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The Fuel and Energy Complex of Russia - Series of Analytical Reports - 2010 (Russian Version)

The author presents a traditional series of analytical reports devoted to main problems of development of the Russian oil and gas industry. Subscribers are provided with detailed descriptions of the condition of the Russian fuel and energy sector, the state system of administrating the sector as well as scenarios of its development in the medium-term perspective.

The set of sources used includes the author's in-house information, the sector’s statistics, data from oil and gas companies, information of the federal and regional mass media, materials of conferences and round-table meetings.

The series consists of 8 (eight) reports to be published in February through December 2010.
1.“Ukrainian front” and the problem of gas supplies to Europe
(February 15, 2010)

Every New Year starts with the sharpening of gas relations between Russia and Ukraine. In 2009 it even led to the suspension of gas exports, which dramatically increased nervousness in Russian-European relations.

The year 2010 will not be an exception. This will be promoted at least by the elections in Ukraine scheduled for January 2010 as well as by Naftogaz’s complicated financial standing. Moreover, a new Ukrainian president will want to revise the January 19, 2009 contract and this will again raise the issue of the legal base of gas exports through Ukraine.

There are also other important questions such as new European rules of access to the gas infrastructure and the EU and Brussels’ policy towards Ukraine, which causes Russia’s sharp disapproval.

2.Western and eastern vectors of the Russian oil and gas sector’s development
(April 19th, 2010)

Amid stagnating production of hydrocarbons the issue of the country’s export strategy is becoming more and more acute.

Lobbyists of exports to China led by deputy PM Igor Sechin have secured the signing of a new oil contract with China and insist on putting plans of gas supplies to the PRC into practice. Yet, their economic efficiency is rather doubtful. A new concept has emerged – “Eastern Siberia for Eastern Countries”. But exploration of Eastern Siberia is seriously lagging behind the schedule and the Eastern Program’s feasibility raises justified doubts. As a result, deposits not quite economically expedient for that, e.g. Vankor, are selected for exports to China.

The eastern direction is supported by a series of tax, export and tariff benefits. Amid possible stagnation in oil and gas production the topic of export priorities will become even more urgent. This strategy has political opponents, which makes this dramatic geopolitical choice one of the main intrigues of development of the Russian oil and gas industry.

3.Anti-crisis policy in the oil and gas sector and its consequences
(May 24, 2010)

The economic downturn has hit the oil and gas sector. The state is hectically trying to prevent decline in main parameters. As a result the sector has received a number of tax and customs privileges. Yet, their efficiency requires a thorough analysis.

The report is to show the results of introduction of a new tax regime in the sector as well as other measures of state support. Production prospects in the oil and gas business. The situation servicing companies and manufacturers of oil and gas equipment have found themselves in.

Moreover, it is important to predict further measures aimed at promoting growth in production considering the fact that the crisis is not over yet and Vladimir Putin faces a serious role conflict being the PM responsible for the whole economy and the main supervisor of the oil and gas sector.

4.Gas pipeline wars in Europe and Central Asia
(June 28, 2010)

A conflict between the Nabucco and South Stream projects is denied by both sides but it is becoming more and more obvious.

Europe is trying to create a channel of gas supplies to the EU alternative to Russia. In its turn, Russia intends to struggle for its share proposing new export routes. But it is important to understand their feasibility and the situation on the European gas market in the medium term. Besides, being engaged in this dispute the EU and Russia are clearly losing Central Asia to China; the latter does not speak so much but is actively building pipelines in its direction.

Prospects of new gas pipeline projects, the EU gas demand, Central Asia’s resource base and the future of Iranian gas exports are the issues to be elaborated on in the report. A special focus is on new rules of access to the pipeline infrastructure in Europe and consequences of the EU policies on raising competition on its gas market.

5.The state system of administrating the oil and gas sector
(August 23, 2010)

The economic downturn affected the state system of administrating the oil and gas sector. Mechanisms of control over the industry are constantly changing, while the tension is growing. The economic crisis and growth in political instability have led to a new stage of war between administrative groups affecting the oil and gas industry.

The report focuses on relations between relative ministries, conflicts in the government’s three-tier system, contradictions on the deputy PM level and division of oil and gas roles in the president-premier tandem. A new legislative base of the sector is specially analyzed including the laws on oil and energy efficiency being new instruments in administrative war. The role of law enforcement bodies in struggle for control over the fuel and energy sector is examined.

6.Non-residents in the Russian oil and gas sector: new window of opportunities
(October 4, 2010)

The attitude towards non-residents in the oil and gas sector changed several times – from a romantic period of product sharing agreements and active invitation into the sector to a tough period of “resource nationalism” that inter alia resulted in the well-known law on the procedure of foreign investments into Russian commercial organizations having strategic importance.

Nowadays new opportunities seem to be emerging for non-residents – the momentum is again on their side. Problems in the Russian upstream make the state revise the role of foreign companies in production projects, servicing business as well as transportation of LNG and other hydrocarbons.

7.Gazprom searching for answers: the future of domestic gas industry
(November 8, 2010)

Gazprom is facing the problem of production decline at its traditional deposits. This results in increased attention to the company’s new projects that are being postponed though. A drop in the 2009 export revenues and gas production has become a serious blow. The crisis makes the firm seriously cut its investment program. Meanwhile, Gazprom has to implement a series of political projects that divert resources. As a result, the time of putting new Yamal and Eastern Siberia projects into operation is postponed.

Moreover, the administrative struggle for control over Gazprom is sharpening. The number of domestic opponents of the holding insisting on reforming Gazprom is growing. The monopolist is in an increased turbulence zone. Will it manage to cope with production, transportation, investment, financial and political problems?

8.State regulation of the oil and gas sector in 2009 and outlooks for 2010
(December 20, 2009)

Every year the NESF sums up the results of a year in the oil and gas industry:

the condition of production
tax policy
legislative novelties
clashes between administrative and political groups
the main feature - a forecast of the sector’s development in the medium-term perspective
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