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The St. Petersburg Times: Energy Milestones

Energy Milestones

September 2000: Putin promises to support foreign investors and production-sharing agreements.

May 2001: Putin replaces Gazprom CEO Rem Vyakhirev with longtime St. Petersburg ally Alexei Miller.

February 2003: TNK-BP formed through BP’s $6.75 billion investment into the joint venture with three oligarchs, the largest ever equity deal in Russia at the time.

February 2003: Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky publicly questions Putin on state-run Rosneft’s acquisition of mid-level producer Severnaya Neft.

May 2003: The Cabinet passes a state energy strategy through 2020, calling the energy sector an instrument for carrying out domestic and foreign policy.

July 2003: Major Yukos shareholder Platon Lebedev is arrested.

October 2003: Khodorkovsky is arrested.

December 2003: Yukos hit with a back tax bill of $3.5 billion, the first in a series that eventually reaches $33 billion.

July 2004: Putin’s powerful deputy chief of staff Igor Sechin replaces Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref as chairman of Rosneft.

September 2004: U.S. oil firm ConocoPhillips buys a 7.59 percent stake in LUKoil for $2 billion.

December 2004: Yukos’ largest production unit, Yuganskneftegaz, is sold at auction for a knockdown price to Baikal Finance Group, later bought by Rosneft.

December 2004: The Energy Ministry approves oil pipeline monopoly Transneft’s plans to build a major pipeline eastward, amid wrangling whether it will end in China or Japan.

May 2005: Khodorkovsky and Lebedev are found guilty of fraud and tax evasion and sentenced to eight years in prison.

May 2005: Gazprom and Rosneft call off a floated merger.

August 2005: Khodorkovsky accuses Sechin of orchestrating the attack on Yukos.

September 2005: Gazprom buys Roman Abramovich’s Sibneft for $13.01 billion in the biggest takeover deal in Russian history at the time.

September 2005: Germany and Russia agree to build Nord Stream pipeline, providing direct gas deliveries to Europe.

November 2005: William Browder, CEO of Hermitage Capital Management and activist Gazprom minority shareholder, is barred from entering Russia on grounds that he poses a threat to national security.

January 2006: Gazprom cuts gas deliveries to Ukraine for three days following a pricing dispute.

March 2006: Putin, during a trip to China, signs a deal pledging to eventually sell gas to the country.

July 2006: Rosneft raises $11 billion during an initial public offering in London.

August 2006: A Moscow court declares Yukos bankrupt.

October 2006: Gazprom says it will develop the Shtokman gas field alone and retain 100 percent ownership, shutting down years of negotiations with foreign partners.

December 2006: Royal Dutch Shell, Mitsui and Mitsubishi each halve their shares in Sakhalin-2 to hand Gazprom a controlling stake in the project for $7.45 billion following months of pressure from environmental authorities.

February 2007: Putin says he finds the idea of a gas OPEC “interesting.”

May 2007: Rosneft buys Samaraneftegaz and Tomskneft, Yukos’ final two production units, at auction for $13.2 billion.

June 2007: TNK-BP seals a deal to sell its 62.9 percent stake in its flagship Kovykta field to Gazprom for $700 million to $900 million following months of pressure from environmental authorities.

July 2007: Russneft owner Mikhail Gutseriyev flees the country after accusing the state of forcing him to sell his firm through the levying of politicized tax charges; Oleg Deripaska’s Basic Element says it is in talks to buy the firm.

July 2007: Reversing course, Gazprom gives France’s Total a 25 percent stake in developing Shtokman.

September 2007: The EU issues proposals on unbundling of its power industry, seen as a move to bloc Gazprom’s access.

October 2007: Gazprom gives Norway’s StatoilHydro a 24 percent stake in developing Shtokman.

— MT

Issue #1357 (21), Tuesday, March 18, 2008

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