Brent Holds Above $98 Despite Weak Demand
Brent crude held above $98 a barrel on Friday, heading for its worst week in six as concerns over weak demand outweighed geopolitical worries in the Middle East and Ukraine. Weaker oil demand in China and Europe had caused growth in global oil demand to soften at a remarkable pace, the International Energy Agency said in its monthly report released on Thursday. The West's energy watchdog cut its demand growth projections by 150,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 900,000 bpd for 2014 and by 100,000 bpd to 1.2 million bpd in 2015.
Novatek CEO: Sanctions Hurt Yamal LNG, Upbeat on Plans
International sanctions have undermined the ability of Russia's Yamal LNG project to raise necessary funds but it will be launched as scheduled, Leonid Mikhelson, head of the plant's main shareholder, said in a televised interview on Tuesday. The company, co-owned by Gennady Timchenko, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, was placed under U.S. sanctions in 2014, soon after the final investment decision had been taken on the Yamal project in late 2013. The punitive measure makes it harder for the company, Novatek, to raise external debt. "Of course, technical difficulties due to sectoral sanctions against Novatek and automatically against Yamal LNG ... there are difficulties with attracting credit financing," Mikhelson told the state-run Rossiya-24 TV channel.
Russian Assets Sink on Oil price Collapse
Russia's rouble and shares hit new lows on Friday as oil prices collapsed after OPEC decided to leave its output unchanged despite heavy oversupply. At 1000 GMT, the rouble was around 2.2 percent below the previous close at 49.72 roubles per dollar, and 1.7 percent weaker against the euro at 61.94 roubles . It earlier hit an all-time low of 49.90 to the dollar. Traders said market moves were exacerbated by thin volumes, which mean that even small purchases of foreign currency were able to move the market. Brent crude was last trading at around $72 a barrel after falling as much as $6.50 a barrel a day earlier, when the OPEC oil producer group made known its decision not to cut its output targets.
Ukraine in "Emergency" Talks Over Gas Imports
Ukraine is in emergency talks with European neighbours on the possibility of importing natural gas from the West, following "political" rises in the price it pays for Russian gas, Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Friday. The urgency of securing affordable supplies for Ukraine's struggling economy has grown since Moscow raised its discounted gas tariff for Kiev twice this week, almost doubling it in three days. Relations between Ukraine and Russia have turned hostile since popular protests in Kiev ousted pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich in February, after which Russia seized Ukraine's Crimea region and formally annexed it last month. The dispute has widened into the biggest stand-off between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War.
Russia Sacrifices Gazprom Profit for Politics in Ukraine
Russia's top natural gas producer, Gazprom, will eventually lose more than it gains from raising the gas price for Ukraine by 80 percent, analysts said on Friday, predicting Kiev would cut purchases and fail to pay in full. Gazprom on Thursday announced a price rise for Ukraine to $485 per 1,000 cubic metres, the second increase in three days. The $485 price is the highest of any Gazprom customer and compares with around $370 on average for clients in the European Union. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said the increase, two weeks after Moscow annexed Ukraine's Crimea region, was unacceptable and warned he expected Russia to step up pressure by limiting supplies to Ukraine.
Russian JV Close Acquisition of Prime Shipping
The Russian Joint Venture between Rosneft, Sberbank Investments and Pietro Barbaro S.p.A. closed the acquisition of the Pietro Barbaro Group shipping assets in the Russian Federation (100% share of Prime Shipping group of companies). Prime Shipping is one of the leaders of the Russian river and sea transportation tanker market. The deal was financed by Sberbank. The acquisition of a logistics asset will allow Rosneft to strengthen its positions in the river transportation market and enhance the efficiency of operations…
Yamal LNG Financing in Final Stages
A deal to raise financing for the Novatek-led Yamal LNG project in Russia is in its final stages, Chairman of Gazprombank, Andrey Akimov, told Reuters. Gazprombank is a co-lender to Yamal LNG on the Russian side, along with Sberbank. State development bank VEB has pledged $3 billion in banking guarantees to the project. Akimov said that Chinese lenders are set to provide $12 billion, Russian banks $4 billion, and export credit agencies are expected to put up another $4 billion. He said he planned to travel to China in early November for talks on the deal.
Yamal LNG Project on Track, Says Russia's Sberbank
Russia's Yamal LNG liquefied natural gas project is on track and will be profitable even with low oil and gas prices, Sberbank Chief Executive German Gref said on Tuesday. "This is the most expensive project, (it) will completely change the gas economy of the country," he told President Vladimir Putin. (Reporting by Denis Dyomkin; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin)
Sovcomflot Group, Sberbank CIB Sign Credit Facility Agreement
Sovcomflot Group and Sberbank CIB have signed a 14-year $340 million credit facility agreement to finance the construction of three Arctic shuttle tankers for the Novy Port project (project operator: Gazprom eft). Novy Port is one of the largest oil and gas condensate deposits on the Yamal peninsula in Russia. The vessels will serve as part of project infrastructure designed to enable year-round shipment of crude oil from an offshore loading terminal in the Gulf of Ob. The commercial production from the field will start in 2016. The transaction involves Sberbank Europe AG, a subsidiary bank of PJSC Sberbank. Commenting on the transaction…
French Banks Eye Yamal LNG Project
French banks may participate in lending for the Russia's Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, a relevant agreement may be signed in 2016, Tass reported quoting Russia's Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev. "As for French banks - we have made very serious progress there, we are very optimistic about it. I do hope [that the agreement on lending will be signed this year]," the minister said. Earlier this year, Russia’s largest independent gas producer Novatek confirmed the volume of capital expenditures for Yamal LNG project in the amount of $27 bln.
Sovcomflot Revises Pricing on USD 7-year Bond
Russian shipping company Sovcomflot has cut the yield on its seven-year U.S. dollar bond to 5.375 percent - 5.5 percent, according to a lead. The notes will price within that range. The latest level compares with guidance of 5.625 percent area and initial price thoughts of 5.75 percent area. The benchmark-sized notes are expected to price later today. Citigroup, ING, JP Morgan, Sberbank and VTB Capital are the lead managers. Sovcomflot is rated Ba1/BB+/BB. (Reporting by Sudip Roy)
Rosneft Delivers First Gasoline Cargo to Asia-Pacific
Energy giant Rosneft said on Thursday its trading arm had delivered an inaugural gasoline cargo to the Asia-Pacific, marking what could be Russia's first foray into a region dominated by OPEC producers from the Gulf. The 200,000-barrel cargo, bought by Rosneft from the international market and taken by Indonesian state energy company Pertamina, was delivered on free-on-board (FOB) terms to Malaysia. Rosneft declined to say from which refinery it had received the cargo. It also did not say from or to which ports it was being delivered. The cargo was shipped to Pertamina within a term agreement for the delivery of 1.2 million barrels signed between the companies in June, Rosneft said.
Sovcomflot $ 1.26 bln Debt Financing Complete
SCF Group completed a series of financing transactions in the total amount of USD 1.26 billion. The deals include USD 750 million of unsecured public debt and USD 512 million of bank loans raised for purposes of funding the fleet renewal and expansion programme and for the refinancing of maturing debt. The latest in this series were new long-term credit facilities for a total amount of USD 252 million signed in August 2016, with a number of international banks including: Citibank; DVB Bank; ING Bank; Nordea Bank and Unicredit Bank.
Sovcomflot Inks $180 Mn Credit for Two Shuttle Tanker
On 23 November 2016, Sovcomflot and Sberbank signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) paving the way for a new USD 180 million long-term credit agreement with a term of up to 15 years. On behalf of the parties the MOU was signed by Sergey Frank, Chairman and CEO of Sovcomflot, and Herman Gref, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank. The credit facility agreement, the subject of the MOU, will finance two Panamax Arctic shuttle tankers within Sovcomflot’s fleet (Mikhail Ulyanov, Kirill Lavrov), built at the Admiralty Shipyards in St.
Oil and Trump: Russians Full of Optimism in Davos
What a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago, the mood of the Russian delegation at the World Economic Forum in Davos was distinctly gloomy, with oil prices near 12-year lows below $30 per barrel and Western sanctions depressing their economy and financial markets. Since then, however, Russian stock and bond markets have risen about 50 percent, boosted by rebounding oil and - more recently - expectations the new U.S. presidency of Donald Trump will ease the sanctions imposed over Moscow's actions in Ukraine. Russian officials and company executives at the forum attended by the world's political and business elites in the Swiss Alps this week were far more bullish, with many predicting the markets rally would continue this year.
Russia Wants to Sell Sovcomflot to Small-stake Investors
Russia plans to sell part of state shipping firm Sovcomflot next month, hoping to draw in a wide range of small-stake investors rather than a strategic buyer who could threaten Moscow's control of the group, banking and industry sources say. The current era of low tanker market prices is far from the ideal time for Sovcomflot to raise revenue with a share offer, as freight rates were at their highs in 2015. Sovcomflot operates the world's second largest fleet of oil tankers. But…
SCF's Balancing Act in Tanker Market
Despite the turbulent conditions seen in conventional markets, SCF Group has continued to demonstrate resilience whilst remaining able to position itself to take advantage of the future upswing in these markets when it comes. The first half of 2017 was very challenging for global tanker markets, with spot freight rates in all market segments nearing their historic lows. This has impacted severely upon the profitability of those owners focused solely on conventional shipping, said a press statement from SCF Group quoting Sergey Frank, President and CEO of PAO Sovcomflot.
Sovcomflot Reports Loss for 9M 2017
PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) reported a $6.8 million loss for the first nine months of 2017, citing the adverse impacts of low spot market freight rates in the conventional tanker sectors. “This year has proven to be a very challenging period for the tanker industry and the situation now faced by many conventional tanker ship owners is especially severe,” said Sergey Frank, President and CEO of PAO Sovcomflot. “An oversupply of tonnage and reduced demand, resulting from oil capacity cut-backs led by OPEC…
Putin Okays Loading Start at Yamal LNG
President Vladimir Putin on Friday launched the first loading of liquefied natural gas at the Novatek-led Yamal LNG project in the Arctic, which will further expand Russia's global energy reach. The Yamal project, which required investments of $27 billion, will allow Russia to fulfil a plan to double its share of the global LNG market by 2020 from around 4 percent now. The LNG was loaded onto the ice class tanker "Christophe de Margerie", named after the former head of France's energy major Total, who died in a plane crash in Moscow in 2014. Total holds a 20 percent stake in Yamal LNG.
Sberbank, Sovcomflot Sign $106m Finance Deal
The largest bank in Russia Sberbank and shipping company Sovcomflot have signed a new USD 106 million project financing agreement, with a term of up to 14 years. The funds will finance the construction of a high ice class Arctic shuttle tanker (Arc7) for the Novy Port project, under a long-term agreement with Gazprom Neft. This is the third major transaction of its kind between Sberbank and Sovcomflot. The first joint project between the companies was in 2015, to finance the construction of three Arctic shuttle tankers to transport crude oil from the Novy Port field.