When it comes to energy in Latin America, all eyes have been on Mexico’s plans to open its oil industry to private investment. But Peruvian officials stole some of that thunder at the weekend by saying the government planned to sell up to 49 per cent of state-run PetroPeru. Continue reading »
By Sujoyini Mandal and Marika Semerdzhian
Gazprom’s traditional economic and strategic business models are coming under tremendous pressure. Shifting LNG trade patterns are impacting spot markets in Europe and Asia, partly as a result of the shale gas boom in the US; lack of investment in new fields is depleting Russia’s gas reserves; and Russia’s domestic gas market is facing market pressures from liberalisation.
There is no doubt that Russia remains a central player in the global energy sector. Vertically integrated, Gazprom controls about half of the country’s proved reserves of natural gas and its export monopoly is enshrined in law. This could change very soon. Gazprom experienced a difficult 2012, with net profits falling by a third in the first half of the year. This comes in the wake of a weaker demand from Europe caused by the economic crisis and perhaps unwillingness to put up with the gas giant. In spite of these challenges, we believe Gazprom is actually positioned to take advantage of, rather than suffer from, rapid changes in the energy industry, both at home and abroad. Here is why. Continue reading »
On the geopolitical front, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich’s relationships with Russia to the east and Europe to the west are currently going through a testy period. Which is putting it mildly. The struggle for Ukraine’s future between Brussels and Moscow is one of the most tense and high-stakes geopolitical stand-offs between the two sides in recent years.
Russian pressure, domestic politics and Yanukovich’s attempts to play east and west against each other – offering to sign with whichever side provides the bigger bailout for his ailing economy – may all have factored in on his government’s stunning decision last week to back out of historic EU integration agreements. Continue reading »
As the saying goes, it is not over until it’s over.
Nonetheless, last night’s putative agreement between Spain, Argentina and Mexico to settle the YPF-Repsol dispute looks promising – Repsol shares spiked over 4 per cent on Tuesday morning on the news – although there are several provisos. Continue reading »
The Russian parliament dealt Gazprom a blow on Friday, passing legislation that will allow independent gas producers to export liquefied natural gas.
But read the small print of the law and it’s not as bad for Russia’s natural gas monopoly as it sounds. Only two independents will be permitted to muscle into the LNG export business and the scope of their operations will be limited to specific gas fields. Continue reading »
It’s going to be a nail-biting few days ahead for Petrobras’s investors, Brazil’s ethanol industry and anyone with a car in the Latin American country.
Next Friday at Petrobras’s board meeting, the government is set to decide on whether to increase fuel prices in the country and, more importantly, whether to keep prices in line with international levels in the future. Continue reading »
Investors in Nigeria’s oil sector have been having a tough time of it as commercial-scale theft and sabotage have hurt operations and the country sits in regulatory limbo. Now there’s some bad news on taxation.
International oil companies have been lobbying hard to have the fiscal terms proposed in the now-famous draft Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) diluted, but it doesn’t look like those efforts have paid off. The government hasn’t got any intention of compromising on its proposed tax regime, the minister of petroleum resources said, despite complaints that production could slump by 25 per cent if the legislation is passed in its current form. Continue reading »
Angola and Brazil have a lot in common: the Portuguese tongue, a delightful stretch of Atlantic coast and a reputation for beautiful people cavorting in beach-side bars. Brazil is Latin America’s powerhouse; Angola likes to think of itself, with some justification, as Africa’s emerging equivalent.
To oilmen and investors, however, the most intriguing thing the two nations share is a piece of geology that dates from the age of the dinosaurs, before the tectonic shifts that rent the landmass in which they were once conjoined. Continue reading »
Ukraine has stepped back from the brink of another gas war with Russia and resumed gas imports from its powerful neighbour after a one week lull.
It’s a relief for the EU that relies on Ukraine as a transit hub for most of its Russian imports. But reconciliation of the latest gas spat could be part of a poker game that Moscow and Kiev are playing in the run up to the EU summit in Vilnius. Continue reading »
Chinese state oil companies have inked two fresh deals in the Americas, as they continue to expand abroad to meet China’s ravenous energy demand, write Ajay Makan in London and Samantha Pearson in São Paulo.
PetroChina, China’s largest energy company by oil and gas production, said on Wednesday it would buy stakes in three Peruvian oil and gasfields from Brazilian state oil company Petrobras for $2.6bn.
Hours earlier Cnooc said it was considering building a terminal to export liquefied natural gas from the west coast of Canada. Continue reading »
Should Russians worry more about the budget deficit? Looking at government figures for last year, it is not clear that they should.
The country’s federal deficit was 0.1 per cent of output in 2012; public sector debt was 12.5 per cent of GDP, enviable by western standards.
But a new research paper from economists at the Gaidar Institute and Ranepa, two think tanks, suggest Russia’s total obligations are much more extensive than they appear in the official data. Continue reading »
By Tim Gosling of bne
Croatian Economy Minister Ivan Vrdoljak has reiterated his government’s desire to buy out Hungary’s Mol Group from local oil and gas firm Ina Group earlier this week – but is this just more rhetoric as the two sides looks to gain the upper hand in talks over operational control of the Croatian company? How long can the protracted battle drag on for? Continue reading »
Scheme of the ESPO oil pipeline route | Source: Centre for Eastern Studies
Rosneft’s plans to step up oil deliveries to China will strain Russia’s new eastern oriented export pipelines to the limit. A preliminary deal struck on Monday will see Kazakhstan come to the rescue shipping oil on Rosneft’s behalf through its own pipeline to the Chinese frontier.
It’s a set back for Transneft, but the Russian state oil pipeline monopoly will probably have to lump it. Continue reading »
A year after it lifted a moratorium on fracking, South Africa’s government is poised to issue exploration licenses for shale gas. The move is heating up the debate on the impcat of the process.
South Africa is believed to have some of the world’s biggest reserves of shale gas, providing an important potential source of energy for the coal-dependent nation. Unfortunately, they are found in the vast Karoo region – a sparsely-populated semi-desert stretching across the heart of the country, which is staunchly defended by environmentalists. Continue reading »