Without face - 18 December, 2002

The Chinese company CNPC refused from Slavneft in exchange for the Angarsk-Datsin pipe line
The Slavneft privatization will very possibly cause a scandal never seen before in the history of new Russia. It is the first time, when cynic selfish interests of Russian oligarchs are so obvious. It is the first time, that the state power so obsequiously defends interests of national capital. Yes, governments of all countries practice such protectionism, though they act in the interest of national economies. While in Russia, the government seems to act in the interest of some ally states, which having obtained what they wanted, will not fail to deceive Russia. 

Now, Vladimir Malin, chairman of Russian Fund of Federal Property tries to persuade everybody the Slavneft privatization has been carried out honestly. Of 14 possible participants of the auction, four were excluded legally, he states. For, against these companies (in particular, against Tyumen Oil Company and the Rosneft grand-daughter, Finance Profit Expert) an action was brought, while the writs were issued the day before. As for details, it is to early to speak about it. Mr Malin refused to make publish the whole list of the auction participants. They are said to feel uncomfortable, for not everybody likes to lose. While the losers probably will feel uncomfortable sitting before TV screens. Vladimir Malin promised the Russian Fund of Federal Property will present to the auction participants the full video record of the auction. Though, only to the participants. Average TV viewers will not be able to see this move.  What a pity! This step seems to be to cynical for the head of the state organization, but…

The Chinese company CNPC has on its own free will recalled its application, the head of Russian Fund of Federal Property frankly says. Though, nothing is said about the details. Of course, Russian functionaries could keep silent, but the Chinese, they will tell to the whole world about how high Russian functionaries are sold and resold.

The Chinese Internet edition Zhongguo Shiyou Shangwu Wang, while referring to some unknown competent persons in Chinese oil industry, reported the CNPC corporation had refused from the fight in exchange of very good smart-money. December 16, the CNPC director general and the stock company PetroChina head, Ma Futsay had some meetings in Russian Ministry of Economical Development and other institutions. After these meetings, the CNPC representative officially refused from participation in the auction. Did the Chinese really refused from such a profitable bargain, because they were asked about it? I cannot believe it.

According to the Chinese Internet edition, the Russian government gave Ma Futsay hard guarantees that the Angarsk-Datsin pipe-line project would be approved instead of the other project – of Angarsk-Nakhodka pipe-line, already announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Angarsk-Datsin pipe-line is the project of the Russian oil company Yukos. In Nakhodka, Russian oil and gas would be controlled by Russia. From there, Russia would transport them to any point of Southeast Asia. While according to Angarsk-Datsin project, the oil will be controlled by China.  So, Vladimir Putin hastened to declare this would not happen? It cannot be true.

But, Russian functionaries are prepared for everything. Russian Energetic Ministry presented some calculations confirmed by Siberian Section of Russian Academy of Science. According to these calculations, it is not profitable to build the Angarsk-Nakhodka pipe-line. Of course, it cannot be profitable, if Yukos has agreed about building the Angarsk-Datsin pipe-line. And Yukos should harry: next year, China starts its oil industry liberalization.

Moreover, by December 25, Russian oil companies must fix volume of their participation in long-term oil supplies in the framework of Russia-China pipe-line building, and afterwards, by January 20, 2003, they must present to Russian Energetic Ministry its decision to participate or not to participate in the project.

This is why, Yukos forces negotiations with CNPC about oil supplies for next 25 years. In the framework of preliminary agreements, Yukos must guarantee 50 percent of these supplies with its oil. Against the background of these supply volumes, the Slavneft scandal looks like a children’s play. Russian oligarchs have bigger ambitions.

For, as expected, the 2002 results of Chinese oil import will make 70 million tons, of which most was imported from Persian Gulf countries. While Russian oil companies intend, before it is too late, to capture a piece of Chinese oil market. Following this intention, they take into account nothing, except their profits. While functionaries from CNPC and Chinese ministries manipulate Russian oligarchs. Though, the worst thing is that the hostages of these ambitions are Russian national security, Russian budget, and the Russian authorities image.

Kira Poznakhirko

Tralslated by Vera Solovieva

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Author`s name Margarita Kicherova