No. 54

  USRCC Business Newsletter
Senior Executive Speaker Series h onoring Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Management Committee, Gazprom
February 25, 2016

The U.S.-Russia Chamber of Commerce hosted a breakfast reception  honoring Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Management Committee, Gazprom. More than 35 executives attended the breakfast event, showcasing the continued interest in U.S.-Russia trade and investment. 

Alexander Medvedev stated, "Russia and the United States share a history of pioneering... and we have revolutionized the oil and gas industry." He ended the presentation by emphasizing, "We still have a lot to do." More information about Mr. Medvedev is available here

Guests included C-level executives from Baker Hughes, Chevron, Emerson, ExxonMobil, Halliburton, KPMG, Macquarie Energy, Mitsui, Parker Drilling, Saipem, Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co., and more.

This event would not have been possible without the support, partnership and sponsorship from Gazprom Marketing and Trading USA.

To view the event photos 

The U.S.-Russia Chamber of Commerce 
The 7th Annual Reception honoring delegations from Russia and Kazakhstan to the Offshore Technology Conference  (OTC 2016)

The USRCC is pleased to invite you to our 7th Annual OTC  reception - one of our largest events, attended by oil and gas industry leaders from around the world. 

Offshore Technology Conference is the largest oil and gas sector trade show in the world. This conference provides  energy professionals the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas and opinions to advance scientific and technical knowledge for offshore resources and environmental matters.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Hotel ZaZAa
5701 Main Street
Fountain Room
Houston, TX 77005


For sponsorship information click here or 
                                       U.S.-Russia Chamber of Commerce                                        2900 Wilcrest Dr., Suite 133
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Member News
LUKOIL begins exploration at Vostochno-Taimyrsky license block, February 26, 2016: PJSC LUKOIL has begun the first stage of exploration activities at the Vostochno-Taimyrsky license block in the Krasnoyarsk region ahead of time. This stage of exploration includes 2D seismic acquisition of 2,421 line kilometers and drilling of an exploration well.
Seismic equipment and crews are being mobilized to the site. During the 2016 season, the seismic survey will cover the area of 1,000 line kilometers. About 200 employees and over 130 units of equipment provided by two Russian contractors will be involved in seismic operations.

Thailand to resume cooperation with Gazprom, February 25, 2016: Thailand is interested in resuming energy cooperation with Gazprom after a ten-year break, Russian government sources told Interfax.
Thailand's two deputy prime ministers, Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwon and Somkhit Chatusiphithak are currently in Moscow on a working visit.
The Thai delegation has been received by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and will also hold talks with the deputy prime ministers in charge of bilateral cooperation, as well as the heads of several federal executive authorities.  Read more...
The Week in Review 
Sberbank: Recovery Is On The Way, February 26, 2016: Due to the economic and political instability in Russia, its largest bank Sberbank took slight damage to its financial health.
However, based on the results from last quarter, there's a sign that the situation is improving.
Based on the management's guidance for the next fiscal years and the proper dividend policy that is currently enacted, I see Sberbank as a BUY at the moment.
In the last two years, the Russian banking system was hit hard by a chain of different events. First the EU and US implied sanctions against the country's officials and a number of important business sectors that are viable for the whole Russian economy. Then due to the weak growth, the country fell into recession and it'll take some time to recover.  Read more...
Deutsche Bank positive on Russian ruble, March 3, 2016: Despite facing sanctions, falling oil prices and recession, the Russian ruble is the most undervalued currency in developing Europe according to Deutsche Bank.
The position uses data from the bank's Behavioral Equilibrium Exchange Rate (BEER) model which values a currency based on real exchange rates and economic fundamentals. The system was developed in 1999.
The bank's median forecast will see the ruble up to 72 against US dollar by the end of the current year.
Deutsche Bank sees prospects for economic strength shoring up the ruble despite Russia's battle with recession and Western sanctions.  Read more...
Nordion and former employee settle FCPA charges for Russia bribes, March 4, 2016: Medical isotope provider Nordion (Canada) Inc. and a former employee settled SEC charges Thursday of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by bribing Russian government officials. The former employee was also charged with taking kickbacks.
The SEC said Mikhail Gourevitch arranged bribes to Russian officials through a third-party agent for approval to sell a Nordion liver cancer treatment called TheraSphere.
Gourevitch agreed to settle the FCPA charges by paying $100,000 in disgorgement, $12,950 in prejudgment interest, and a $66,000 penalty.  Read more...
State Regulation of the Russian Oil and Gas Sector in 2015, Prospects for 2016 - Research and Markets, March 1, 2016: The traditional series of NESF reports is concluded with the final analysis of main events in the Russian oil and gas sector in 2015.
Oil prices kept falling, which affected the sector negatively and made the government again raise taxes on FES players.
Amid the growing state budget deficit and decreasing export revenues the Russian finance ministry again paid its fiscal attention to oil and gas companies. Meanwhile, the oil industry set another post-Soviet production record. The question is whether we will see recurrence of the situation observed in the late 1980s when a record high oil output was followed by its collapse.
The report elaborates on the following issues:
Production results of the year
- The analysis of the situation at Russia's leading oil and gas companies
- Results of production of oil, natural gas and oil products  Read more...
Rosneft to invest $500 million in Venezuela's oil industry, February 25, 2016: Russia's major oil company Rosneft has signed an agreement with Venezuela's PDVSA for an additional investment of $500 million in the development of the Orinoco oil belt project, according to VTV.
"In accordance with the law on the nationalization of the oil industry the oil companies in Venezuela will receive $500 million [invested by Rosneft - RBTH]. Due to the global crisis and the economic war, we have to make investments in the future," said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Earlier Maduro said that the fall in world oil prices has been a heavy blow to the country's economy. According to him, over the past six years, foreign exchange earnings from oil sales have decreased by 4,200 percent in Venezuela.  Read more...
Gazprom Export will carry out a gas auction for the Baltic States in March, March 2, 2016: Gazprom Export announces the startup of a second gas auction - now gas will be supplied to the Baltic States.
The auction will be carried out by Gazprom Export LLC in the middle of March 2016. Gas sold at the auction is to be delivered in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters of 2016 to the delivery point at Kotlovka gas metering station (at the border of Belorussia and Lithuania). Also, gas volumes in the In?ukalns Underground Gas Storage (Latvia) will be offered. More than 560 mcm of gas will be offered at this auction.
More detailed information about the auction, conditions of participation and related documents will be published at the corresponding web-page.
This sales mechanism supplements the system of long-term contracts that provide energy security to Europe.  Read more...
Exillon Energy announces reserves and production update, March 1, 2016: Exillon Energy plc (EXI.LN), a London Premium listed oil producer with assets in two oil-rich regions of Russia, Timan-Pechora and West Siberia, issues today an update on reserves and production.
Based upon the data of the State Register of Mineral Reserves, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation issued Order # 345 dated 6 August 2015, approving stratigraphic featured of hydrocarbon accumulations, in order to classify the latter as Abalaksky pay zones, or otherwise. According to the Addendum to the aforementioned Order # 345 dated 6 August 2015, reservoir 'P' is a part of the Abalakskaya formation (upper Jura).
The Joint Stock Company 'Kayum Neft', which is a subsidiary of Exillon Energy plc. (hereafter - 'Exillon WS'), is the owner of License # KhMN 15261 NE dated 1 December 2011, for prospecting, exploration, appraisal and production of crude oil and gas within the boundaries of the Zapadno-Kayumovsky License Area.  Read more...
Russian oil company becomes world's most profitable, February 24, 2016: Russia's Surgutneftegaz is now the world's most profitable oil company, reported Bloomberg on Feb 20.
The company, which is now more profitable than ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell, has become the only major player in the world that is continuing to generate income for investors after the collapse of oil prices.
Over the past 15 months, the dividend yield of the securities of the company reached 18.5 percent.
Due to the high dividends the company managed to cover the loss of the falling prices of Surgutneftegaz shares (which slid by 14 percent) and bring profits to investors.  Read more...
Russia's Gazprom Neft plans to increase oil production by 33% by 2025, March 1, 2016: MOSCOW, March 1. /TASS/. Gazprom Neft plans to increase oil production by 33% to 78.6 mln tonnes per year by 2025, the company said Tuesday.
The press service of the company told TASS, "These are the plans in terms of oil production of Gazprom Neft enterprises located in Russia."
According to the corporate magazine, the volume of oil pumped through pipelines by 2025 should increase by 80% in comparison with 2014 to 56 mln tonnes per year.
Gazprom Neft is a vertically integrated oil and gas company working on the Southeast European market. Proven reserves of the company at the end of 2015 amounted to 1.52 billion tonnes of oil equivalent. Gazprom Neft recycles about 80% of its oil. 
Astronaut twin Scott Kelly returns after year in space, March 2, 2016: US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko have touched down on Earth after almost a year in space.
Their 340-day mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS) is twice the length of a normal stay.
Their extended tour is part of an effort to study the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the body.
But scientists will gain further insights by comparing Scott Kelly with his Earthbound identical twin, Mark.
A Soyuz capsule carrying Kelly, Kornienko and Russian crew member Sergey Volkov parachuted down on to a steppe in Kazakhstan at 10:26 local time (04:26 GMT).    Read more...
Russian Crowdfunded Satellite Set to Become the Night Sky's Brightest 'Star', February 28, 2016: A Russian team of aerospace engineers and enthusiasts are preparing to launch their 'Mayak' satellite into space aboard the Soyuz-2 rocket, where it will be the brightest "star" that shines above Earth. A team of aerospace engineers and enthusiasts from Moscow's University of Mechanical Engineering (MAMI) are putting the finishing touches to their 'Mayak,' or 'Beacon' satellite, and have raised enough money for the next stage of the spacecraft's testing before it is launched into space by the Soyuz-2 carrier rocket.
On Thursday the Mayak team announced they have managed to raise 1.5 million rubles ($19,650) on the Boomstarter crowdfunding platform, which allows them to complete the next stage of the satellite's flight testing.  Read more...
Russian Space Agency Declares 2016 'The Year of Yuri Gagarin', February 26, 2016: The year 2016 has been announced to be the Year of Yuri Gagarin in commemoration of the 55th anniversary of the launch of the first human into orbit, Roscosmos' press service reported earlier.
On April 12, 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to journey into outer space when he launched into the Earth's orbit on the Vostok 3KA-3 spacecraft.
Russian Roscomos is planning to commemorate this event by organizing various anniversary events, which are to be announced on the agency's official website in the near future.
Japan Launching World's Newest Particle Collider 
With Russian-Made Parts, March 2, 2016: Japan is launching a new particle collider with the highest ever luminosity that uses parts produced by a Russian Academy of Science's institute in Siberia.
NOVOSIBIRSK (Sputnik) - The Novosibirsk-based Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics (BINP) said Wednesday it had created vacuum chambers for Japan's SuperKEKB electron-positron collider, located at the KEK laboratory in Tsukuba.
"BINP has made a big contribution to the creation of the new collider's accelerator complex. The institute designed and produced over 800 vacuum chambers with a total circumference of some 2km [1.2mi]," the statement reads.   Read more...
Bolshoi Theater to screen best performances on video in U.S., February 18, 2016: Ballet and opera lovers in the U.S. are to get the opportunity to enjoy  screenings of some of the best performances by Moscow's Bolshoi Theater in recent years.
The project will take place in Washington, D.C., New York and Boston, reports the American organization Cultural Initiative Russian Ballet, which aims at popularizing Russian art and culture.
From Feb. 20, Washington's National Gallery of Art presents a recording of the ballets Flames of Paris by Boris Asafiev and Bolt by Dmitri Shostakovich, as well as the operas Eugene Onegin by Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Wozzeck by Alban Berg.   Read more...
US-Russia Related News in Russian
Новости недели
Минпромторг: импортозамещение есть там, где для него создана база, 1 марта, 2016: ТОКИО, 1 мар - РИА Новости, Ксения Нака. Процессы импортозамещения идут во всех отраслях, но там, где ранее была заложена для этого база, уже есть результаты, сказал РИА Новости на полях бизнес-миссии "Торгово-промышленный диалог: Россия - Япония" в Токио директор департамента стратегического развития и проектного управления Минпромторга РФ Василий Осьмаков.
"Планы по импортозамещению были утверждены в марте, а стандартный цикл выхода на рентабельность любого инвестиционного проекта - 5-7 лет. Макроэкономические процессы по импортозамещению идут, мы выходим по ряду направлений на экспорт, но мы пока в начале пути", - сказал Осьмаков.  Читать далее...
Mitsui намерена наращивать инвестиции в российскую IT-индустрию

TAAS.RU,29 февраля, 2016: ТОКИО, 29 февраля. /Корр. ТАСС Кирилл Агафонов, Алексей Заврачаев/. Японская корпорация Mitsui намерена наращивать объемы инвестиций в Россию, в первую очередь в компании, работающие в сфере информационных технологий. Об этом рассказал ТАСС главный региональный управляющий Mitsui в странах СНГ Хироси Мэгуро "на полях" проходящей в Токио бизнес-миссии "Торгово-промышленный диалог: Россия - Япония".
По его мнению, российская IT-индустрия является конкурентоспособной на фоне других стран. "Она уникальная. Компании не просто подражают другим странам, а разрабатывают свои идеи", - сказал он.  Читать далее...
Французский бизнес заинтересован в расширении торгово-экономических связей с Ростовской областью, 3 марта, 2016: Вопросы расширения торгово-экономического сотрудничества обсуждались на встрече донских и французских предпринимателей,  представителей органов исполнительной власти Ростовской области, региональной Торгово-промышленной палаты и Франко-российской торгово-промышленной палаты. Мероприятие прошло 3 марта в Ростове-на-Дону в рамках проведения франко-российского бизнес-дня.
Приветствуя от имени губернатора Ростовской области собравшихся, заместитель главы региона Михаил Чернышев подчеркнул, что Ростовская область представляет одну из ведущих региональных экономик России, входит в число самых развитых индустриальных территорий страны и является подлинной деловой столицей юга России.   Читать далее...
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The information contained in this newsletter is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice on any subject matter. USRCC does not accept any responsibility for any loss that may arise from reliance on information contained in this newsletter. The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not reflect the opinions or views of the USRCC or its members.  Links within this newsletter lead to other websites, including those operated and maintained by third parties. The linked sites are not part of the USRCC newsletter. USRCC includes these links solely as a convenience to the newsletter subscribers, and the presence of such links does not imply a responsibility for the linked site and its operator. USRCC cannot certify the accuracy of the material provided by the original  source .
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.