Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Energy Sector Investment

President Vladimir Putin called on the government to boost the attractiveness of the nation's energy industry for foreign investors, Interfax reported.

Russia should improve the legal environment and the tax regime for the energy industry, Putin said at a meeting with the Security Council on Thursday, the news agency said.

Putin also said that "large-scale" work needed to be undertaken to develop Russia's transport infrastructure to supply foreign markets. He did not exclude the possibility that Russia will build a gas pipeline to the Asia-Pacific region. (Bloomberg)

Oil Exports Fall

Russia exported less crude oil as higher duties prompted companies to refine more oil domestically. The nation's natural gas output growth rate slowed on lower demand in Europe.

Crude oil exports in the first 10 months of 2005 fell 0.9 percent from the same period last year, the government said Thursday in a statement on its web site. The country expects to raise 2005 crude output by 2.3 percent, down from the 9 percent growth in 2004. The Cabinet did not publish volume figures. (Bloomberg)

Azeri Gas Price Hike

BAKU, Azerbaijan -- Azerbaijan will buy 4.5 billion cubic meters of gas from gas giant Gazprom at a price of $110 per 1,000 cubic meters next year, a Gazprom official said Thursday.

Akif Gasanov, a representative of Gazprom's export arm in Baku, said his firm had signed an agreement with Azeri national oil company Socar.

Although the price will almost double from the current $60, the agreement represents a much cheaper deal than Gazprom is offering Ukraine. Ukraine's state energy firm is in deadlocked talks with Gazprom, which is demanding Western European prices of up to $250 per 1,000 cubic meters. (Reuters)

Kiev Resisting 'Blackmail'

KIEV -- Ukraine's foreign minister warned Russia on Thursday that Kiev would not be blackmailed in an escalating gas dispute.

"We want to develop partnership, friendly and neighborly relations with Russia, but we will never accept blackmail and pressure," Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk said. His remarks were the latest volley in a feud between the two countries over Moscow's demands that Ukraine pay more for the gas it imports from Russia next year. (AP)

Gazprom Repays $8Bln

Gazprom has repaid $8 billion of the $13 billion it borrowed to buy oil producer Sibneft from billionaire Roman Abramovich, said Peter Bakayev, Gazprom's head of capital markets.

Gazprom used $5 billion of the money it got from selling 10.74 percent of its shares to the Russian government and $3 billion of its own cash to repay the banks that loaned it the money for Sibneft, Bakayev said in a conference call with investors Thursday.

ABN Amro Holding and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein were among the banks that arranged a $12 billion financing package for the acquisition, which included a $4.5 billion bridge loan to be repaid by selling bonds, bankers involved in the transaction said in September. (Bloomberg)

French Sign Gas Deal

Gazprom agreed with Gaz de France to increase gas supplies to France and neighboring countries under long-term contracts, the Russian company said Thursday.

Gazprom deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev and Gaz de France vice president Jean-Marie Dauger also discussed increasing shipments of liquefied natural gas to North America and building a terminal to receive the shipped fuel on North America's East Coast, Gazprom said in a statement. (Bloomberg)

$5Bln in Power Deliveries

LONDON -- Basel i Sverige, a Nordic industry group, may build power plants and signed an accord valued at as much as $5 billion to buy Russian electricity to cut energy costs.

Power plants are "one of the things we're considering," Peter Pernlof, CEO of the group, said Thursday in an interview. Member companies signed an accord to buy electricity from Russia at "considerably cheaper" prices than what they pay Swedish suppliers or on the Nordic Power exchange, he said.

Fifteen of the companies in Basel signed a 15-year accord with a Russian energy company called United Power to buy a total of 8 terawatt-hours of electricity per year, Pernlof said. (Bloomberg)

RZD-Siemens Contract

Siemens, Germany's largest engineering company, may win a $591 million order from Russian Railways, or RZD, Interfax reported, citing a person familiar with the negotiations.

The contract includes eight high-speed trains and maintenance, the news agency said. RZD senior vice president Boris Lapidus said last week that the company would buy the trains in February, Interfax reported, without saying how much the contract would be worth. (Bloomberg)