A war of words has been sparked over contradictory reports about falls in Russian crude oil shipments to the Czech Republic via the Druzhba pipeline. Key Czech crude importer and refiner Unipetrol initially claimed the issue was down to technical problems; Russian press reports say the real cause is a move by oil majors to end advantageous pricing for deliveries via the Druzhba, with the Czech Republic being used to test price rises they would like to pass on to the whole of the EU.
Gazprombank brought the 46 percent stake in Eriell in December 2011, but the information emerged only on Tuesday with the publication of the bank’s annual report. Founded in 1999, Eriell provides oil and gas exploration and drilling support services, predominantly to clients operating in the former Soviet Union.
Russia’s oil production could suffer in the coming years from a heavy tax burden that renders current extraction and new exploration unprofitable. A new document that was discussed by Putin’s Cabinet paints a dismal picture, stating that with this taxation level the current 496 million tons would drop to 150 million tons in 2020 and to 50 million in 2030.
Rosneft has bought half an oil refining JV in Germany, now 50 percent held by BP – which is looking to offload assets to help pay for its Gulf of Mexico disaster. The Russian oil major could acquire the whole stake. Russian energy firms are expanding their CEE holdings, but energy analysts say the Czech Republic need not be overly concerned, thanks to binding long-term contracts for oil supplies.