve its objective in the first quarter of next year, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said, after prices tumbled on news of a build-up in U.S. inventories. His Saudi counterpart, Khalid Al-Falih, said at a joint news briefing in Astana, Kazakhstan, that inventories were declining worldwide and reductions would accelerate in the next three to four months. Inventories will settle to their five-year historical average — OPEC’s target — before the end of the year, though Saudi Arabia, the group’s biggest producer, may modify its policy if output cuts don’t have the desired effect, he said. “If we will see over the number of weeks or months reasons to adjust, we will adjust,” Al-Falih told […]

Russia’s Novak says no need to review oil output cut deal

12 Jun 2017   OPEC, Russia

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia, June 2, 2017. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Sunday there was no need to review a global agreement on reducing oil output as it was too early to make any decisions. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; writing by Jack Stubbs; editing by Jason Neely)

EU renews concerns over Russian gas pipeline

10 Jun 2017   Russia

Any operations for the second string of the Russian natural gas pipeline Nord Stream remain under scrutiny, the European Commission said Friday. European opposition to expanding the Russian natural gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea faded early this year after the European Commission found no legal grounds to block the project. Russia is one of the main suppliers of natural gas to the European economy. Russian natural gas company Gazprom said exports during the first quarter were up nearly 20 percent for the German economy, 24 percent to Poland and 14 percent for France. European governments are wary over Gazprom practices in the region, as the company usually controls both the gas supplies and the transit networks. Spats between […]

Finance Minister: Russia Adapted To Lower-for-Longer Oil Prices

10 Jun 2017   Russia

This year Russia’s budget is reaching its highest level of resistance to oil price swings in the past nine years, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told Parliament on Friday. We see that the so-called non-oil and gas budget deficit is going down, which demonstrates the resistance of the budget to various fluctuations related to international environment, Siluanov said, as quoted by Russia’s TASS news agency. The share of the non-oil and gas deficit is expected to fall by 0.6 percentage points to stand at 8.4 percent of GDP, the lowest in nine years, the minister said. The share of oil and gas revenues in 2017, on the other hand, is expected slightly down from previous years, at around 40 percent of all federal budget revenues, according to Siluanov. While the non-oil deficit is expected down, the value of the Russian ruble is up 11 percent year-on-year, RT quoted Siluanov […]

Comey testimony fuels push for new US sanctions on Russian energy sector

10 Jun 2017   Russia, USA

Comey testimony may increase odds of new sanctions Senate Republicans and Democrats negotiating new sanctions amendment McCain pushing new sanctions targeting Russian energy sector Former FBI Director James Comey told a US Senate panel Thursday he had no doubt the Russian government was behind hacks in last year’s US presidential election, testimony which could motivate the Senate to approve new sanctions on Russia’s energy sector as early as next week. Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee he was sure the Russian government had interfered in the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and now-President Donald Trump, including cyber intrusions in voter databases and email accounts at the Democratic Party and Clinton campaign. This, along with other revelations made during Comey’s testimony before the Senate committee “could stoke anti-Russia sentiment and increase the odds of new Congressional sanctions,” according to analysts with ClearView Energy Partners. Article continues below… Oilgram News brings […]

Gazprom considering Japanese gas pipeline

9 Jun 2017   Japan, Russia

Japan could start getting a secure line for natural gas from Russia if the conditions are right, Russian energy company Gazprom said. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI June 8 (UPI) — If the economics of an agreement are constructive, Japan could eventually get its natural gas from a Russian pipeline, a Gazprom executive said. Japanese companies are playing a role in the development of liquefied natural gas projects led by Gazprom in the Yamal Peninsula in the far north and on the Pacific coast. Alexander Medvedev , the deputy chairman of the country, said that could open doors for a Japanese gas pipeline as well. “We cannot exclude on the basis of general preconditions that construction of such a pipeline will be economically feasible,” he was quoted as saying by Russia news agency Tass. “Prospects and the situation are good; all our counterparts are set for fruitful work.” In the […]

Oil in the $50s Is New Reality for CEOs Gathering in Russia

Rising shale production will offset OPEC cuts: Rosneft CEO Unclear how OPEC can phase out its curbs, say BP and Total A crude price in the $50s is the new reality for bosses of some of the world’s largest producers as output caps from OPEC and its allies are balanced out by rising U.S. shale. Executives of energy companies from Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc to Russia’s Lukoil PJSC and Gazprom PJSC , who gathered this week at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, see an oil price of $50 to $55 at least for this year. “Unless something extreme happens, we are not going to get back to much higher,” IHS Markit Ltd. Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin, author of the definitive history of the oil industry, said in an interview at the conference on Friday. “The exception was $100 per barrel, that was an aberrant period. […]

Top Russia Oil Boss Scorns Tesla, Electric Cars as Overrated

3 Jun 2017   Russia

Igor Sechin calls Tesla’s valuation, growth plans excessive Electric cars in Europe ‘not as popular as had been expected’ The day after President Donald Trump said the U.S. will exit from the Paris climate deal, the Russian chief of the world’s largest listed oil producer by output is taking on electric cars. Igor Sechin, chief executive officer of Rosneft PJSC , called manufacturers including Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. overvalued and said electric cars are “not as popular as had been expected” in Europe’s biggest economies. Sechin challenged Tesla’s valuation and business model in particular, citing “extremely aggressive” sales growth plans and criticizing the carmaker’s capital expenditures. “The market’s assessment of the prospects of electric car producers, in our view, is significantly overestimated,” Sechin said in a speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday. “The unconditional truth remains in the fact that the hydrocarbon power industry has […]

‘Axis of love’: Saudi-Russia detente heralds new oil order

A meeting between the two men who run Russia and Saudi Arabia’s oil empires spoke volumes about the new relationship between the energy superpowers. It was the first time that Rosneft ( ROSN.MM ) boss Igor Sechin and Saudi Aramco chief Amin Nasser had held a formal, scheduled meeting – going beyond the numerous times they had simply encountered each other at oil events around the world. Their conversation also broke new ground, according to two sources familiar with the talks in the Saudi city of Dhahran last week who said the CEOs discussed possible ways of cooperating in Asia, such as Indonesia and India, as well as in other markets. The sources did not disclose further details, but […]

Russia’s Economy Minister: Russia Can Live Forever At $40 Oil

1 Jun 2017   Russia

The OPEC/non-OPEC deal is working, and the current underlying key assumption of Russia’s economic policies—oil prices at US$40—can allow it to live forever at that price or below, Russia’s Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin told Bloomberg in an interview on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday. OPEC and Russia are already achieving what they intended to achieve with the deal—a decline in crude oil inventory levels around the globe, the minister said. Arguing that OPEC “has not failed at all” in its attempt to drive oil prices up, Oreshkin said that the price of oil is now much higher than it was this time last year, before the cartel and 11 non-OPEC producers led by Russia struck the initial output cut deal. “We are targeting tighter short-term end of the curve,” the minister said, noting that hedge funds are currently taking risks with medium-term prices […]

OPEC and Russia Outline Vision for Permanent Oil Alliance

1 Jun 2017   OPEC, Russia

OPEC and Russia added more detail to their vision for a permanent alliance between oil producers currently working to clear a global surplus. When the 24-nation coalition agreed last week to persevere with output cuts until March, officials from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia spoke of continuing to co-operate beyond that point. OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in Moscow on Wednesday they’re considering how to formalize the partnership. “‘The cooperation and collaboration between us — OPEC and non-OPEC — will outlive the implementation process,” Barkindo told reporters. “We are putting in place, if you like, the building blocks for a Catholic marriage. We do not expect a divorce in this marriage.” OPEC and Russia overcame years of mutual distrust in December when they assembled the alliance to cut oil supply and try to end a three-year price slump that has […]

Russia-OPEC Deal Extension Hastens Decline of Oil Heartlands

1 Jun 2017   -, Russia

Output at higher-taxed West Siberian fields is dropping Rosneft, Lukoil pursuing projects with higher-margin barrels Russia’s deal with OPEC has bolstered state coffers by putting a floor under crude prices, but it’s also had one unintended consequence: depressing output in the nation’s West Siberian oil heartlands. With the Kremlin offering lower tax rates for new projects in the Caspian and East Siberia, Rosneft PJSC, Lukoil PJSC and other producers have looked elsewhere for the cuts that will allow Russia to comply with 300,000 barrels-a-day of production curbs. That means the Soviet-era fields of West Siberia. “West Siberian output is the first to go under knife,” said Alexander Kornilov, an oil analyst at Aton. “These are the least profitable barrels.” Since Russia joined forces with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, futures have rebounded from last year’s lows and the exporters have been able to earn more while pumping less. […]

Russian Energy Minister: Deeper Cuts Still On The Table

31 May 2017   Russia

Deeper cuts to OPEC’s oil production are not out of the question, but their implementation will depend on how things unfold with the current OPEC agreement, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with CNBC. “You know, we have the capability to react to any situation that might arise on the market. And to this end we have a technical committee working on this every month,” the minister said, adding that it was his opinion that in the next couple of months, stockpiles globally will continue to decline. In two months, the committee that was set up to monitor compliance and inventory developments during the agreement will meet in Moscow to discuss how the extension is going. Oil prices tumbled 5 percent after OPEC made its announcement yesterday, signaling the market expected more than just an extension of the current rate of cuts: it expected OPEC, combined […]

Russia wants continued cooperation with OPEC, non-OPEC after oil cut deal expires

31 May 2017   -, Russia

Russia needs to work out new principles jointly with OPEC and non-OPEC nations to continue cooperation even after the current oil output cut deal expires, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday. “It is necessary to work out new framework principles for continued steady cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC even after the expiration of the Vienna agreements,” Novak told an energy conference with OPEC held in Moscow. (Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Andrey Ostroukh)

Putin, Saudi Prince to Meet After Extending Oil-Supply Curb Deal

30 May 2017   Russia, Saudi Arabia

Talks likely to focus on oil-market cooperation, Syria Two biggest oil producers put aside rivalry to prop up prices Russian President Vladimir Putin is to meet with Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Moscow Tuesday after the world’s biggest oil exporters reached a deal to prolong supply cuts for another nine months. Prince Mohammed, who met Putin on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in China in September, left Saudi Arabia for meetings in Russia with Putin and other top officials, the state-run Saudi Press Agency said on Twitter Tuesday. While on opposite sides of the six-year Syrian civil war, with Russia and Iran backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against rebels supported by Saudi Arabia and other allies, cooperation between the crude producers has proven key to an accord aimed at propping up global oil prices. OPEC and its partners on Thursday agreed to […]

Russia Seeking Bids For Colossal Green Energy Auction

30 May 2017   Renewables, Russia

Russia issued government tenders on Monday for contracts to build 1.9 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by utilizing foreign direct investment to create thousands of jobs for the country’s citizens, who are facing a multi-year recession. “Russia has had a long history of leadership in the energy sector and now has the opportunity to extend that leadership into renewable energy,” Adnan Amin, of the International Renewable Energy Agency, told Bloomberg. Developing green energy “can significantly contribute to the country’s economic objectives such as economic growth and employment,” he added. Strict local-content rules passed in 2012 and 2014 for parts used in renewable energy initiatives have stifled the sector’s growth in recent years. The proportion of Russian-made parts necessary for any wind turbine or solar panel plant to function in the country stands at 40 percent in 2017. In the coming years, that percentage will become more stringent. The new […]

First Urals crude imported to US East Coast since 2013

11 May 2017   Russia, USA

Russian Urals crude was recently imported into the US East Coast for the first time since 2013, according to US Customs data. More shipments of the medium-to-light sour grade may be making the rare trip across the Atlantic as lower differentials, coupled with affordable freight rates, opened the opportunity, according to market sources. Two Urals cargoes aboard the same vessel were unloaded along the US East Coast within the past two weeks. The first, a 580,000-barrel shipment, arrived on the Elias Tsakos in Wilmington, Delaware, on April 30. Another 140,000 barrel shipment, also on the Elias Tsakos, arrived in Philadelphia on May 6. The cargoes were shipped by Statoil from storage in the Bahamas. Article continues below… Crude Oil Marketwire delivers vital intelligence to help you make critical decisions. Delivered daily direct to your desktop, Crude Oil Marketwire provides detailed market information, including crude oil price spreads, daily crude […]

Shell Says Russia Oil Must Be Considered for Brent Benchmark

11 May 2017   Russia

Market should discuss including Russian crude in global marker Says difficult to add more North Sea oil to current yardstick Royal Dutch Shell Plc , the world’s largest oil trader, said the time has come to debate using Russian crude to help determine the global Brent benchmark, in what would be the most radical shift in how European prices are calculated since the 1970s. Mike Muller, the head of crude trading at Shell, said at the Platts Global Crude Oil Summit in London that he wants a discussion about calculating the price in Europe using not just oil pumped in the North Sea — as has been the case since the 1970s — but potentially including Russian crude and even grades pumped in West Africa and the Caspian Sea basin. Shell is not just the largest oil trader but also the custodian of the master contract that governs the […]

Russian researcher claims edge in Arctic oil and gas

11 May 2017   Arctic, Russia

Ahead of a meeting of littoral states, a Russian expert said Wednesday there are new methods to offer an edge in assessing Arctic oil and gas reserves. Vladimir Cheverda, a project director at Russia’s Institute of Oil and Gas Geology and Geophysics, was quoted by state news agency Tass as saying seismic surveys used to get a better understanding of reserve potential is difficult given the geological and technical challenges of working in extreme climates. “Some oil companies attempted to establish systems of observation on floating ice but faced uncontrollable hindrances,” he said. “We managed to determine the source of the obstacles and are developing completely new methods for 3D seismic survey of minerals, as well as software designed for modern high-capacity […]

Opec and Russia poised to roll over oil output cuts

9 May 2017   OPEC, Russia

Opec and Russia are on course to extend their oil output cuts in an attempt to draw down supplies and bolster the price, with Saudi Arabia saying the cartel is prepared to do “whatever it takes” to end the supply glut. Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, said on Monday he expected the Opec-led production deal to be rolled over until at least the end of this year. His comments follow a bruising sell-off last week that led to prices falling to their lowest levels in six months. “Based on consultations that I’ve had with participating members, I am confident the agreement will be extended into the second half of the year and possibly beyond,” said Mr Falih during an industry event in Kuala Lumpur. “The producer coalition is determined to do whatever it takes to achieve our target of bringing stock levels back to the five-year average.” Russia, which has led a group of non-Opec member producers in assisting with the cuts, also appears to be backing an extension, which is expected to be agreed at the next Opec ministerial meeting on May 25.

Saudi Arabia and Russia Signal Oil-Cuts Extension Into 2018

Prolonging cuts will speed up rebalancing of market: Novak Saudi Minister Al-Falih confident of agreement to extend Saudi Arabia and Russia signaled they could extend production cuts into 2018, doubling down on an effort to eliminate a supply surplus just as its impact on prices wanes. In separate statements just hours apart on Monday, the world’s largest crude producers said publicly for the first time they would consider prolonging their output reductions for longer than the six-month extension widely expected to be agreed at the OPEC meeting on May 25. “We are discussing a number of scenarios and believe extension for a longer period will help speed up market rebalancing” the Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in a statement. Speaking in Kuala Lumpur earlier Monday, his Saudi counterpart Khalid Al-Falih said he was “rather confident the agreement will be extended into the second half of the year and […]

Russia announces oil production milestone above Arctic Circle

6 May 2017   Russia

Nearly 200 tankers have left an oil field above the Arctic Circle in Russia that’s passed the production milestone of 35 million barrels, Gazprom Neft said. A subsidiary of Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russian energy company Gazprom, said Friday total cumulative production from the Novoportovskoye field above the Arctic Circle has reached 5 million metric tons, or around 35 million barrels. “The Novoportovskoye oil and gas-condensate field is one of the most significant in the Yamal Peninsula,” the company said in a statement . “Eighty-five wells are currently in operation at the field, producing between 50 and 1,100 tonnes of oil per day. A total of 19 wells at the field have been constructed so far this year at the field. Pilot projects were completed […]

Russia resumes oil shipments to Cuba, helps fill Venezuelan breach

4 May 2017   Cuba, Russia

Russia has begun shipping large quantities of oil to Cuba for the first time this century, sources said, as supplies to the island from crisis-wracked Venezuela have dwindled. A Russian oil tanker with 249,000 barrels of refined products is due to arrive in Cuba on May 10, according to Reuters shipping sources and others, bringing back memories of when the Soviet Union supplied all of the Communist-run Caribbean island’s energy needs. More tankers apparently will follow. Rosneft, Russia’s state oil company, announced on Wednesday it had signed an agreement with Cuba’s state-run Cubametals to supply 250,000 tonnes of oil and diesel fuel, without providing further details. The news is sure to raise eyebrows in Washington as its tense relations with Moscow continue, […]

Russia says its oil cut exceeds level demanded in OPEC-led pact

4 May 2017   Russia

Russia’s oil production on May 1 was 300,790 barrels per day (bpd) below the level in October, meaning it has cut output by more than was demanded under a pact between OPEC and other producers, Russia’s Energy Ministry said on Wednesday. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, along with Russia and other non-OPEC producers, pledged to cut output by 1.8 million bpd in the first half of 2017. Under the deal, Russia pledged to reduce its average daily production gradually by 300,000 barrels to 10.947 million bpd from the October level of 11.247 million bpd. With global crude inventories still bulging, investors are now focussed on whether OPEC and others will agree to extend the cuts to the second half of the year. The issue will be discussed by the […]

Russian oil output declines, almost at global pact target

2 May 2017   Russia

Russian oil production edged down to 11.00 million barrels per day (bpd) in April from 11.05 million bpd in March, just short of full compliance with the targets of a global deal to cut oil output, Energy Ministry data showed on Tuesday. The Organization of the Petroleum Producing Countries with Russia and other leading oil producers agreed to cut oil production by almost 1.8 million bpd in the first six months of this year to tackle bloated inventories and prop up weak prices. Of that amount, Russia undertook to reduce its output by 300,000 bpd by the end of April to a target of 10.947 million bpd from a 30-year high of 11.247 million bpd in October. In April, its compliance with its target was 95.2 percent. In tonnes, oil output in April reached 45.002 million versus 46.739 million in March. Investors are now focusing on whether the OPEC […]

Russia Hits 100% Compliance With OPEC Cut

29 Apr 2017   Russia

Russia has effectively reached its 300,000-bpd production cut target under its agreement with OPEC, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said. “Yesterday it was about 298,000 barrels. We can say that we have reached 300,000 barrels,” he told media on Friday. The milestone comes none too soon, as Russia had promised to achieve this level by end April . Russia had undertaken the cut off its October daily average, which exceeded 11 million bpd in a bid to help OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the market and improve prices. Together, OPEC – bar Nigeria and Libya – and 11 non-OPEC producers agreed last November to take 1.8 million barrels from daily global supply. However, these efforts have proved challenging, with global supplies actually rising during the first quarter of the year, despite hopes for the opposite and surprisingly high compliance. As Oil & Gas 360 noted in March, prior to the agreement, […]

OPEC Ministers to Meet Russia Amid Push to Extend Cuts

27 Apr 2017   OPEC, Russia

Consensus is moving in direction of prolonging deal: Al-Falih Saudi minister will speak to Russian counterpart this week The energy ministers of OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Venezuela plan to meet their Russian counterpart to discuss extending oil-output cuts amid a developing consensus that they should prolong their joint effort to curb supply. Saudi Minister of Energy and Industry Khalid Al-Falih said that he will talk with Russia’s Alexander Novak by phone this week and meet him within the next two weeks. Venezuela’s Oil Minister Nelson Martinez was also planning to visit Moscow after talks in Algeria on Wednesday, said a person familiar with the matter. Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:00Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -0:00Playback Rate1 Chapters Chapters captions settings, opens captions settings dialog captions off, selected CaptionsFullscreen This is a modal window. No compatible source was found for this media. Captions Settings Dialog Beginning of dialog […]

Russia Thwarts ISIS Attack In Far East Oil Hub

27 Apr 2017   Russia

Russia’s Federal Security Service, the FSB, said on Wednesday that it had foiled an attempt by alleged Islamic State supporters to carry out a terror attack in a crowded place on the Far East Russian island of Sakhalin, which is an oil and gas hub. Sakhalin is the site of many oil and gas operations and currently has Russia’s only LNG plant. Gazprom and Shell are the major partners in the Sakhalin-2 venture, with Gazprom holding 50 percent plus one share, and Shell owing 27.5 per cent minus one share in Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd—the Sakhalin II project operator. The Russian security service said today that they had detained two people—one citizen of a Central Asian republic and one Russian citizen—in the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Sakhalin’s administrative center. During house searches, the FSB seized an improvised explosive device, components for making one, Islamic State propaganda material, and banned […]

Will Russia Join The OPEC Cut Extension?

26 Apr 2017   Russia

As the global oil supply glut grows, Russia has not yet climbed on board of OPEC’s production cut agreement extension. (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) Chart of the Week (Click to enlarge) • At the end of March, U.S. natural gas storage levels stood at 2,051 billion cubic feet (Bcf), or about 15 percent above the five-year average. • Storage levels tracked average levels for most of the winter, but mild weather in February and March caused inventory drawdowns to slow. • But that pales in comparison to the same period a year ago, when inventories stood near an all-time high, pushing prices below $2/MMBtu. • Gas markets today are a bit more balanced, although slightly elevated storage levels could keep prices from rising to $4/MMBtu. Market Movers • Saudi Aramco says that the company should be valued at $2 trillion ahead of its IPO, but independent analysts […]

Energy Firms’ $5.1 Billion Financing for Russia Gas Pipeline Stokes EU Fears

25 Apr 2017   Europe, Russia

European energy firms pledged Monday to finance half the cost of a natural-gas link from Russia to Germany, lending support to a pipeline plan that is fueling tensions within the European Union. A consortium of five companies—Engie SA, OMV AG, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Uniper SE and Wintershall Holding GmbH—said they would provide up to €4.75 billion ($5.1 billion) in long-term financing to Nord Stream 2 AG, a wholly owned…

Russia elbows Saudi Arabia aside as China’s top crude oil supplier in March

25 Apr 2017   China, Russia

Workers look at a drilling rig at a well pad of the Rosneft-owned Prirazlomnoye oil field outside the West Siberian city of Nefteyugansk, Russia, August 4, 2016. Russia reclaimed its position as China’s biggest crude oil supplier in March, customs data showed on Tuesday, displacing Saudi Arabia after two months in second place as Moscow fights to hang on to its slice of the Chinese market. Russian shipments grew nearly 1 percent to 1.104 million barrels per day (bpd) from the same month a year earlier, as China’s private refineries maintained high processing rates and restocked inventories after receiving fresh 2017 import quotas. China’s crude imports rose to a record in March, overtaking the United States and shattering expectations. Saudi shipments were 1.072 million barrels in March, up nearly 15 percent from a year ago, the General Administration of Customs said. For the first three months, Saudi arrivals stood […]

Russia’s Oil Cuts Won’t Be So Easy If OPEC Deal Is Extended

25 Apr 2017   Russia

Country typically increases output in second half of the year Rosneft and Lukoil plan higher spending and more drilling For Russian oil companies, the historic agreement to boost prices by cutting output in conjunction with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was an easy win. Extending the deal will be less straightforward. Cuts so far this year came alongside the traditional seasonal stagnation in Russian production, meaning the country made relatively few sacrifices in exchange for an increase in crude prices of more than 10 percent. For the powerful Russian oil bosses who plan to discuss the OPEC accord with Energy Minister Alexander Novak this week, a decision by the government to extend the cuts beyond June would stymie plans to boost output, creating many more headaches than the initial agreement. “It was not a surprise and not a big deal to have production going down in the first […]

U.S. Treasury says it will not issue drilling waivers to Russia sanctions

22 Apr 2017   Russia, USA

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arrives to meet with China’s Finance Minister Xiao Jie during the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington, U.S., April 21, 2017. The U.S. Treasury will not give permission to U.S. companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp, to drill in areas prohibited by U.S. sanctions on Russia, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday. Mnuchin said in a statement that the decision had been made in consultation with President Donald Trump. (Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Andrew Hay)

Exxon Won’t Get Drilling Waiver for Russia, Mnuchin Says

22 Apr 2017   Russia, USA

Exxon Mobil Corp. won’t be allowed to bypass U.S. sanctions against Russia to resume drilling for oil in a joint venture that seeks to tap billions of barrels of that country’s crude. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the decision was made after consultation with President Donald Trump, according to a statement on Friday. Exxon initially requested the drilling waiver in 2015 and pushed for approval every few months since then, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. The waiver request drew criticism from a cross-section of leading U.S. policymakers, from Republican Senator John McCain, who wondered in a tweet whether Exxon was “crazy,” to Senator Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat and sanctions hardliner who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “We understand the statement today by Secretary Mnuchin in consultation with President Trump,” Alan Jeffers, an Exxon spokesman, said […]

Trump denies Exxon permission to drill for oil in Russia

22 Apr 2017   Russia, USA

The Trump administration has denied ExxonMobil permission to bypass sanctions to drill for oil in Russia. “The Treasury Department will not be issuing waivers to U.S. companies, including Exxon, authorizing drilling prohibited by current Russian sanctions,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, said in a statement Friday. Mnuchin said he consulted with President Trump on the decision. Exxon had applied for a waiver from sanctions imposed by the Obama administration in a bid to resume its lucrative joint venture with Russian state oil giant PAO Rosneft. In a statement, Exxon said “we understand” the decision by the Treasury Department. Exxon explained that its application for a license was aimed at meeting the company’s “contractual obligations” in Russia, where competitors are allowed to drill under European sanctions. There are powerful reasons why Exxon would want to get back into business with Rosneft: Their agreement to form a joint venture, signed in 2011, […]

Russia says to discuss extending oil cut with OPEC on May 24

22 Apr 2017   Russia

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday a decision on extending a global pact to cut oil production had not yet been taken, but would be discussed with OPEC on May 24. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other leading oil producers have pledged to curb output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd), with Russia’s contribution of cuts amounting to 300,000 bpd to be gradually phased in. The goal was to reduce bulging global inventories and lift oil prices. Despite a modest recovery in the market, oil stocks remain high and the focus is now on whether OPEC and non-OPEC producers will prolong the cuts into the second half of 2017. OPEC’s next policy-setting meeting is set for May 25, with a decision expected at that time on whether to extend the curbs. Novak said information on the oil market’s situation and forecasts were being […]

Russian gas project in the Arctic gets European support

22 Apr 2017   Russia

Financing for a liquefied natural gas project in the Arctic north of Russia by foreign creditors is a political win, Russian gas producer Novatek said Friday. Novatek, the largest private natural gas company in Russia, leads the project aimed at sourcing the markets in the Asian-Pacific. It controls 60 percent of the project in the Arctic north of Russia, alongside French energy company Total and the China National Petroleum Corp. Novatek CEO Leonid Mikhelson said unnamed export credit agencies in Germany and Sweden have joined the financing model for the LNG project. “The project is actually supported in terms of international funding volume, but I believe participation of Germany and Sweden is highly important politically,” he was quoted by Russian news agency Tass as […]

Russia Hits 250,000 Bpd Oil Production Cut Milestone

22 Apr 2017   OPEC, Russia

Russia has cut 250,000 bpd of its crude oil output, with another 50,000 bpd to go as per its agreement with OPEC, Energy Minister Alexander Novak told media today, adding that the other 50,000 bpd will be cut by the end of the month. The undertaking took as basis the country’s record-high October output, which exceeded 11 million bpd. Earlier this month, Novak said that the ministry will start discussing Russia’s possible participation in the production cut extension that is currently being negotiated by OPEC members in order to increase prices further, having failed to push them up to $60 a barrel since the start of the year. Novak said last week that “It still remains unclear whether the agreement should be extended. We’ll have consultations with our companies and other countries in the nearest future, and we have to see how he situation unfolds in April and consider […]

Russia To Help Build 2 Nuclear Power Plants In Iran

20 Apr 2017   Iran, Nuclear, Russia

Russian experts will help the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran build two 1,000-MW nuclear power plants, Iran’s Energy Minister told media. Construction will start soon, Hamid Chitchian also said, adding that a third joint power plant construction project with Russia, which will have a capacity of 1,400 MW, has already begun. The announcement is part of deepening ties between Moscow and Tehran, expanding into a growing number of industries, from oil to defense and fisheries. Earlier this year, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that Russian companies are “keen” on strengthening their ties with Iran, not least in the power plant construction sector. Energy-hungry Iran plans several more such projects, and it’s likely that Russian companies will be among the preferred bidders. Yesterday, Iran’s ambassador to Russia said in a statement that Tehran would be happy to strengthen bilateral ties further, noting their joint stance on the political situation […]

Exxon Seeks U.S. Waiver to Resume Russia Oil Venture

20 Apr 2017   Russia, USA

Exxon Mobil Corp. has applied to the Treasury Department for a waiver from U.S. sanctions on Russia in a bid to resume its joint venture with state oil giant PAO Rosneft, according to people familiar with the matter. Exxon has been seeking U.S. permission to drill with Rosneft in several areas banned by sanctions and applied in recent months for a waiver to proceed in the Black Sea, according to these people. The…