Russia 090421 Basic Political Developments

Activity in the Oil and Gas sector (including regulatory)

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Activity in the Oil and Gas sector (including regulatory)

  • Crude production up, Russia says - The output of crude oil from Russia for 2008 and the first two months of 2009 fell about 1 percent, but March output saw a modest increase of 0.4 percent to 9.76 million barrels per day.

  • Turkmenistan: Russian Ministers Sent To Ashgabat For Gas Talks - Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko and Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin will undertake an emergency mission to Ashgabat for talks aimed at stabilizing Russian-Turkmen gas relations.

  • Sechin seals $25bn China loan-for-oil deal - China agreed last year to lend $10 billion to Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft and another $15 billion to state-run producer Rosneft in exchange for supplies of 300 million tonnes (1.1 billion barrels) of Russian oil over 20 years.

  • Russia, China sign oil deal, start new pipeline branch

  • President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan can supply to Russia 5 bn cu m of gas a year - Russia can become the second after Turkey importer of Azeri gas.

  • Is Nord Stream making progress? - Finland could give its approval for the construction of the Nord Stream pipeline by June, according to a Kremlin official quoted by Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

  • Surgut 'faces MOL lock-out' - Russian producer Surgutneftegaz, which recently bought a 21% stake in MOL, may be locked out of the Hungarian players, annual general meeting, according to local media reports.

  • Surgut may be locked out of MOL's AGM –report

  • Hungary suspects Surgutneftegaz of planning to block Nabucco project

  • Russia's TNK-BP Seeks $300M Pre-Export Loan - Sources

  • TNK-BP Announces a Senior Appointment - Francis Sommer has been appointed Executive Vice President, Technology of the TNK-BP group of companies. 

  • Rosneft keeps mum over Sibir talk - Russian state-run producer Rosneft has refused to comment on reports that it is considering bidding for AIM-listed Sibir Energy.

  • Tchigirinski to sell his villa to settle debt to Sibir Energy

  • Oligarch Chalva Tchigirinski to lose Monaco palace


  • Gazprom saving energy - The Russian economy can easily save up to 100 billion cubic meters of gas per year if energy efficiency measures are taken, a Gazprom representative said. Today, the Russian economy is more than 50 percent dependent on gas supplies.

  • Gazprom Neft Plans $299M Bond - Gazprom Neft said Friday that it was selling 10 billion rubles ($299 million) of bonds in its debut offering of domestic debt.

  • Unicredit: Gazprom Raises $2.25bn in record bond placement

  • Gazprom, Shell, Oando make $30bn Gas Master Plan shortlist

  • Caspian Gas - we need to get much smarter to outsmart the Russians: Russia and Gazprom have once again circumvented an uncoordinated and lack-lustre EU activity in the region and managed to hammer home one of the last nails in the coffin of Nabucco pipeline.


Full Text Articles

Basic Political Developments

Russia's Lavrov to visit North Korea this week

MOSCOW, April 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's foreign minister is to visit North Korea on Thursday for talks likely to focus on tensions over the North's recent rocket launch and its withdrawal from nuclear negotiations.

Sergei Lavrov will arrive in Pyongyang on April 23, and will then visit South Korea on April 24-25, the Foreign Ministry's press service said on Tuesday.

The ministry did not give details on the planned meetings, or confirm media reports that Lavrov would meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

The talks in Pyongyang and Seoul will address "the situation on the Korean peninsula and in the East Asian region, and key international issues of mutual interest," the statement said.

North Korea withdrew from the six-nation talks on its nuclear program in protest against criticism from the United Nations Security Council over its rocket launch on April 5. Russia, a party to the talks along with the United States, China, Japan, and the two Koreas, joined international criticism of the rocket launch, while opposing new sanctions against the North.

The visit comes at a tense time in relations between the two Koreas, over the rocket launch and the arrest of a South Korean at the Kaesong industrial complex.

Earlier on Monday, delegations from the two countries had been set to hold talks in the North Korean border town of Kaesong, the site of an industrial estate that has been a focus of international economic cooperation in recent years. However, the Yonhap news agency quoted sources as saying the meeting had been put off due to procedural disputes.

North Korean police arrested a South Korean worker at the plant a month ago, for allegedly making critical comments about Pyongyang's regime, and encouraging a North Korean woman to defect.

North Korea has reacted furiously to suggestions that Seoul could join the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), a U.S.-led pact to prevent supplies of weapons of mass destruction, and has warned that it would consider such a move a declaration of war.

Last week, North Korea ordered UN nuclear inspectors out of the country in protest against criticism of its rocket launch, and pledged to restart work at its Yongbyon reactor.

The inspectors had been overseeing the deconstruction of the Yongbyon nuclear facility, in line with a February 2007 deal between the six countries involved in talks on the North Korean nuclear problem.

The UN Security Council said the North's rocket launch contravened a UN resolution passed in late 2006 after Pyongyang's nuclear test, banning nuclear and ballistic activities.

Many countries suspect that North Korea's rocket launch was a test of a long-range missile. North Korea claimed the rocket, which was launched over Japan, successfully delivered a communications satellite into orbit, but the U.S. and South Korean militaries said all three stages fell into the ocean and that "no object entered orbit."

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