Business in Brief

Sibir Says Claims Dropped

LISBON --Sibir Energy, the London-traded oil producer controlled by billionaire Shalva Chigirinsky, said Moscow Oil & Gas Co., and Gazprom Neft withdrew legal claims against each other over interests in the Moscow Oil Refinery.

The companies agreed to name Alexander Meling director of the refinery, Sibir said Monday. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil Buys Uzbek Fields

LUKoil, the country's largest nonstate oil producer, said Friday that it bought $580 million of oil and natural gas assets in Uzbekistan to expand in the Central Asian country.

LUKoil will work with the Uzbek state energy company to develop seven fields, the producer said. (Bloomberg)

Gazprom Shortfall Possible

Gazprom may be unable to meet export and domestic gas supply commitments by 2015 as demand rises and output declines at existing fields, the Financial Times said Monday.

Independent producers may need to produce 100 billion cubic meters by 2015 from 57 bcm last year to make up for the shortfall, said Vladimir Milov, a former deputy industry and energy minister, the newspaper reported. (Bloomberg)

RusAl Nominee for Norilsk

United Company RusAl, the aluminum producer buying a 25 percent stake in Norilsk Nickel, nominated Kinross Gold chief executive Tye Burt as an independent director on Norilsk's board.

Burt has accepted the nomination, a Kinross spokesman said Monday. (Bloomberg)

Gambling Law Criticized

A law forcing gambling out of Moscow and St. Petersburg from July next year will deter investment in the industry and should be relaxed, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs said Friday.

Plans to restrict gambling to four regions are prompting local operators to expand outside the country, the union said. The permitted areas are not attracting international chains, the organization added. (Bloomberg)

RusAl, Onexim Agree on Fee

United Company RusAl and Onexim Group agreed to a $300 million breakup fee should they fail to complete a sale of Norilsk Nickel shares, Kommersant said Friday, citing two unidentified people close to the deal.

Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who controls Onexim, may gain more from paying the fee and holding on to his 25 percent stake, Kommersant said. (Bloomberg)

UES Shareholder Register

Unified Energy System's reorganization commission recommended that the board close the shareholder register June 6 before distributing stakes in underlying units, the company said Friday.

Buyers of UES shares after that date will receive only shares in the Federal Grid Company during the breakup, UES said. (Bloomberg)

Rosneft Plant Moves to Gas

Rosneft said Friday that it started switching a refinery it bought at auction from Yukos last year to natural gas-fired power to lower costs and cut pollution.

The Novokuibyshev refinery's steam-power generator was switched to gas from fuel oil at the end of February, Rosneft said (Bloomberg)

TMK to Up Turkmen Sales

TMK, the world's second-largest maker of pipes for the oil and gas industry, plans to increase sales to Turkmenistan by 10 times as the holder of Central Asia's second-largest gas reserves seeks new export routes.

Dmitry Pumpyansky, TMK's billionaire owner and chairman, has met with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov to discuss supplies of more wide-diameter pipes, the company said. (Bloomberg)

Kraft to Open Coffee Plant

ST. PETERSBURG -- Kraft Foods, the world's second-largest food company, plans to open a $100 million plant near St. Petersburg next week to make instant coffee for the Russian market.

The factory will open Thursday near Kraft's packaging facility, spokeswoman Anastasia Zaslavskaya said Friday. (Bloomberg)