Global oil crisis gathering steam - 24 September, 2002

A devastating oil crisis is inevitably rolling on the world community; the world’s exchange indices have dropped to the lowest rate fixed within the past five years. The oil price has exceeded 31 USD per barrel in New York. OPEC members are in full readiness to protect the oil quotas. Obviously, a war is inevitable. Russia, meanwhile keeps on increasing its oil production. So, there is no sin in profiting from other countries’ troubles and improving its own position.

Experts say, a rise in oil prices is explained by US’s continuous preparation for a war in Iraq. British Prime Minister, Anthony Blair, is going to present today irrefutable evidence that Saddam Hussein is developing weapons of mass destruction. Before bombings in Yugoslavia, America and Britain had followed the same scenario. Experts say that tropic hurricane  Isadora is another factor to fatally affect the oil prices. The hurricane has changed its direction right toward the Gulf of Mexico where routes of oil tankers are passing.
At the same time, oil production may exceed 100 million tons in Russia in the fourth quarter of the year, Russia’s Vice-Premier, Viktor Khristenko told journalists after a session of the governmental commission for oil and gas pipelines usage. He also reassured that the pipelines are in good condition and oil production goes ahead of the schedule.
In Khristenko’s words,  in the fourth quarter Russia plans to export 31,1 million tons of oil to overseas countries and 8,7 million tons to the CIS countries. Unfortunately, Russia can’t export more because of the carrying capacity of the main oil pipelines owned by the Transneft state monopoly. So, Russia’s oil export is to be lower than expected because of this reason and because of storms in the Russian oil-loading terminals. However, as <b>RBC</b> informs, Russia’s oil export to overseas countries in the third quarter is to be 32,5 million tons.
Under conditions of an increasing oil rush, Russian companies have already clashed with each other because of access to the oil pipelines. Viktor Khristenko says that the basis of the conflict has been already liquidated. He explained that earlier a system of double applications was used when some companies handed applications in to the Russian Ministry for Energy, and others to Transneft. And now the system has changed: applications should be handed in to Transneft only. An export schedule for Russian oil companies is based upon equal access to the export capacities when each company will be able to export 41,2% of the amount claimed in the application handed in to Transneft.
Meanwhile, as Russia’s RIA Novosti informs, today the US Congress is going to consider a draft resolution which is expected to improve commercial relations between the USA and Russia and give rise to supplies of Russian energy resources to the American market. Main goal of the document is to guarantee US’s energy safety and find more sources to supply energy sources to the American market. At that, Russia’s great potential in the sphere of energy sources is to be used to make deliveries to the US market stable. The resolution was developed by Curt Weldon from Committee on Armed Services in the US House of Representatives and Senator Conrad Burns from the Senate Energy and Resources Committee. 

Kira Poznakhirko

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Author`s name Michael Simpson