Rosneft Scoffs At U.S Sanctions, Says Western Investors Could Suffer

By Andy Tully: Rosneft, Russia’s government-owned oil giant, says news U.S. sanctions imposed because of Moscow’s suspected role in the continuing fighting in Ukraine are not only “illegitimate,” but they also won’t work as Washington intended. On July 16, the Obama administration imposed its strictest sanctions yet on Russia, including denying Rosneft access to American debt or […]

Russia Touts South Stream Pipeline as Europe’s Gas Lifeline

By Andy Tully: Russia is mounting a major publicity campaign in Europe for its proposed South Stream gas pipeline in an apparent effort to reassure its EU customers that they can rely on Russian gas for the indefinite future. The reason for Moscow’s public relations efforts is the continuing unrest in Ukraine. EU countries now […]

As Russia’s Isolation Grows, Oil Companies Caught in Middle

By Nick Cunningham: The confrontation between Russia and the West took a turn for the worse with the downing of a Malaysian airliner on July 17, and that could spell trouble for several major oil companies operating in Russia. Just one day earlier, U.S. President Barack Obama slapped sanctions on Russia over its ongoing role […]

Russian Sanctions: The United States Takes the Lead

The United States has taken what, on first read, looks to be a significant step today, extending sanctions ( see also here) to block new debt and equity issuance by a number of energy, financial and military companies.  It is not quite full “sectoral” sanctions–both because it is limited in what it blocks (new debt and equity of […]

5 Things Ukraine Must Do to Become Energy Independent

There are exactly five things Kiev must do to become energy independent and disentangle itself from the Russian-driven geopolitical gas war: 1. Sell its pipeline system (most importantly); 2. Sell the remaining state interest in oil and gas company Ukrnafta; 3. Aggressively farm out as brown-field developments areas licensed by state-owned Ukrgazproduction; 4. Develop additional […]

Ukraine, Greece, and the IMF: Déjà Vu All Over Again?

The IMF approved a $17 billion 24-month stand-by lending arrangement with Ukraine at the end of April.  The Fund sees the Ukrainian economy contracting 5% this year, but is enormously confident that its program will quickly set things right, projecting 2% growth next year and 4%+ growth in subsequent years. We’ve seen this storyline before […]

Ukraine: Now Comes the Hard Part

Petro Poroshenko’s convincing first-round victory in yesterday’s Ukrainian presidential elections, with 54 percent of the vote, is an important step toward political stability. But hard work lies ahead, as attention now returns to the even-more-daunting task of restoring economic stability. Remember that the political crisis of the last six months began as an economic crisis […]

Exxon, BP Defy White House; Extend Partnership with Russia

By Nick Cunningham: Several of the largest oil companies in the world are doubling down in Russia despite moves by the West to isolate Russia and its economy. ExxonMobil and BP separately signed agreements with Rosneft – Russia’s state-owned oil company – to extend and deepen their relationships for energy exploration. The U.S. slapped sanctions […]