‘business’ Category

  1. Dirty fusion


    July 30, 2017 by AK

    This post is about William “Bill” Browder’s recent Senate testimony on the enforcement of the Foreign Agent Registration Act. While you don’t have to trust Browder on other issues, his testimony makes it rather likely that Fusion GPS tried to smear him in the media and was paid for that by a firm owned by …
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  2. Lucilla in Lipetsk


    March 3, 2017 by AK

    Good to hear about Russian entrepreneurs doing something cutting-edge and producing something immediately marketable: Amid the satellites, virtual reality headsets, 3D printers and other hi-tech products on show at Skolkovo’s recent Startup Bazaar, the stand housing a cage of buzzing flies and jar of writhing maggots stood out. Also on the table were jars of …
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  3. A Matter of CapEx


    December 17, 2016 by AK

    Ronald Smith, also known as Ron Smith, Citigroup’s oil and gas analyst covering Russia and the CIS, argues in the Financial Times (if you cannot access it, try googling the title and reading Google’s cache) that Russia is likely to stick to its pledge to cut 300,000 bpd next year: First, Russia reportedly played a …
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  4. Tillerson 3


    December 13, 2016 by AK

    In March 2014 – right after Moscow’s Crimea operation – Christopher Helman, who covers the energy business for Forbes, wrote: So why has Exxon excelled there [in Russia]? I think it’s because Exxon has proven itself to be as hard-nosed as Putin is. Agreed. I’m not so sure about the following, however, since the Kremlin’s thought process is …
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  5. Tillerson 2


    December 12, 2016 by AK

    If I were to respond to this piece, I’d probably make these points: Exxon has always negotiated with Moscow from a position of strength. Can you say this of the other majors with tangible Russian exposure – BP, Shell and Total? Exxon’s only major active project in Russia is Sakhalin-1, which contributes less than 1.5% …
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  6. Tillerson


    December 11, 2016 by AK

    In dealing with Russian authorities, Exxon has always stood out among its peers for toughness. The company has steadfastly rejected opportunities that would not put it in control of a project: it would rather stay away altogether. As a result, 20 years after signing the original production-sharing agreement (PSA), ExxonMobil remains the operator and the …
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  7. “What falleth, that shall one also push”


    December 4, 2016 by AK

    Almost two months ago, in October 2016, I wrote that Russian oil companies could reduce their daily oil output by slowing down production growth at newly launched fields and by reinvesting less in mature fields, increasing their decline rate to a number high enough to translate into a decrease in the national output. Now that Russia …
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  8. “No more growth” is the message?


    November 13, 2016 by AK

    OPEC expects Russia to produce at the same average rate in 2017 as in 2016, which means a slight decrease from the current daily output. The IEA acknowledges that, if Russia can continue pumping at the same rate as in October, it should add 0.2 mmbpd in 2017, just short of 2% on 2016. For the time …
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  9. OPEC makes sense of Russia. Kashagan flows again.


    October 12, 2016 by AK

    OPEC has updated its forecast for Russia’s 2016 output, raising it by 0.05 mmbpd to 11.04 mmbpd, implying 1.7% growth y-o-y. (OPEC seems to be using a conversion rate of 7.4 barrels per ton while most Russia-watchers use 7.3.) This is a little more conservative than the Russian government’s latest estimate, 2%. For 2017, OPEC’s …
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  10. A painless cut


    October 11, 2016 by AK

    Bloomberg cites Putin supporting a universal oil freeze: “Russia is ready to join in joint measures to limit output and calls on other oil exporters to do the same,” Putin said on Monday at the World Energy Congress in Istanbul. “In the current situation, we think that a freeze or even a cut in oil …
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