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News // Russia

Kremlin wants Russian oil export full control

12 February 2010 , 12:52Upstream3883

 

 

Russia's top energy official, Deputy Premier Igor Sechin, wants the state to take full control of the country's exports of oil and refined products, a system which would resemble the oil export monopoly in place during the Soviet era. A document obtained by Reuters showed Sechin held a meeting in early January with energy and transport ministers, officials from the state security agency the FSB - formerly known as the KGB - as well as customs officials to discuss new export regulations.

 

The protocol of the meeting said officials involved should speed up works on proposals that would allow Russia's oil pipeline monopoly Transneft to take full control over export schedules for oil and refined products. President Dmitry Medvedev will hold a meeting with oil officials later today and a government source told Reuters Sechin's proposals are likely to be discussed at the meeting.

 

Transneft already coordinates exports of between 80% and 90% of Russian oil while the remaining volumes leave Russia via rail stations and ports which are not linked to Transneft's pipeline system. Transneft also owns the system of refined products pipelines but those are responsible mainly for gasoil exports and account for less than 25% of Russia's overall refined products exports. The remaining refined products volumes leave the country mainly by rail and Transneft has no means to control the flows.

 

Sechin, a close ally of Russia's former president and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, is widely viewed as one of the main architects of the Kremlin's drive of the past decade to tighten the grip over energy resources. The Kremlin has since then increased its share in the Russian oil producing sector to 50% after reducing it to as low as 30% following the collapse of the Soviet Union and mass sell-offs of state property in the 1990s.

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