China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal

18 Oct 2017   China, Russia

CEFC China Energy is set to gain up to 260,000 barrels per day of oil supplies from Russia as part of its recent deal with Moscow to invest $9.1 billion in the Russian state oil giant Rosneft, according to a new report by Reuters . The recurring shipments will mean China will take five percent of Rosneft’s output, which will challenge Western oil traders’ dominance in the Asian markets. Chinese oil and gas investments have also reached Saudi Arabia, with CEFC offering to purchase a five percent stake in Saudi Aramco. CEFC will buy a 14 percent stake of Rosneft from the Qatar Investment Authority and Glencore. The two entities acquired a 19.5 percent stake from Rosneft just nine months ago. The resale occurred so soon because Glencore, QIA’s partner in the deal, and the QIA itself looked to reduce debt repayments, according to Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin. “This […]

Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal

17 Oct 2017   OPEC, Russia

Russia’s oil producer Gazprom Neft is ‘holding its nose’ to the OPEC/non-OPEC production cut deal because it has made the company cut its production growth targets, Gazprom Neft’s first deputy CEO Vadim Yakovlev told Reuters in an interview published on Monday. “The companies involved in this deal are paying a different price. The effect is equal for everyone, but the contribution of the companies to the deal is different,” Yakovlev said. “This is related to the market players’ ability to increase their output – we have such a possibility and have to ‘hold our noses’. Gazprom Neft makes a big contribution to the deal. For us, this is a very sensitive issue as it is holding up the development of our fields,” said the manager who noted that the company sees the deal as a short-term one. In June this year, Gazprom Neft CEO Alexander Dyukov said in an […]

Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals

13 Oct 2017   Morocco, Russia

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev discussed supplying liquefied Russian natural gas to Morocco on a visit to Rabat on October 11 during which he signed a string of energy, military, and other deals. Medvedev met with Moroccan Prime Minister Saadeddine El Othmani and presided at a signing ceremony for 11 bilateral agreements covering cooperation in such areas as customs, agriculture, the military, culture, energy efficiency, and nuclear energy. Medvedev touted what he called a “very promising project to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to meet the needs of the Moroccan economy,” saying during a press conference that “the potential for cooperation is huge.” Russia’s energy minister, Aleksandr Novak, on a visit to Morocco last month said an LNG regasification terminal was being built and the two countries discussed gas deliveries by the Russian groups Gazprom and Novatek, local media reported. Morocco has few oil and gas reserves of its […]

Russia Gets Foothold In The World’s Hottest NatGas Discovery

12 Oct 2017   Argentina, Russia

Chinese E&P major Sinopec reportedly put its Argentina assets up for a $1 billion sale this week. With one of the interested buyers said to be Russia’s Rosneft. And that latter firm made ever bigger waves in the global natural gas industry this week. With the purchase of a stake in one of the largest — and most geopolitically complicated — development projects in the world. That’s the Zohr natgas field, offshore Egypt. A find made by Italian major Eni — which holds a massive reserve of 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Eni announced this week it is selling a 30 percent interest in Zohr to Rosneft. With the Russian firm paying $1.125 billion for the stake, and reimbursing Eni for a proportionate share of historic costs. That will now give Rosneft a foothold in one of the world’s most important emerging natgas areas: the eastern Mediterranean. […]

Europe Stands Divided On Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

11 Oct 2017   Pipelines, Russia

Nord Stream 2—Gazprom’s pipeline project to twin the existing Nord Stream pipeline between Russia and Germany via the Baltic Sea, is dividing European nations and European Union (EU) institutions—with one group cheering on the resultant cheap gas, and the other group fearing Russia’s increased grip on the region. Proponents and supporters of the project argue that Germany and neighboring countries will get cheap, reliable gas from Russia that will complement—not replace—gas from existing supply routes. Opponents of the project argue that Russia’s Gazprom will increase its share of the European gas market, which would boost its already dominant position in Central and Eastern Europe, and therefore undermine the efforts of some European countries to diversify their gas supplies away from Russia. Opponents also see Nord Stream 2 as Moscow gaining political leverage over the EU. Nord Stream 2—currently planned for completion by the end of 2019—faces stiff opposition from […]

Rosneft To Buy 30% Stake In Giant Zohr Gas Field

Russia’s oil giant Rosneft has closed the deal to buy from Italy’s Eni a 30-percent stake in the offshore concession in Egypt where the giant Zohr gas field is located, for US$1.125 billion, the Russian firm said on Monday. Rosneft also refunded its share in past project costs to the Italian company, which discovered Zohr in 2015 and plans to start production by the end of this year. Zohr has a total potential of 850 billion cubic meters of gas in place and is the largest natural gas field ever discovered in the Mediterranean, according to Eni, which has also divested an additional 10 percent in the concession to supermajor BP. Under the initial terms of Eni’s deal with Rosneft from December last year, the Russian firm would pay US$1.125 billion and the pro-quota reimbursement of past expenditures, which amounted at the time to around US$450 million. In addition, […]

Russia And China Continue To Boost Oil Ties

10 Oct 2017   China, Russia

Even before the OPEC/non-OPEC production cuts took effect in January 2017, Russia had already beaten Saudi Arabia to become China’s single largest oil supplier for 2016. Since then, Saudi Arabia has sacrificed still more of its market share in the prized Chinese market, while Russia has dominated Beijing’s top suppliers’ list for most of this year. Now Russia’s oil giant, Rosneft—whose chief executive Igor Sechin is a close ally of Vladimir Putin—is reportedly aiming to further increase its crude oil deliveries to China, as Russia looks to boost energy ties with the world’s biggest crude oil importer and top driver of global oil demand growth. Since the OPEC/Russia oil production deal began, the U.S. has stepped up sanctions on Russia, which made Western banks and companies even more cautious in dealing with Russian firms. Considering this, it’s not a huge surprise that Rosneft and Russia want to boost ties […]

Exclusive: Russia’s Rosneft aims for big boost in oil exports to China – sources

7 Oct 2017   China, Russia

Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft ( ROSN.MM ) wants to boost its supplies of oil to China through Kazakhstan to as much as 18 million tonnes (36,000 bpd) per year from around 10 million tonnes in 2017, three industry sources said on Friday. Such a big increase may significantly drain flows of Urals blend to Europe at a time when Russian oil output has been reduced as part of a global pact to support prices. “(Rosneft’s head Igor) Sechin would like to boost oil supplies to China to 13 million tonnes per year with a possibility of further increase to 18 million tonnes,” a source familiar with Rosneft’s plans said, adding that there has been no decision yet at government level. He didn’t […]

Russia and Saudi Arabia keen to develop relations: Russian Energy Minister

Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak is seen on a camera screen during a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producing countries in Vienna, Austria September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger MOSCOW (Reuters) – A meeting between Russian and Saudi Arabian leaders shows a mutual will to develop relations between the two countries, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told his Saudi counterpart Khalid al-Falih in Moscow on Friday. King Salman of Saudi Arabia met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Thursday, agreeing joint investment deals worth several billion dollars. The signed documents were testimony to the mutual desire to develop relations, Novak said, adding that energy remains the key area of cooperation for both countries.

Russia To Become A Leader In Energy Storage

6 Oct 2017   Russia

Here’s a fun fact about Russia: it gets a fifth of its energy from hydropower. This might sound shocking for a country whose image is so tightly linked to oil and gas, but Russia has a lot of big rivers and it’s putting them to good use. Now, Moscow is moving into other renewables and, more interestingly, energy storage as well. Energy Minister Alexander Novak said earlier this week that Russia could find a place among the world’s leaders in solar power generation and energy storage. Russian solar panel makers, the minister added, can already produce an efficiency factor per panel on par with global leaders, at around 20 percent, although some of the world’s leading producers have already exceeded that figure. Renewables news stories from Russia are not a frequent occurrence, and that’s understandable: there are too many oil headlines and there have not been indications from Moscow […]

Venezuela And Russia Team Up To Tackle The Petrodollar

6 Oct 2017   Russia, USA, Venezuela

Three weeks after the U.S. imposed financial sanctions on Venezuela in an effort to cripple its economy and choke the Maduro regime, which in turn prompted Caracas to announce it would no longer receive or send payments in dollars, Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro proposed to expand his own personal blockade of the U.S., by proposing that all oil producing countries discuss creating a currency basket for trading crude and refined products. One which is no longer reliant on the (petro)dollar. “ Developing a new mechanism of controlling the oil market is necessary ,” Maduro said on Wednesday at the Russian Energy Forum, being held in Moscow this week. Quoted by RT , Maduro also blamed trade in crude oil paper futures as having an adverse impact on the oil market, which has undermined attempts by OPEC to stabilize prices. To counteract such “speculation”, Maduro proposed an alternative currency basket, […]

Why Russia Is Playing All Sides In The Middle East

6 Oct 2017   Russia

With the Trump administration lately focused mostly on domestic policy – even as Mueller’s ongoing Russian probe continues to hang over Trump’s head – U.S. power and influence in the Middle East has found itself in retreat, a continuation of unsuccessful and/or failed policies implemented by the Obama administration, resulting in a power vacuum that has to be filled, and one country has emerged willing to take America’s spot. As Bloomberg wrote today , “the Israelis and Turks, the Egyptians and Jordanians – they’re all beating a path to the Kremlin in the hope that Vladimir Putin, the new master of the Middle East, can secure their interests and fix their problems.” And now, none other than Saudi Arabia is the latest to make friendly overtures toward the Kremlin, when Saudi King Salman visits Moscow on Wednesday, the first monarch of the oil-rich kingdom to do so. At the […]

Gazprom Neft Hit Hard From OPEC Production Cut

6 Oct 2017   Russia

Thursday . A new Reuters report also says Dyukov maintains that Gazprom’s production strategy has supported the international agreement to lower oil output and rebalance global markets on the supply side. In concert with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia agreed to lower production by 300,000 barrels per day last November. OPEC itself was on the hook to bring down bloc-wide output by 1.2 million bpd. Though the cartel’s compliance topped 100 percent during the early months of the agreement’s implementation, Nigeria and Libya have ramped up production since then. The latest figures show OPEC compliance leaning towards 80 percent. Originally, OPEC members Nigeria and Libya had been granted exceptions to the deal due to months and years of domestic strife, respectively. Both nations have experienced a dramatic resurgence in their oil sectors since January, however. The change of outlook in Nigeria led Abuja to declare that it […]

Russia’s Gazprom Neft CEO says oil production to be lower in 2017

6 Oct 2017   Russia

FILE PHOTO: Alexander Dyukov, head of Russian oil producer Gazprom Neft, attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia, June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian oil firm Gazprom Neft supports the global oil output cut deal as it has helped to bring stability to oil markets, company CEO Alexander Dyukov told a conference in Moscow on Thursday. He added that Gazprom Neft’s 2017 oil production would be lower than in 2016.

Putin Says Oil Pact With OPEC May Be Extended to End of 2018

5 Oct 2017   OPEC, Russia

President Vladimir Putin said Russia is open to extending a deal with OPEC to curb oil supplies to the end of 2018, though he’ll wait to make a decision until nearer the expiry of the existing pact in March. The comments are the strongest signal yet that the Kremlin is willing to redouble efforts to lift global energy prices, coming as Putin prepares to welcome King Salman Bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia to Russia for the first time this week. OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo called them a “very strong endorsement” of the deal. “Based on the realities in March 2018, we will make our decision, but I do not rule out that we may extend” the agreement, Putin said at the Russian Energy Week conference […]

Russia says to sign deals with Saudi worth over $3 bln

Russia and Saudi Arabia will sign joint investment agreements worth more than $3 billion during a visit to Moscow by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak was quoted as saying on Wednesday. The deals will include a $1.1 billion agreement for Russian petrochemical firm Sibur to build a plant in Saudi Arabia, the energy ministry cited Novak as saying in an interview with the Financial Times newspaper. A joint Russian and Saudi fund will invest $150 million in Russian private oilfield services firm Eurasia Drilling Company Limited, the ministry quoted Novak as saying.

Saudi-Russia ties set to strengthen with king’s Moscow visit

Investment deals, oil market bonhomie and the Syrian war will dominate landmark talks between the leaders of Russia and Saudi Arabia on Thursday that are set to solidify a deepening relationship between the two energy powers. A delegation to Moscow, led by King Salman bin Abdulaziz, will sign more than $3bn worth of deals between Saudi and Russian energy companies, officials said. It is the first trip to Russia by a Saudi monarch and reflects a new-found friendship between the world’s largest crude exporters that underpins a global agreement which has helped prop up oil prices.  A relationship previously marked by mutual distrust has been replaced during the past year by strategic co-operation bound by economics, trade and geopolitics. Ties between the countries have warmed as Moscow’s relations with the west have deteriorated, and as its influence in the Middle East has risen following its intervention in the Syrian conflict.  “Previously, our relations with Saudi Arabia used to be just on the surface, but right now they are developing rapidly,” Russian president Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. “There is very good potential, and we are looking ahead with confidence, both with Saudi Arabia and the Middle East in general.” The linchpin of the friendship is a deal struck in December last year by Moscow and Riyadh for a cut in crude production by Russia and the Saudi-led Opec cartel, which helped drag the oil price up above $50 a barrel, easing pressure on both countries’ oil-dependent budgets.  Alexander Novak, Russia’s energy minister, told the Financial Times that there was “a large pipeline of co-operation projects to be discussed far beyond our joint [oil market] stabilisation efforts”. The talks between Mr Putin and King Salman will also focus on Syria, where Moscow and Riyadh have backed rival sides in the conflict, and the wider Middle East.

The Natural Gas Giant To Challenge Israel

5 Oct 2017   Israel, Lebanon, Russia

When Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri paid a visit to Russian President Vladimir Putin mid-September , most media coverage revolved around political and military issues. Yet the meeting was part of Mr. Hariri’s charm offensive to attract foreign investors to Lebanon’s offshore zone, a long-cherished glimmer of hope for the heavily indebted country that has suffered from chronical political paralysis for some decades already. After a 29-month deadlock during which Lebanon had no president, the team of Hariri and President Michel Aoun was determined to provide a much-needed boost to end legislative obstructionism and get down to work. Although Lebanon’s offshore licensing round officially began in 2013, the bids of pre-qualified companies are due by October 12, 2017. But is the four-year wait worth it? If, 10 years ago, Lebanese officials mooted the possibility of kick-starting gas imports from Syria under a 25-year term agreement (never materialized, as Syria […]

Saudi King Seeks Oil-Pact Extension on ‘Epochal’ Russia Visit

Salman, Putin to meet as ties warm between one-time rivals Saudi visit shows Russia’s Middle East influence after Syria Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz is making an historic first visit to Russia by a monarch of the Gulf kingdom as he and President Vladimir Putin seek an understanding on whether to extend an agreement curbing oil supplies. King Salman is due to meet with Putin on Thursday after he arrived for the four-day official visit late Wednesday. His journey to Moscow, ahead of planned talks with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington early next year, underscores a shift in strategic direction by Saudi Arabia as Russian influence in the Middle East expands following Putin’s military intervention in Syria. Photographer: Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty Images “Is there really anything in the world that’s absolutely permanent?” Putin told an energy forum in Moscow on Wednesday, in response to a question about […]

Saudi’s Falih says oil agreements with Russia helping market stability

Agreements reached between Russia and Saudi Arabia on global oil supply have helped oil markets to stabilize, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Thursday. The two countries, the world’s biggest producers of crude, helped secure a deal between OPEC and rivals including Russia to cut supplies until the end of March 2018 in an effort to reduce a price-sapping glut. Falih, whose country is the de facto leader of the 14-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, also said he welcomed the contribution of U.S. shale oil supplies as global demand for crude was on the rise. Sponsored “Shale coming in and happening again in 2018 doesn’t bother me at all. The market can absorb it,” Falih said, speaking alongside Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak as part of a panel discussion at an energy forum in Moscow. The comments came a day after Russian President […]

Russia’s Novak: no need now to talk about additional oil output cuts – magazine

4 Oct 2017   OPEC, Russia

There is no immediate need to talk about additional oil output cuts as part of a global deal between OPEC and non-OPEC nations, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with the Oil and Gas Vertical magazine published on Tuesday. Sponsored

Russia proposes a mechanism to monitor crude oil exports

4 Oct 2017   OPEC, Russia

Ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries attending a conference in Moscow may take up export monitoring, Russia’s energy minister said. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said he expected around 30 ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC producers to show up for a five-day conference in Moscow, which began Tuesday. Before they arrived, he said a mechanism to monitor oil exports could be added to agenda. “At the latest meeting we agreed to monitor oil exports,” he was quoted by Russian news agency Tass as saying. “This is a new instrument, which has not been clearly formed yet, which is why I think it will be one of the main issues on the discussion agenda from the viewpoint of export […]

Saudi king heads to Russia, with oil, investment and Syria on agenda

The leaders of Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world’s biggest oil exporters, are expected to discuss cooperation on oil production and differences over Syria and Iran on Thursday during the first visit to Moscow by a reigning Saudi Monarch. A slew of investment deals, including on a liquefied natural gas project and petrochemical plants, could also be signed during King Salman’s trip and plans for a $1-billion fund to invest in energy projects are likely to be finalised. The visit, including talks in the Kremlin with President Vladimir Putin, reflects a rapid deepening of ties between Russia and Saudi Arabia, driven by a mutual […]

Russia’s Gazprom aims for 10 percent of China gas market after 2025

Russia’s biggest natural gas producer Gazprom aims to take a 10 percent share of the Chinese gas market after 2025, a company executive told an energy conference on Wednesday. Gazprom said earlier this year it planned to begin supplying gas to China through Siberia on Dec. 20, 2019.

Report: Russia may be the next ‘energy superpower’

3 Oct 2017   Russia

Russia could exploit its position on the oil market given recent geopolitical turmoil and end the year as the “energy superpower,” a market report read. Russia is a member of a committee monitoring the effort to drain the surplus on the five-year average of global crude oil inventories and the largest contributor among parties that aren’t a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The OPEC-led effort helped put a floor under the price of Brent crude oil at around $50 per barrel, tacitly supporting the economies of oil producers hit hard by last year’s market collapse. With oil prices holding steadily above $50 per barrel, the Russian government said Friday it revised its estimate for the […]

Russia’s Gazprom says gas exports up 11.3 percent in Jan-Sept

3 Oct 2017   Russia

Russian gas exports to Europe and Turkey increased by 11.3 percent year-on-year to 141.2 billion cubic meters (bcm) in January-September, gas giant Gazprom said on Monday. It also said the group’s gas output rose by 19.1 percent to 339.8 bcm in the same period.

Russia’s Oil Output Remains Flat At 10.91 Million Bpd

3 Oct 2017   Russia

Russia’s crude oil production was flat at 10.91 million bpd in September compared to August—staying at the lowest levels for 2017, as maintenance at some fields affected production, according to data by the Russian Energy Ministry compiled by Reuters. Russia’s August and September oil production level was the lowest since the 10.71 million bpd it produced in August 2016. The daily oil production in September 2017 was down by 3 percent compared to the October 2016 levels, which OPEC and non-OPEC countries part of the production cut deal had used as the baseline for the reductions. Non-OPEC Russia, like OPEC’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia and most of the other cartel members, entered the joint deal at a very high level of production, which took much of the sting out of the cuts. In the last quarter of 2016, Russia’s production hit a post-Soviet era high , while year […]

Summer best time to back out of OPEC deal, Russia says

30 Sep 2017   OPEC, Russia

It’s best to draw out of the OPEC-led effort to balance the market with production cuts during the summer when demand is high, Russia’s energy minister said. Russia is a member of a committee monitoring the effort to drain the surplus on the five-year average of global crude oil inventories and the largest contributor among parties that aren’t a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Russian news agency Tass reported Monday it was told by “a high-ranking source” within OPEC the consensus so far was mixed on extending the arrangement by possibly another six months, which make be the expiration date into September 2018. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told Austria’s Die Presse newspaper it would […]

Russia’s Rosneft Elects German Ex-chancellor Schroeder as Chairman

30 Sep 2017   Germany, Russia

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder faced further criticism at home after he was elected as chairman of Russia’s biggest oil producer Rosneft on Friday. Schroeder, a Social Democrat who led Germany from 1998 to 2005, prompted widespread criticism in his homeland in August when he was nominated to Rosneft’s board, given Western sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine crisis and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s frosty relations with the Kremlin. Shareholders in state-controlled Rosneft, which is subject to the sanctions, elected Schroeder to its board at a meeting on Friday, and shortly afterwards Schroeder told a news briefing he was pleased to have been chosen to be chairman. “Schroeder is a reputed and renowned politician, who has persistently advocated strategic cooperation between Germany, Europe and Russia,” Rosneft […]

Europe still needs us, Gazprom says

28 Sep 2017   Russia

Russian energy company Gazprom said that, because of dwindling resources of its own, the European market was still largely dependent on its natural gas. The board of directors at the state-controlled company said Wednesday that Gazprom was the largest natural gas exporter in the world and the largest supplier to members of the European Union. “According to international industry experts, natural gas demand in the EU will remain stable in the long term,” the company said. “With domestic production in an ongoing slump, EU countries will need considerable amounts of additional imports, prompting suppliers, including Gazprom, to boost their exports to the region.” Russia meets about a quarter of the European demand for natural gas and most of that supply runs through Soviet-era pipelines […]

Russia’s Gazprom sees scope to increase gas exports to Europe

27 Sep 2017   Russia

Russia’s top natural gas producer Gazprom said on Wednesday it saw scope for increasing gas exports to Europe and Turkey in the long term due to gas production declines in the region. Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller has said this month the company expected to export a record 190 billion cubic meters of gas outside the CIS bloc of former Soviet countries in 2017.

Russia And Saudi Arabia Are Becoming Unlikely Allies

26 Sep 2017   Russia, Saudi Arabia

Five years ago, the idea of OPEC and Russia working together on any oil and gas issue would have seemed absurd to any energy analyst worth his or her salt. But the unusual market circumstances of the past three years have made this unlikely scenario a reality. Now, Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of the industry cartel, is venturing to deepen political ties with Russia directly, based on mutual interests over the Qatar blockade and rebalancing the supply side of the world’s oil markets. In a Saudi first , King Salman will visit Moscow next month, where he will announce the monarchy’s support for “de-escalation zones” in Syria—a stance Riyadh previously despised. The change in mindset is a direct reflection of Russia’s easing of criticisms against the Saudi-led coalition’s fight against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Saudi Arabia now plans to strike a deal with Moscow to extend the […]

Is This The End Of U.S. Dominance In Global Energy?

26 Sep 2017   Russia, USA

Russia’s Gazprom ranked no.1 in the 2017 S&P Global Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings, toppling ExxonMobil and ending its 12-year reign at the top spot, S&P Global Platts said in what it defined as the most profound change in the 16-year history of the ranking . The second most profound change was that integrated oil and gas companies were not the biggest movers up—ceding that role to pipeline companies and utilities—although they continue to be strong on the list, as they have been since S&P Global Platts started publishing the rankings in 2002. In its annual list, S&P Global Platts ranks energy firms according to four metrics of financial performance—asset worth, revenues, profits, and return on invested capital. Exxon not only lost its no.1 spot on the list, it slipped to 9 th place. In the top 10 this year, the Americas hold only two spots, while […]

Gazprom steals spotlight from Exxon Mobil

Russian energy company Gazprom was ranked by S&P Global Platts as the top financial performer of the year, ending the reign for Exxon Mobil. Only two U.S. companies were in the Top 10 list of the biggest financial performers, and Exxon’s move from No. 1 to No. 9 was the first time in 12 years it wasn’t ranked at the top. U.S. refiner Valero Energy Corp. was ranked No. 8, down from the No. 3 spot last year. Ed Hirs, an energy economist at the University of Houston, told Platts that government support may explain the change in rankings. “In an environment like we have had this past year, those companies such as ExxonMobil and Chevron […]

Russia set to pipe more oil to China, stepping up race with Saudis

22 Sep 2017   China, Russia

Chinese oil refineries are gearing up to receive more Russian oil transported through an expanded Siberian pipeline network from January, likely cementing Russia’s position as China’s largest oil supplier in a close race with Saudi Arabia. The planned ramp-up in pipeline supplies agreed in contracts signed in 2013 comes amid a pledge by producers to cut output to tighten global markets and illustrates the nip-and-tuck contest between the world’s top oil exporters, Russia and Saudi Arabia, for dominance in the biggest crude importer, China. Russia’s top oil producer Rosneft said it is set to supply under government agreement 30 million tonnes of ESPO Blend crude to PetroChina in 2018, or 600,000 barrels per day (bpd), an increase of 50 percent from this year, after completion of the […]

Russia becomes Iraq Kurds’ top funder, quiet about independence vote

21 Sep 2017   Iraq, Russia

Russia, the only major power that has not called on Iraq’s Kurds to cancel a referendum on independence next week, has swiftly become the top funder of Kurdish oil and gas deals, with as much as $4 billion pledged in less than a year, industry sources say. Washington, European countries, Turkey and Iran have all lined up to oppose a move by Iraq’s Kurds to hold a Sept. 25 independence referendum, which the Kurds consider the culmination of decades of struggle for a state of their own, but Iraq calls a violation of its constitution. This week, the White House issued a statement calling the planned vote “provocative and destabilizing”, noting that it will take place not only within the autonomous Kurdish region itself but on territory that is disputed. But Moscow has issued no such call to cancel the vote. Instead, with the planned referendum […]

Russia’s Kurdish Pipeline Gamble

21 Sep 2017   Iraq, Russia

Rarely does one see such a multi-faceted move as Rosneft declaring it will build a $1 billion pipeline bringing gas from Iraqi Kurdistan to Turkey. The 30 BCm/year pipeline would not only allow the ever-expanding Rosneft to fortify its position in Kurdistan and nip into the Turkish gas market, but it could also challenge the export monopolist Gazprom, as the heavy lobbying effort to liberalize access to gas exports failed on the domestic market, it seems it might work out in Turkey. Rosneft-Kurdistan relations intensify by the minute. In February, the sides concluded an oil supply agreement. In July they signed a framework agreement. And in mid-September they formalized their commitment to build the Kurdistan-Turkey gas pipeline. The deal creates a win-win situation for both Rosneft and the KRG government, yet is fraught with serious geopolitical consequences in a region where war remains the prevailing theme of the 21 […]

Will The White House Prevent Rosneft From Buying Citgo?

21 Sep 2017   Russia, USA, Venezuela

Senators have pressed the Trump Administration to review the chances of Russia’s Rosneft acquiring Venezuela’s PDVSA and its U.S. business, Citgo. Marco Rubio and Bob Menendez believe a change in the ownership of Citgo’s assets would constitute a security risk, Reuters reported . In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the Republican and Democratic senators wrote that “ Given Venezuela’s increasingly dire economic and humanitarian situation, we are seriously concerned with a possible acquisition by Rosneft of PDVSA and Citgo .” Mnuchin is the chair of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The CFIUS is responsible for studying the national security implications of potential foreign acquisitions in the country. The possibility of Russia’s biggest oil company taking over Citgo first surfaced early this year, as PDVSA’s troubles with falling production and lower oil revenues deepened, bringing it closer to a default on pending debts. Rosneft […]

Russian oil company says it sent the U.S. its largest ever oil shipment

21 Sep 2017   Russia, USA

In its largest maritime shipment to date, a Russian oil company said it dispatched nearly 2 million barrels of oil from an Iraqi oil field to the United States. Russian oil company Gazprom Neft , which operates the Badra field in southern Iraq, said the 1.78 million barrels dispatched to the United States on the New Solution tanker represents the largest maritime shipment ever to a foreign country from its Iraqi subsidiary. The company said it was, however, the second batch of oil from the Iraqi field sent to the United States, but this was the largest. The 12 shipments before these were sent to European and Asia-Pacific markets. The U.S. balance between supply and demand […]

Russia’s Lukoil Eyes Decade Of Oil Output Growth

21 Sep 2017   Oil Supply, Russia

Lukoil expects its output to rise over the next 8-10 years as it brings new fields onstream, vice president and co-owner Leonid Fedun says. MOSCOW, Sept 20 Sept (Reuters) – Russia’s second-largest oil producer Lukoil expects its output to rise over the next 8-10 years as it brings new fields onstream, vice president and co-owner Leonid Fedun said on Wednesday. Lukoil has suffered from sluggish production as its fields, located mostly in Western Siberia, are mature and depleted. But it has been focusing on growth in new producing regions, such as the Caspian Sea and other countries, including Iraq. “The 3-year and 10-year company development plan is under deliberation. According to the parameters under consideration, Lukoil’s hydrocarbon production will be on the rise for the next 8-10 years,” Fedun told the Reuters Russia Investment Summit. Fedun, among the first in the Russian oil industry to call for an output […]

Russia’s Rosneft to fast-track gas export option in Kurdish Iraq

19 Sep 2017   Iraq, Russia

Russian energy company Rosneft says it’s put a gas export pipeline from the Kurdish north of Iraq on the fast track toward development. Photo courtesy of Rosneft. Sept. 18 (UPI) — Cooperation on pipeline infrastructure in the Kurdish region of Iraq could set the stage for gas exports to Europe, Russian energy company Rosneft said. Rosneft said it was finished with the due diligence requirements for an oil export pipeline from the Kurdish north and is in the process of finalizing the necessary legal documents. Total Kurdish oil production isn’t as robust as oil fields elsewhere in the country, though the semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government aims to increase its potential through exports by truck and through pipelines to the Ceyhan port in Turkey. Rosneft said Monday it was now ready to consider working with the KRG on new gas pipeline infrastructure and agreements on development could materialize by the […]

Russia’s Rosneft clinches gas pipeline deal with Iraq’s Kurdistan

18 Sep 2017   Iraq, Russia

Russian oil major Rosneft ( ROSN.MM ) will invest in gas pipelines in Iraq’s Kurdistan, expanding its commitment to the region ahead of its independence vote to help it become a major exporter of gas to Turkey and Europe. Kurdistan has been exporting oil independently from the central government in Baghdad since 2014 and Kremlin-controlled Rosneft joined the list of buyers this year, lending the semi-autonomous region hundreds of millions of dollars in loans guaranteed by future oil sales. Now Rosneft is widening its investments to gas by agreeing to fund a natural gas pipeline in Kurdistan, Rosneft and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said on Monday. Two sources close […]

Seasonal factors help Russia over-comply with OPEC pledge

15 Sep 2017   Russia

Seasonal factors and maintenance at an Arctic oil field in Russia may be contributing factors to its compliance with an OPEC-led production deal, data show. Russia said oil production declined more than it committed to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries as part of a market balancing effort. Total Russian oil production for the year is holding steady, but still represents a slight increase from the average last year. Calculations from commodity pricing group S&P Global Platts show total Russian oil production for August was down 337,000 barrels per day from the 11.24 million barrels per day in October, the month that OPEC uses to gauge compliance. That means, by Platts’ estimates, Russia is 112 percent in compliance. A report sent to UPI […]

Does Russia Really Need The OPEC Deal?

15 Sep 2017   -, OPEC, Russia

OPEC and Russia are coordinating the first joint OPEC/non-OPEC deal to curb oil output since 2001, but the apparent unity in the face of lower-for-longer oil prices doesn’t disguise the fact that the cartel and Russia have separate agendas for production, expansion, and global market shares. Earlier this week, in its latest Monthly Oil Market Report, OPEC revised down its forecast for Russia’s oil supply growth by 70,000 bpd for 2018. This means an anticipated net increase of 60,000 bpd for Russia’s oil output in 2018. OPEC didn’t change its forecast for Russia’s quarterly oil supply at 10.98 million bpd for 3Q17, 4Q17 and 1Q18, assuming production of 300,000 bpd below October levels. This leads to expectations of 30,000 bpd growth this year, when OPEC projects average Russian production at 11.12 million bpd. The expected growth figures are a tiny fraction of the production of the world’s biggest oil […]

Is Russia Pushing Saudi Arabia Out Of Asia?

13 Sep 2017   China, Russia

Chinese industrial conglomerate CEFC has agreed to buy 14.16 percent in Russia’s Rosneft for approximately US$9 billion. The deal was no surprise as it came on the heels of a Rosneft announcement regarding the sealing of a strategic partnership deal with CEFC, but it is clearly indicative of a continuing warming between Moscow and Beijing that has given the former the upper hand in a race for market share with Saudi Arabia. True, the Kingdom and Russia have been forging closer ties in recent months, thrown together by the persistent depression in international oil prices. This new coziness also shouldn’t come as a surprise. As Shakespeare put it, “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.” Russia and Saudi Arabia may be amicable for the time being, but they are competitors and the most important focus of this competition is the Chinese oil market. As Bloomberg Gadfly’s Liam Denning notes […]

Russia Urges GCC To Resolve Qatar Dispute

12 Sep 2017   Qatar, Russia

The Russian foreign minister has urged a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia to negotiate with Qatar to end a bitter diplomatic dispute that has raised tensions on the Arabian Peninsula. Sergei Lavrov on September 10 told his Saudi counterpart that “we have confirmed our position in favor of settling the disagreements via negotiations.” Lavrov’s comments to Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir during a meeting at the Saudi port city of Jeddah were released in a transcript provided by the Russian Foreign Ministry. According to the transcript, Lavrov praised the efforts of Kuwait to mediate the dispute. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt have broken all diplomatic and commercial ties with Qatar, accusing it of financing regional terrorism and of having too close ties to the Arab states’ bitter rival, Iran. Qatar has denied the accusations and has rejected a list of 13 demands set […]

Russia’s Rosneft Expects $40 Oil In 2018

12 Sep 2017   Prices, Russia

Russia’s largest oil producer, Rosneft, expects oil prices to average between $40 and $43 per barrel next year, and is preparing for such prices, Rosneft’s CEO Igor Sechin told TV channel Rossiya 24 in an interview broadcast on Monday. Last week, Sechin was quoted as saying that the recent rise in oil prices was due to a weak dollar , instead of efforts by OPEC to combat the global crude supply glut. Sechin’s oil price forecast is basically in line with Russia’s economic estimates from earlier this year. At the beginning of June, Russia’s Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin said that Russia was “actually ready to live forever at oil prices $40 or below,” as oil at US$40 is the current underlying key assumption of Russia’s economic policies. A couple of weeks later, Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina said that Russia’s central bank was keeping its oil price forecast […]

Russia’s Big Bet On Kurdish Oil

11 Sep 2017   Iraq, Russia

In June 2017, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Russian energy behemoth Rosneft signed several cooperation, investment and production sharing agreements regarding hydrocarbon exploration, production, infrastructure, logistics and trading. Rosneft also obtained access to Kurdistan’s oil pipeline to Turkey with a capacity of 700,000 bbl/day, and is planning to extend this to over 1 million bbl/day, although no timeline has been given. Earlier in 2017, Rosneft’s Swiss-based trading arm Rosneft Trading S.A. agreed to buy crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan until 2019. The crude is to be delivered to Rosneft’s refineries in Germany. Rosneft committed to paying KRG for oil supplies in advance. According to sources quoted by Bloomberg , the first advance payment was U.S. $1 billion. The deal meets the commercial interests of both sides. Rosneft expanded its global portfolio and secured crude supplies for its German, and potentially new Indian, refineries. In August 2017, Rosneft finalised the […]

China invests $9.1 billion in Rosneft as Glencore, Qatar cut stakes

9 Sep 2017   China, Russia

Chinese conglomerate CEFC will buy a 14.16 percent stake in Russian oil major Rosneft for $9.1 billion from a consortium of Glencore and the Qatar Investment Authority, strengthening the energy partnership between Moscow and Beijing. CEFC China Energy has grown in recent years from a niche oil trader into a sprawling energy conglomerate and the transaction will allow China, the world’s second largest energy consumer, to boost cooperation with the world’s top oil producer. The deal comes as the United States imposes a new round of economic sanctions on Russia, making it difficult for large Western firms such as Glencore to develop partnerships and increase ties with state-owned firms such as Rosneft. Glencore said in a statement that CEFC will buy shares at […]

China Purchases 14% Of Rosneft From Qatar

9 Sep 2017   China, Russia

The $9 billion purchase will transfer the Qatar Investment Authority’s 14.16 percent Rosneft stake to CEFC China Energy Company Ltd., Glencore said on Friday. China bought the shares at a 16 percent premium to the Rosneft share price over the past month. Final negotiations and regulatory approvals are needed before the exchange goes through, however. “This deal intensifies the energy relationship between Russia and China. A direct stake in Rosneft will make CEFC China the main driver for the relationship of Rosneft with China, ahead of CNPC, Sinopec and Beijing Gas,” Wood Mackenzie senior analyst Christian Boermel said. “Rosneft keeps its customers close to its heart – buy a stake, get an oil supply agreement. CEFC China could soon take stakes in Rosneft projects, either in cash-intensive upstream projects, or in the downstream.” The Russian government will continue to own a majority stake of Rosneft after […]