A Shifting Balance between Gazprom and Rosneft in Russia?

Came across Strator’s (subscription only) interesting analysis of Gazprom’s desire to purchase at least 50 percent of Rosneft’s prized subsidiary, Tomskneft, a move indicating that Gazprom may soon attempt to equal or surpass rival Rosneft’s influence in Russian petro-circles.  As discussed on this blog earlier, Gazprom’s board chairman and overall political backer, Dmitri Medvedev, has been named Russian President Vladimir Putin’s successor.  And, per the Stratfor report, there are rumors that Putin might take over Medvedev’s role as Gazprom chairman.  Combined, this makes Gazprom’s renewed interest in Tomskneft very important.  As the article notes:

“…Tomskneft was the largest subsidiary of the now-bankrupt Yukos oil company. It controlled a series of small oil fields producing a total of approximately 240,000 barrels per day, refineries and a central Siberian pipeline network. Gazprom and Rosneft fought fiercely over it during a series of Yukos auctions in April. Though the Kremlin told the companies to split the spoils equally to maintain balance between them, Rosneft ended up sweeping up most of the assets.

In doing so, Rosneft became Russia’s largest oil company, but it also began to drown in approximately $9 billion in debt. Already displeased with its oil company, the Kremlin ordered Rosneft to come up with a plan to eliminate that debt before the end of 2007. There are only a handful of options: Find a way to get the Kremlin to pay for the debt, sell to foreign companies (though most of those that would be interested are Gazprom-friendly) or sell to Gazprom. The natural gas behemoth knows Rosneft is in a political and financial dilemma — and so is making its move….”

This entry was posted on Saturday, December 29th, 2007 at 3:21 pm and is filed under Gazprom, Rosneft, Russia.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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