Business in Brief

Gazprom Neft on Capex

Gazprom Neft could slash its capital expenditures this year by 45 percent if the oil price falls to $32 per barrel, chief executive Alexander Dyukov said Friday in its corporate journal.

In October, the oil company said it would cut this year's capital expenditures by up to 25 percent to 70 billion rubles because of falling oil prices. "But now we are considering other options," he said. (Reuters)

Electricity Prices Dip

Electricity prices fell 32.9 percent this week in central Russia and the Urals region, the most populous parts of the country, from the combined effects of warm weather and economic decline, official data showed Friday.

From Jan. 9 through Jan. 15, electricity consumption was also down, falling by a nationwide average of 8.9 percent year on year, according to data from the Market Council. (Reuters)

Chelsea Not Up for Sale

Billionaire Roman Abramovich is not considering selling London football club Chelsea, a spokesman for his Millhouse holding company said Sunday.

The Sunday Times reported that Abramovich's representatives had traveled to the Middle East to speak with potential investors, without saying where it got the information. Abramovich purchased the team in 2003. (MT)

Conoco's LUKoil Losses

HOUSTON -- U.S. oil company ConocoPhillips said Friday that it would write down an estimated $34 billion of previous acquisitions including a stake in LUKoil and cut 4 percent of its work force.

The company plans to reduce the value of its equity investment in Russia's LUKoil by $7.3 billion, Houston-based ConocoPhillips said in a statement. Other write-downs totaling $1.3 billion will be recorded. (Bloomberg)

Offer for SDM Canceled

TEL AVIV -- Bank Hapoalim, Israel's biggest bank by assets, said Sunday that it canceled its agreement to buy a 78 percent stake in SDM-Bank of Moscow for $111 million.

Tel Aviv-based Hapoalim said the Bank of Israel refused to approve the sale because of "global economic developments in general and in Russia in particular." (Bloomberg)

TNK-BP CEO Talks Stall

TNK-BP is struggling to agree on terms for Denis Morozov to become CEO, Vedomosti reported Friday, citing three sources close to the negotiations.

Morozov wants greater clarity on his responsibilities and changes to the proposed compensation package, which links his salary to the planned IPO, the report said. (Bloomberg)

For the Record

Gazprom signed a deal Saturday with Algeria to explore for oil and gas in the El Assel area of the Berkine Basin. (Reuters)

Sheremetyevo Airport said Friday that it handled a record 15.2 million passengers in 2008, or 8.4 percent more passengers than in 2007. (Bloomberg)

The State Duma on Friday decided to delay until next week a first reading of a bill to create a state company to manage federal roads, Interfax reported Friday. (MT)