Business in Brief

Mechel to Boost Production



Mechel, a coal and steel producer controlled by billionaire Igor Zyuzin, said Friday that it would spend $5.2 billion boosting production through 2012 as the country's demand expands.

The company will allocate $3 billion to mining and $2.2 billion to steel output, Mechel said. (Bloomberg)




Oil Field Facilities Finished



ConocoPhillips and LUKoil finished building and started testing production facilities at the Yuzhno-Khylchuyuskoye field in northern Russia as the country's largest independent oil producer seeks to revive flagging output.

The facilities include 32 production wells and a plant to treat as much as 3.8 million tons of oil per year, LUKoil said Friday. (Bloomberg)




Yandex Opens U.S. Office



ST. PETERSBURG -- Yandex, the country's largest search engine, said Friday that it set up a unit based in Silicon Valley to develop online search services for users outside Russia.

Vishal Makhijani, who previously worked for Inktomi and Yahoo!, will head the division in the United States, Yandex said Friday. (Bloomberg)




Sakhalin-1 Wells Delayed



ExxonMobil's Russian unit delayed drilling two exploratory wells at its Sakhalin-1 project by a year, Interfax reported Friday, citing a source in the Sakhalin region's environmental agency.

Drilling at the Arkutun-Dagi field was pushed back to next summer after the Prosecutor General's Office found violations at the state-run company that owns the drilling rig, Interfax reported. Exxon confirmed annulling its drilling contract. (Bloomberg)




Gasunie's Nord Stream Stake



Nederlandse Gasunie, the Dutch state-owned gas network operator, has taken a 9 percent stake in Gazprom's planned Nord Stream pipeline under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.

Gasunie was registered as a shareholder in Nord Stream on Friday, Gazprom said. (Bloomberg)




Ilim to Boost Office Paper



ST. PETERSBURG -- Ilim Group will spend $500 million on expanding its Kotlas Pulp and Paper Mill to lift the plant's annual office-paper output to as much as 300,000 tons by 2009, Ilim general director Paul Herbert said, Vedomosti reported Friday.

The planned production will make International Paper, which bought half of Ilim last year, the country's biggest maker of office paper, the newspaper said. (Bloomberg)




For the Record



Diamond miner Alrosa said Friday that it planned to sell as much as $1 billion of bonds to international investors this year. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil said Friday that it agreed to borrow $1 billion from banks including ABN Amro and ING. (Bloomberg)

Rosneft plans to use 3.7 percent of its shares as collateral for a $2.35 billion loan from banks, Vedomosti reported Friday. (Bloomberg)

Gazprombank sold $500 million of bonds, a banker with knowledge of the transaction said Friday. (Bloomberg)

The government said Friday that it registered Rosoboronexport as an open joint-stock company, all the shares of which will be transferred to Russian Technologies. (Bloomberg)