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

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Oil Output Slows

Russia raised average daily oil production in June 1.8 percent, the slowest annual pace in 2005, as higher taxes discouraged investment in fields. Crude export to Europe fell from May.

Russia raised crude oil output in June to 9.43 million barrels per day, or 38.58 million tons in the month, from 9.26 million bpd in the year-earlier period, according to data from consulting company Petromarket.

Russia pumped 9.33 million bpd in May.

Oil investments have slowed after the tax probe into Yukos, the nation's largest oil exporter last year, crimped investment. (Bloomberg)

Sibneft Buys Sakha Field

Oil producer Sibneft has won the rights to a field in eastern Siberia. Sibneft will pay 440 million rubles ($15.4 million) for the Tympuchikanskiy block in the Sakha republic, or 7.8 cents per barrel of oil equivalent, the company said in a statement Friday.

The block holds recoverable reserves under Russian standards of 16.9 million tons of oil, which is 123.5 million barrels according to the company, and 13.4 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

The purchase is the sixth for Sibneft this year and the ninth since November last year, company spokesman John Mann said. (Bloomberg)

LUKoil Signs Serbian Deal

Oil company LUKoil said on Friday it had signed a memorandum of understanding on setting up a 50-50 joint venture with Serbian oil and gas monopoly NIS.

Under the agreement, NIS would refine 1.5 million to 4.5 million tons of LUKoil crude per year (30,000 to 90,000 barrels per day).

LUKoil will also examine the possibility of including NIS in joint exploration and production projects in Russia or in other countries.

LUKoil will also help NIS raise a $500 million credit to finance its refinery upgrade program. (Reuters)

Tatneft Sees 2005 Sales Up

Oil company Tatneft expects to increase its oil revenues 43.8 percent to 138 billion rubles ($4.8 billion) in 2005, the company said Friday.

Net oil revenues in 2004 grew 37.5 percent on the year to 96 billion rubles ($3.6 billion). Exports accounted for 80.4 percent of revenue, and the remainder was generated on the domestic market.

Tatneft's oil output from January through May was up 1.88 percent on the year to 10.59 million tons. In 2004, Tatneft's oil output was up 1.75 percent on the year to 25.099 million tons. (Prime-Tass)

UES Names Acting CFO

Electricity utility Unified Energy Systems said deputy chief executive Sergei Dubinin would act as the company's chief financial officer.

The company's board approved Dmitry Zhurba's resignation from the position of chief financial officer, UES said Friday in a statement. (Bloomberg)

RZD to Build Saudi Link

Saudi Arabia has invited state-owned Russian Railways, or RZD, to help build a new railroad linking the east and west coasts of the kingdom, Arab News reported.

Saudi officials made the proposal during a meeting in Moscow earlier this week with RZD chief executive Vladimir Yakunin, the English-language newspaper said, citing Russia's ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Andrei Baklanov.

The multibillion-riyal project includes a 1,200-kilometer railroad across the peninsula linking Riyadh and Jeddah, Arab News said. (Bloomberg)

Choppers for Thailand

BANGKOK, Thailand -- Thailand will soon acquire Russian helicopters and Chinese armored vehicles through barter deals for its agriculture products, a local newspaper said Sunday.

Moscow will send four MI-17 helicopters in exchange for Thailand writing off Russia's debt for the purchase of Thai rice, the Bangkok Post said, quoting security sources. China agreed to provide 132 armored vehicles, worth about 1.6 billion baht ($38.6 million), in a swap for longan fruit, the report said. (AP)

VimpelCom Board Majority

The Supreme Court decided on Friday that the board of directors of mobile phone firm VimpelCom should approve strategic decisions on a qualified majority of eight out of 12, the company said on Friday.

The ruling means that VimpelCom -- torn by disputes between its key shareholders, Alfa Group and Norway's Telenor -- would not be able to get the board to approve its plan to expand into the fast-growing Ukrainian market. (Reuters)

Matsushita Picks Tomsk Site

Consumer electronics maker Matsushita opened a research center in Siberia to develop communications software for its Panasonic line of products, Interfax reported.

The facility is located in an academic compound run by the Tomsk branch of the Academy of Sciences, the news service said, citing Matsushita spokesman Alexander Pozdeyev.

The Tomsk center is the company's fifth outside of Japan, Interfax said. The company has similar facilities in the United States, Germany, Singapore and Malaysia, Interfax said. (Bloomberg)

VEB Gets China Loan

Vneshekonombank, a payment agent for the Russian government, is expected to receive a $212 million loan from the China Development Bank, VEB said in a press release Friday.

The agreement was signed by VEB Chairman Vladimir Dmitriyev and China Development Bank Chairman Chen Yuan.

Under the agreement, VEB is to spend the loan on financing the production of various types of high-tech aviation equipment for eventual export to China. (Prime-Tass)

Eni Production at Kashagan

Eni and its partners plan in 2008 to start production of crude at Kazakhstan's Kashagan oil field, the world's second-largest, after Saudi Arabia's Ghawar, a Kazakh oil official said.

Eni's Agip unit complies with the development plan and is not facing delays in starting production from the field in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea, said Marat Sarsenov, the general director of Kazmortransflot, the state-run tanker company.

The Kashagan field holds 7 billion to 9 billion barrels of recoverable oil reserves, according to KazMunaiGaz, the Kazakh state-owned oil company. (Bloomberg)

Ukraine's WTO Bid

KIEV -- Ukraine's prime minister urged parliament on Saturday to quickly approve the bills needed to join the World Trade Organization, a key step in the new liberal administration's plans to move into Europe's mainstream.

Yulia Tymoshenko, speaking after a Cabinet meeting, said she had clinched a deal with parliamentary leaders this week to submit 14 bills to the chamber on Tuesday and secure quick passage with a single vote. (Reuters)

Kryvorizhstal Sale Approved

Ukraine has approved a plan to resell a 93.02 percent stake in its largest steelmaker, Kryvorizhstal, after a local court canceled a 2004 sale of the company, Interfax said, citing Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

The plan to resell the company by Nov. 10 was approved a meeting Thursday of the government, Interfax cited Tymoshenko as saying.

She said at least five international companies were interested in purchasing the stake. (Bloomberg)