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at MarketWatch.com (Jul 18, 2014)
at MarketWatch.com (Jul 17, 2014)
at MarketWatch.com (Mar 3, 2014)
Fri, Aug. 15, 2:21 PM
- Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF) is preparing to drill its first well offshore Norway with Statoil (NYSE:STO) even as Russia and its biggest oil company face sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine.
- STO, which says the well is complaint with sanctions, says it got consent from authorities to drill at the Pingvin prospect in the Barents Sea and will spud the well this weekend; STO is the operator with a 40% stake, while Rosneft has 20%.
- STO has signed deals with Rosneft to explore blocks in Russia’s Barents Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk, as well as pilot projects for heavy oil in Siberia and shale oil in the Samara region.
Thu, Aug. 14, 3:28 AM
- Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF) CEO Igor Sechin has asked the Russian government for $41.6B to help his company withstand western sanctions, says Russia's Vedomosti newspaper.
- The U.S. and EU have banned credits and loans to Rosneft with a maturity longer than 90 days, and the company is now seeking for Russia's National Wealth Fund to buy Rosneft bonds.
- Roseneft already has net debt of $44.5B, mainly due to its $54B acquisition of oil company TNK-BP (OTC:TNKBF) last year.
Mon, Aug. 11, 9:45 AM
- Vladimir Putin lauded Russia's "old and reliable partner" Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) this weekend in a ceremony launching the start of drilling the country's northernmost oil well.
- Putin, XOM Russian chief Glenn Waller and Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF) CEO Igor Sechin, undeterred by the crisis in U.S.-Russian relations, together welcomed the start of the Arctic well in the first step in a quest for new energy resources to help maintain oil production near a post-Soviet high of more than 10M bbl/day.
- Universitetskaya is the first of as many as 40 offshore wells Rosneft plans by 2018 to test the potential of the unexplored Arctic Ocean.
Fri, Aug. 8, 7:43 AM
- Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and Russian partner Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF) will start exploration drilling in Russia’s Kara Sea tomorrow, undeterred by deteriorating relations between the U.S. and Russia.
- The companies will drill using the West Alpha rig and continue working at least through October, according to a statement from Pres. Putin; drilling will take ~70 days, which should be sufficient to assess the reserves of any discovery, Rosneft says.
- The latest round of sanctions against Russia, restricting the export of equipment used for offshore oil production, does not impact XOM’s plans because the contract to hire the rig was signed before the measures were announced.
Mon, Aug. 4, 12:59 PM
- The Tanzanian government says it will invest at least $1.2B to revamp its ailing state power utility, as the country tries to guarantee reliable power to domestic and industrial consumers.
- It expects the reforms to help the country attract enough investments to diversify power sources and boost generation capacity to at least 10K MW over the next 10 years, from the current 1,600 MW.
- Around half of the projected new power capacity will be generated from natural-gas fired plants, as a flurry of natural gas discoveries off the southern coast has made the country a hotspot for natural gas exploration, attracting Exxon (NYSE:XOM), Cnooc (NYSE:CEO), Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF) and BG Group (OTCPK:BRGXF, OTCQX:BRGYY).
- Gold mining companies such as Africa Barrick Gold (OTC:ABGLF) and AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU) remain some of Tanzania's largest power consumers.
Fri, Aug. 1, 12:45 PM
- Seadrill (SDRL -1.1%) CFO Rune Magnus Lundetrae says its North American Drilling (NADL +0.5%) unit can proceed with Rosneft's (OTC:RNFTF) six rig leases worth $4.25B because the contracts were signed before the latest U.S. and EU sanctions against Russia take effect.
- Advocating for the business relationship and expressing doubts about the efficacy of sanctions, the CFO says "Norway and many other countries do a lot of business with Russia, and it seems a bit unrealistic to cut all ties overnight."
- It is unclear how sanctions might affect SDRL and NADL, since they have roots in multiple countries; Norway is not part of the EU, though its government has signaled it probably will abide by the sanctions.
- Analysts say Statoil (STO +0.5%) may be forced to cancel various deals with Rosneft to explore offshore blocks in the Barents Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk and for pilot projects for heavy oil in Siberia and shale oil in the Samara region.
- Meanwhile, Weatherford (WFT -1.6%) says it closed its $500M sale of its land drilling and workover operations in Russia and Venezuela to Rosneft.
Thu, Jul. 31, 7:25 PM
- Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) has been unflinching in its plan to drill for oil in the Russian Arctic, in spite of the rising tensions between the West and Russia, but comments after it reported Q2 earnings today seemed rather wobbly.
- With XOM and Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF) set to drill the first well in the Kara Sea next month, XOM head of investor relations David Rosenthal said during the earnings call that it "wouldn't be appropriate" to comment until sanctions are assessed further; when asked directly if the company is still planning to begin drilling the first Kara well next month, he wouldn’t say.
- With Q2 oil and natural gas output slipping 5.7% to 3.84M boe/day, the company's lowest since Q3 2009, XOM needs new production avenues.
- Meanwhile, Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) CEO Ben van Beurden said today it is monitoring the situation in Russia but that the company is keeping Arctic drilling on the table - in the U.S., marking a shift from his previous suggestions that Shell’s Arctic ambitions might not mesh with the company’s bid to prove its fiscal restraint.
Wed, Jul. 30, 2:03 PM
- North Atlantic Drilling (NADL +1.8%) says it has expanded its offshore partnership with Russia's top oil producer Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF), securing a commitment for six offshore units through 2022.
- NADL says total revenue potential for the six contracts exclusive of mobilization is ~$4.25B.
- NADL is a subsidiary of no. 1 global offshore driller Seadrill (SDRL -0.1%).
Tue, Jul. 29, 2:49 PM
- While BP (BP -3%) earlier today became the first big western company to openly admit that sanctions against Russia could hurt its business, BP execs later were eager to justify their long-term commitment to Russia as well as the rationale for maintaining a position in the country.
- "Russia is the largest oil and gas producing country on the planet, and the world is going to to need 40% more energy between now and 2035. That’s why you can see many, many, many international companies working in Russia," CEO Bob Dudley says.
- It's true that Exxon (XOM -0.4%) and Chevron (CVX -0.2%) are notable among other oil majors which hold minority interests and strategic partnerships with Russia oil companies, but BP’s exposure makes it much more susceptible to political headwinds via its associations with Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF), says Jasper Lawler of CMC Markets.
- One top 20 shareholder in BP also worries for the future: “The situation is very uncertain... the worsening relations are a net negative for BP.”
Fri, Jul. 25, 11:29 AM
- Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF) says it is working out a strategy for dealing with U.S. sanctions affecting the company, as it reported a nearly eightfold surge in Q2 net profit.
- "Together with our partners - the world's leading oil companies - we are working on a plan to minimize" the effects of the sanctions, the company says.
- Q2 profit of 171B rubles ($4.87B) beating analyst consensus for 156.7B rubles, and oil and gas sales rose 24% to 757B rubles, driving total revenue up 22% to 1.44T rubles.
- Oil production fell 1.4% Q/Q to 4.13M bbl/day, after the company failed to reach an agreement with oilfield services provider Eurasia Drilling, leading it to remove rigs; combined oil and gas output fell 0.9% Q/Q to 5M boe/day.
- Rosneft also says it received a $1.9B prepayment from BP in July for a long-term supply agreement of oil and products.
Fri, Jul. 25, 5:09 AM
- Russia's ambassador has declared that the July 16 U.S. sanctions imposed on Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF), Novatek (OTC:NOVKY) and Gazprombank (OTCPK:OGZPY) violate World Trade Organization rules and may force Moscow into a destabilizing trade dispute.
- The accusation comes after the U.S. condemned Russia for firing artillery across the border into Ukraine.
- A European sanctions proposal against Russia is still being drafted following yesterday's EU summit.
- ETFs: RSX, RUSL, RSXJ, ERUS, RUSS, RBL, RUDR
Wed, Jul. 23, 7:53 AM
- EU foreign ministers failed to impose any tough sanctions against Russia during a meeting of the bloc's foreign ministers yesterday, NYT reports.
- Dependent on Russia's energy and wary of confrontation, Europe’s leaders have largely decided they will have to live with a newly assertive Russia.
- The Netherlands lost at least 193 victims in the Malaysian Airlines crash over Ukraine, but Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) is one of the largest foreign investors in Russian gas fields in Siberia; if Shell loses money, the pensions of Dutch teachers, civil servants and many others suffer.
- Significant Russian companies include Gazprom (OTCPK:OGZPY), Lukoil (OTCPK:LUKOY) and Yandex (NASDAQ:YNDX), while BP has a 20% stake in Russian energy company Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF).
Wed, Jul. 23, 3:07 AM
- In a move which would end Gazprom's (OTCPK:OGZPY) monoply of pipeline gas exports, Vladimir Putin has suggested the Russian government allow other companies to export Siberian gas to the Far East.
- The new stance marks a potential victory Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF), Surgutneftegaz (OTCPK:SGTPY) and others, which have lobbied hard to gain a larger piece of the Russian gas sector.
- The final government decision will highly impact the country's recent $400B gas deal with China.
Tue, Jul. 22, 6:25 PM
- Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) is determined to move forward with plans to explore the Russian Arctic for oil and gas: Just two days after the downing of a passenger airliner over Ukraine led to mounting pressure for new sanctions against Russia, a drilling rig to be operated by XOM and partner Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF) set sail from Norway for Russia.
- For XOM, the deal - which was reached in 2011 - offers access to the Arctic in the Russian-controlled areas of the ocean, as drilling in the U.S. and Canadian far north remains bogged down in regulation and lawsuits; the Russian oil industry depends on Western technical aid for offshore drilling, delivered through joint venture partnerships such as the XOM agreement.
- It is unclear how or if XOM could recoup its initial $3.2B investment in the exploration phase of the venture if sanctions on Rosneft are broadened.
Fri, Jul. 18, 5:53 AM
- Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF) has announced that it will "continue to work on its existing projects and agreements and honor its obligations" despite the new U.S. sanctions against the company for Russia's link to the Ukraine crisis.
- The company emphasized its adequate liquidity to service its debt and that it would still deliver on the key indicators of its strategy and dividend policy.
Thu, Jul. 17, 8:48 AM
- Rosneft’s (OTC:RNFTF) eurobonds tumble the most on record, sending the yield on its dollar-denominated bonds due March 2022 to a two-month high 6.22%, as new sanctions curtail access to U.S. debt markets.
- The sanctions are seen increasing Rosneft's reliance on China, which will send most of the $63B in advance payments Rosneft expects under long-term crude supply contracts during 2014-18, which will cover nearly all of Rosneft’s $65B in debt.
- The major threat now is that Europe may follow suit and impose the same limitations on borrowing from European banks; Rosneft already has the highest debt burden among the Russian oil companies.
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