Exclusives

Russia, IHS CERAWeek, oil, production, JKX Oil & Gas, OMZ, Thane Gustafson

Despite the downturn and sanctions, Russia has grown production but there are signs of fragility in the energy sector, panelists say.

“Russia is increasingly looking east and the various deals made between Rosneft and China are likely to see more Russian crude head to China permanently,” an analyst told Bloomberg.

The company plans to more than double its oil and gas production from overseas fields in four years.

Russia relies on companies including ExxonMobil, BP, Halliburton and Schlumberger for the latest technology and expertise.

The Obama administration’s targets include OAO Rosneft, OAO Novatek, OAO Gazprombank and eight defense firms.

Deepwater International

Oil is now flowing from the last of three shallow water but very harsh environment fields developed by ExxonMobil in the sub-Arctic Sakhalin area off the east coast of Russia.

Exploration

Rosneft plans to raise its stake in the Petromonagas joint venture from 16.7% to 40%.

The exit from Russia comes about five years after ConocoPhillips sold its biggest sole asset in Russia, a stake in Lukoil, for $9.5 billion.

Rosneft has completed its deal to sell a 20% share of Taas-Yuryakh Neftegazodobycha LLC to BP, according to a news release.

Denis Khramov, the first deputy minister, said the Erginskoye oil field could be auctioned in the first or second quarter of 2016, adding he expected the sale to draw high interest from producing companies.

The government has recently recommended the agency speed up large asset sales irrespective of market conditions, she added.

Production

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Jan. 28 that Saudi Arabia had proposed that oil-producing countries cut oil production by up to 5 percent each in order to support weak oil prices.

According to a Reuters poll, Russian oil production in 2016 should rise to new post-Soviet yearly average high of 10.78MMbbl/d, as new fields come online and production costs stay lower.

It rose by 3.5% from a year-ago period thanks to higher output at its West Qurna-2 oilfield in Iraq, as well as in Timan-Pechora, Perm and Caspian regions in Russia. 

The well is currently producing at a rate of 16.3 MMcf/d through a 27/64-in. choke, with a flowing wellhead pressure of 3,370 psi, JKX Oil & Gas said in a news release.

Output rose from 10.68 MMbbl/d in August and eclipsed the previous record of 10.71 MMbbl/d reached earlier this year, adding to a global glut that has battered oil prices.    

Technology

Vadim Son will become CFO of Volga Gas Plc, the company working in Russia’s Volga region said April 13. Effective that day, Tony Alves resigned as CFO.

According to a news release, the companies signed a document that outlines the main areas of scientific and technical collaboration, including gas production, transportation, processing, underground storage and sales, process safety, information security, energy efficiency and environmental protection. The companies will also partner in R&D management.

Sources said that proposals refer to selling 50.08 percent in Bashneft, 10.9 percent in Alrosa and 10.9 percent in VTB.

Chornomornaftogaz said it had moved the two rigs, worth 25 billion rubles (US$357 million), into Russian territorial waters, Reuters reported. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine last year.

"We have already applied and are waiting for a decision," said Mohamed Zayed Awad, Sudan’s oil and gas minister, according to Russia’s RIA news agency, Reuters reported.