Russian Energy Minister at Premier Gas Industry Event in London

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The Russian Government is considering a range of measures to provide greater opportunities for foreign investment in state-owned companies, it was announced today at the Gastech Conference & Exhibition in London.

At a press conference during a specially arranged “Day of Russia” at the conference and exhibition, Mr Novak said that the Russian Government was investigating a series of incentives as well as potential amendments to current legislation. He said this had the potential to provide opportunities for major operators to buy stakes in state-owned companies, or to work in partnership with domestic companies to develop particularly challenging fields.

He said: “For Russia, the oil and gas industry sector is a very important sector that has an effect on federal reserves and the whole economy. Russia is one of the leading producers of gas and we supply gas to many countries.”

Mr Novak said Russia had a role to play in ensuring global energy security and the government was changing its approach and considering a range of “possible mechanisms” to allow private investors to have a stake in Russian organisations, a move which under current legislation must be approved by the Russian Government.

He added they would welcome the “presence and participation” within the Russian energy industry of foreign majors including Total, ExxonMobil and Shell.

A major benefit of Gastech is the opportunity it provides for organisations to collaborate,  network and forge new relationships – and in Mr Novak’s presence, a new agreement was signed today between Russian petrochemical company, Sibur, and international chemical group, Solvay, which is headquartered in Brussels. The agreement will see the establishment of Ruspav, a 50/50 joint venture for the production of surfactants and oilfield process chemicals in Dzerzhinsk, Russia.

Day two of the conference and exhibition also featured a range of global gas industry figures, discussing major issues facing the sector.

Captain Andrew Clifton, General Manager Designate of Sigtto, oversaw the conference’s technical stream: Gas Shipping & Storage Stream, which highlighted the exponential growth in LNG vessels over the last 40 years and the advances – both in new vessels and in the technologies that are improving efficiencies.

A special “Market Outlook” session, part of the commercial stream, featured prominent speakers including Kunio Nohata, of Tokyo Gas Co; Prof Jonathan Stern, of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies; and BG Group’s Elizabeth Spomer. The session was chaired by De la Rey Venter, Shell’s global head of LNG, Upstream International.

As the energy industry enters what has been heralded as the ‘Golden Age for Gas’, the conference has already enjoyed addresses from the Rt Hon. Edward Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and Sir Frank Chapman, Chief Executive of BG Group, which is hosting Gastech 2012, and Professor Brian Cox, Research Fellow, author and BBC presenter.

Gavin Sutcliffe, head of content for Gastech said: “Having the global energy industry’s most influential people under one roof creates an opportunity for unrivalled sharing of knowledge and provides virtually unprecedented access to the organisations and figures who are literally shaping the future of the gas sector for decades to come. The presence of hugely important figures such as Mr Novak further emphasises the international appeal of this event.

“The seminar programme also allows individuals from all sectors of the industry to learn about the technological advances that are addressing previously insurmountable challenges to accessing energy reserves in the most hostile and challenging environments on the planet, and generates opportunities for the sharing of knowledge and best practice that are simply not available elsewhere.

“We are particularly pleased with the overwhelmingly positive response to this year’s ignite! event which put top employers and the most skilled candidates together, in a unique effort to help address the global skills shortage which continues to threaten to hamper efforts in all global regions to realise the potential of major energy projects.”

Highlights of tomorrow’s conference and exhibition include the Financing Gas Supply & Infrastructure Day, hosted by Herbert Smith Freehills and Ernst & Young; technical sessions covering Advances in Gas Technology, and LNG for transport; and commercial seminars on Gas Monetization and Unconventional Gas.

Mr Sutcliffe added: “Thousands of visitors have attended the first two days of this year’s Gastech and all have gained a level of insight into the opportunities and challenges within this great industry that they could not have otherwise received.”

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