Oil & Gas

Gazprom planning for the lowest fuel price in EU market for a decade


Gazprom PJSC, the world’s biggest natural gas exporter, is planning for the lowest price for its fuel in its main European market for more than a decade. The state-run exporter is drafting its budget for 2016 with preliminary estimates for gas prices outside the former Soviet Union of about $200 per 1,000 cubic meters ($5.45 a million British thermal units), said two people with direct knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Oil & Gas

Russia offers gas supplies to Iran in swap deal


Russia's Energy Minister has offered gas supplies to Iran as part of a swap agreement with the Middle Eastern country. The politician said the Kremlin-controlled gas producer Gazprom was also considering other possible deals. The country has been looking to boost its efforts to foster political and economic ties with Tehran.

Oil & Gas

Chief exec of Russia’s Rosneft criticises Saudi oil-market strategy


Saudi Arabia’s move to maintain its share of the global oil market and expand in Europe will backfire, said the chief executive officer of Russia’s largest oil producer. “The strategy that Saudi Arabia has chosen doesn’t bring any significant victories,” Igor Sechin, CEO of OAO Rosneft, said Thursday at the Eurasian Forum in Verona, Italy. “More likely the opposite.” After the US cut imports amid a boom in domestic production, exporters from the Middle East are increasing output and seeking new markets, a move that isn’t helpful for the global industry, Sechin said.

Market info

No rescue for Russia from $50 oil as minister sees prices stuck


Russia’s economy minister warned that the nation is facing years of oil prices at about $50 as a sluggish global economy ushers in a long cycle of low commodities prices. The world’s largest energy exporter must continue financial support for non-commodities exports to buoy the nation’s shrinking economy, Alexei Ulyukayev told a conference Wednesday in Moscow. Measures to help growth by encouraging local food production are starting to pay off, according to First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov. “We have entered a period of low prices for commodities, a long commodities cycle that’s ongoing and that will continue for a number of years,” Ulyukayev said. “I don’t see any sharp slumps but, relatively speaking, the oil price will be $50, $50 plus for years.”

Oil & Gas

Russia markets find sweet spot as politics take back seat to oil


As Russian military planes pound Syria, the ruble, stocks and bonds are projecting an uncommon level of giddiness on the part of traders. A week after Vladimir Putin embarked on air strikes on Islamic State, the attacks are infuriating Turkey, NATO calls them a “troubling escalation” and the U.K. says the Kremlin is making the situation in the region “much more dangerous.” Even so, the ruble is enjoying its best start to an October on record, and the RTS stock index is having its strongest showing in a decade. The reason? Oil. The correlation between Russia’s currency and the price of its main export is at an all-time high. Add to that the surge in appetite for emerging-market assets as traders push back the timing of an interest-rate increase by the Federal Reserve. Some investors are unfazed by Russia’s maneuvering in Syria or sanctions over its role in Ukraine.

Oil & Gas

Oil rises as Russian strikes in Syria raise Middle East tension


Oil gained after Russian air strikes in Syria drew condemnation from the US and its allies, increasing tension in the Middle East. Futures in New York advanced as much as 2.2 percent. Russian planes are targeting Islamic State, al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front and other armed groups, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday. US data Friday may show the labor market is improving in the world’s biggest oil user, with 201,000 jobs added last month, according to a Bloomberg survey. “We need to start putting some geopolitical risk premium in the oil price,” Olivier Jakob, managing director at Petromatrix GmbH in Zug, Switzerland, said in a note. “There are many countries active in some way in Syria and it is not yet clear how each will react to the increasing Russian open military action.”

Oil & Gas

Russian oil output reaches post-Soviet record in September


Russian oil output rose to a post-Soviet record last month as producers take advantage of the weak ruble to push ahead with drilling. The nation’s production of crude and condensate advanced to 10.74 million barrels a day, 1 percent more than a year earlier and topping a record set in June, according to data from the Energy Ministry’s CDU-TEK unit.

Oil & Gas

Russian Economy Ministry opposes higher oil tax to defend output


Russia’s Economy Ministry criticized a proposed tax increase on the nation’s main revenue source, crude producers, saying it may hurt output and the budget in the long term. The oil-extraction tax formula proposed by the Finance Ministry last week would hurt “the economics of working deposits and in fact would ’kill’ production at the most efficient fields in terms of tax performance,” Deputy Economy Minister Nikolay Podguzov said. “Clearly, if production decreases, taxes also fall.”

Oil & Gas

Pursuit of China’s oil prize is race for second-place spoils


In the race to supply crude to the world’s biggest energy user, it’s the tussle for second place that’s too close to call. Russia, Angola and Iran are vying to be runner-up to Saudi Arabia as the top seller to China. The contest is set to intensify as Iran seeks to recover market share lost because of sanctions and the US Congress debates a nuclear deal that’ll allow the Persian Gulf state to boost shipments. China overtook the US as the biggest importer of crude most recently in June, taking advantage of a 50 percent slump in benchmark prices over the past year to boost strategic reserves. With the Asian nation forecast to account for more than a quarter of global demand growth in 2016, the prize of becoming a top supplier will bolster the economic health of national producers that depend on energy exports for most of their budget revenue.

Oil & Gas

Rosneft to sell 15% stake in Vankorneft oil project to ONGC


OAO Rosneft will sell a stake in one of its largest oil-producing projects to ONGC Videsh Ltd., the overseas arm of India’s biggest explorer. The unit of state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corp. will take a 15 percent share in Vankorneft, Russia’s second-largest oil producing development, the companies said at a signing ceremony Friday in Vladivostok, in Russia’s Far East. ONGC will have a right to two directors on Vankorneft’s board and Rosneft will keep control of the project operations, including the Vankor- Purpe pipeline, the companies said. The deal is pending regulatory approval.

Oil & Gas

Russia’s Novatek to sell 10% in Yamal to Chinese fund


Russia's second-biggest gas producer Novatek is close to selling a 9.9 percent stake worth an estimated $900 million in its Yamal liquefied natural gas project to a Chinese investment fund, Kommersant business daily reported on Monday. The deal may close in the coming weeks, the daily quoted three sources familiar with the talks as saying. It quoted one of source as saying the buyer was China's infrastructure fund Silk Road.

Market info

Russia’s Eurasia Drilling says H1 net profit halves


Russia's Eurasia Drilling on Thursday reported a first-half net profit of $91 million, down by half on a weak rouble, low oil prices and lower demand from top customer Lukoil. Eurasia, in which Schlumberger is awaiting Russia's permission to buy a 45.65 percent stake, said revenue fell by 40 percent to $923 million.

Oil & Gas

OMV may shed Turkish plant as it looks to Russia


Further writedowns on Austrian oil and gas group OMV's ailing Samsun gas power plant in Turkey are possible and the facility could be sold, the head of OMV's downstream division, Manfred Leitner, told Reuters. OMV this month booked an impairment of 205 million euros ($227 million) at Samsun, where regulatory measures are weighing on margins. "I wouldn't rule out further impairments in the future," Leitner said in an interview late on Tuesday, adding he did not expect more writedowns this year at Samsun, which now has a book value of around half its original 600 million euro price tag.

Other News

Sales boost helps TCO expand its workforce


TCO said it has expanded its workforce by a third after strong sales results for the company. The well completion technologies provider has employed eight new members of staff within the past six months for its UK base, including a new managing director. Paul Betteridge was appointed in March in response to company growth and to focus on TCO’s international expansion.

Oil & Gas

ONGC said to seek $900 million stake in Rosneft Vankor field


Oil & Natural Gas Corp. is seeking through its overseas unit to buy a stake in Russia’s second-largest oil producing development from OAO Rosneft, according to two people with direct knowledge of the plan. ONGC Videsh Ltd. is in discussions to purchase a share of the Vankor oil field in East Siberia, said the people, who asked not to be identified because discussions are ongoing. The New Delhi-based company is seeking to pay $900 million for the stake, which will secure about 3.5 million metric tons of oil a year (about 70,290 barrels a day), and expects to sign a deal as early as next month, one of the people said.

Oil & Gas

Russia’s Gazprom Neft Q2 net profit up 47%


Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of state gas producer Gazprom, posted 73.2 billion roubles ($1.14 billion) in net profit for the second quarter, up 47 percent year-on-year, thanks to the weak rouble, the company said on Thursday. Gazprom Neft, one of a few growing Russian oil firms by output, said its revenue was at 423.2 billion roubles compared to 429.3 billion roubles a year ago.