18 Aug 2010 10:09

Moscow press review for August 18, 2010

MOSCOW. Aug 18 (Interfax) - The following is a digest of Moscow newspapers published on August 18. Interfax does not accept liability for information in these stories.


Gazprom has acknowledged that it lost 2% of its European market, or $3 billion in revenues, in 2009. Gazprom managers have repeatedly said the main reason is the gas prices. While Gazprom's average price was nearly 11% lower than Statoil's during increased demand for Russian gas in the middle of 2008 ($390 compared to $439 for 1,000 cubic meters), they became the highest in early 2009 ('Gazprom's Minus').

Former Bashkortostan President Murtaza Rakhimov will help AFK Sistema manage Bashneft . Vedomosti has learned that Rakhimov will become a member of Bashneft's board of directors ('Yevtushenkov Hires President').

The 4th Court of Appeals has refused to consider OGK-3's appeal on stopping Rusia Petroleum's bankruptcy. OGK-3 filed the appeal on July 27, seeking to cancel the supervision procedure earlier imposed on the company, but the court did not accept it, as OGK-3 is neither an entity involved in the bankruptcy nor one involved in the arbitration procedure, a court source told Vedomosti. Rusia is the operator of the gigantic Kovykta gas field in the Irkutsk region. OGK-3 bought a share in the project in 2008 for $576 million ('OGK-3 Rejected, see also Kommersant, page 9, 'Rusia Petroleum Admitted to Bankruptcy').

TNK-BP wants to change a court precedent threatening major Russian oil companies with fines amounting to 26 billion rubles. TNK-BP has appealed to the Higher Arbitration Court to revise its ruling on the oil company's dispute with the Federal Antimonopoly Service ('Jump Without Safety Gear').

Ira Rennert's Renco Group may buy Severstal's assets in the U.S., i.e. Severstal Warren, Severstal Sparrows Point, and Severstal Wheeling, AMM.com has reported. Last week, Severstal offered these companies to several investors, including Brazil-based Compania Siderurgica Nacional (CSN), Gerdau, and Porto Alegre, Luxembourg's Ternium, U.S.-based AK Steel Corp., US Steel Corp., Renco Group, Apollo Management, and Aurora Capital Group, and others. Renco Group has accepted the offer, and Aurora Capital will support it. The deal could be announced later this week ('To Previous Owner').


Novatek has decided not to hurry to invite foreign partners to develop one of the largest gas fields in Russia, Yuzhno-Tambeiskoye, whose reserves are estimated at 1.26 trillion cubic meters. The company expects the government to make a decision on providing support in producing gas on Yamal, which could be made until the end of 2010. The form of possible government support has still not been determined, and the parties significantly differ in estimating the volume of potential investments in the project (page 9, 'Novatek Holds Partners Back').