Virtual Oil

People at power in Russia often forget that oil and gas has to be first of all extracted, not promoted.

Situation around Talakansk oil deposit in Yakutiya, which has been dynamically unfolded recently, is certain to receive a fresh impulse in the light of the last events. The new stage began when rights for short-term use of the deposit were acquired by "Surgutneftegaz". Before this, a temporary license belonged to "Lenaneftegaz", a "YUKOS" company. But this is in the past now.

Independent analysts were quick to comment that deposits are being taken away from "Yukos", however many forgot how two years ago they called the auction on Talakan a fiction, and the bonus (still unpayed) – a nonsense.

"Yukos" was not the first in Russia to use this method of enlarging company's capitalization: speaking about great resources without extracting anything. Long time before "Yukos", the same was doing with its gas deposits in Kovykta, nearby Yakutiya, "RUSIA Petroleum". And for some reason no one has seen neither big gas from Kovykta, nor big oil from Talakan in truly manufacturing quantities. And there are reasons for this.

In the few years of "Yukos" in Yakutiya nothing radically new happened in the oil production area. Oil for local use had been extracted before just as well, and export of 57,300 tons (four "river-sea" class tankers) through the Northern sea way can not be counted as great achievement.

The situation has changed. Vladimir Bogdanov, CEO of "Surgutneftegaz" can expect a carefully directed wave of public anger in Yakutiya. It is enough to have a look at contents of virtually any local mass-media to see that coming of his company to the republic is comparable to the events of 1912 year in Lensk. Then, a mass execution of workers lead to social and political explosion in entire Russia, and they say that it's after these events Vladimir Ulyanov became Vladimir Lenin.

All says that Bogdanov found himself in a difficult situation. "Surgutneftegaz" tried to come to Yakutiya fair, and proposed adequate money at the draw in 2001. And it can be that if he did win Talakan, much more than 250,000 tons of oil would have been extracted in Yakutiya. But he was not allowed to do this.

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Author`s name Pavel Morozov