Gazprom's gas prices are pegged to oil with a six-month lag, which means its customers are currently paying the equivalent of $45-$50 per barrel seen in January 2015 when oil prices crashed following a decision by OPEC not to reduce output.
US shale gas is the unexpected loser from President Barack Obama’s climate plan, as the White House abandons its previous enthusiasm for natural gas as a cleaner alternative to coal.
There are indeed compelling reasons for Gazprom to do a deal. First market developments are rendering Gazprom’s existing business model irrelevant and it is that business model which is being substantially challenged in the antitrust case. Secondly, the consequences of an actual published EU competition decision against the company would be devastating in terms of reputation and scale of liability. Both these factors provide compelling incentives for Gazprom to file draft Commitments to the Commission to provide a basis for a deal.
In the second quarter and first half 2015, our total revenues increased by 27.0% and 27.6%, respectively, compared to the corresponding periods of 2014. The growth was mainly due to an increase in liquids sales volumes and net prices in Russian rouble terms. Average net prices of liquid hydrocarbons were positively impacted by the substantial increase in sales volumes of high value-added petroleum products from the Ust-Luga Complex, the decrease in export duty rates and rouble devaluation against the US dollar, which more than offset the decline in international hydrocarbon prices.
Imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Japan, South Korea, and China, the three largest global importers, all located in the Asia Pacific region, have declined by an average 1.4 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) (6.7%) in the first five months of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014.
U.S. Rig Count is down 2 rigs from last week to 874, with oil rigs up 5 to 664, gas rigs down 7 to 209, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 1.
Crude oil prices in first-quarter 2015 were the lowest in several years, which contributed to reduced profitability for these companies compared to previous quarters. Although companies reduced investment spending, declines in operating cash flow were greater, contributing to a decline in cash balances. Second-quarter 2015 results could show continued declines in profits, cash flow, and capital expenditure.
Russia is the world's largest producer of crude oil (including lease condensate) and the second-largest producer of dry natural gas. Russia also produces significant amounts of coal. Russia's economy is highly dependent on its hydrocarbons, and oil and natural gas revenues account for more than 50% of the federal budget revenues.
Global oil and natural-gas producers have delayed $200 billion of investment in more than 45 projects following the slump in crude prices, according to Wood Mackenzie.
Gazprom is first and foremost a tool of Russian foreign policy, which Putin is not shy about wielding to pursue Russian interests. During Putin’s years in power, the Kremlin has used its control over Gazprom — increasing or decreasing the cost of energy — to maintain influence over Russia’s neighbors. Putin once described Gazprom as “a powerful political and economic lever of influence over the rest of the world,” and a team of Russian foreign policy experts noted that “if the leaders of this or that country decide to show good will towards the Russian Federation, then the situation with gas deliveries, pricing policy and former debts changes on a far more favorable note to the buyer.”