No. 157

  USRCC Business Newsletter
USRCC Activities
Ministerial Speaker Series

The USRCC'S Business Roundtable with
Alexey Teksler, the First Deputy Minister of Energy of the
Russian Federation

On February 6, 2018 the U.S.-Russia Chamber of Commerce hosted a  Business Roundtable 
with Alexey Teksler, the First Deputy Minister of Energy of the  Russian Federation. 

The event was by invitation only  and included  government officials, C-Level and senior business executives from  Gazprom Marketing & Trading USA, Gazpromneft, Chevron, TMK IPSCO, Tatneft, LUKOIL, QRI, Salamander Solutions, East-West Strategic Advisors, PT-Americas, and others. 

Mr. Alexey Teksler received a warm welcome from Mr. Andy Icken, Chief Development Officer, City of Houston and   Alexander Pisarev, Consul General of the Russian Federation and was introduced to the Business Roundtable participants by Piotr Galitzine, Chairman and CEO, TMK IPSCO.

During the presentation the First Deputy Minister of Energy provided guests with an update on the current outlook of energy sector and highlighted some of the key areas of cooperation between two countries. Mr Teksler  emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Russia Chamber of Commerce in today's U.S.-Russia business relations and thanked representatives of the City of Houston for hospitality.

Attendees had an exclusive opportunity to interact with Mr. Teksler during the Q&A session, exchange ideas and opinions, advance their knowledge about current U.S.- Russia trade and investment.

At the end of the Business Roundtable Discussion Ms. Ksenia Solovyeva, Regional Specialist, The Roscongress Foundation  invited guests to attend the upcoming St. Petersburg International Economic Forum  and encouraged everyone to join the USRCC's trade mission.

The event would not be possible without generous  sponsorship, support and involvement  of TMK IPSCO and QRI

We hope that our guests had a chance to network and make new business contacts at the event. 

To view event photos visit our  Facebook page
New Member Spotlight
USRCC is honored to welcome our new member
University of Houston Downtown
UHD MBA is the largest  Master of Business Administration Program  in the Houston area and the highest return on in vestment. The program is designed to best fit working professionals' needs. The program is designed to help students pursue a  flexible  MBA program with 27   concentrations  or one of the industry designed,  Graduate Certificates . It is team taught, hybrid  format, and industry driven. The USRCC is looking forward to future collaboration with the University of Houston Downtown.

For more information, visit  here

  USRCC Trade Mission to Russia
May 2018

The U.S.-Russia Chamber of Commerce (USRCC) invites you to participate in a Trade mission to the  St. Petersburg International Economic Forum . Participants will have an opportunity to meet Russian government officials and some of the most influential leaders in U.S.-Russia trade and investment relations. The USRCC will coordinate private meetings, an exclusive CEO Roundtable and introductions, in addition to attending the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPEIF).

Participating companies will gain market insights, make industry contacts, solidify business strategies, find business partners, and advance specific projects with the goal of increasing U.S. trade and investment to Russia.

For more details about the Trade Mission please contact us  directly at      

USRCC Internship

The USRCC is looking for new team members!

 play a key role and the contributions they make impact the day-to-day functions of the chamber and shape the future of relationship between Russia and the U.S.

There are many ways you can get involved with the USRCC. Whether you are an experienced leader or a student, there is a place for you. By volunteering you can be at the very centre of our high-profile events held in Houston, Chicago and New York City and interact with influential leaders in the U.S.-Russia trade and investment.
To learn more about the position  click here or contact us directly at 
call 713.429.4680
USRCC Membership
Are you taking advantage of your  USRCC Member Benefits?

Renew your membership or join for the first time today!

For more information  click here 
Interested in learning more about our 2018 events? 

To see a full list   click here
Members' News
ExxonMobil Outlines Aggressive Growth Plans to More than Double Earnings

News.exxonmobil, March 7, 2018: NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ExxonMobil today outlined an aggressive growth strategy to more than double earnings and cash flow from operations by 2025 at today's oil prices.  "We've got the best portfolio of high-quality, high-return investment opportunities that we've seen in two decades," Darren W. Woods, chairman and chief executive officer, said at the company's annual meeting of investment analysts at the New York Stock Exchange.  "Our plan takes full advantage of the company's unique strengths and financial capabilities, using innovation, technology and integration to drive long-term shareholder value and industry-leading returns."  Growth plans include steps to increase earnings by more than 100 percent - to $31 billion by 2025 at 2017 prices - from last year's adjusted profit of $15 billion, which excluded the impact of U.S. tax reform and impairments.  Woods said this plan projects double-digit rates of return in all three segments of ExxonMobil's business - upstream, downstream and chemical - which are all three world-class businesses in their own right.   Read more..., March 8, 2018: Shell, the FTSE 100 oil behemoth, is plotting a $10bn (£7.3bn) joint takeover bid for the American shale division of BHP, the world's biggest miner.  Sky News has learnt that Shell and Blackstone, the private equity firm, have agreed to work together on an offer for the assets, which were put up for sale last summer by BHP amid pressure from an activist investor.  A joint offer from Shell and Blackstone would be only one of several credible proposals that BHP is expecting to receive for the US shale operations, according to banking sources.  If they were to succeed with a bid, it would be the largest takeover in which Shell has been involved since its £35bn purchase of BG Group in early 2016.  The shale auction, which includes a number of fields in the prized Permian Basin, is expected to lead to a deal later this year.    Read more...
Emerson and Total Sign Long-Term Global Agreement for Paradigm Exploration & Production Software Solutions, March 5, 2018: HOUSTON (March 5, 2018) - Emerson (NYSE: EMR) announced today a long-term global agreement with Total® S.A. to provide all Total geoscientists with access to Emerson's Paradigm exploration and production (E&P) software portfolio, to help the global energy leader maximize performance of reservoir subsurface modeling and formation evaluation. "Emerson is one of our key suppliers of E&P geosciences software," said François Alabert, vice president, Geo-Technology at Total E&P.  "With this agreement, our geoscientists will have improved and easier access to critical technology wherever and whenever they can most benefit from it, while keeping full flexibility in using our own tools as well as alternative external solutions." In late 2017, Emerson acquired Paradigm, which combined with Emerson's existing portfolio, makes Emerson the largest independent provider of E&P software to the oil and gas industry.  Read more...
Baker Hughes, a GE Company Announces February 2018 Rig Counts

Businesswire, March 7, 2018: HOUSTON & LONDON--( BUSINESS WIRE)--Baker Hughes, a GE company (NYSE:BHGE) announced today that the Baker Hughes international rig count for February 2018 was 979, up 19 from the 960 counted in January 2018, and up 38 from the 941 counted in February 2017. The international offshore rig count for February 2018 was 194, down 2 from the 196 counted in January 2018, and down 6 from the 200 counted in February 2017. The average U.S. rig count for February 2018 was 969, up 32 from the 937 counted in January 2018, and up 225 from the 744 counted in February 2017. The average Canadian rig count for February 2018 was 323, up 45 from the 278 counted in January 2018, and down 19 from the 342 counted in February 2017. The worldwide rig count for February 2018 was 2,271, up 96 from the 2,175 counted in January 2018, and up 244 from the 2,027 counted in February 2017.  Read more...
Comcast Makes First Big Bet on a Multi-Blockchain Future, March 7, 2018: Comcast is banking on a world with multiple blockchains.  Revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, the venture arm of the telecommunications giant is leading a $3.3 million seed investment in Blockdaemon, a New York City-based startup that creates enterprise software for interacting with a wide range of blockchains.  While Blockdaemon has so far allowed its clients point-and-click deployment of R3's Corda, Hyperledger Fabric, Multichain and Quorum, the startup also revealed today it's widening support to include public blockchains as well.  With the introduction of software that lets enterprises quickly spin up and support nodes on bitcoin  and ethereum , Comcast's investment in Blockdaemon is also part of a broader push to jumpstart enterprise blockchain innovation.
"We think it can be a great business and we think it can fuel the growth of other blockchains," said Comcast Ventures managing director Gil Beyda. "Maybe as a byproduct of our investment in Blockdaemon perhaps we'll see other companies using blockchain and looking for investment."   Read more...
Mexico's PEMEX Wants to Increase Cooperation With Russia's Lukoil, March 7, 2018: HOUSTON (Sputnik) - Mexico's PEMEX would like to expand its collaboration with the Russian energy giant Lukoil, PEMEX CEO Carlos Trevino told Sputnik on the margins of the CERAWeek energy conference on Tuesday.  "What we would like to do is to increase the relationship with the company that we already have," Trevino said referring to Lukoil.  Trevino also said that PEMEX is hopeful that Russia's Lukoil will take part in the country's bidding processes for both midstream and upstream business.  "I'm looking more in the upstream... maybe in the midstream because they have some very good experiences in the midstream," Trevino said when asked in what areas PEMEX  would expand cooperation with Lukoil. "I hope we can have Lukoil participating in [as] many [bidding] processes as they can." PEMEX tries to have open and competitive bidding processes, the CEO added. If Lukoil  wants to participate in Mexico, the company must participate in each process in midstream or in the upstream, he said.   Read more...
Rosneft Could Be The Key To Iraq-Kurdistan Oil Deal, March 5, 2018: Russian oil giant Rosneft could be the key in the talks between the Iraqi government and Kurdistan for the full resumption of oil exports from the semi-autonomous region, Reuters reported on Monday, citing two industry sources involved in the talks, in what is the latest sign of Russia's growing influence over the Middle East oil scene.  After Kurdistan's independence referendum opposed by Baghdad, Iraqi federal forces  seized  in October the oil fields around Kirkuk, which had been under Kurdish control since 2014.  Last week, the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Erbil  agreed  to a tentative deal to restart full oil flows from Kurdistan, but little details about the deal were announced. Iraq and Kurdistan have yet to settle their dispute over oil revenue sharing, who will pay Kurdistan's debts, and how much money Iraq will transfer to Kurdistan from its national budget.  According to Reuters' sources, the KRG has set two conditions for resuming full exports and transferring the oil revenue to Iraq's central government-that some of the crude oil is not exported and kept for local refining and that Baghdad pays pumping tariffs to Rosneft.   Read more...
The Week in Review
ExxonMobil Renews Longstanding Commitment to Women's Economic Empowerment

News.exxonmobil, March 8, 2018: IRVING, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In recognition of International Women's Day, ExxonMobil announced today that it is providing $7 million in grants in 2018 to renew support for local and global organizations working to empower women economically.  Grants made this year will continue ExxonMobil's longstanding support for efforts to increase research into new methods to advance women economically, assist women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, bolster women's financial literacy and ability to invest and save, and improve the productivity of women farmers.  "We invest in programs that are proven to provide women with the skills, training and support systems needed to increase their productivity and income," said Kevin Murphy, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation. "We know from comprehensive research that when women move forward, the world moves with them."   Read more...
Key to Russia's greatness is strong economy & innovation - Putin, March 8, 2018: President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia will retain the status of a great power, including in the defense industry, if innovation becomes the main driver of development.
"We need to make sure that the innovative component of Russia's development is the main driver of the country's development. If we achieve this... then, without a doubt, Russia will retain its status a great power, including the defense capability of the state," Putin said in the documentary film 'World Order 2018' by journalist Vladimir Solovyev.
With a $4 trillion GDP in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), Russia has become the sixth-largest economy in the world after China, the United States, India, Japan and Germany.  Read more...
Russian energy minister urges to speed up Nord Stream-2, Turkish Stream projects, March 7, 2018: MOSCOW, March 7. /TASS/. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak called for speeding up the implementation of the Nord Stream-2 and Turkish Stream gas pipeline projects to remove transit risks for Russian gas deliveries.  In a Rossiya-24 TV channel broadcast, the minister said that the recent ruling by the Stockholm arbitration in Gazprom's gas dispute with Ukraine's Naftogaz "confirms the need to implement as soon as possible projects aimed at developing alternative gas routes, including the Turkish Stream and the Nord Stream-2 projects in order to reduce transit risks and ensure competitiveness in gas deliveries and costs for final consumers."  "In my view, the implementation of [the projects] needs to be accelerated in order to reduce the risks that exist today," Novak said.  According to earlier reports, Gazprom has officially notified Naftogaz about launching the procedure of terminating gas delivery and transit contracts with Ukraine in the Stockholm arbitration.   Read more...
Russia and China Test Arctic Boundaries, March 8, 2018: Climatologists estimate that at least one Arctic shipping route linking Asia and Europe will be reliably ice-free by about 2050. The region is said to hold 30 percent of the world's natural gas resources and 13 percent of its oil, and there are security considerations, too. Two events in 2016 demonstrate interest from China and Russia: a Chinese mining company's tried to purchase an abandoned naval base in Greenland, controlled by Denmark, and Russian Chechen special forces conducted training exercises on Svalbard Islands, controlled by Norway. Both incidents were settled with quiet diplomacy - Denmark blocked the sale due to NATO considerations, and Norway enforced a treaty that prohibits military activities in the area. Read more...
Arctic scientific research projects to receive bigger financial support, March 5, 2018: MOSCOW, March 5. /TASS/. The Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFFI) will organize a special competition for grants among Arctic research projects, where the financing may be increased by 20% this year, the Foundation's press service told TASS.  "The forecast is that in 2018 funding of Arctic research will grow by 20%," the press service said.  Professor of the Earth Sciences, head of the Foundation's department on competitions, Vladimir Zhmur, told TASS in the previous year scientists received grants for projects in his section worth about 100 million rubles ($1.7 million) for the Arctic research.  "Most Arctic research projects are in sectors of the Earth Sciences and Biology," he continued. "Among the scientific projects, which the foundation has supported are studies of the northern seas east from Novaya Zemlya onboard vessels of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Scientists take measure of streams, temperatures, salt in the water and borders of ice areas."  Read more...
Turkmenistan, Russia mull trade and economic co-op prospects, March 8, 2018: A meeting has been held between Turkmen officials and Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Alexey Gruzdev at the Turkmen Foreign Ministry.
The results of the fifth meeting of the high-level group on trade and investment support held in Ashgabat within the intergovernmental Turkmen-Russian commission on economic cooperation were discussed at the meeting, the Turkmen Foreign Ministry said in a message March 8.
"The sides stressed the need to implement the agreements reached during the meetings of the Turkmen and Russian presidents in 2017," the message said.  Read more...
Russia and Iran may enter free trade zone agreement in spring, March 6, 2018: MOSCOW, March 6. /TASS/. Russia and Iran can sign the document that is expected to become a blueprint for free trade between Iran and the EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union) countries in May, Russia's Energy Minister and co-head of the Russian-Iranian intergovernmental commission Alexander Novak said at a meeting of the commission on Tuesday. "The move to enter into a temporary agreement making for a free trade zone to be set up between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union, which is currently at an advanced stage, will obviously trigger further development of our bilateral trade and expansion of investment cooperation," he said, adding that he hopes "the document will be signed in May." Earlier Iran's Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei said in an interview with TASS that the talks on a free trade zone to be established between the Eurasian Economic Union and Iran are close to completion.
The work on a free trade zone between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union began in 2015, though the signing has been repeatedly postponed.   Read more...
Exports of Gold From Russia More Than Doubled in a Year, March 6, 2018: Exports of fine gold from Russia increased 2,5 times to 56,6 tons (1,82 million oz) last year, compared to 22,4 tons in 2016, according to the Russian State Assaying Chamber under the Ministry of Finance.  The functions of the Assay Chamber of Russia include supervision over the production, storage, import and export of precious metals and precious gemstones. Russia's precious metals refineries reportedly produced 306,9 tons (9,867 million oz) of gold in 2017, which is 6,4 percent more than 288,6 tons produced in 2016. 18,4 percent of all the gold produced in the country was exported, while the rest 224 tons of the metal were purchased by the Central Bank of Russia to add to the country's gold and foreign currency reserves, RIA Novosti reported.    Read more...
1.5 mln Chinese tourists visited Russia in 2017, March 6, 2018: VLADIVOSTOK, March 6. /TASS/. As many as 1.5 mln tourists from China visited Russia in 2017, Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui said on Tuesday, speaking at a board meeting of the Russian Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East in Vladivostok.  "The number of Chinese tourists in Russia reached 1.5 mln in 2017. This is the largest number among all countries for Russia. China, for its part, ranked second among the countries visited by Russian tourists," the Chinese envoy said.  He noted that 32 tourist routes were established between the Heilongjiang province and Russia's Far East. Vladivostok is placed second among Russian cities for the number of Chinese tourists, with Moscow topping the list. This ranking was prompted by the introduction of the electronic visa that facilitated trips to the Primorsky Region for Chinese citizens.  The board meeting of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East is being held in Vladivostok on Tuesday on the platform of the Far Eastern Federal University. It is focused on the results of development of the Far East during the past four years and plans for work of the ministry in 2018 and for the next six-year period.   Read more...
Russia successfully tests first atmospheric satellite, March 8, 2018: The first Russian atmospheric satellite dubbed Sova was successfully tested at an altitude of 12.4 miles, a representative of Russia's Foundation for Advanced Research (FPI) told Sputnik.
"Sova's tests in the stratosphere in the summer of 2017 were successful. There was a long flight at an altitude of about 20,000 meters (66,000 feet). Unfortunately, the device got into a zone of severe turbulence and suffered serious damage, but it is wrong to say that it fell apart in the air. Despite the damage, we received all the necessary data, verified both the prospects of the research area and the correctness of the chosen design solutions," the representative of Russia's Foundation for Advanced Research (FPI) said.  Read more...
US-Russia Related News in Russian
Новости членов Палаты
Лавров: сотрудничество «Роснефти» и ExxonMobil не должно зависеть от геополитики  

News.rambler, 7 марта, 2018: МАПУТУ, 7 марта. /ТАСС/. Сотрудничество "Роснефти" и ExxonMobil должно в первую очередь определяться интересами экономик тех государств, где реализуются проекты, а не геополитическими соображениями. Об этом заявил в среду глава МИД РФ Сергей Лавров по итогам встречи с президентом Мозамбика Филипе Ньюси.
"Действительно, среди проектов, которые активно обсуждались за последнее время, есть консорциум по разработке шельфовых месторождений углеводородов около Мозамбика с участием мозамбикской компании, «Роснефти» и ExxonMobil. Если в последнее время у ExxonMobil появились какие-то проблемы, то надо в них разобраться, и думаю, что это будут делать участники консорциума напрямую между собой, конечно же, с участием и представителей правительства Мозамбика.  Читать далее...
ExxonMobil планирует к 2025 году увеличить прибыль вдвое в рамках новой стратегии  

News.rambler, 7 марта, 2018: Американская нефтегазовая компания ExxonMobil представила новую стратегию роста, которая предполагает увеличение прибыли почти вдвое к 2025 году при текущих ценах на нефть, говорится в сообщении компании. План роста включает в себя ряд шагов по увеличению прибыли до 31 миллиарда долларов к 2025 году (при нефтяных ценах на 2017 год) по сравнению с 15 миллиардами долларов в 2017 году. Данные показатели приведены без учета влияния налоговой реформы США и обесценивания активов. Значительный рост компания ожидает во всех трех подразделениях - по добыче, поставкам и нефтехимии. В сфере добычи компания ожидает значительно увеличить прибыль за счет ряда инициатив, включая инвестиции в низко-затратную добычу трудно-извлекаемой нефти в США, глубоководную добычу и сжиженный природный газ (СПГ). Читать далее...
Багдад намекнул ЛУКОЙЛу, чтобы тот поторопился с ростом добычи на "Западной Курне-2", 5 марта, 2018: Иракские власти хотели бы, чтобы ЛУКОЙЛ увеличил добычу нефти на месторождении «Западная Курна-2». Этот вопрос обсуждался в Багдаде на встрече главы правительства Ирака Хейдара аль-Абади и главы компании Вагита Алекперова.  В частности, как говорится в пресс-релизе канцелярии премьер-министра, на встрече было рассмотрено "выполнение проектов, в которых задействована российская компания, в частности по разработке месторождения "Западная Курна-2" в провинции Басра, в рамках повышения добычи нефти, сопутствующего газа, а также предоставления новых рабочих мест иракским гражданам". Кроме того, обсуждалось ускорение работ по проекту на месторождении Рафиа, расположенном на границе провинций Мутанна и Ди-Кар. Это делается с целью экономического развития обеих провинций и создания новых рабочих мест.  Читать далее...
Новости недели
Товарооборот между Россией и Китаем вырос на 36,8%, March 8, 2018: Товарооборот между Россией и Китаем за два месяца 2018 года вырос на 36,8% по сравнению с аналогичным периодом прошлого года, свидетельствуют данные главного таможенного управления КНР. Общий объем двусторонней торговли по итогам двух месяцев составил 15,76 миллиарда долларов США. Китайский экспорт за отчетный период в Россию вырос на 40% и составил 7,48 миллиарда долларов, а импорт из России - на 34,1% до 8,29 миллиарда долларов.  Читать далее...
Глава Uniper объяснил необходимость "Северного потока - 2" для Европы, March 8, 2018: Газопровод "Северный поток - 2" необходим для обеспечения надежности и бесперебойности поставок природного газа в Европу, заявил глава компании - партнера проекта Uniper Клаус Шефер. "Добыча природного газа в Европе будет постепенно сокращаться. При этом мы ожидаем роста спроса (на сырье. - Прим. ред.), что означает, что Европа будет вынуждена импортировать больше газа", - сказал он.  Читать далее...
ЕЦБ сохранил базовую ставку на нулевом уровне, March 8, 2018: Совет управляющих Европейского центрального банка (ЕЦБ) на заседании в четверг сохранил базовую процентную ставку на рекордно низком уровне 0%, следует из пресс-релиза регулятора. Ставка по депозитам сохранена на уровне минус 0,4%, маржинальная ставка осталась на отметке 0,25%.  Читать далее...
"Новатэк" может построить перевалочный терминал на Камчатке в 2020 - 2022 ггодах, March 8, 2018:  Терминал для перевалки сжиженного природного газа (СПГ) на Камчатке может быть построен в 2020 - 2022 годах, сказал журналистам финансовый директор "Новатэка" Марк Джетвей в кулуарах нефтяной конференции CERAWeek (IHS Markit) в Хьюстоне. "Я думаю, что это может произойти примерно в тот же период, когда мы запустим и "Арктик СПГ-2" - в 2020-2022 годах", - сказал он, отвечая на соответствующий вопрос. Читать далее...
Маск отправил в космос пятидесятую ракету Falcon 9, March 6, 2018: SpaceX, компания американского миллиардера Илона Маска, во вторник осуществила пуск пятидесятой по счету ракеты Falcon 9. Старт состоялся с космодрома на мысе Канаверал. Ракета вывела на геостационарную орбиту испанский телекоммуникационный спутник Hispasat.   Читать далее...
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The U.S.-Russia Chamber of Commerce (USRCC)  is  a 501(c)(6) no t for  profit  corporation with its headquarters  in Houston, Texas,  and offices in the Midwest and the Northeast. The USRCC  was established in 2009 to promote  trade and investment  between  the  Russia n Federation  and the U.S. A.  
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