Following its acquisition of a 19.5% stake in Rosneft via its shareholding in the Anglo–Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company Glencore last month, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is thought to be on the verge investing a further $2bn in the Russian energy sector. After Russian President VladimirPutin and Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin met with QIA chief Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani in Moscow yesterday, speculation was rife that the Qatari sovereign wealth fund could be about to buy Fund Energy’s 49% share in the Yargeo joint venture that it set up with Novatek to develop the Yarudeyskoe oil field on the Yamal peninsula in Northern Siberia.
The QIA had made “another deal that will mean additional investment of $2bn”, Al-Thani said before the meeting, although neither side would give further details. However, industry insiders are claiming that Fund Energy, the investment fund set up and run by former Russian energy Minister and Gazprom board director Igor Yusufov, was looking to sell its stake in Yargeo, the JV in charge of the largest oil asset in Novatek’s portfolio.
Launched in December 2015, the field has an annual production capacity of 3.5m tonnes or 9,700 tons of crude oil a day, while the JV also runs a central oil treatment facility, oil and gas gathering systems, a pumping station and gas and crude oil pipelines. After treatment, the oil is transported 350km south to Purpe where it is injected into Transneft’s trunk pipeline system.
In December, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin took to the TV airways to celebrate the news that the commodity trader Glencore and Qatar’s QIA sovereign wealth fund had agreed to buy Moscow’s 19.5% stake in the state-run Rosneft oil giant for a figure Putin put at $11bn, boosted by what he described as “the rising trend in oil prices.”