• 50 mins Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 3 hours Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 4 hours Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 5 hours OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 6 hours London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 7 hours Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 9 hours Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 16 hours India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 21 hours Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 1 day Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 1 day Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 1 day Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 1 day Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 2 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 2 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 2 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 2 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 2 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 2 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 2 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 2 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 2 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 3 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 3 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 3 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 3 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 3 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 3 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
  • 6 days Trump Passes Iran Nuclear Deal Back to Congress
  • 6 days Texas Shutters More Coal-Fired Plants
  • 6 days Oil Trading Firm Expects Unprecedented U.S. Crude Exports
  • 6 days UK’s FCA Met With Aramco Prior To Proposing Listing Rule Change
  • 6 days Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
  • 7 days Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 7 days Renewable Energy Startup Powering Native American Protest Camp
  • 7 days Husky Energy Set To Restart Pipeline
  • 7 days Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals
  • 7 days Norway Looks To Cut Some Of Its Generous Tax Breaks For EVs
  • 7 days China Set To Continue Crude Oil Buying Spree, IEA Says
  • 7 days India Needs Help To Boost Oil Production

More Sanctions For Russia May Be On The Cards

More Sanctions For Russia May Be On The Cards

US Secretary of State John Kerry says the sanctions imposed by his country and the European Union have had the desired effect on Russia’s economy, but they haven’t yet changed Moscow’s policy on neighboring Ukraine.

Speaking at a news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Dec. 2, Kerry cited a forecast issued earlier in the day by Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development that Russia’s economy will contract by 0.8 percent in 2015. A previous ministry outlook had projected growth of 1.2 percent.

One reason is that the development of Russia’s largest export commodity, fossil fuel, has been hampered because Western energy companies are forbidden to join in ventures with Russia in complex extraction methods of extracting oil and gas from deepwater Arctic wells and shale.

Related: Russia Expects Oil Price To Rise, But Not Enough To Balance Moscow’s Budget

The slowdown of the Russian economy also is due in part to the plunging ruble. It has lost 40 percent of its value against the dollar as Russians, fearing economic isolation, exchange their currency for euros and dollars, thereby exporting the country’s wealth.

And on Dec. 1 Russian President Vladimir Putin, after meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, said Moscow would end its South Stream pipeline that had been intended as a way to ship oil to European customers, bypassing Ukraine. Speaking sarcastically, Putin blamed the failure on “our friends in Europe,” who are looking to find other sources of gas.

This hardship is the result of the sanctions, which target Russia’s oil and banking sectors, making it increasingly difficult for Russian energy companies to share Western technology and to get money from Western banks to finance their operations. The sanctions were imposed because of Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and support of armed pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.

“Clearly the economy is feeling these sanctions,” Kerry told the news conference, citing the projection of a Russian recession in 2015, but he stressed that Russia could instead withdraw the economic and military pressure it has brought on Ukraine.

“Russia has the opportunity to make a very different choice,” he said. “We are prepared, as others are prepared, to sit down to negotiate reasonable ways in which all the parties can agree to very specific steps that can be taken in order to move in a different direction that is available.”

Related: Russia Might Be Forced To Cut Oil Production

One step would be even more sanctions if Russia doesn’t change its policy, according to a draft document read by Reuters. The paper says the leaders of the EU and the US would present more of a united front against Russia to change its Ukraine policy.

So far, EU nations have been more cautious than Washington, evidently fearing that tough sanctions on Russia could backfire on them, and that attitude hasn’t changed. NATO issued a statement condemning Moscow’s Ukraine policy, but even now European leaders have shown a less vigorous stance.

One, Federica Mogherini, the EU’s director of foreign policy, said, “Our role is also to explore ways for dialogue [with Russia].”

By Andy Tully of Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News