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Russian Oil Rivals Fighting Hard For Profits

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Russian Oil Rivals Fighting Hard to Extract Best Deal From New Pipeline Law

Five months after the Druzhba pipeline contamination fiasco—in which chlorides-heavy petroleum from Russia was sent into the Belarusian and European pipeline networks, causing $800 million in damage (see EDM, April 26, July 23; Commentaries, May 1, June 21)—the economic fallout has pit two Russian oil giants against one another regarding long-overdue transmission-system regulations in the country. The state-owned combatants are Rosneft, one of Russia’s major producers, which sends millions of barrels of oil through the pipeline network, and the transmission monopoly, Transneft. The battle also, naturally, involves the high-profile and Kremlin-friendly heads of both enterprises—Rosneft’s Igor Sechin and Transneft’s Nikolai Tokarev. Although the Russian Ministry of Energy has the authority to decide how Russia’s pipeline system will be regulated, ultimately President Vladimir Putin will make the decision. And both Sechin and Tokarev are his protégés.


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