RUSSIA & VENEZUELA COOPERATION
Among Latin American investment opportunities, Rosneft's has focused on Venezuela whose President Hugo Chavez (who died in March 2013) took the initiative in the late 1990s to have a strategic alliance with Russia. In 2000, on then President Putin's orders, Rosneft and other Russian companies looked more seriously into opportunities to invest in Venezuela's petroleum sector.
The first major opportunity was the Junin 6 block of ultra-heavy crude oil in the Orinoco Tar Belt. Rosneft thus leads the block's National Oil Consortium (NOC). The other NOC partners are LUKoil and GazpromNeft - (Rosneft in 2013 acquired TNK-BP's share in this). This is a multi-billion dollar integrated project which is to include an expensive upgrader to turn the bituminous oil into synthetic crude. Rosneft leads another grouping for Orinoco's Carabobo-II block, a $25bn venture which is to develop the bitumen into 480,000 b/d ultra-heavy crude requiring an upgrader to turn these into at least 200,000 b/d of synthetic crudes.
Both projects are JVs with the state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). Rosneft has paid $1.2bn to PDVSA and giving it another $1bn as a loan in return for access to the Carabobo-II project. The payments are part of a $4bn loan Russia had offered to Venezuela for defence-related purchases from Moscow. The Carabobo-II block was won by Rosneft at the beginning of 2010 at an auction in which several IOCs participated.
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AN - China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) is willing to invest $3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja.
REUTERS - Production at Libya’s giant Sharara oil field was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Saturday after two staff were abducted in an attack by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.
IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.