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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

BP Sells LUKoil Stake


State pipeline monopoly Transneft is demanding that, as of Thursday, oil producers conclude new agreements with the monopoly on crude oil transportation, Vedomosti reported Wednesday.

Short of funds for its new pipelines, Transneft is demanding prepayment before oil is transported and is threatening to impose harsh fines for the most minor infractions, the newspaper said, citing a copy it had obtained of a new agreement sent to oil producers.

"Transneft wants us to provide them interest-free credit," said a representative of a top-five oil company. "But in our opinion, we are already paying sufficient tariffs for Transnefts services."

Agreement on Pulkovo


St. Petersburgs state-owned air company Pulkovo has agreed on a 2.1 billion ruble ($74 million) restructuring project for the international Pulkovo 2 airport with St. Petersburgs construction and architecture committee, Prime-Tass quoted the committees press service as saying Tuesday.

Under the plan, the restructuring will permit the number of passengers passing through the airport to be doubled by 2005 to 3 million passengers per year rising to 4.5 million by 2010.

Nuclear Plants Planned

The Moscow Times

Russia plans to build 40 nuclear reactors by 2020 to prevent a potential "energy crisis," Agence France Presse quoted Deputy Nuclear Energy Minister Boulat Nigmatulin as saying Monday.

"We are 20 years behind. These reactors have to be built by 2020," Nigmatulin told AFP.

He explained that the original plan to build the reactors was devised in the 1980s but stalled in the 1990s.

Russia currently has 19 nuclear reactors operating at nine plants.

"Russias European flank will soon face an energy deficit. The only possible solution open to the government is to build new reactors," the deputy minister said.

NRB Awarded $75M


The Moscow arbitration court has ordered French bank Cr?dit Agricole and its subsidiary Indosuez International Finance to pay the National Reserve Bank $75 million in compensation for damages, Interfax reported Wednesday.

The losses resulted from the freezing of the banks assets in Belgium and Switzerland, a NRB representative told the news agency.

NRB president Alexander Lebedev said last week that the bank had filed a law suit in Moscow demanding Cr?dit Agricole pay $250 million in damages.

Cr?dit Agricole was active in the market for GKO treasury bills and concluded forward contracts with the NRB in order to insure itself from losses from exchange rate fluctuations, such as those that followed the 1998 financial crisis.

The two banks have been fighting a legal war over the funds in courts in the United States, Belgium, Britain, Switzerland and Russia.

Kiev Pays on Gas Debt


KIEV Ukraine has begun paying its gas debts to Russian energy company Itera and expects gas supplies will be resumed in days, Interfax reported Wednesday.

"Today the financial issue is closed [with Itera]," Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko was quoted as saying by Interfax.

He said that Itera should resume gas deliveries to four power plants, which it had suspended on Jan. 16, this week.

Itera said its Ukrainian debtors owed $64.2 million.

Oil Pipeline Unviable


Russia considers the oil pipeline project from Azerbaijans capital of Baku to Ceyhan in southern Turkey uneconomical and has no plans to join it, Interfax quoted Energy Minister Alexander Gavrin as saying Tuesday.

Azerbaijan and U.S. government officials had invited Russia to join the project, Gavrin said.

"I have always tried to move the conversation from the political area to a purely technical and economic one," Gavrin told Interfax.

"To make the Baku-Ceyhan project economical, 50 million tons of oil a year is needed, and Azerbaijan has no such resources today," he said.

Chinese Exports Boom


Chinese exports to Russia jumped up by 57.5 percent over 11 months of 2000 as compared with the same period in 1999, Itar-Tass reported the Chinese chief customs administration as saying Tuesday.

The value of the exports totaled $2 billion.

Complete figures of Chinese-Russian foreign trade turnover in 2000 have not been made public, however, specialists believe that it may top $7 billion, Itar-Tass reported.