Categotry Archives: Russia

Why Rex Tillerson Stands Out

There’s an article in the Wall Street Journal about Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil’s departing CEO and the man who Trump has picked for the role of Secretary of State.  The whole article is worth reading, but this bit caught my eye: Mr. Sechin came to like Mr. Tillerson because he was transparent and forceful in his communications—and was one of the few Western executives strong enough to push back against Mr. Sechin, said people familiar with the matter. … Mr. Putin, who […]

Shell: the beta male of the oil industry

In August 2014 I wrote a post which started as follows: Ever since Shell acquiesced to the Kremlin’s demand to surrender majority ownership of Sakhalin Energy in 2007 I have thought that western oil companies have fundamentally misunderstood the Russian mentality.  The perception at the time was that Shell believed by caving in on this issue, they would gain favour with the Russians and hence be in a strong position to participate in future projects.  Whether this was true or […]

Igor another presentation for you

A post by Streetwise Professor reminds me that International Petroleum Week has just taken place, and once again Rosneft’s Igor Sechin played the role of conference comedian, this time by blaming “robots” for the collapse in the oil price.  Go and read the whole thing. Veteran readers may recall I wrote a post on Igor’s amateurish presentation at the 2015 International Petroleum Week which I described as follows: What follows is a rambling 20-page presentation cluttered full of data, graphs, […]

Total Failure

It must be “Pick on Total Week” here at Chez Jake: Total and Zarubezhneft have agreed to adjust their participation in the Kharyaga Production Sharing Agreement whereby Total will transfer a 20% interest together with operatorship to Zarubezhneft. This is a big development: Kharyaga was the only producing development which Total operated in Russia.  Once this deal goes through, Total will no longer operate anywhere in the country. “Russia remains a key country for the Group. Total has ambitious plans […]

One less snout

Bloomberg reports of a Russian oligarch who has found himself ousted from Putin’s inner circle: He was one of the most powerful men in Russia for a decade, an old pal of the president who oversaw a million workers and a rail network spanning 11 time zones. But then Vladimir Yakunin was suddenly out, ending a career that included a stint as an intelligence officer at the United Nations in New York during the Cold War. Now Yakunin, 67, has […]

Is Total feeling a Russian chill?

Following the tragic death of Total’s CEO Christophe de Margerie in a plane crash last October, I said: [T]he Big Moustache’s enormous character made him genuinely popular among the Russian leadership and it is no certainty that his successor will make the same impact in a country where personal relations count for so much.  It could well turn out that much of Total’s commitment to Russia was down to de Margerie personally.  Having not been involved in E&P in Russia, […]

Nuclear Armed Internet Trolls

In May last year, contrary to what some are saying about Russia’s grand ambitions, I opined that half the problem is they are not grand enough.  For a nation that (making up the bulk of the USSR) put Sputnik into orbit followed by Yuri Gagarin and once had a monopoly on chess mastery, basing the entire future of the nation around pumping oil and gas into the world’s developing economies via two horrendously inefficient and decrepit state-run energy companies was […]

Igor a presentation for you

The Streetwise Professor has been pointed in the direction of a presentation made by none other than Igor Sechin at the recent International Petroleum Week held in London (shame the EU didn’t replicate the US travel ban).  As the Prof notes, Rosneft has rather naively posted the presentation on its website here (in case it gets removed, there’s a copy here). On Slide 2 of the presentation we have a long-winded disclaimer which looks as though it’s been copied and […]

“However did this happen?!”

I once worked for a company that was, by and large, run by a group of acquaintances if not actual mates.  The company was appallingly run, and survived largely on handouts from its parent company that did extremely well out of a monopoly position kindly granted to it by the government.  A feature of this company was regular reorganisations which saw the same dozen or so men (all of the same nationality) shuffled between the senior positions in HQ like […]

Rouble Trouble

Back in September 2012, Russian president Vladimir Putin was feeling confident: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has said its possible to use the rouble as a reserve currency. “We hear more and more statements about reserve currencies,” the president said at the APEC CEO summit, claiming the “Rouble can claim for the role of reserve currency. Let’s see how that’s working out in December 2014: Oh dear. The collapse of the ruble against the dollar is mainly the result of the […]