The financing problems for the project stems from U.S.-led sanctions against Russia’s oil and natural gas sector over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in early 2014. Also, in June the EU extended economic sanctions on Russia until January 3, in a move that media said at the time was “keeping up pressure on Moscow to help resolve the Ukraine conflict.”
Gazprom would need to bring spot gas prices below $4 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), versus around $5.65 per mmBtu now, to shut Europe off to U.S. imports - a level Goldman Sachs expects could be reached by 2018/2019.
Last month, the United States restricted exports, re-exports and transfers of technology and equipment to the Yuzhno-Kirinskoye field. The sanctions were imposed just weeks after media cited Shell officials as saying the firm was considering Yuzhno-Kirinskoye as part of an asset swap deal with Gazprom, announced in June.
China’s $40 billion Silk Road Fund said it would finance part of the project, a development Total CEO Patrick Pouyanné called “a clear commitment by China” in an interview Wednesday. The price paid for Silk Road’s 9.9% stake in Yamal wasn’t disclosed.
Together, these deals mean that Europe’s big energy companies want to return to business as usual with Russia, despite the continuing conflict in Ukraine and the EU’s continuing sanctions on Russia.
Russian oil firms are increasing their rouble profits and raising production as a weak currency protects their business, which has turned into one of the world's most profitable.
The U.S. declared one of Russia’s largest offshore oil and natural gas fields off limits to American tools and expertise, potentially disrupting Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s plans to liquefy the fossil fuel for export.
TESCO reported a net loss of $27.5 million, or $(0.71) per diluted share, for the second quarter ended June 30, 2015. Excluding certain special items, consisting of a valuation allowance on Canadian deferred tax assets, restructuring costs, specific warranty reserves for new products, certain foreign currency losses and specific bad debt expense related to an international customer, TESCO reported an adjusted net loss for the quarter of $8.0 million, or $(0.21) per diluted share. This compares to a net loss of $8.3 million, or $(0.21) per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2015, and net income of $12.7 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2014. Adjusted net loss in the first quarter of 2015 was $3.3 million, or $(0.08) per diluted share, and in the second quarter of 2014 was $11.9 million, or $0.29 per diluted share.
Seven months after Russia made the latest changes to its oil tax regime, the industry seems to have been able to adapt more easily to the new landscape than had been expected at the turn of the year. However, market experts have warned that the government must consider more fiscal reforms as the current system is continuing to distort the sector. The so-called tax maneuver, which includes a phased reduction in export duty for crude and oil products over 2015-2017 and an increase in oil extraction tax, was introduced in January.
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.