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BP and Rosneft to make $700mn deal despite sanctions – FT

RT | June 15, 2015

Russian oil major Rosneft and BP are close to signing a $700 million deal for BP to acquire a 20 percent stake in the Taas-Yuriakh Siberian oilfield, reports the FT. The deal could be announced this week at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The introduction of EU sanctions against Russia hasn’t scared off the largest European companies, working in the fuel and energy sector, according to the Financial Times.

Besides BP, Italy’s Eni and Norway’s Statoil have already received governmental approval to continue working on joint projects with Rosneft. Shell continues to work with Gazprom Neft over the Salym project in the Siberian Khanty-Mansiysk area and is seeking Dutch government approval for other joint ventures.

The news comes as the G7 claimed they are ready to extend sanctions last week. The announcement was also made just days prior to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, dubbed the ‘Russian Davos’.

The heads of BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total will visit the event which starts on Thursday. America’s Boston Consulting and Ernst & Young are also expected to attend, which could be a sign Washington and Brussels want dialogue with Moscow.

As EU sanctions are not so diehard as American, European companies with pre-existing contracts have a possibility to even expand their activities in Russia and don’t want to miss the opportunity, says James Henderson, senior fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.

“European companies are finding ways and are certainly freer to do business than their US counterparts… US companies are going to be hugely disadvantaged as we go forward because EU sanctions are not retroactive and US ones are,” Henderson told the FT.

“We stay out of the politics… We have a lot of experience in Russia … our commitment is to remain,” BP CEO Bob Dudley told CNBC this month.

Statoil is planning to drill two wells with Rosneft at the onshore Siberian North Komsomolskoye field this summer, and two wells in the Okhotsk Sea on the edge of the Pacific in summer 2016.

Eni has not disclosed any plans, but the FT, referring to sources familiar with the situation, assume the Italians may continue work on a Black Sea license with Rosneft.

June 15, 2015 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Russia Iran oil-for-goods deal on – Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (RIA Novosti/Aleksey Nikolskyi)

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (RIA Novosti – Aleksey Nikolskyi)
RT | April 14, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, confirmed the oil-for-goods deal between Moscow and Tehran is “absolutely” a reality and has begun.

Russia has started supplying grain, equipment and construction materials to Iran in exchange for crude oil under the barter deal announced by Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Absolutely! Of course,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said when asked by reporters on Tuesday if the statement the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made on Monday was accurate, and the exchange had indeed started. “Focus on the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Peskov said.

On Monday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov made the details of the trading partnership public.

Moscow and Tehran have been hashing out the deal’s small print since early 2014. A big step was taken in August when Russia’s Energy Minister Aleksey Miller and his Indian counterpart Bijan Namdar Zanganeh signed a five-year memorandum

According to Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Russia hasn’t yet received any Iranian oil.

Much of Iran’s oil reserves – the world’s fourth largest – remain untapped. Western sanctions put the brakes on discovery and exploration in the oil and gas industries.

Moscow may buy up to 500,000 barrels of Iranian oil per day, which would help Iran bring the 20-30 million barrels of crude oil they have in storage to market.

Iran, the third largest Russian grain customer, will ship wheat into the country. Russian state-run power utility Inter RAO and Inter RAO Export, as well as Technopromexport would supply equipment and help construct power stations in Iran, Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak said previously.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia is lifting the ban on the delivery of S-300 missile rocket systems to Iran. The Kremlin canceled a 2010 self-imposed ban, suggested by the US and allies, not to sell Iran the artillery.

In April, Iran reached a nuclear agreement with the P5+1 countries to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear arms as long as the West lifted sanctions, which have been in place for nearly 40 years. By June 2015, a final agreement is expected to be reached, which will lift sanctions, including the oil embargo against Iran. After sanctions are loosened, Iran’s oil minister thinks the country can increase shipments by one million barrels a day.

April 14, 2015 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | Leave a comment

ExxonMobil admits $1bn lost from anti-Russia sanctions

RT | February 27, 2015

The contracts with Russia’s biggest oil company Rosneft damaged by the West’s anti-Russian sanctions have cost ExxonMobil $1 billion, the company said in its annual report.

“In 2014, the European Union and United States imposed sanctions relating to the Russian energy sector. In compliance with the sanctions and all general and specific licenses, prohibited activities involving offshore Russia in the Black Sea, Arctic regions, and onshore western Siberia have been wound down. The Corporation’s maximum exposure to loss from these joint ventures as of December 31, 2014, is $1.0 billion,” the report said.

Rosneft and ExxonMobil established projects to conduct exploration and research activities in 2013 and 2014. The European Union and United States imposed sanctions relating to the Russian energy sector in 2014, prohibiting any activities that involve offshore work in the Russian Black Sea and Arctic regions, and onshore in western Siberia.

The two companies began an exploration project in the Kara Sea in August despite the sanctions. Oil reserves in the Kara Sea could be as high as 13 billion tons, which is more than in the Gulf of Mexico or the whole of Saudi Arabia.

Another joint venture known as the Sakhalin–1 Consortium in Russia’s Far East uses Berkut, the world’s largest oil platform and is producing 27,000 tons of oil a day.

Russia’s Rosneft and its President Igor Sechin have been put under US and EU sanctions. The provision of oil equipment and services such as drilling in offshore deep water projects such as in the Arctic, or shale well drilling were also banned due to the terms of the sanctions.

February 27, 2015 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , , | Leave a comment

Russia’s Gazprom to fall under new EU capital ban – sources

RT | September 6, 2014

Russia’s Gazprom Bank and oil producer Gazprom Neft will fall under new sanctions approved by the European Union on Friday, Reuters cited an EU diplomat as saying. The sanctions reportedly include a new ban on raising capital in the 28-nation bloc.

The sanctions were agreed against Russia for its alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis, the diplomatic source said.

According to The Financial Times, which managed to obtain a document outlining the sanctions, all Russian state-controlled companies with assets of more than one trillion rubles (US$27 billion) that receive more than half their revenue from “the sale or transportation of crude oil or petroleum products” will be hit by the ban.

In addition to Gazprom Neft, the oil subsidiary of Russian gas giant Gazprom, Russia’s largest oil group – Rosneft and Transneft pipeline company – would be potentially blacklisted. However, the sanctions will not apply to privately owned Russian oil groups such as Lukoil and Surgutneftegas, the Times said.

The sanctions will also include an expansion of the EU travel ban list against certain individuals, as well as asset freezes, credit restrictions against Russian companies, and export bans on dual use goods, the EU diplomat told the agency.

Chiefs of Russian companies will be added to the list, along with oligarchs and local authorities of Donbass and Crimea.

Moscow has already promised it will respond to the new round of sanctions if they are approved and imposed, according to a press release issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Saturday

“Instead of feverishly looking for ways of hitting harder the economies of its member-states and Russia, the EU would do better to start supporting the economic revival of the Donbass region and restoring normal life there,” the press release reads.

The EU’s implementation of the new sanctions was delayed until Monday, Itar-Tass quoted an EU source as saying. Although the sanctions are ready, “some touch up work will be completed during the weekend.”

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso confirmed that the new sanctions will be revealed on Monday.

US President Barack Obama said on Friday that Washington and the European Union were prepared to impose sanctions against Russia if the crisis in Ukraine continues to escalate following the signing of a ceasefire agreement.

Obama said the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine – agreed upon only hours earlier – was a result of “both the sanctions that have already been applied and the threat of further sanctions, which are having a real impact on the Russian economy and have isolated Russia in a way we have not seen in a very long time.”

Kiev officials and representatives of the two self-proclaimed republics in southeastern Ukraine agreed to a ceasefire after the contact group met behind closed doors in Belarus.

READ MORE:

US, EU preparing new round of economic sanctions against Russia

Kiev, E. Ukraine militia agree on ceasefire starting 1500 GMT Friday

Obama: We are readying new sanctions on Russia despite peace agreement in Ukraine

September 6, 2014 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New EU economic sanctions to hit Russian oil, defense investments – report

RT | September 4, 2014

The European Union is looking at introducing more economic sanctions against Russia over its alleged role in Ukrainian conflict, targeting the country’s oil and defense industries with investment bans, according to a new report.

EU diplomats have started drawing up new economic sanctions in Brussels, indicating that they could be passed as soon as Friday, The Telegraph reported, citing a three-page document.

The confidential document was reportedly handed over to ambassadors from several European countries this week.

It calls to “prohibit debt financing (through bonds, equities and syndicated loans) to defense companies and to all companies whose main activity is the exploration, production and transportation of oil and oil products and in which the Russian state is the majority shareholder.”

The new wave of sanctions could potentially ban state-controlled Russian oil and defense companies from raising funds in European capital markets, cutting off foreign investment.

“This extension would significantly increase the burden placed on the Russian state to finance its companies,” the document suggests.

The sanctions would affect Rosneft – Russia’s largest oil producer – in turn impacting British energy company BP, which has a 20 percent stake in the company.

Moreover, Russia’s oil prospectors could be blocked off from accessing exploration, production and refinery services.

“Measures could be extended… to provision of future associated services (such as seismic campaign-related services, drilling, well testing, logging and completion services, supply of floating vessels etc) for deep water, oil exploration and production, Arctic oil exploration and production or shale oil projects in Russia,” said the paper.

That may even include “prohibiting the provision of new additional technologies, for instance refining technologies needed to upgrade crude oil to EURO 4 standards.”

The banking sector will also be targeted further, making borrowing money from the EU even more difficult for Russian state-owned companies.

“Possible measures [include] prohibiting EU persons from participating in syndicated loans to major Russian State owned banks and other entities with a view to further restraining access to capital and closing a possible gap in the current regulation,” said the EU document. “[Also] lowering the maturity beyond which certain debt instruments are restricted bringing it form the current 90 days to 30 days.”

READ MORE: France says it cannot deliver Mistral warship to Russia over Ukraine

Some of the measures not being considered at this time, but reportedly being held in reserve, include bans on the purchase of newly issued Russian government bonds and a boycott of non-industrial diamonds.

Aside from the economic measures, other forms of sanctions are also being considered.

“Beside economic measures, thought could be given to taking coordinated action within the G7 and beyond to recommend suspension of Russian participation in high profile international cultural, economic or sports events (Formula One races, UEFA football competitions, 2018 World Cup etc),” according to the document.

AFP reported, citing a source, that the World Cup boycott idea is being considered as a “possibility for later on, not now.”

On Wednesday the president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, said there was no chance of the 2018 World Cup being taken away from Russia.

“We are not placing any questions over the World Cup in Russia,” the head of world football’s governing body said at an event near Kitzbuehel, Austria, according to the DPA news agency. “We are in a situation in which we have expressed our trust to the organizers of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.”

“[A boycott] has never achieved anything,” Blatter stressed.

Meanwhile, President Putin has outlined a seven-point plan to stabilize the situation in the crisis-torn region of eastern Ukraine.

Putin also expressed hope that final agreements between Kiev and the militia in southeastern Ukraine could be reached and secured at the coming meeting of the so-called contact group on September 5.

The military conflict has killed 2,593 people since mid-April and displaced over a million Ukrainians, most of whom sought refuge in Russia.

So far, attempts at temporary ceasefires between Kiev and self-defense forces in the past months have failed to improve the situation in southeastern Ukraine. The fighting has continued, with both sides blaming each other for breaking the truce.

September 3, 2014 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rosneft to take 30 percent stake in Norwegian driller

RT | August 22, 2014

Russia’s biggest oil company Rosneft has agreed to purchase a stake in Norway’s North Atlantic Drilling (NADL) through an asset swap, which appears to show businesses remain undeterred by political sanctions.

Rosneft has agreed to take a 30 percent of North Atlantic in return for 150 onshore drilling assets in Russia, and some cash. The final terms of the deal, including the amount of investments in the Norwegian company, will be set after it passes due diligence, which is expected to be done by the end of the year, Rosneft said in a statement Friday.

Rune Magnus Lundetrae, Chief Financial Officer of Seadrill, which owns 70 percent of North Atlantic, told Bloomberg Rosneft would also buy 100 million new shares at $9.25 apiece.

The deal comes amidst sanctions tension between Russia and the West and shows that foreign businesses still want to cooperate with Russia, leaving politics aside.

“We’re very pleased with the execution of this important transaction and welcome Rosneft as an equity partner and to our board of directors,” Alf Ragnar Lovdal, CEO of North Atlantic, said in a statement.

“We’re not very worried” that the sanctions will affect any part of these deals, Lundetrae told Bloomberg by phone. “Rosneft is a very good and constructive partner for us.”

Friday’s deal marks the second step under a framework agreement signed in May. Last month, just days before the EU imposed tighter economic sanctions against Russia; the two companies completed the lease of offshore rigs. Under the July agreement, Rosneft and NADL will cooperate in shelf drilling, with the Norwegian company providing Rosneft with six sea drilling units till 2022 to conduct shelf drilling in harsh weather conditions.

ExxonMobil and Norway’s Statoil have also confirmed they would continue offshore Arctic drilling with Rosneft, despite politicians in the EU and the US seeking to make Russia change its policy over Ukraine by putting on economic pressure.

On Thursday, the Financial Times reported Vitol, the world’s largest independent oil trader, was shelving its $2 billion deal with Rosneft.

August 22, 2014 Posted by | Economics | , , | Leave a comment

ExxonMobil, Rosneft start joint Arctic drilling exempt from sanctions

RT | August 9, 2014

US oil giant ExxonMobil and Russia’s Rosneft will continue joint exploitation of the Russian Arctic despite Western sanctions, the American company said as the two giants launched exploration drilling in the Kara Sea.

“Our cooperation is a long-term one. We see great benefits here and are ready to continue working here with your agreement,” Glenn Waller, ExxonMobil’s lead manager in Russia, told President Vladimir Putin during a videoconference call.

The Russian leader hailed the exploration project as an example of mutually beneficial cooperation that strengthens global energy security.

Rosneft head Igor Sechin said the launch of the Universitetskaya-1 well drill is one of the most important events for the company this year.

“We hope that this work will discover a new oil reserve here in the Kara Sea. The development of the Arctic shelf would have a big and positive effect for the Russian economy,” he said.

Optimistic company forecasts put oil reserves in the Kara Sea as high as 13 billion tons, more than in the Gulf of Mexico, or the whole of Saudi Arabia.

The drilling is being done by the West Alpha oilrig, built by Norway’s North Atlantic Drilling. It has a deadweight of 30,700 tons and can drill wells in the shelf up to 7 km deep.

The rig was equipped with an advanced iceberg warning system, which tracks potentially dangerous icebergs, giving enough time for either support ships to tow them away, or for the rig itself to seal off the well and evacuate to safety.

Rosneft is one of the Russian companies targeted by Western nations, imposed to punish Moscow for its stance over the Ukrainian crisis. Russia’s retaliation so far has been to ban the import of foodstuffs from the countries that approved anti-Russian sanctions.

August 9, 2014 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Video | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How sanctions will affect the West’s $35bn invested in Russian oil

RT | July 30, 2014

The US and EU have banned the export to Russia of hi-tech oil equipment needed in Arctic, deep sea, and shale extraction projects. This will leave Western companies, which have an estimated $35 billion invested in Russian oil, in a bind.

New stage three sanctions won’t immediately slash Russian oil production, which at 10.55 million barrels per day is the world’s largest, but could derail future foreign investment in Russia’s oil industry. Russia is home to the largest combined oil and gas reserves in the world.

The US and the 28 EU countries hope to influence Moscow’s foreign policy in eastern Ukraine.

New restrictions “will make it more difficult for Russia to develop its oil resources over the long term,” President Barack Obama said as he unveiled the new tough regime.

The sanctions will hit the heart of Russia’s economy- oil, but not touch the gas sector. Together, the two make up more than 50 percent of revenues for the Russian state. Russia has an estimated $7.5 trillion in oil and gas resources, many of which require Western oil technology to extract.

Obama said he wanted the sanctions “to bite.”

The sanctions won’t only bite at Russia, but Western oil companies like BP and ExxonMobil, and equipment suppliers may fall victim to the oil technology ban.

Introduction of EU sanctions against the Russian energy sector will drive up European energy prices, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned on Wednesday.

BP

BP is one of the most exposed to the Russian market, after the UK-based company bought a 19.75 percent stake in the state oil company Rosneft, a company already on Obama’s sanctions list.

Previously, BP insisted it was “business as usual” with Russia, but the sectoral sanctions could derail the company’s strategy in Russia, where it sources nearly one-third of its global oil production.

“Any future erosion of our relationship with Rosneft, or the impact of further economic sanctions, could adversely impact our business and strategic objectives in Russia, the level of our income, production and reserves, our investment in Rosneft and our reputation,” BP said on Wednesday, before the heavy-handed sanctions were announced.

The same day, the British energy company reported a big bump in second quarter profits, which rose 25.3 percent to $3.23 billion.

In June, Rosneft agreed to supply BP with up to 12 million tons of oil and oil products over 5 years. The deal assumes a prepayment of at least $1.5 billion.

ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil has been present in the Russian market for over 20 years. In partnership with Rosneft, the Texas-based oil major has many projects in Russia underway- including the $500 billion exploration of the Bazhenov oil field in Western Siberia, and a $15 billion liquefied natural gas terminal in Russia’s Far East.

If forced to quit Russia, Exxon could pull out as much as $1 billion in funds intended to go to offshore Arctic and fracking projects in Siberia, Bloomberg News reported.

After the sanctions were announced, Rosneft Chairman Alexander Nekipelov said ExxonMobil may suspend cooperation with Rosneft, but only in an extreme situation.

“As far as we know, Exxon does not have plans to stop cooperation with Rosneft, and we hope the situation will not go that far,” Nekipelov said.

“We are assessing the impact of the sanctions,” Alan Jeffers, an Exxon spokesman, told Bloomberg News via email.

Nekipelov said the American company doesn’t want to give up its joint projects with Rosneft- it has already invested too much.

In May, the two companies agreed on four Arctic exploration projects. Additionally, ExxonMobil and Rosneft will operate a new joint offshore drilling rig in the Kara Sea, where the two companies have rights to over 11.3 million acres of Russia’s Pacific Ocean waters. The company also has a substantial stake in the Far East Sakhalin oil project, which covers 85,000 acres.

Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson hasn’t made any official comment on the new sanctions.

Total

France’ oil major and largest company, Total, has huge operations in Russia, its fourth largest market. The morning after the sanctions, the group’s stock dipped 2.66 percent in Paris. On Wednesday, the company reported an estimated second quarter net profit drop of 12 percent

Total owns about 18 percent of Novatek, Russia’s second largest gas producer, which was affected in the previous round of US sanctions.

“We stopped buying shares in Novatek the day of the airplane accident after considering all the uncertainty that it created,” the French company’s CEO said in the earnings call on Wednesday.

Novatek leads the $27 billion Yamal LNG project with Total, along with China’s CNPC. The South-Tambeyskoye field has an estimated 492 billion cubic meters of proven gas reserves.

Russia is “a great oil and gas country and we’ll have to wait and see the nature of these new sanctions first,” the CEO said on Wednesday, adding it was a “crucial” market.

The project is highly dependent on US technology and will experience serious difficulties if sanctions are imposed.

Total expects its hydrocarbon production in Russia to rise to 400,000 barrels a day from 207,000 barrels in 2013.

Halliburton and Schlumberger

Blocking the exports of specific goods and technology to Russia is going to squeeze the world’s largest oil service and equipment companies- both US-based- which depend on Russia for sales.

Halliburton relies on Russia for 4-5 percent of global sales, and Schlumberger generates 5-6 percent, according to an estimate by RBC Capital Markets.

Both oilfield service groups, which provide Russia with horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology, could lose sales because of sanctions, but they won’t be driven out all together.

The stock price has dropped for both companies after the sanctions were announced- Halliburton is down 1.95 percent, and Schlumberger dipped 0.70 percent.

Dick Cheney, former US Vice President, and avid Russia critic, served as Halliburton’s CEO through 2000.

READ MORE: EU and US impose new round of sanctions on Russia over Ukraine

July 30, 2014 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hague court had no authority in Yukos case, ruling politicized – Moscow

RT | July 28, 2014

The Hague’s arbitration court was not legally empowered to view the case of Yukos Oil Company v. Russia, and the court’s “one-sided” ruling disregards previous Strasbourg court decisions on the issue, the Russian Finance Ministry said in a statement.

Viewing the case, filed by shareholders of former Russian oil giant Yukos against the Russian government, was not in the jurisdiction of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in the Hague, as Russia has not ratified the Energy Charter Treaty, the ministry said on Monday.

The statement, following the court’s sensational Monday ruling that ordered Russia to pay $50 billion in damages, also provided a detailed list of issues, which, according to the ministry, make the decision “opportunistic” and “politically biased.”

First of all, The Hague court ignored the previous decisions of the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which in September 2011 ruled that the Russian authorities had carried out “legitimate” and not politically motivated actions against Yukos “to counter the company’s tax evasion,” the ministry noted. The ruling contradicted Yukos shareholders’ claims that the company’s assets were purposefully expropriated by Moscow.

The Russian Finance Ministry meanwhile blasted the arbitration ruling as based on “one-sided investigation with one-sided application of evidence.”

The Hague court in effect reviewed the decisions of Russian courts on Yukos “as if the arbitration court was an additional authority for appealing the court orders,” the ministry said. It has made “theoretical speculations not supported by evidence” over the motivation of the Russian authorities’ actions in the case of Yukos, it added.

The international body failed to note that the people who controlled Yukos, including the oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky released from jail in December, were apparently aware of financial machinations aimed at a mass-scale tax evasion in favor of the company, the ministry stressed. The tax evasion scheme, which involved the creation of numerous bogus companies, was not properly considered in the court.

The arbitration court went as far as to judge “what Russian tax legislation should be like” as opposed to what it required in reality, the ministry said. The court refused to pass several controversial issues on taxes for review by Russian, UK or Cyprus competent authorities despite relying on the Energy Charter Treaty that outlines a need for such reviews, it added.

While in effect saying The Hague court decision was not legally binding for Moscow, the ministry added that “the Russian Federation will challenge the arbitration court’s decisions in the courts of the Netherlands.”

According to the ministry, “the arbitration court failed to approach the adjudication with common sense, which is required from the judges in such situations,” which resulted in an nonobjective and biased decision.

“Such an approach undermines the authority of the Arbitration court and the Energy Charter Treaty, which are being applied in increasingly politicized manner and, as in this case, have become the objects of abuse on behalf of domestic investors trying to evade taxes,” the ministry said.

ECHR is expected to announce a fresh decision on Yukos’ multi-billion dollar claim against Russia on Thursday, as the defunct company’s shareholders have filed a separate application with the Strasbourg court, Reuters reported.

Background: ‘Mega-arbitration’: Court orders Russia to pay $50bn in Yukos case

July 28, 2014 Posted by | Economics | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Russia breaks oil output record

RT | November 2, 2013

Russian oil output, the largest in the world, reached 10.59 million bpd (barrels per day) in October, setting the record for the country’s post-Soviet period, Energy Ministry data showed.

The landmark was reached due to Rosneft increasing production at the Vankor field in the Krasnoyarsk Region, the Vedomosti paper reports.

The output at the field was 18.3 million tons last year, with the company planning Vankor reach 25 million tons annually.

Another influential factor is the larger amount of Gazprom-produced gas condensate, which has now reached 350,000 bpd.

The country’s total output in October reached 44,773 million tons, which is 1.3 percent higher than during the same period last year.

According to the International Energy Agency, Russia’s all-time production of black gold reached its peak at 11.41 million bpd in 1988, when it was still part of the Soviet Union.

The production of oil in Russia has been steadily growing since the setback caused by the global financial crisis in 2008, which saw output falling to about 9.8 million bpd.

In September 2009, it exceeded a monthly level of 10 million bpd, with the country overtaking Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer the next year.

Oil and gas remain the No.1 source of income for Russia, as hydrocarbons account for 80 percent of the country’s export.

November 4, 2013 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , | Leave a comment

Russia declassifies vast extent of oil, gas reserves

RT | July 12, 2013

According to declassified data Russia holds 17 billion tons of oil and 48 billion cubic meters of gas. Moscow believes revealing the extent of the vast reserves will lead to a surge of investment in the extraction and production of hydrocarbons.

The country’s recoverable oil reserves in the C1 category (proven reserves) totals 17.8 billion tons; category C2 (preliminary estimated reserves) is 10.2 billion tons, according to data collected on January 1, 2012.

Meanwhile, gas reserves were equally bountiful at 48.8 trillion cubic meters C1 category; gas stores of the C2 category is estimated at 19.6 trillion cubic meters.

The Minister of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation Sergey Donskoy said the resource potential for these kinds of mineral resources remains one of the most significant in the world. “I am convinced that the opening of this data will give a powerful impetus to investment in reproduction and production of hydrocarbons,” he said. He also added that Russia’s potential for the mineral resources is one of the most significant in the world.

Russia’s available hydrocarbon potential will be able to provide the nation’s growing economy for 30 years, according to expert estimates put out by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and the Federal State Commission on Mineral Reserves.

Meanwhile, increased exploration of mineral resources consistently exceed the level of production, the minister said, noting that last year 49 oil fields were discovered.

Last week, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a government decree that removed the lid of secrecy on oil reserve data.

Earlier, President Putin, explained the necessary level of cooperation that exists between the domestic fuel and energy sector and foreign investors, called the former level of secrecy “an obvious anachronism.”

Putin also called on the development and approval of a new classification of Russian oil and gas reserves as close as possible to international standards.

Before the release of the official data Russia was placed second in the world by gas reserves after Iran, with 32.9 trillion cubic meters, and eighth by crude oil reserves, after Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and UAE, with 11.8 trillion cubic meters of oil.

July 13, 2013 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , , , , | Comments Off on Russia declassifies vast extent of oil, gas reserves

Russia ranked world leader in shale oil reserves

RT | June 12, 2013

Russian shale oil reserves are estimated at 75 billion barrels, which puts the country on top of the global standings, followed by the US and China.

According to the report by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the estimated American shale gas resources equal 58 billion barrels, with third-place China having 32 billion barrels.

But it’s the Chinese, who hold the leadership in shale gas reserves, with 1,115 trillion cubic feet. 802 trillion cubic feet puts Argentina in second, with Algeria not far behind on 707 trillion cubic feet.

The US is fourth when it comes to shale gas (665 trillion cubic feet), while Russia is ninth with 285 trillion cubic feet.

The EIA’s report indicates that the worldwide resources of oil and gas from shale formations are greater than was previously thought.

The global shale oil resources are estimated at 345 billion barrels and shale gas – at 7,299 trillion cubic feet, which is a 10 per cent increase in comparison with the 2011 data.

According to EIA’s administrator, Adam Sieminski, the report shows “a significant potential for international shale oil and shale gas.”

The increase in estimates is explained by more countries joining the efforts to search for deposits, following the ‘Shale Revolution’ in the US.

“As shale oil and shale gas production has grown in the United States to become 30 percent of oil and 40 percent of natural gas total production, interest in the oil and natural gas resource potential of shale formations outside the United States has grown,” Adam Sieminski explained in a statement.

Also on Wednesday, British oil giants BP have Russia’s natural gas reserves estimate at 32.9 trillion cubic meters from 44.6 trillion in last year.

According to the company’s benchmark Statistical Review of World Energy, it’s Iran, who climbed to the top of the global standings, with the proven reserves of 33.6 trillion cubic meters.

BP said that this year they decided to adjust its estimates for the former Soviet Union states, including Russia, where data on reserves remains classified.

“Traditionally countries of the former Soviet Union had different criteria than used elsewhere. So we used a conversion factor to convert that from those countries where we don’t get direct data,” Christof Ruhl, BP’s chief economist, is cited as saying by Reuters. “In some countries, reserves are still a state secret, so we have to rely on these data.”

But Russia remains a much larger gas producer than Iran as the international sanctions prevent the Islamic Republic from exploiting its natural resources in full.

The estimate of gas reserves in the US where the energy industry has been transformed by shale oil and gas, due to lower prices and reduced drilling.

The American gas reserves ended 2012 at 8.5 trillion cubic meters, down 0.3 trillion from indications of 2011.

BP cut proven global gas reserves by nearly 21 trillion cubic meters from 208.4 trillion cubic last year to 187.3 trillion cubic meters as of end of 2012.

June 13, 2013 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Russia ranked world leader in shale oil reserves