Key Russian crude market participants convene at Argus conference
The eighth international Argus Russian Crude Market conference was held on 7 June at the InterContinental Moscow Tverskaya hotel, providing the latest platform for discussing the key issues facing the oil industry in Russia.
The conference brought together more than 120 delegates from 80 companies from across the globe. The participants included representatives of Rosneft, Gazprom Neft, Surgutneftegaz, LUKOIL, Russneft, Neftisa, Zarubezhneft, Slavyansk ECO, LUKOIL-Yugnefteprodukt, Ministry of Energy, Transneft, Vitol, Shell, Kazgermunai, SOCAR, Trafigura, Sberbank CIB, ENI TRADING & SHIPPING, BP, Statoil, Litasco, SPIMEX, NOVATEK, GECON, Glencore, Forteinvest, Nefteholding, ITOCHU International, MOL-Russ, Petraco and others.
The welcoming speech was made by the head of Argus Media in the FSU, Mikhail Doubik. He noted that the conference has become established as a leading platform for bringing together all the major players in the Russian crude market, including exporters, and trading and transportation companies, as well as the largest consumers of Russian crude in Europe and Asia-Pacific.
The conference opened with a presentation by Denis Demin, head of the strategic analysis department at Gazprom Neft, who spoke about the future of the Opec and non-Opec production agreement and shale oil production, and analysed their effects on the oil industry.
The head of the department for strategic development at Transneft, Rasim Mingazetdinov, presented a report on Transneft’s system of trunk pipelines and the results of the import substitution programme, which aims to meet the needs of the Russian oil industry. The production of equipment at Transneft’s facilities can help meet the needs of the Russian fuel and energy sector, Mingazetdinov noted.
This was followed by a report from Argus Russian fuel oil editor Galina Borisova regarding the consequences of the impending IMO 2020 regulations, which is a key issues facing the oil industry.
The second session focused on benchmarks and key reference prices, such as Argus WTI Houston and the prospects for a new price benchmark in the Atlantic basin and Asia-Pacific crude markets. Alexei Chechurin, deputy head of the derivative market development department of the St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange provided a presentation on the benchmark prospects for Urals fob Primorsk.
After lunch, the conference participants discussed the destinations of Russian crude exports. Argus crude markets editor Azlin Ahmad deliverd a presentation on the growing demand for Russian ESPO Blend Crude. Mikhail Grigoryev, the director of GECON, spoke about logistics patterns for exports of Arctic crudes. He noted that these crudes are shipped from offshore and onshore terminals located on the Pechora Sea and in the Ob bay of the Kara Sea and exported to the west. Transferring the transshipment terminals outside the zone of active exercises of the Northern Fleet would help ensure uninterrupted crude transportation from this region, Grigoryev noted.
At the closing session, the participants discussed Russian oil refining, and in particular whether Russian refiners need new incentives for implementing upgrades. Denis Borisov, head of the Moscow Oil and Gas Centre of EY (CIS), answered this and other questions in his presentation.
Sergey Yezhov, chief economist at VYGON Consulting, spoke about changes related to the abolition of crude export duty, in particular about the impact on price increases for consumers of heavy oil products.
At the end of the session, the conference participants discussed the issue of transfer pricing for Russian oil companies. Gennady Timonichev, a senior lawyer of the Russian tax and customs practice of DENTONS, shared his experience in this area.
The conference closed with a cocktail reception at the presidential suite, which provides a panoramic view of Moscow city centre from the terrace.
We look forward to seeing you again at Argus conferences!