Technology Russia CIS Exclusives

Gazprom Neft, Arctic, Russia, Prirazlomnoye

Despite much of the upstream industry’s Arctic ambitions being in deep freeze, Russia has been quietly operating its handful of producing projects with little fuss.

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.

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.

Contracts Russia CIS

The two neighboring countries have already signed a deal to exchange older seismic data from the border zone, Reuters said.

Keppel O&M and Rosneft will have shares of 45% each in the JV, while MHWirth will hold 10% while adhering to existing U.S. and EU sanctions imposed on Russia’s offshore sector, Reuters reported.

Rosneft OAO weighs whether to join Venezuela’s PDVSA in the Mariscal Sucre natural gas project offshore Venezuela, Bloomberg said. Venezuela might use the gas to phase out imports from Colombia. 

In February, Schlumberger said it planned buying a 45.65% stake in Eurasia for about $1.7 billion, potentially becoming sole owner of Russia's most active oilfield services company, Reuters said.

Western sanctions against Russia and Rosneft led Rosneft to cancel a roughly-$150 million contract for Northern Offshore’s Energy Endeavour jackup in the Russian Arctic, Reuters said. 

Equipment Russia CIS

New oilfields lead to larger capacity of Caspian pipeline.

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.

Located on the northeast coast of Russia’s Sakhalin Island, the Berkut oil platform is one of the world’s largest floatover platforms and is designed so that the topsides are isolated from the base using friction pendulum bearings, a news release said.

The stimulus program would consider compensating two-thirds of the central bank refinancing rate in effect when a credit agreement is signed, and the loans may be granted for seven to 10 years.

West Alpha could end up operating offshore Norway instead of going back to Russia in 2015, said Dominic Genetti, operations manager for Exxon Mobil in Norway.

Operations Russia CIS

The company has billions of dollars in debt coming due in the months ahead. And the Rosneft deal—CEFC’s most high-profile to date—will aggravate its debt burden.

Several provisions of the sanctions law signed by U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this month target Russia’s energy sector, which produces much of its foreign income, with new limits on U.S. investment in Russian companies.

Yelkhovneft has also started drilling more smaller-scale wells, allowing it to halve drilling-related spending. It has begun to use lighter or fewer metal parts in equipment, cutting costs further, said Azat Khabibrakhmanov, head of the Tatneft unit.

Schlumberger NV, the world’s largest oilfield services company, has agreed to buy a 51% stake in Russia’s biggest oilfield services firm Eurasia Drilling Co. (EDC), the Russian company said late on July 20.

The two companies recently signed a memorandum of understanding confirming their interest in further developing Evrotek-Yugra, a joint enterprise between Gazprom Neft and Repsol, according to a news release.

People Russia CIS

Market players are concerned that the change of a top manager in charge of oil supplies might result in Lukoil supplying less oil to the domestic market, Reuters reported.

One person was killed and six injured on July 27 in a gas explosion at the Verkhnechonsk Field in eastern Siberia operated by Russia's largest oil producer Rosneft, the company said. 

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.

DEA Group and LetterOne didn’t give financial details, but a LetterOne spokesman confirmed the sale. In April, Britain's Energy Ministry gave Fridman six months to dispose of fields, Reuters said.

The assets are 11 oil and gas fields, including a 70% stake in the Breagh Field which produces 3% of Britain's annual gas output, Reuters said.

Regulations Russia CIS

Houston-based Schlumberger applied to the watchdog for approval to buy the stake in late July in a deal widely seen as testing the state of relations between Russia and the U.S.

ExxonMobil sued the U.S. government on July 20, blasting as "unlawful" and "capricious" a $2 million fine levied against it for a three-year-old oil joint venture with Russia's Rosneft.

The U.S. Treasury Department on July 20 said it was fining global oil company ExxonMobil $2 million for violating sanctions on Russia in May 2014.

New sanctions on Russian energy projects proposed by the U.S. Senate are aimed at boosting LNG exports from the U.S. to Europe, an official from Gazprom was quoted as saying.

The U.S. and EU imposed economic sanctions on Russia over its annexation of the Crimea region in 2014 and role in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.