Rosneft hands Venezuela oil business to state firm
&# 171; Rosneft&# 187; in Venezuela: Application for World Player Status?
In the coming years, Russia will invest up to $ 17.6 billion in the development of offshore projects
Following the visit of Igor Sechin, the head of Rosneft, to Venezuela on Wednesday, January 30, a package of documents was signed on the development of oil and gas projects on the shelf in the country, on the creation of a joint venture and some other agreements. Igor Sechin himself told the journalists about this. According to him, the new agreements allow Rosneft to begin evaluating projects in the offshore zone of Venezuela, which are large hydrocarbon resources..
The Russian delegation flew to Venezuela to demonstrate its intention to expand cooperation between Venezuela and Russia. “We have confirmed our interest in working at the new 12 sites, all documents on these sites have been worked out and agreed by Rosnedra and the government apparatus. We very much hope that in the coming days they will be approved by the Prime Minister, “RIA Novosti quotes Sechin..
During the year, the Russian concern intends to conduct an assessment of the deposits, including an assessment of the volume of construction of the necessary infrastructure. Rosneft can enter the projects on the terms that are accepted in Venezuela: the Russian company gets 40%. Sechin clarified that such conditions, as well as the level of profitability of projects, are satisfied with Rosneft.
According to the head of the Ministry of Energy and Oil of Venezuela, Rafael Ramirez, in the next few years, companies from both countries will invest about $ 47 billion. Investments from Russia are expected to amount to $ 17.6 billion.
“For "Rosneft" this is a great chance “
Voice of America’s Russian service contacted Chris Weafer, chief strategy analyst at Sberbank Investment Research, for comment. Weafer believes that Rosneft’s activity in Venezuela makes it clear that the company intends to go even further and become not only the dominant oil producer in Russia, but also an important player in the global market..
“Vladimir Putin supports this aspiration,” Weafer explains. – "Rosneft" want to develop according to the same business models as they do with ExxonMobil or Shell. The company wants to play an important role in both the oil and gas sectors and achieve a wide geographical presence. “.
Weafer recalls that after the acquisition of TNK BP, Rosneft acquired a controlling stake in many other foreign projects that it intends to develop. “If the plans of the company’s management coincide with the ambitions of the Kremlin, then "Rosneft" has every chance to become a large, important company at the global level “.
As far as investments in Venezuela are concerned, the economist calls them “meaningful” because the country is now in need of significant investment to rebuild its oil industry. “After the nationalization of the industry by Chavez, oil production fell sharply and has not yet returned to its previous level. Venezuela needs foreign investment. The United States and Europe are reluctant to participate in projects, especially since the Chavez government itself does not welcome their arrival. It is much easier for Russian companies to get access here “.
“"Rosneft" is taking advantage of the opportunity, the analyst is sure. – Venezuela has huge growth potential in the oil sector, both traditional and non-traditional. There are large deposits (oil sands) in the Orinoco river basin. For "Rosneft" this is a great chance to get involved in projects, while other world players in the oil market are unwilling or unable to do so. “.
The goals of Sechin’s visit to Venezuela are not limited to demonstrating Rosneft’s ambitions. According to Weafer, another reason why the Russian delegation left for Venezuela right now is the health problems of President Hugo Chavez himself: “Sechin will probably argue that his agreements with Venezuela go further than a simple political agreement. That they are more long-term and will not depend on a change of leadership “.
“Russia and Venezuela have many areas for joint work”
Maksim Bratersky, head of the Department of World Politics at the Higher School of Economics, suggested that the situation “with Russia’s increasing enthusiasm for Venezuela is caused not so much by a calculated strategic plan or even political sympathies”, but by many areas of real joint work.
“For a number of reasons – according to the level of technological development, according to the direction of our economies, Russia and Venezuela have many areas for joint work,” he explained his position to the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America.
Bratersky has denied speculation by some analysts that Russia is strengthening ties with the traditional US critic, Venezuela, due to the sharp deterioration in Russian-American relations in recent years..
“What has been happening lately in Russian-American relations is, of course, a deterioration, but it seems to me that this is more of an outburst of irritation. In fact, this deterioration has not yet raised any important issues. The recent acts that have been adopted on both sides of the ocean are unpleasant, but they are trifles, ”the professor said. According to Bratersky, Russia and the United States simply do not have a common agenda: “we live in different worlds”.
The situation is different between Moscow and Caracas: “This is not a question of a political choice, but a question of our economies: what we really can and can do. It so happened that we can have a lot of common projects with Venezuela, ”says Maxim Bratersky, head of the department at the Higher School of Economics..