Russia, the number two oil exporter behind Saudi Arabia, may sell some of its seventy five percent stake in OAO Transneft to fund plans by the country's oil pipeline monopoly to boost export capacity, said company Vice President Sergei Grigoryev.
Russia says it needs new pipelines to overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's top oil exporter. Its first half oil output rose 8.4 percent to 7.34 million barrels a day, after the country's mostly privately run oil companies spent more than five billion dollars in the past two years drilling new wells and upgrading equipment.
Transneft also plans to sell Eurobonds and secure loans to finance pipelines worth “several hundred million US dollars,” Grigoryev said in a telephone interview. The company plans to expand export capacity through the Baltic Sea and is studying a new pipeline from its Siberian oil fields to the Pacific Ocean.
“The government will retain control over the company even with a 51 percent share in Transneft,” said Timerbulat Karimov, an analyst at Aton brokerage, who estimates the company value worth three billion dollars. “The company said that it will secure money only for new projects and will maintain existing pipes from current tariffs.”
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969