RUSSIA & CHINA: NO SANCTIONS
Russia is developing non-dollar financing and ties with China in the face of U.S. and EU sanctions, the head of Rosneft's Swiss-based trading division, Marcus Cooper, said on Tuesday.
"Sanctions are being counteracted ... from a very high level," Cooper told the Platts' Global Crude Oil Summit.
Rosneft and its chief Igor Sechin, one of the closest allies of President Vladimir Putin, were hit by sanctions that prevent long-term financing, development of tight oil, Arctic and offshore deposits as part of broader measures against Russia for its actions in Ukraine.
Cooper, who previously worked for BP, joined Rosneft in 2013 to help the company build its global trading platform but Rosneft's plan to acquire Morgan Stanley's trading division fell apart because of sanctions.
The company has however maintained its output and exports at pre-sanctions levels while expanding its tally of customers.
Cooper said Rosneft is working to develop in-house expertise on oilfield services, platform operations and ship building, saying that increased local expertise is "only a matter of time."
He also shrugged off any sanctions impact on refinery modernization or downstream operations, and said the upgrades that were planned were going forward with no major problems.
But Cooper acknowledged that sanctions had, for now, foiled Rosneft's ambition to build or purchase a trading arm with global reach.
"To have a successful trading operation, you need a huge amount of capital," Cooper said, noting that sanctions drastically limit their access to credit lines beyond 30 days. "That has frustrated the strategy."
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