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25-28 June 

Russian Petroleum and Gas Congress
Moscow Centre

Congress website, Sponsored by Industry
Program in English.
Travel Information
Delegate check list

Epilogue:The feast

mealalso thereAttending the Congress is an iteration in the forward movement on understandings about Russian oil and gas.

On display are the particular feelings Russian academic and some industry and government have toward changes in markets and potential pipeline developments.
inviteFor example:

Despite recognition of immense importance of shale gas extraction in the United States upon Russian industry taking place at this meeting…

[including official denials of its importance, as witnessed by anyone attending Vladimir Putin‘s response to Daniel Yergin‘s question about changes to industry at the plenary of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum only days previously, when the Russian President announced there is no shale gas revolution in the US but in fact a short lived environmental disaster taking place]
bus arrivalcigar
— one main play is the rough-shod feelings expressed by Russian industry at the hands of their consumers, the Europeans, for whom they feel betrayed after having invested in building pipelines to the West.

That is to say, efforts associated with infrastructure so meticulously built up and managed by Russian personnel to deliver gas to Western Europe are ignored by consumer efforts to import global gas and renew attempts to create spot markets. For Americans, of course, this sentiment would fall on deaf ears, given the pipelines themselves are depreciated over a 20-year period after which, they simply become cash cows.
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It is as if there is a certain nostalgia over infrastructure and what constitutes investment in Russian industry is the actual material placement and not its economic value.

At any rate — these are raw notes below taken as the days were long.

6/25 — Day Three:

Gas Day

Plenary Session

Russia’s Gas Industry: Strategies and Prospects The Russian Far East and Eastern Siberia as a New Gas Hub: Developing Production, Processing and Supply of Gas to the Asia-Pacific Region

photophoto opCo-chairs: Torstein Indrebø, Secretary General, IGU, and Alexey Mastepanov, Academician and Deputy Director, Institute of Oil and Gas Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences. Alexey provides introduction. Demographic change and in particular, scientific and technical progress have changed the gas growth agenda, to a shift toward surplus energy where consumer will select their own energy and provider and area of consumption.

Totally different criteria come into play. With the tightening competition of the consumer energy prices will fall. These processes are not alien to energy, even after the shale revolution in the United States. Technical changes do not remain the same. “Stone age did not end because we ran out of stones” — hydrocarbon age will not end because we run out of oil, but other advances toward a non-hydrocarbon era. Hopefully these issues will be discussed, to make us revisit these issues.

in townAnatoliy Arabskiy, Deputy Chief Engineer for Research, Technology and Ecology, Gazprom. Dobycha Yamburg, Innovation technologies in gas production and their influence on environmental protection. We have planned a number of environmental measures. Sustainable development. Describing technical changes to gas development that enhance environmental importance. Highly technical discussion about subsurface water movement.

Alexey responds: Mr. Arabskiy clearly demonstrated there is significant cost reductions in efficiency in gas technology.

lunchVladimir Pashkov, First Deputy Chairman of the Government of Irkutsk region. Development of the East Siberian petrochemical cluster. Improvement of efficiency of oil and gas recovery by new technologies. We are subsidizing economies of other countries through lack of efficiencies. Unfortunately, increase in prices are not directly linked to economic performance. We are introducing a number of measures to maximize development and revenues. The premise that significant oil and gas reserves exist heighten potential for production. Proper geologic conditions for accumulations, existing transportation systems, modern chemicals, human and scientific resources are in place in Irkutsk and other factors give optimism. We are developing an oil and gas cluster — a complex that would increase production. Developing Irkutsk gas for export purposes. Creating a wealth fund for investment technologies.

Dmitriy Sokolov, Researcher, Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre/APERC. Japan APEC energy demand and supply outlook 2013 by APERC: the role of natural gas in energy balance of APEC economies for the period till 2035. We do forecasting of energy to 2035 in Asia. A few words about APEC, examine energy sector in 21 companies, 60 percent of global energy demand in Asia. We develop research and cooperative programs for sustainable energy, fully financed by Japanese government. We do annual statistics, overview, demand and supply outlook (every four years), research support for cooperative programs. Programs: Oil and gas security exercise (GOSE) held in STPB, April 2013. and LNG Producer-Consumer conference held in Japan last year.

mealScenarios: Business as usual (“Assumes existing policy continues, including polices in process of implementation, legislation already approved”) Three alternative cases: High gas scenario; Alternative urban development scenario; Virtual clean car race.

Key results: reducing primary energy intensity by 2035 is feasible. Nuclear electricity production increases. Gas based generation rises by 10 percent in contrast to coal.

To support large scale natural gas from Russia: Education–policy makers cannot take action without the support of their stakeholders and constituents. A completely wide difference between Russian and Australia. Australia is totally open (2) Promote energy efficiency-provide information and set standards for buildings, appliances, and vehicles, eliminate wasteful fossil fuel subsidies provide financing for cost-justified EE investments, promote Energy service companies (3) Promote energy research.

goodiesAnatoliy Panferov, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Environmental Management, Ministry for Development of the Russian Far East of the Russian Federation. Formation and development of the Far East petrochemical cluster.

Samuel Lussac, Analyst, Wood Mackenzie, Vladivostok-LNG: promoting development of East Siberian gas. Vladivostok program. Both Russia government and Gazprom want to develop huge gas resources in Far East and market them in Asia.

How to Monetize East Siberian Gas reserves: Looking to supply China and Far East. Different supply zones using different scenarios of transport (pipe, LNG). All deposits located away from infrastructure, specific gas itself requires refining terminal. 30 to 40 billion dollar pipelines. As a consequence high capital costs makes projects marginal. Take away: Chayanda project not economic. Vladivostok market is not large enough to develop these fields. Joint development of Chayanda and Kovykta may be economic, if gas went to China and Vladisvostok. Mineral tax terms provided by Russian government are relaxed to stimulate pipeline projects. Unlocking Siberian gas would be very capital intensive and partners should be welcomed. Also, government tax regimes would be welcomed. Gazprom would have to capture the market there and competitive against other

lunching also lunchingVyacheslav Kulagin, Head of the Global Energy Markets Centre, Energy Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Development prospects for the global gas market: new opportunities and risks. Share of gas will increase from 20 to 25 percent. All forecasts are bullish, but there is some question as to whether gas demand in Europe won’t be replaced by other non-Russian supplies. Important coincidence: this graph shows a share of Russian export is falling. In principle we hope that demand will grow that our deliveries will increase and that pipeline shipments will be supplemented by LNG but the competition is pretty tough. If we sum up the projects being built and contemplated for European export, we talk about doubling capacity. Just 5 years ago we expected major increase in exports to Europe. 200 bcm per annum is an positive assessment.

Nabucco project unlikely. Azerbaijan will not approve. America: the shift to natural gas as a transportation fuel. The issues of pricing is major.

Vladimir Timoshilov.

Vsevolod Cherepanov, Member of the Management Committee, Head of the Gas, Gas Condensate and Oil Production Department, Gazprom. Gas-condensate assets: current situation and prospects. No show.

Vladimir Kontorovich, Laboratory Chief, A.A. Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Strategy and prospects of Russian gas industry development. No show.

Plenary Session 2

Strategies to Strengthen a Leading Position in the Global Gas Market: Energy Diplomacy, Development of Transportation and Processing Projects, Marketing South Stream Pipeline – Europe’s Vital Project
Co-Chairs: Uwe Fip, Senior Vice President, Gas Supply East, E.ON Global Commodities SE, John Roberts, Energy Security Specialist, Platts

Torstein Indrebø, IGU. Main driver we see is air quality and public health, where the gas industry can provide competitive solutions. Huge differences in European, American, and Asian gas prices. Can disparities between oil and gas be continued. Finally, if we shall success in the gas industry and reach global age of gas, we need to create more trust for the gas industry, climate groups, students.

Sergey Balashov, Deputy Head of the International Business Department, Gazprom, Gazprom and sustainable development. Speaking ironically about environmental concerns, giving an example of the imagined protection of an imagined whale.

Valeriy Minlikayev, Gazprom. Specific reservoir details.

woodmacUwe Fip, Senior Vice President, Gas Supply East, E.ON. Global Commodities SE Security of supply and growth of new market segments for natural gas. Short term trading with gas structure. E. ON. has restructured. Reform of the malfunctioning carbon market in Europe is leading to power generation primarily led by coal and oil. New LNG and pipeline projects (from Russia) provide security. Ensuring that Gas supply in Europe is secure into the future. New applications for natural gas in Europe, transport sector, real boom is to be expected when LNG is used for long-haul trucks.

Oleg Aksyutin, Member of the Management Committee, Head of the Gas Transportation, Underground Storage and Utilization Department, Gazprom, Energy efficiency of Gazprom gas transport projects.

bigVitaliy Yermakov, Director, Russian and Caspian Energy, IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates / IHS CERA, Changes in Russia’s LNG strategy and “Go East” gas policy. From the oil side, we will see major increase in LNG segment. It will be a resource to meet demand globally. Our team of economists at Goldman Sachs are saying that Asian countries are already outpacing Europe. By 2030 it will be growth of 7-8 percent. In 20 years Asia Pacific region, they will outpace Europe and America so dramatically, the west will not be able to catch up. “A new gas map of the world”.

New suppliers, with huge reserves. Traditional suppliers still here, won’t go away.

Shale gas put America at the top of the list. Turkmenistan will make an announcement soon which is huge. Traditional model suggested several major players with large reserves. In this tradition, huge pipelines would create supply to demand centers. But in the early 2000s with LNG, and now with new resources, are shifting this model.

In the US, everyone expected the States would become an importer, and created LNG terminals, and now, it is expected on being an exporter. The future is to what extent the US can be shifted to other parts of the world. Deepwater areas, huge reserves were discovered. From this perspective maintaining competitive costs. For Russia, the idea is to maintain competitive costs, or lower costs. We don’t expect major growth in the domestic market (Russia) so all expansion is largely for Asia.

Leonid Chugunov, Head of the Project Management Department, Gazprom “South Stream”: challenges and innovations. No show.

Ksenia Gladkova, Senior Adviser to the Secretary General, IGU Role of gas in global energy policies. I’m pleased to return to Moscow after presenting at the same conference. African members are displaying interest in joining us. Meeting in Azerbaijan, later this year in November.

more imagesJohn Roberts, last word — we had a strong stress on green house gas emissions, and ability of gas to mitigate issues. But we need to take a fresh look at the irony at the rise of CO2, that we live in an era of low coal prices and a lack of carbon prices that can mitigate. Four words: Supply is no problem. Security of supply is no problem and security of demand is the problem. Security of demand during G20 recently, took center stage, perfectly right, not because we’re here in Moscow, but because of the reciprocal nature of buying and selling. Politicization of security of supply and demand which impacts on long-term contracts, even though Norway was able to build the longest off-shore pipeline without any long term contracts, and it was the evident longterm supply that kept the market for that project moving forward.

“Politicization of Gas Corridors” — Role of government still important, I don’t know of any gas project that is not political. On the other hand, these political projects have to be commercial, you need two green lights. Just yesterday, in fact, there is not going to be a definable system (Nabucco) moving to Europe. Look around at Russia today, and you hear that phrase that Russia is an energy superpower, but you can also say the at the United States is an Energy Superpower, and the two are totally different species. They are the worlds two biggest developing hydrocarbon prospects.

questionsQ & A: Game changers? [no one mentions bubble bursting in China] Remember that it was individual producers that provided innovation in shale, and it is doubtful that CNC or Rosneft or Gazprom, as large organizations can provide the kind of innovation that would be required to create a game changer.

in front6/25 — Day Two:

Technical Session

Strategic Role of Drilling and Oilfield Services in the Development of Upstream Projects

Valeriy Bessel, Executive Vice President, NewTech Services; Professor, Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas. The oil production paradox, or is it worth spending money on drilling. Main costs of vertical integrated companies is development costs. He notes there is more development activity in US than in Russia. “Drilling 5 times less, wellstock 5 times less, and well stock 3.5 times less, and yet we produce more than the United States. Maybe we do not need development drilling, or maybe the United States is wasting their time, because they don’t know where to to put it. My provocation speech, which I will answer at the end of the day”.

music in the hall“Music in the hall is sponsored by Spacik company”.

Konstantin Gribanov, Head of the Business Development Office, Rimera, Rimera’s Integrated approach to well service with guaranteed MTBF increases. Providing a service complex, with specially made metal technical products, leading to increased oil production and cost decreases.

earphonesGavin Graham, Executive Vice President, Integrated Energy Services, Petrofac, New options for old fields: the changing role of oilfield service companies in extending the life of mature fields. West Siberia and Arctic possibilities for new development.  2064 oil reservoirs discovered, 1097 in production within 10 years.

Andreas Rentzsch, Vice President Sales, Bentec, Bentec’s “New Generation” cluster slider. New development in cluster slider for the Russian Market.

city sceneAndrey Petrakov, Director of the Scientific EOR Centre, VNIIneft, Using associated gas to enhance oil recovery. 24 percent flared gas instead of reinjection volume of natural gas. We do not pay due attention to gas. We had a decree adopted assigning 95 percent for gas utilization. Flaring gas is ecologically detrimental (see graph for details). Economic consequences of flaring, up to $13 billion per year through flaring. Difficult to stimulate subsurface developers to take advantage of associated petroleum gas (APG). Economic efficiency is not obvious.

Valeriy Bessel returns to answer his question of why Russia bothers with oil development, given its inefficient comparison to the United States, and nevertheless increased capacity over US development. Well, “suggestion” — we have to drill or efficiently, but [?]

Plenary Session

Oil Exploration and Production in Russia: Trends and Prospects Oil and Gas Industry Innovation Development: Technological Instruments for Recovering Hard-to-Recover Reserves and EOR of Mature Fields

plenaryplenaryOleg Pertsovskiy, R&D Director of the Energy Efficient Technologies Cluster, Skolkovo Foundation sponsors the plenary —  first time participating in this conference, and starting the panel off. Viktor MartynovGubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, Introduces the panel.

another Gloom and doom over oil production in Russia. Our Ministry of Education, adopted governmental decree divided education into priority and non-priority. Where do you think oil and gas fell into? Non priority, even though 50 percent of industry of the country depends on this topic. First of all, it was a negative moral consequence for the industry, but even an economic decay, the difference of financing for this topic would be half lower. Also, it is impossible to train a theoretical person without practical training. I won’t dwell on it, but if you have a change, I would like to ask all of you, we have to speak up as oil men, oil and gas companies are writing letters to Ministry of Education, everyone is stating extreme things, such as Oil and Gas is not innovative or priority. So we’re going to discuss some technology issues, even though we won’t be able to develop the science. As [Joseph] Stalin said, “human resources are decisive for all”.

imageOil could even be considered a renewable source, when such fields like Remashkena, we produce more oil than appraised, that perhaps oil is not created at the same speed as we learned it, the problem is that there is no science on the topic and it needs to be explored, unless we miss another revolution — if we find out [for example] if field reservoir production is different that we understand [to allow oil to accumulate], just an example of the great discovery and changes that we are going to face. It is essential to understand our position, in order to have functions achieved special for this country, not just for oilers but for general public, every scholar and economist will see that every one job in the oil sector creates 12 jobs elsewhere.

Renat Muslimov, Board Member, Tatneft; Adviser to the President of the Republic of Tatarstan on the Development of Oil and Gas Fields. Russia needs to optimise oil recovery and maximise EOR. The status of oil industry as reproduction of reserves and oil recovery ratio. When we ignore everything, everything looks fine, but if we look at it scientifically we recognize some distinctions that we should not speculate and manipulate. Let’s do it as the Americans do it. No one will do without the oil syringe. Back in the Soviet time, the project was 580 million tons, but we have 640 million tons. We have to face the corruption. Easier to go along with payolla. The same with oil, we really have to proceed with the reality of demand. We are not reassuring reproduction. Couple of comments on Ramashka. The older systems seems to be much better than the latest system of realizing production. A complaint against the shift from technocratic authority over reproduction to bureaucratic and economic authority.

anotherDmitriy Kryanev, Academician, General director, VNIIneft. The current state and prospects of oil recovery from fields with hard-to-recover reserves. Begins with BPs annual 2011 chart of what is economic. Different methods for recovery (thermal, chemical) EOR methods. North Sea uses good recovery methods (CO2 sequestration). Shale gas in US is shifting to oil, because of drop in prices. Horizontal drilling and multi-scale fractioning. Data on US production of Shale, previous year 13 percent, maximum production 66 million tons by 2030. Average oil recovery in global, 30 percent, US 39 percent, Norwegian 50 percent. In Russia, official recovery rate is 38 percent.

SkOleg Pertsovskiy, R&D Director of the Energy Efficient Technologies Cluster, Skolkovo Foundation. The Skolkovo Foundation’s role in supporting innovative development of the oil and gas industry. Describing Skolkovo set up how and why. Mentioned today already that many conversations about resource reproduction as a priority sector. We cannot just switch from oil to something else, for example, internet technology. We have to make use the resource as best as possible, value added. If we look at different institutes, all oriented toward different projects. We are focused on moving from R&D to marketability. Talking now about the set up of Skolkovo. Over 1100 proposals were received, over 240 when through review, 40 projects received funding.

Alexander Sitnikov, Director of the Oil and Gas Field Development Department, GazpromNeft Scientific Research Centre. The main technological challenges of and potential for increasing the efficiency of oil field development. What are key challenges? Talking in very technical language. … Improving regulatory framework of Russian oil and gas industry.

Ilya Mandrik, Vice-President for Geological Exploration, LUKOIL. Developing innovative geological exploration technologies on Russian offshore fields. Talking about offshore Arctic, implementing technical and regulatory competence, building up.

Ilnur Shigapov, Manager for Development in Russia, TGT Oil and Gas Services. Complex oilfield research to optimise mature field development systems. Rather technical. The previous speaker suggested regulatory changes to enhance offshore developments, in the Arctic for example (which Bessel suggested that Russian industry in comparison to the US are, on offshore, in an infant stage of development). The slides are available on the left.

[Just as an aside, I had a fabulous conversation with a German Service Company provider, Larissa XXX, who described in some detail how tenders obtain contracts with oil companies, including the importance of networking and its relationships to quality]

moreDmitry Khlebnikov, Molten Group. Tools to support innovative development of the industry. Ranking a company based on a model for innovation. Usually, Russian companies rely on the innovation on foreign companies. Foreign companies typically rely only 25 percent on outside the shop technologies. Innovative strategies are not the same for every industry. Obviously we can’t do everything by ourselves, and we should not. But to understand who and how we should rely, a few categories, significance of the technology to our company, etc, and if we judge ourselves based on this model (slides) we can know what we need. Technological independence, if we think about it, if we purchase ready made technology, we take on long-term risks. We have technological dependency from companies. We have to create innovation. Different institutions, partnerships, universities can be involved, venture, Skolkovo, implementation of technology. Despite the fact, here are a few examples of good examples of partnership.

We need to communicate using our R&D initiatives:

shaleViktor Baldin, Chief Geoscientist, GEOSTRA Prospects of oil and gas presence in Gydan and the western part of Taymyr. Mainly technical, suggesting possible reservoirs. Reserves and assessment, preliminary assessment suggests this area has a tremendous amount to reserves.

Done with the list of speakers with just a few minutes before lunch, as originally discussed, let’s have a few questions or remarks. First question. Remark regarding the Gubkin University. You mentioned that a memorandum has to be signed. Let’s do that. Okay dear colleagues, the question was, why all the R & D organizations and oil companies do not communicate with each other?

We just view ourselves as competitors instead of cooperation, placing bids, we are not very well used to partnerships in the context of competition. As of today, major oil companies have 30 years of fundamental sciences and exchanges with universities. We do not put a long term forecast beyond a few years, and in comparison to Western companies R&D, they have 20 times more, and we have not adequately funded science. So there is not government policy and incentivizing R&D, yes, as to short term, but not long term. Maybe Skolkovo would like to comment.

Yes. Well, maybe the cooperation may not be at the extent we want yet, but there are a quite a number of companies that are getting together, and there is increasing cooperation, and finding some common ground, yes indeed we have such ground for cooperation. Question: To what extent is Skolkovo prone to cooperation? We try to do our best to be a catalyst for this approach, whether we have done it correct or not, we are not the sole initiators of this process, whether it remains a bureaucratic move (sponsored by ministry) or otherwise, we are starting it.



6/25 — Day One:

Plenary Session One

Russia’s Oil and Gas Industry: Responsibly Energising a Growing World

title scenemainthereGetting Started: Chair, Pierce Riemer, General Director, World Petroleum Council/WPC, thanking everyone and reiterating his pleasure to attend. Vladimir Evtushenkov, Chairman, Russian National Committee of the World Petroleum Council / RNC WPC. Chairman of the Board, Systema, now stating that this is the only Russian oil and gas Congress of its kind, and that there are unique challenges, to assess prospects of business developments, to be discussed at all levels, and on behalf of the Russian government, “I would like to greet everyone involved to have successful Congress. Thank you for your kind attention”.

Kirill Molodtsov, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation. An honor and privilege to greet you here. If I ever tried to describe what is going on with one word in oil and gas, that word is “change”.

panelLast week in St. Petersburg, at the Economic Forum, President Vladimir Putin described these changes, and all those changes are visualized by us right now, what are we going to do, making an agenda, keep up — what forms those new trends. So this topic is worthwhile to discuss in the framework of the Congress, and we will talk about how the market of hydrocarbon marketing are being constructed, global bench marks, and as Lewis Caroll, stated in Alice and Wonderland, we have to run and lead the motion, and with the launch of Siberian sources, we have to lead the changes, shipping and pricing indexes, the global context, how to measure it, count it, how to proceed from transactions, OTCs, coal, crude oil, gas. Let’s get down to work.

talkerRenato Bertani, President, World Petroleum Council / WPC. First of all I would like to thank everyone, and be very brief about the importance of Russia in the oil industry and global context. A few facts, looking back 150 years, fossil fuels, account for 80 almost 90 percent of energy consumed by the world. Looking forward over the next 40 years, all projections are that oil and gas will be the main sources of development for sustainability, 60 to 70 percent of global needs. Certainly in this context Russia is the most important sources of hydrocarbons, in addition to conventional sources, IEA assessed unconventional oil, Russia has the largest potential, 75 billion barrels of additional unconventional oil. The message is the next year here in Moscow, the 21st Petroleum Congress, giving Russia its importance in the global context.

notesAndrey Tretyakov, Acting CEO, Rusgeology. How to create funding, actively discussing public private partnerships, putting together algorithms for development of new territories.

Ivan Grachev, Chairman, State Duma Committee of Energy — you are expecting from me the brief address. I express my sincere respect. Common knowledge that half of our budget comes from petroleum. A private story, we argued with professionals what would be the pricing scenario, and there was quite a panic in government, and they tried to push through Duma a crisis package, channeling the surplus of money to bank accounts in the West.

Conservative accounts to about $90 per barrel. I chose $100 per barrel, why was I correct? My desire was trying to understand realistic trends, and I was sure there was not going to be a second wave of crisis, and it is my perception that current crisis theories are virtual theories, and that real and virtual indices are determining global forecasts, but we are entering into a new stage, and that there is no reason to believe we will be entering into a second phase of crisis, and I am absolutely skeptical about renewables and am 100 percent sure that oil and gas will keep rising, by what margin will be arguable, but these fundamental baseline ideas.

full blownAllow me to make my judgement about markets. If we say that crises emerge at real and virtual worlds, there should be another financial bubble, and that the next global financial bubble will be shale gas and shale oil and gas. Absolutely utopia the idea that Germany will be self reliant on wind. If I come back to our Russian laws, our fundamental premise that oil and gas prices will grow, and that China will need huge amounts of net clean energy, these assumptions allow us that the huge costs of development of eastern fields are quite justified. Therefore, the Duma will make necessary changes to the law. One small detail, the existing system of predictions could hardly be said to be acceptable, the system needs a lot of changes based on fundamentals.

Valeriy Yazev, First Deputy Chairman, State Duma Committee of Natural Resources, Environmental Management and Ecology; President, Russian Gas Society, Natural gas and EU energy policy contradictions. 

more folksThank you Mr. chairman. Forecasts to 2025. It is difficult to predict oil and gas markets, lacking are geopolitical considerations and internal politics. But OECD decides to restrict sources from non-OECD countries, difficult to determine. Changes, new refineries in Saudi Arabia, golden age of gas turns into renaissance of coal, and Europe forgets carbon free economy and embraces coal-based power plants, working in conjunction with wind, impacting our realities, we fail to use completely our fields in traditional production areas and push into Arctic offshore and eastern Siberia, and bust our budget.

I don’t share Grachev’s assumption that we need to go into Arctic and bust our budgets, we have plenty of untapped oil and gas sources and non-conventional, a big impact on global environment, but fundamental strategies should be proved. Controversies in natural gas, energy dialogue. Early this year, there is a need to transform EU energy policy, and create modernization, and create new partnerships with Russia. In Europe, gas prices prove to be inefficient because of high costs, and that prices earlier to the crisis were better than now.

Renewables made a lot of progress by spending 100s of billions of Euros, and through subsidies, and imposing their regime on the markets. EU gives priority to renewable, but conventional which serves as reserves without subsidy is not reasonable in my opinion. European gas market is in ruins, and is the ideal storm. Before the 3rd energy package was approved in Brussels, I said “let’s stop arguing since it is approved, but let’s look where we are after 5 years [of high prices]”. But Russia makes long term investments for Europe for its long term benefit, and Europe turns around and does not want to repay this investment, and is responding to shale gas.

Our experts should be protected against such scenarios. What should be our interest in Europe, if it wants to impose spot prices, or competition?

global gasRussia does not create oil prices and has indirect impact on gas prices. Long term contracts are an inherent aspect of oil contracts, and follows an ideal model, but should be linked to some market pricing mechanisms. At the end of the day, economic factors and consumers will determine the situation. Russia needs to be flexible, the controversies, the pace of our economy, 3.3 percent or whatever, but even at 4 percent, we are falling behind, in balance of exchange. The capacity of our domestic market, does not increase, making our manufacturing less competitive, and purchasing power of households falling, we should decrease the energy intensity of our economy.

Fernando Valenzuela, Ambassador, Head of European Union Delegation to Russia EU-Russia energy relations. A great pleasure for me to participate in this conference. Pleased to share with you some views on oil and gas markets. Oil and gas are primary in the EU economy. Anticipate oil imports by 90 percent by 2030. Energy markets are changing rapidly, as already mentioned. The recent rise of LNG and Shale gas revolution in United States, continues to have impact on Global gas. Commenting on suggested changes toward natural gas transportation. Having LNG refueling every 400 meters. In order to retain this market share, gas has to be competitive. US coal exports to Europe has risen to its highest level in 17 years. Coal prices having fallen 19 percent. Gas electricity plants unable to compete with cheap coal are shutting down. Russia should reflect on this situation and be more sensitive to these changes. Russia’s economy needs reform, the energy sector, the economy requires rationalization and modernization. Moreover, increasing efficiency can open up more resources for export. The basic relationship between EU and Russia needs reliability, and Russia, while needs compensation for its production, also needs to become more competitive working within a sound equal framework.

concludeLeonid Bokhanovskiy, Secretary General, Gas Exporting Countries Forum/GECF. Natural gas developments in the context on the new energy mapGas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). Members and Observers. US will be a lead exporter, Offshore Africa is up and coming. Climate change regulation is moving to promote gas. On the other hand, the falling demand in Europe for natural gas because of the financial crisis is affecting gas developments. Shale gas is creating new opportunities and cautions. Increasing exports are destabilizing traditional contracts (EU), there is some unfeasibility about the longterm politics of development in the United States. In Europe, UK, and Poland, shale gas is under review. Uncertainties surrounding ultimate availability and the environmental impacts of energy production. The GECF represents the highest level of activities and vision. Second meeting will be in July 1 in Moscow.

Vladimir Kornev, Executive Secretary of the 21st World Petroleum Congress; Director, Russian National Committee of the World Petroleum Council / RNC WPC, Russian National Committee of the World Petroleum Council: 55 years – results and prospectsTalking about the history of the WPC Council. From the very start, the Russian national committee was established by 14 legal entities. First and foremost, we represent the interests of our countries within the framework of the WPC, taking into account interests of other countries, realizing our activities promote the Russian oil and gas sector. Back in 1971, the Soviet Union hosted this conference (shows a video). Basically talking about the conference coming up and how anyone should participate. Let me remind you that we have a stand on the second floor, and we will celebrate the initiation of the congress with you.

detailsAlexey Kontorovich, Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Chief Scientific Officer, A.A. Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, The first decades of the 21st century – Russia’s role in world energy markets.

Plenary Session Two

EXPERT DISCUSSION Strategic Alliances In the Global Oil and Gas Industry: Prospects and Challenges — The importance of strategic alliances for developing exploration and production projects and technology exchange International oil and gas projects with the involvement of Russian companies in Russia and abroad Transformation of the global hydrocarbon supply structure in the context of BRICS strengthening The role of international technology exchange in developing offshore fields

Moderator: Igor Vittel, Producer and Host, Observer TV Show, RBC TV, asking questions.

 Genadiy Shmal, President, Union of Oil and Gas Producers of Russia, gets a souvenir for being good at what he does. Turkey is involved in major projects, and any unrest will have some effect and will impact regional situations. Moreover, Turkey often acts on both sides, gives support to projects, but laying out alternative projects.

Anatoliy Dmitrievskiy, Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Director, Institute of Oil and Gas Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, talking about the massive changes in shale, Gazprom lost 15 percent of its shale gas sales in Europe. I made presentation in Europe some years ago, and asking why Russia is allaying its pipelines to Europe when Europe is producing gas on its own. And in 1997, we began to suggest that we should be pushing East, but we should have done it earlier, that we should be shipping gas to China, while European price remains low. We’re used to the fact that Europe needs gas and we have gas, but Europe is becoming a buyers market, what will be oil and gas prices for gas, it would not be indexed to oil because gas prices are falling. We have difficult negotiations all the time.

on stageIgor Vittel: We know for certain we are trading at a loss to us, as far as I understand. [Dmitrievskiy takes a phone call] Perhaps [VladimirPutin is calling you.

Tatyana Mitrova, Head of the Oil and Gas Department, Energy Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences. All prices are created privately, the terms and conditions remain confidential, that the market is somehow creating some kind of natural economic price. You cannot expect to have a monopoly over an expected price. Aggressive pushes by Iraq, shale in US and decline of oil prices.

Vittel — If we look at the driver of global demand, China, if we look at the horror of the bubble that was supposed to create decline in oil prices, which is now about to explode, and we will see a rapid decline in oil prices and the Russian government will suffer.

Mitrova — Our economy is sensitive to slight changes in oil markets and from perspectives. The costs in Russia are 2 to 3 times higher than are competitors.

taking micVittel — Now Shale revolution is a good thing for Europe, though it is bad for us, even though the European shale project failed in my opinion, the Japanese in depth drilling, to what extent, new technologies of production can reshape the energy market, while LNG intended for US from Qatar, and found its way to Europe, talking about Angola and Nigeria, certainly intended to cut off China from encroachment on resources.

Valeriy Bessel, Executive Vice President, NewTech Services; Professor, Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas — There is not a single country in the world that does not suffer from a need for oil and gas, it is a buyer’s market, but shifts occur. All predictions, BP, about Shtokman gas should be going to United States, now US is exporting. Venezuela is 100 percent linked to United States through oil sales. I don’t understand why they are dividing there. Disintegration of Soviet Union, we actually disintegrated a very powerful country, and 2.6 dollars per barrel for Rosneft, back in the Soviet Union. Rosneft has partnership with ExxonMobil, and the Russian budget may not survive.

Vittel — You should be careful, we just had the president announce the transnational railroad [laughter]. [Pause] Chinese economy will have a rapid decline with implications. I fully agree with the bad implications of the disintegration of the superpower that we were.

herVitaliy Yermakov, Director, Russian and Caspian Energy, IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates/IHS CERA. 
Over the past two weeks, I’ve been hearing the same thing. China will sooner or later will go into rapid decline. I am somewhat taken aback by this forecast, and we have decline of the economy what does that mean for us, if we compare with GDP in China. Of course China is ahead of everyone, in 20 years time, they will be so ahead, no one will catch up. The growth of the population, requires economic growth, providing energy resources. All the consultancy companies testified to the economy is reshifting from traditional centers of growth. But the slow down of growth does not necessarily mean that energy growth will decline. They have a traditional approach to the market. They supply from long distances, lengthy pipelines. Exporting LNGs, it becomes quite obvious, that possibly to have LNG floating facilities, as a global model.

numbersVittel — Everything is against us. Will the government recognize the problem and embark on some interesting decisions [will some decisions take place]. Irina?

Irina Esipova, General Director, Centre for Communication Development in the Energy Sector. Well, in St. Petersburg, Mr. Putin announced that we need some kind of one stop shop center of energy communication. But the Chinese tend to say that every Chinese citizen eats one brick stone within one year period. They are advancing technologically, and penetrate into the Russian European market. Of course we have to face this challenge with courage and if we speak about the influence of the reputation of this country, the ITC, it is all very complicated, the only company active abroad and positively perceived, is the Lukoil company.

Valeriy Yazev, First Deputy Chairman, State Duma Committee of Natural Resources, Environmental Management and Ecology; President, Russian Gas Society.

Break outpanel: Communication Forum

Influence of the Reputation of Russian Oil and Gas Companies on Russia’s Position in the World

[An unusual panel. Last week in SPB Economic Forum, there was discussion on “perception” of Russia boards of directors. In this panel, perception of Russian energy companies was the main topic, ed.]

Panel chair, Irina Esipova, General Director, Centre for Communication Development in the Energy Sector, begins with a “positive surprise”. We have Konstantine [?] who receives an award as best journalist, correspondent for energy world energy journalism. Now, modern technologies not often used in our oil and gas companies. Only Lukoil is trying to enlarge its reputation in different companies, and has its emphasis on self representation.

 Natalia Grib, Head of the Analytical Centre, Gazprom Energoholding, speaking of Russia’s position in the international oil and gas market. Recently I see an increase in content in the media. Several years ago, we did not have a panel on how to present ideas, sometimes people would communicate. I think this is a huge step forward. Peculiarities of information flows in different territories that reflect oil and gas market trends. I have been writing 15 years with more than 3000 articles. My presentation to enlarge your views, if the journalists are here, they would not use my information, because it is open. How can we interpret information. Already the 13th year that it is losing its position, has now only a 3rd in the world.

speakerPart of a huge global industry that influences Russian companies. These things are linked together but do not know how to use these tools from a PR point of view. I can recall yesterday, presenting forecasts up to 2025, only BP gives forecasts up to 2030, only in 5 years, there will be hardly anyone asks for the Lukoil forecast. In 2012 declined to 35%, BP experts say that coal is rising, energy of all developing on coal. The fundamentals of coal and gas is starting to rise into oil. Only 2 percent of renewables. If is for you to understand what we are living in and who we are working for.

Oil price was influenced by different factors. Sanctions against Iran, planned production declines in UK…. From speculative factors, so you as a company can influence the market, you can place news so that folks understand what is happening. US is trying to minimize imports, in Europe, there is slight decline, in China, you can see the increase of oil and gas imports.

imageIf we try to enlarge analyze basis, include shale, condensate, etc. Russia is in first place in terms of all liquids. So it all means things are based on representation. Same information represented in different markets have different outcomes. USA will always reiterate their market is always doing well and imports are declining. During the last 5 years, they declined light oil fractions, but increased heavy oils, the import structure is being changed, they usually show that import of light is being declined, but when I hear the Russia decline, that Russia does not have enough of gas, this forecast is not true. Gas generation in Europe is in decline in favor of solar and gas, but it was not forecast, a scenario, that all forecast would not be correct, so what is the difference between forecast and professional speculation. Natural gas prices highest in East. US, power plants are built for the cheapest source, natural gas, in Europe it is built for coal and LNG. Situation in Europe reflected on major oil and gas companies.

meetingLarisa Ruban, Director of the Dialogue Partnership East-West Centre, Energy Research Institution, Russian Academy of Science. Expert forecast for the energy sector of the Asia-Pacific Region and Russia’s place in this region. We performed an international surveys of professionals, decision makers, we asked from 16 countries in Eastern regions about consumption. China, India, both are big energy consumers and increasing. Experts provide their evaluation on demands of energy resources, and transportation and risks of conflicts and threats.

When we talk about image, in the Pacific basin region, ranking countries based on leadership possibilities. No production without stability and safety. Only 13 percent of experts believe there is the possibility of world conflict. And over 70 percent believe it is low possibility. Image of Russia—What is the role of Russia in the far east, 46 percent says we have lost the position, behind the economic development in the region, even though in the past it held a higher position. Russia is a middle range player. But is increasingly changing its position and can work in the Far East, though skeptical. Chinese experts say they are stressing cooperation and not unions. They feel that Russia is very strong in oil and gas production, and the attitude is better toward Russia than USA.

Russia wants to play a leading role in Asia, but without the power to do so. Last year just 11 percent of experts felt Russia was a global power.

speechYanina Dubeykovskaya, Co-Chairperson, Programme Director, “Communication on TOP” Communication Forum in Davos. Does energy need publicity? International experience. Came to Davos to organize energy. Of course we know that communication development is transparency and openness. The world is digitalized and outcomes of transparency cannot be predicted. The main measurement of efficiency of communication, and what influences our decisions. If our company is efficient and use of communication tools. First rule is competition. In China, internet is regulated by State and positioning of experts is totally different. Whether a company sees internet as a strategic tool, communication models based on b2b/b2c, private or publicity of the company and the first person in the company who is the main decision maker.

Systematic changes- even if we are not personally linked into internet digital, but more and more, the company’s image is influenced by the internet, communication is global and quick. If 10 years ago we needed to restrict information to a certain audience, today it is less and less our role, because it is impossible, we lose the reputational goals because it is impossible. From linear to cloud communication. If you do not have twitter, you will have a problem. Probably there can appear a person, the person starts influencing… local audiences.

computerInformation is changed to a social phenomena. Not a simple logical structure, we need to involve people so that they share your values, we don’t inform any more, but involving people. Packaging of the content, a story, with a plot, a hero takes place of the abstract company, and you know that a lot of companies give a public face. Presenting the image of the company. All this data is influencing the fund market and creating reputations and this is the companies evaluation. The question is whether the companies image can create a positive image in investment society, create credibility. In energy sphere it is less presented, whether it can be applied to the energy sphere. I am a transparency addict. Having worked in the energy sector, it can be up to your personal principle, but whether required by market. It is not everything that much to the energy sector, but even this conservative sphere, that energy companies use naming to transparency and this new challenges presented markets information policy. Should be quicker should be wider, and we are for anti-crisis communication. If we need to always talk minister of emergency and understand the tools. The whole of the reputation is not only the company. The concept of reputation that haven’t even thought about.  World energy brands. Internet channels. Lukoil, that is presented in digital channels. New trend of energy company, I could not find it. A few good on line channels, you tube, presentation of first persons in the company, Gazprom project that has 20 thousand viewers, a good thing about internet, it calculates statistics. We can see site traffic it is a good measurement of involvement.

Energy industry in general, is still very closed, when something happens, a crisis, there is a lot of unstructured information in media, and that is the specificity of the industry, if it is conservative, and should correspond to the changes of industry.

The image of the person should represent the main person of the company, they inform this or that about the company, the spokesperson places them into the spot light. And the person who has this function of the evangelist should have a talent of the digital auditorium.

Irina jumps in: Top managers do not represent the new understandings of the current situations. We provide a new forum to create a new set of understandings.

things tgubgsAlexey Fisun, Head of Reputation Research, United Minds International. The reputation capacity of Russian oil and gas companies – The topics of oil and gas are gendered, now I’m studying the male aspect of the corporate image, doing this now for several years. Analysis of expert opinion. I developed a system of reputational capital and present results related to energy industry. Why do you think Russian companies are interested in their reputations. In general. Crisis, catastrophe or if they have enough spare money. When the companies are going to place their assets on the public stock. Reputation when we need to attract investments. Different reputation than Dosteovesky or Pushkin. Reputation becomes material, and we need to assess the efficiency of PR services, or when PR is working really bad. We evaluate different industries – general assessment of industries, leading 20 companies? But are you from analytical sectors, when you have to deal with your reputation.

Index of reputation. Energy would be more than 5, the reputation of the business is not really high. Among this rather low evaluation, the energy complex, only gives way to high tech. (www.rep-capital.com).

What industries are more immune to crisis. Fuels are a little higher, (railways are more reliable than oil).

Answers of the experts

(1) bases of resources
 (2) connections with authorities. (3) Etc. look at slide (9) transparency of company…

spiderwebWhere in this list of the image of the company and reputation of the company. We are talking about what is related to reputation, everything is related to reputation. But nothing is related to reputation. Reputation in energetic company is not included. But what is a supplement for reputation for Oil Company – “Administrative Resources” no. 2 and no. 1 (being capable of stating factually what the company has in the ground).

We keep asking: financial factors. Business strategy, ethics of business, ethics of business (7th position). Corporate responsibility on the last place. There is a slide there that looks like a spider web. And this is about reputation. Connection of reputation of a company with shareholder expectation. General evaluation comes up to 42 percent.

Russian Company reputation. Somehow the scene in which they float is impacting the quality of fish itself. So the main importance and evaluation – gives us a tool to think about (www.united-minds.ru).

Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 7.08.32 PMVladimir Bachishin, Professor, Slovak Law University; Partner, Bachishin & Tkach Consultancy, Slovakia. The perception of Russian oil and gas companies in the European media –Analyzing media space assessing Russian oil and gas companies. Content analysis. A lot of definitions. Talking about linking personalities to gas developments in different areas.

imagesFiodor Klimkin, Press Secretary, LUKOIL Overseas. The image potential of Russia’s oil and gas businesses abroad through the example of LUKOIL Overseas projects – key factors that can impact and implementation of image potential, Lukoil overseas, three factors, 1, implementation of mega projects, 2, social charity of company, 3, efforts of the company to promote the brand.

We’re the largest investors in Iraq. Invested 2 billion in Uzbekistan, and up to 7 billion more in gas projects.

Second factor. Social – we organized events, not so big, but targeted, equipped school with desks, computers, football stadiums,
Lukoil in Kazakhstan. Third efforts to promote the brand, ecology safeguarding. Investigated respondents after a lukoil video in British television.

anotherAlexander Goriunov, Press Secretary, Deputy Head of PR Division, Itera International Group (of companies). Conditions and factors for Russian oil and gas companies to build their reputation—we started working with Rosneft, and shareholders are considering selling our business. We have something to tell you after 20 hours of business. Originally we had corporate responsibility. Sports projects resolve issues in certain ways.

Bicycling—the main shareholder was always interested in bicycling. Was on the Russian Olympic team, and company was called Katiusha. Also elected to the bicycle sport. The president Putin called him and asked him to take care of the country’s bicycle sport. Initiative that is to promote bicycle sport values and abroad. In Europe it is very popular. It became kind of an initiative.

Katiusha is one of only two teams that does not take the name of the sponsor (all in Europe?) how we promote the team, and how we resolve the issues of informing society, visualization and branding, lost in translations and broadcasting, working with media and new papers. Media interested in bicycling in Europe more than in Russia, so they can use bicycling to promote its major issues. Facebook, twitter – all language is in two languages.

Hockey – great way to resolve our image issues in this country (Riga), we all know how much you invest defines how well you place. Most important thing for us is this sport type is international, we support international competitions, we create our image of international company.

Fisun – corporate and state responsibility, you showed a good example, when the president called the company to ask to do something.

yeahDenis Terekhov, Managing Partner, Social Networks Agency –Social networks and the charity sector as tools for corporate reputation building in the fuel and energy sector.

No one can distinguish coca cola from pepsi cola, you have to distinguish yourself. Are there still Nokia users in the audience? But tomorrow don’t bring clean water to poor people.

It is clear that social network these are sales. Citizens of the little towns, 20 percent discount. Social media. Why many men here wear ties. It is a matter of formality, [now it is] strange to not to have a site. Not to have a public company, a channel of communication. Social media. Monitoring, you are overhearing what is talked about you during the previous year. So we do surveys to see what is being said about a company. On internet, we can see a great deal of the population.

Lukoil president in a driving accident, and they should have developed a digital reaction to it. If you have at least one attack, on the internet you need to be ready. If there were before sometime to think, you have not time to think. The press are with you whenever you are, in the taxi, in the train, it is not understandable where journalist ends and where bloggers end. You should work on the same logics as the bloggers, when you have to deal with 20k bloggers you can influence with them in anyway, like you could have done before with journalists.

In any company you need to create a united point of entrance – one input and one output. If there is an article in some far away town,  a blog can be very important to a company.

somethingAndrey Purtov, Producer, HiBrand International Conferences; General Director, ArtGraphics.ru; Managing Partner, Plan & Business Business Development Agency; Coordinator and Teacher of Branding, British Higher School of Art & Design  The visual image and reputation of Russian oil and gas companies.

Kirill Melnikov, Special Correspondent, Kommersant Daily, 
The media – supporters or enemies in building the reputation of oil and gas companies?

plane6/24: Folks attending from different sectors — global gas development, Barents sea development — intersecting in one place. From previous Paparazzi Ethnographic blogs:

taking micTatyana Mitrova, Head of the Oil and Gas Department, Energy Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences; Vitaliy Yermakov, Director, Russian and Caspian Energy, IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates / IHS CERA; Thor Christian Andvik, Project Director Barents Region, INTSOK/Norwegian Oil and Gas Partners.

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Energy Charter

10/30: During my last day in Brussels, as serendipity would have it, I was able to meet with a member of the United States Mission to the European Union (EU) — a Mr. Epelson Dawers (pseudonym, pronounced DA-yers), Counselor for Energy, at his office located on Rue Zinner within 20 minutes walking distance from the botanical garden. A lean, dapper, and distinguished gentleman whose previous appointment was in Baghdad, Mr. Dawers’ expertise appeared on the surface of his gestures, but also of course, through his expressed knowledge of affairs in Europe and interests of the US state.

Mr. Dawers had agreed to meet with me on very short notice, through a phone call to his office from Tevan Sefiv, Director of Transport and Markets, for the Energy Charter Secretariat, who I lunched with earlier in the day. During my conversation with Tevan, I learned of a workshop that he is organizing in Warsaw in November, and to which he invited me to attend if I could be accompanied by a member of the US diplomatic corp. To find out, we decided to give Mr. Dawers a ring. Once on the telephone, Tevan deftly skipped from one topic to another, and then mentioning finally, of his meeting with me, suggesting in fact, that I was indeed, in the room at that very moment and then abruptly handed the phone receiver over to me. And that is how I came to be invited to meet with Mr. Dawers.

The US Mission to the EU is distinguished from the US Ambassador’s office to Belgium and from the US branch for NATO — all three offices within sight of each other and administratively integrated. There is a lot of security that surrounds these offices with numerous practices for entering and leaving buildings that conform roughly to security for all US government sites.

Speaking as a cultural anthropologist of energy meetings on the high level, I am quite use to security measures, such as bar coded identification badges tagged visibly to the body, the passage through metal detectors, turnstiles and barricades, and the presence of armed security personnel.

Yet, today, from my excitement at meeting with Mr. Dawers and from my lingering thoughts at having just met with Tevan, but also having now just passed the Russian embassy, along the same street and accessible through a 19th century wrought iron gate — I became quite flustered when at a certain moment, the pedestrian walkway simply ended in the presence of armed guards asking me politely where I was headed, and whether I knew I was standing before the American Embassy.

I have never quite considered myself a bumbling academic, but after having passed through security, with a tie in my hand, along with a one-quarter inch stack of loose papers that included business cards, hotel stationary and google map print outs, I must have left just that impression to Mr. Dawers, who introduced himself to me as I was stashing all these articles back onto my person.

The building was swank and soon I had a chance to settle into a black leather arm chair and explain how I found myself in Brussels (see post below) and what my project was all about.

It is so shameful for me to admit this on the Paparazzi Ethnographic blog, but where else if not here should I state that in such instances, when I am surrounded by such a well ordered and elegant setting, among persons so disciplined, knowledgeable, and clearly a part of social networks linked to important political and economic forces — my first impulse is to ask whether I can have a job (!) — as if academic work is somehow non-work, a non-productive lifestyle made up of a non-well ordered regime of non-continuous mental productivity.

But that is the specific feeling I get inside such offices where everything seems to look so appropriate. Of course, I should remind my readers that I served in some small capacity as a political operative, while working in an appointed position under two Alaska governors on the Senate side of Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., mingling as I did with US Department of State, etc. Then, what I appreciated most about that position (and yearn nostalgically over), is the appearance of wealth, intelligence, and connectedness it provided me, and of course, the sense that my finger was close to the “pulse of history”, as Max Weber refers to politics as a vocation.

But the job was also a bit boring.

For example, and this is not a slight to anyone in the diplomatic corp.  — in fact, it is with deep respect for their capacity to keep multiple discourses available on the tip of their tongue — one of the freedoms I have as an academic is my ability to ask questions about knowledge and to illicit discussion that reveals the strict discourse or style of speech that becomes embodied in officials in their capacity as officials.

I find this fascinating. The style of diplomatic talk by Mr. Dawers carries a performative quality that remains on the level of the distribution of statements. These uttered statements clearly have flexibility, they are after all, spoken by a specific person (Mr. Dawers). But they are also manufactured outside of Mr. Dawers, they carry a life of their own in that some variation of their structure is being reproduced and discussed elsewhere by other members of his staff and even other personnel in other governmental offices. And it is through these statements that each of these different persons can locate their own interests of state and express their position to each other on a variety of different topics.

One example is the topic of the Energy Charter that had come up throughout the day.

It was only a few years ago, for example, that I was in Moscow attending the 8th Russian Oil and Gas Congress, when I heard from Tevan’s predecessor, Ralf Dickel (Ральф Дукель), that a transition of the European natural gas industry was underway.

A global economic crises combined with the rising production of natural gas in the United States from non-conventional sources (shale gas), suggested that Europe would be awash with expensive natural gas from Russia, and that the only course of action that lay ahead would be a renegotiation of long-term contracts to favor competitive pricing based on short-term contracts along side a realigning of the pipeline grid itself, to create more capacities for multi-directional flows, and so on and so forth.

While these issues remain in stages of development, affecting the prospects of one Arctic proposal that I had been investigating, the off-shore Shtokman natural gas development project in the Barents Sea– they have become also increasingly linked to Europe’s trajectory toward developing a renewable energy portfolio aimed somehow at reducing Western European dependence upon Russian energy sales.

In the midst of all this, the Energy Charter exists as a political initiative creating multilateral rules to provide net exporters of energy and net importers a balanced and efficient framework for international cooperation (bilateral agreements and non-legislative instruments aside). To do this, the Energy Charter established a Treaty signed by 51 European participating countries in December 1994 (entered into legal force in 1998) creating a legal foundation for energy security, based on the principles of open, competitive markets and sustainable development, thereby mitigating risks associated with energy-related investment and trade.

Two countries, however, Norway and Russia, do not participate as fully binding members, and in fact, Russia formally withdrew from participation to the Treaty in 2009, despite the fact that it can still be held accountable in an ETC Tribunal process.

It was within this context, that our speech took place and pleasure. For Tevan, his concern was whether the US diplomatic mission would be participating in upcoming events and keep abreast of developments about the Energy Charter. For Mr. Dawers, the question of what appropriate level to participate in such discussions and events, whether representatives from the local embassies (whether the US embassy in Poland would attend the Energy Charter workshop in Warsaw), State Department in DC, or Mr. Dawers’ own office. The concern on both sides is ensuring security, security of supply, security of investments, security of an affordable price, all issues that both sides agree upon, with respect to Russian exports, that energy should be a commodity and not a political tool.

After my meeting, I had a brief moment to carry out some sight seeing in Brussels. The most interesting location I found was a Kodak photography store, that continues to provide film development services for customers.

Given the proliferation of digital photography, I could never have imagined such a store still operates, and felt there should be some kind of guidebook for endangered industries, as such activities represent a twilight of tradition now quickly fading into the past. They are forms of the past present participle — a cultural heritage of sorts, labors of loss, managing to hang on to the present long after their functions have been replaced by the future.

Particularly touching was the site of developed film in bags awaiting customers. Who are these folks who hang on to folksy ways of taking photographs and the delayed forms of gratification that come from awaiting the images to be developed, and ensuing discussions about whether the image a proper reflection of the moment.

From the street perspective, I fully intended to find the store closed and abandoned, as this window dressing demonstrates, a kind of haphazard look, covered over with graffiti that itself looks to be in stages of decay.

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Vanguard Skolkovo (Сколково) Practice

2/11: Moscow, with its smell of burnt heating oil as you pass into the subway entrance, long escalator rides where no one smiles and the left side is open for runners, provocatively dressed women in restaurants, chatty cabbies — and the heat spilling out from buildings — walls of heat, fueled by enormous reserves of Russian oil and gas. It is this fabulous heat of a Moscow winter that gives life to the phrase, told to me by a DNV executive, “oil is the answer to every question”.

On Friday, my last full day in Moscow, I visited with members of the Energy Centre in Skolkovo (SEneC) located on the outskirts. This is the gift that I had waited for over, a final meeting on a final day, representing a conflation of tenacity, great ideas, brilliant networking, but really, a life lived entirely on a cascade of serendipity. I was just lucky.

Here are a few photos of Skolkovo from the outside.

Let me begin with my dream meeting. First, the core of the meeting was a lunch conversation with Russian oil and gas guru, T. M., Head of Global Energy for SEneC (Vicon L., Director could not make the meeting, busy with a Lukoil event). Dr. T. had looked over my NSF proposal in advance and expressed interest in meeting me.

To be brief, I was taken aback at how well organized and connected Dr. T was, and the Skolkovo Energy Centre, on issues of natural gas.

My surprise came from how she was moving together with recognizable names in industry and government toward identifying synergies for ways to acknowledge the forward movement of the gas industry — considering models in use on all continents (Rice U., Woodmac, EIA), counting down LNG terminals, looking at where global gas might be headed, including folks like, well, let us just say, big names, including those at Rice (Dr. T had spent time at Rice U., I did not know that). They are serious about getting (Arctic) gas out of Russia and to markets beyond Europe.

But the model topic touched me slightly. Weeks earlier, I had read a shale gas report by Rice University, utilizing what they call their Rice World Gas Trade Model or RWGTM. Quite frankly, I could not make heads or tails of the model-thing, sounding from its description like a room-sized gadget modeled after the 1950s imaginary TV world of Mad Men (requiring inputs).

I asked Dr. T how WoodMac’s Global Economic Model compares to the one used at Rice U., to which she mentioned that each model has its own inputs and outputs, but that the industry as a whole had become too complicated to provide analysis without modeling, and that, in fact, even so-and-so (big name in gas industry here) was becoming convinced of the usefulness of models. I nodded my head in astonishment, both over my own ignorance of what a model is (I mentioned this, asking if she were referring to a room-sized gadget to which you can feed porcelain dishes and dinner scraps) and of my new understanding that Everyone seemed to be headed toward a belief in the model as an answer for comprehending complexity.

To my credit, I felt Dr. T got a kick out of my project, generally humored (in a good way I think) by my gadfly approach, suggesting that she could participate in a variety of activities outlined in the research, but of course could not commit to anything that references her own research, since her work at the involves confidentiality agreements. She mentioned that I should attend the World Gas Forum in Kuala Lampur this June (and I have since registered).

When I met her just, I could not help but exclaim immediately, before anything else, that I am her biggest YouTube video fan. That is right, there are Youtube videos of gas experts giving interviews at various gas meetings stretching from London to Moscow.

I mentioned the possibility of building a cross-Atlantic program on extractive industries in the North, and that U. Tromsø and Arctic Centre at Rovaniemi are excited and wanting to pursue a European Research Council Synergies grant for this purpose for 2013 time frame submission. Dr. T. expressed interest in this, and that Skolkovo Energy Centre could look for an opportunity to participate (yay!).

We ate lunch. I ordered a chicken caesar salad, which was delicious. Dr. T. and Calvin M. (who I introduce here momentarily) ordered salad as well. We were eating healthy. But also, it was the quickest thing on the menu. My time was running out.

Finally, I mentioned the Skolkovo Foundation proposal for creating centers, $6 to $12 million applications (which is a separate arrangement altogether from the Skolkovo Energy Centre/Management School). Here, I hesitated to outline anything specific stating that I would speak with my partners at Berkeley about what added values we might be able to provide given the Energy Centre’s already extensive networks and well developed approach for thinking about global gas.

On this last point, Dr. T. was explicit that Skolkovo Energy Centre would require something more than what I had initially planned, for example, perhaps something along the lines of the intersection of power and gas, or shale gas development or maybe even China. In fact, I was very much interested in what she knew about China and who she was speaking with, invited as I am to visit China in March.

Just prior to lunch, I was given a fabulous tour of the Skolkovo School by Carina S., International Relations Manager, and then greeted and brought to lunch by Calvin M., Strategic Projects Director. The Management School, as explained to me by Carina, is oriented toward catalyzing emerging economies. In fact, specific modules were created for this purpose, each with a special museum of cultural artifacts unique to the emerging economic region. There are at the Management School five or six modules, some identified by country (Russia, Brazil, India, Singapore) and another based on a continent (Africa).

Carina directed me to the Russian module, as the other facilities were just then being set up (the School opened 2 years ago), and only the Russian section had museum pieces in place. There were so many details that I lost my way, and simply could not wrap my head around the entire story, chastising myself as I did for not placing a recorder to Carina’s mouth piece so I could capture everything, for example, the name of the Russian gazillionaire had provided a lot of the folk art on display.

And indeed, there were some beautiful items on display….

Finally, the design stage of the building itself is from an idea scribbled on a napkin by early 20th century artist, Kazimir Malevich, as seen through the eyes of Tanzanian born Architect, David Adjaye. One image on display shows the napkin rendering (which is also on the internet) followed nearby with a description of the event in Russian language. Ogla was such a gracious tour guide. Every time there was a description printed solely in Russian, she would wonder aloud where the English translation was, because the School is an international program.

Here below is an image of the wonderful cafe where I had lunch in with Dr. T. and Calvin. I hope I was not too embarrassing. I sort of gushed when I met Dr. T., as if I was going to ask for her autograph right there and then. I think she even was a little taken aback– perhaps even blushing at my adoration, though her coloration, if it did change, was only momentary. Silly me. Oh well. But that is how we are at StudioPolar, capturing the lifestyles of the not-so-famous, so why not admit it. I am a big fan of these industry stars. And I wore a suit and tie.

Latte machine, necessary.

I should point out here, that while I was determined to visit the building of Skolkovo, in reality, my actual visit there was pretty much a life-product of serendipity. Truly, and it all came about because of Germane Tanner, the outreach person for the vice president of Skolkovo Foundation (NOT Skolkovo School of Management, two different things).

Here, I should back up a little bit and clarify a few things — a few basics that I did not know in advance when I walked in to meet the Skolkovo folks for the first time in downtown Moscow, on the 24th floor of a high rise. Here is, by the way, a good glimpse of the view shed from the Skolkovo Foundation:

First of all, Skolkovo Foundation was created by Vladimir Putin to lure Global Russians back to Moscow. That is putting things in a rather simplistic style, but that is okay for now. And I mention something of this below, where I first bumped into the idea at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum in 2010.

Skolkovo Foundation is styled after Silicon Valley, in that it is an innovation city idea, but with seed money from government. It is partnered with MIT. Germane is a type of representative for the Foundation, or to me, he is.

There is a Skolkovo Management School that was created also, by a similarly influential group of financiers (credit suisse, BP, etc.). The School will ultimately be placed under the Foundation. Calvin is the strategic outreach person for the school.

The Skolkovo enterprise (Foundation and Management School) is not strictly Russian per se. Calvin, for example, is from the Netherlands and educated in Switzerland (speaks no Russian). They are modeling themselves as an international institution, creating the type of networking that stimulates innovation as we know it to exist in the USA.

Both the Foundation and Management School have fabulous connections to the global oil and gas industry and I would like to create an exchange with members of their research/decision making core. But as I found out, Moscow is an extremely small town when it comes to energy, a veritable rumor mill where everyone knows everything. But this is already way ahead of the story.

But let me start at the beginning…

At first, I had spent quite a bit of time reading over global gas guru, Director of Oxford Energy Studies, Natural Gas, Jonathan Stern‘s materials, the pre-1990 books on transfers of expertise from Western Europe to Russia. Here, there is never mention of the body going “on to Soviet soil”. And so, I wanted to know: what is the constitution of post-1990s consultant expertise on gas development in Russia? To this, I could hear J. Stern’s voice of skepticism in our email exchanges that consultants like Cambridge Energy (or Wood Mackenzie) open offices in Moscow only to create prestige among clients in Western Europe and the Americas. And this comment was good information, thanking him, and even hunting down his suggestion, dwelling in the underworld of empiricism.

Nevertheless, as I began to look into the issue, it became transparent that quite a few Western European educated Russians were already in Moscow serving as — well, Westernized experts, for banks such as Credit Suisse, Citigroup and Deutsche. And again, we hunted down this very possibility, exploring the weight of Global Russians and their return to Moscow…. From this perspective, Skolkovo, whatever it was, seemed like the motherload of westernized experts streaming into Russia, working on Energy Development, a central location to which I could understand the constitution of Arctic Gas development.

The story did create an aura over Skolkovo that I could not easily dismiss. When, as luck would have it, I made contact with Skolkovo Brass through ERG professor Duncan Callaway, I was not just a little let down, when my meeting with Skolkovo members took place in downtown Moscow and not at The Building

The meeting left a lasting impression on me. Germane greeted me, giving me a creatively designed business card that was different  from the Skolkovo card, with its signature Sk over green background.

The meeting went as planned. My plan was that I had no plan. Oliver Chubisovkiy, Strategy and R&D Director, Energy Efficiency Cluster (EEC), explained details concerning the goal of moving technical energy projects to consumer realization in detail. Rummy Bilav, Executive Director of EEC listened silently, with his head bent over working on his I-Pad, and Svetlana Tartseva, Project Manager, Nuclear Technology Cluster sat between Oliver and Germane, providing some details after the extensive presentation by Oliver.

I had received PPT presentations by Germane some days earlier, which described how the Sk Foundation was acting as a kind of catalyst for the in between stages of invention and consumerization, a sort of crossing the Valley of Death service, similar to that provided by the Dept. of Energy in the US. That much made sense to me. Getting funds and services so that innovative products can make it big — I listened to Oliver for ages, and then, decided to engage Rummy, since he seemed to be the head man on the website. But Rummy merely stated Oliver was the contact point, and my head veered back in the direction of Oliver. Rummy did not stay much longer beyond the presentation of Oliver, stating he had another meeting. In fact, another key gentleman entered the room at some point, sat down, looked at my business card, thought for a while, then left, leaving my card on the table.

Well, with the meeting was nearly over, after 30 minutes, traveling thousands of miles, all that I could say what I had achieved was a nice photo-op of Sk Foundation’s Moscow view shed. We got up shook hands. And then something funny happened. Germane said he had a few additional questions for me, and so the others left the room.

But here, we sat down, the two of us, and just started talking about everything, over each other, across each other, really learning about the other person, what each does, where each is located, the functioning of Skolkovo, the functioning of Energy and Resources Group at Berkeley, the functioning of Dan Kammen, Michael Watts, Myself, on issues of our book project, to the global gas center, to the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL). We even drew maps, cognitive maps right there, to try and explain where we were coming from. I had so many questions about Skolkovo, and I just poured them out, interrupting him, apologizing for interrupting him.

About one-hour later, as we were leaving two senior men took a look at me, including the fellow who left without my business card, and seemed somehow pleased that I was able to connect, and even said so. And connect I did. One of the first things I realized is How Small Moscow Really Is!

Gosh, Germane was working with everyone, or at least everyone I knew, and he finally put forth an explanation about the difference between the Sk Foundation and the Sk Management School that I could grasp. In fact, there is an entire Science and Technology Studies (STS) program, Germane explained to me, starting forth from Oleg Kharkhordin, Russia’s preeminent political philosopher and Rector of the St. Petersburg European University, to study networking on Sk.

Germane knew Konstantin Sonin, macro-economic genius, New Economic School, who I met with later that evening as well as Vladimir Debrentsov, British Petroleum Russia’s Head of Economics, who I would meet the following day. In fact, Vladimir D. was funding a lot of the Sk initiatives. My head was swirling. Germane also pointed out that Sk could find partners in Russia for a proposal submission that we (berkeley) have in mind, when we get it together, and would even make available a meeting at the Sk Management School, which is how I found myself at my goal of arriving at the Building on my last friday in Moscow.

It was a good meeting. I left, taking note of the various bean bags that littered the office in strategic places, more like plant boxes than furniture, as everyone was physically attached at the cubicles during my visit. From there I went back by hired driver, freezing as it was in Moscow, and wearing just a suit and overcoat, could not make it back to the hotel without a decent ride. In the comfort of my heated palace (I love hotels), I rested in the bathtub for eons, until the time I need to get my nerve back and hit the trail to meet with K. Sonin.

I met K. Sonin at a popular coffee shop chain in Moscow, called Shokoladnitsa Cafe, in this case, situated literally as you leave the Akademicheskaya metro. Sometimes, as happens in Moscow, my I-Phone would pick up a stray internet access, and I could find out where I was on google maps. For the poorest reasons I can think of, I left the US without having unlocked my I-Phone, and simply never got around to doing so abroad, partly perhaps, because there is so much free internet on the streets of Europe and Moscow, that I didn’t want to risk the incredible roaming rates charged by AT&T. I say this now, because once inside Shokoladnitsa, I was not quite sure that I was in the right place, so I GIS mapped myself to make sure. In fact, I was in the right place, and Konstantin was late.

K. Sonin is the consummate Russian public intellectual. He publishes in the newspapers, his ideas about the economic situation of things, society, enjoy a high level a recognition both in Russia and abroad, serving most recently as Visiting Professor in Kellog School of Management, North Western University. Konstantin Sonin has a Wikipedia entry that demonstrates his expertise quite well. I first became aware of K. Sonin, from a brief conversation I had with CERA/IHS energy consultant Sergei Vakulenko, who gave a brilliant presentation on Russian energy development at an executive roundtable I attended in Houston. Afterward, I pigeon holed S. Vakulenko, who instructed me to contact Konstantin.

One of the questions I had for him — in addition to running through a list of persons I wanted to find out if he knew of, which he did, confirming in spoken terms that Moscow is indeed a small place and in part, because there is a small group of Russians that Western Europeans and Americans are always picking over to legitimate for their own purposes — was his thoughts about Skolkovo. Now here, I should pause to mention that I typically have a little presentation that I provide in advance, that ranges in time between 5 to 9 minutes, depending on audience, where I walk through how I stumbled into Skolkovo, its relationship to energy, my focus on Arctic natural gas development, my current proposal in review at the National Science Foundation, just to set the stage.

Wondering aloud, I asked whether, given the New Economic School and innovations in other sectors, Skolkovo could be considered a redundancy, in addition to a process already formed by other institutions, such as the New Economic School, to which K. Sonin demurred. It was not so much whether one institution was more than others, or whether there should be the focus of government love should be directed to existing new institutions, but simply, how does an institution function to be creative.

I should also preface here, that many folks were waiting. That’s right, many folks were waiting to see the outcome of the general election in Russia, this March. This is going to be a big deal, whether Vladimir Putin wins more than 51 percent on the first election, or if he does not, and “who will pay” for getting dad angry by not giving him the support in the first round. Yes, V. Putin came up quite a bit, and sometimes he did not come up at all, but simply by an exchange of glances and then the statement, “we’ll see after the election”. Everything was “after the election”.

Well, the next morning was another Big Day. I had a meeting with Vladimir Debrentsоv, Head of Economics and Communications and External Affairs, British Petroleum Russia.

BP view shed of Moscow

BP view shed of Moscow (Kremlin side)

I met Vladimir via Mark Finley, Senior Economist for BP USA. How I met Mark is a mystery. Did I know him from the days when I was Associate Director in the Office of the Alaska Governor? I do not know. Likely I met him at the Association of International Economics Conference, perhaps in Vancouver, and maybe a few times afterward, at a CERA conference. But around 2010, I asked whether I could speak with him about Russian gas development, and he transferred me over to V. Debrenstov. Vladimir D. is another person of renown in Moscow. He is not only Head of Economics for BP, but also the company’s outreach coordinator for Russia, meaning that he funds all kinds of research and activities. These include Skolkovo, but also the Oil and Gas Forum at IMEMO.

In short, with a back ground in academia and serving for years at the World Bank as head economist, V. Debrentsov is a quality entity around Moscow. Lyubov Kotlyarova, Team Assistant, scheduled the meeting, and was totally gracious speaking flawless English, upon my arrival. We had to go through quite a bit of security, me showing my passport, obtaining a visitor’s pass and going through fire safety training on the 9th floor.

Lyubov instructed me in detail about which button to press once inside the coat room, which locks from without, and without fail, I found myself locked in the coat room, until after a few seconds, I remembered her instruction. She smiled, probably knowing that I could barely keep all of this information in my head, what with the safety instructions, and security buttons, visitor passes — no wonder she came down to meet me.

Lyubov ushered me into a small conference room, located in the central space of a sky scraper floor. The room was surrounded by several floor-to-ceiling glass sealed meeting rooms. I could see folks munching on lunch and chatting about serious topics, but I could not hear what they were saying. An true image of productivity and sociality. No sound to go with that image. Luckily, Lyubov brought me coffee, a latte (yay!).

Vladimir entered and was gracious to a fault. I began presenting my knowledge, carting out my computer to present images of the energy future and discussing the role of energy consultants, suggesting that perhaps there was a model to be had here in Russia. Vladimir D. was Mr. Know-it-all. He knew things and people. He rattled off the names of all folks handling Russian energy from Cambridge Energy, Matt Sagers, Thane Gustafson, Vitaly Yermakov and others, Jonathan Stern and Tatiana Mitrova, all the folks that I write about from the perspective of journalism and also, from the perspective of corporeality.

Vladimir mentioned them in passing, but also to point something else out that was on his mind. In my discussion of the energy future, my statement concerning the reduction of simplicity, V. added that I was on to something and he brought out a few bullet pointed pamphlets recently produced by BP which he pointed to where there was explicit use of images for reducing the complexity of future scenarios for policy makers, and he pointed these out specifically. And this was, in fact, a critique in a certain sense, that policy makers are not capable of the decisions necessary for carbon reductions, and that while some experts (J. Stern) may work from backcasting, BP was providing extrapolary knowledge.

Lyubov brought to me a copy of business cards that he collected at the latest EU-Russian Gas Consultancy forum, which he mentioned, was in its second year for the purpose of “shaping the future of perception” in Russia and Europe, which would provide reports to the Russian Energy Dialogue. He mentioned that I need to meet with Tatiana Mitrova and Grigori Vygon and members of PIRA and that I should attend the EU Russia energy dialogue (Brussels and Moscow), become familiar with the Russian Gas Association, in particular, Valeri Yasov, and that the Eurogas Association/Consultancy, persons like Simon Blakey, has influence over decision makers and that the Carnegie Euro-Atlantic Security initiative is important or that Konstantin Simonov, Director of Energy Security, would be a good resource.

I asked whether financial concerns appear in these meetings to which he replied, only Deutsche bank (not Morgan Stanley). He suggested I attend London’s unconventional gas meting at regent park and in Amsterdam, the Flame conference, where he will be speaking. I asked whether he speaks a lot at conferences and he said that he often does. As we left, I asked to look at the view sheds to take a few photos, to which V. obliged, stating that he takes photos himself on occasion depending on the drama of the weather.

That evening, I went by metro to see Dean Gaddy.

I first became aware of Dean through a conversation with Pennwell, Platts Editor in Houston, TX, Paul Westervelt, while attending CERA Week in 2010. Paul had give to me Dean’s email as his “contact” in Moscow, so I immediately assumed that Dean was a journalist.  When I mentioned that presumption, Dean corrected me immediately, stating that while he was editor of Platts for a few years, he was a an oil man who had worked in Azerbaijan for Devon before moving with his ex-Russian wife and daughter to Moscow, then picked up by TNK-BP, so that his daughter could attend an American school. Eventually, his family moved to Houston, where Paul picked up a job back in Russia after his divorce.

Dean now works for Halliburton as an operator in Urengoi, a closed town in the north supported by oil extraction. We became instant friends, and shared stories of our backgrounds over multiple tequila shots and pints of beer. Dean offered a romantic contrast to everyone I met from London to Oslo, to Tromsø, to Moscow. All my informants and colleagues or more specifically, my conversations with them, were focused on career moves and philosophical ideas. I do not think, as polite as we are to each other on each occasion, that it occurs to invite each other for a shot of tequila, as Dean did after 3 minutes of discussion with me.

Dean was well familiar with all kinds of oil and gas industry basics, and discussed in detail the Russian system of oil and gas development from the perspective of ownership and definition of reserves, citing SEC (Security Exchange Commission) and SPE (Society of Petrochemical Engineers) approaches for determining reserve reporting. In fact, he was in town to attend the TNK-BP conference on Yamal investment, which was taking place the very next day. He had sent me the invite, but by the time I got around to calling it in, the conference was totally booked.

In the following days, the meeting got quite a bit of press coverage. I include this account here (in highlights), because it is written by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen, one of the main Moscow journalist informants on my research.

As the night poured on, Dean’s girlfriend in Moscow, Юлия, arrived, and the three of us giggled through the last hour before the restaurant owner pushed us out into the street so that he could go to bed (or rather, pushed me out in the street, since we were in the Grand Victorian Hotel, where Dean was staying). Юлия Филюхина (a different Юлия), from Samara, to the east of Moscow, and who had joined us for some part of the evening, offered to go with to the metro, but a taxi was a warmer ride.

The next morning, bright and early, I met with WWF Moscow, Oil and Gas agent, Mikhail B., who I met in Tromsø the week previously. Luckily, it was a meet and greet, with two glasses of fresh squeezed orange juice, I retreated back to my room until later in the afternoon, when I went to the Institute of World Economics and International Relations (IMEMO) to meet Nina P.

Before I talk about my visit with Tanya, I want to relate also, that later that evening, after my meetings, and still feeling somewhat dissipated from the previous late evening, I was faced with the dilemma of staying at home, or hunting down in Moscow, the Bulgarian Cultural Institute where I knew scheduled that evening were beginner and intermediate Bulgarian dancing. I love Bulgarian Dancing, attending most Friday nights in Berkeley under the direction of choreographer Tanya Kostova. As part of my travel plans, when I discovered on over internet a Bulgarian dance troupe in Moscow, I intended to see for myself what it was all about. In fact, while passing through London, I visited and danced with the Tanec Bulgarian Dance Group under the choreographic direction of Martin Spasov, genius.

Turns out that I did myself a favor and treaded out looking for the Moscow group.

Located on the fourth floor of a Russian culture house, the dance classes were directed capably by Svetlana Shalev-Fursenko who, according to the internet site is “actor-ballet of the National Folklore Ensemble Philip Kutev“. What a great evening.

And here I want to discuss my meeting with Bloomberg energy journalist, the next morning, Anna C.

2/6: Hotel and confirmed appointments

  • Novotel Moscow Centre, Novoslobodskaya Str 23, Tel. 7-495-780-4000.

  • Monday, February 6, 10AM meet with Skolkovo representatives: O. A.; F. A.; V. B. Contact person Zhanna Turubarova Tel: +7 495 967 0148 ext. 2252   Cell: +7 916 288 3788  — WTC,9th entrance, 24th floor, Krasnopresnenskaya Embankment 12, Moscow.
  • Monday, 6PM, Konstantin S., Shokoladnitsa Cafe at Akademicheskaya metro.

    • Tuesday, 10AM, BP’s Vladimir D., 17th floor in Lotte business center, Novinsky blvd., 8. Lyubov K., Team Assistant (7-495-363-6262).

  • Tuesday 8PMDean Gaddy —  Moscow Grand Victoria, Shchipok, 16, +7-499-236-1220 (1-й Щипковский переулок, 32/16).
  • Wednesday, 10AMMikhail B. WWF Oil/Gas, Novotel Lobby. 
  • Wednesday, 6pm: Bulgarian Dancing yay! болгарские танцы в Москве! Среда с 18:00-19:00 ВСЕРОССИЙСКАЯ ГОСУДАРСТВЕННАЯ БИБЛИОТЕКА ИНОСТРАННОЙ ЛИТЕРАТУРЫ ИМ. М.И. РУДОМИНО(ГБИЛ), Москва, Николоямская ул., д.1 этаж 4 6PM —

  • Thursday, 10AMAnna C. CoffeeMania (Bolshaya Nikitskaya, 13)
  • Thursday, 2pm, Nina P., IMEMO.
  • Friday, 1PM, Skolkovo School of Management.
  • Friday, 3PM, Irina.

2/5: Pending
  • Irina N., Reuters (sent email Sunday).
  • Anna S., Bloomberg (sent email Sunday)
  • Sherry Palmer, IMEMO (sent email Sunday).
  • Aaron Frenkel. (Sent email Sunday) to Nadia Klepova, Director PR & Marketing, Loyd’s Investments Corp.
  • Andrei Kazanzev, (sent email Sunday).
  • Ian Pryde, (sent email Sunday).

2/2: En route to Moscow. Leaving Tromsø tomorrow, heading to Oslo to meet DNV representative, Brad Libby, for a discussion about decision making in European oil and gas development. DNV stands for Det Norske Veritas, a strategic knowledge firm on energy, run by Henrik Madsen, with whom I met last year at the Oslo Energy Forum at Holmenkollen.

Bradd and I crossed paths at the Arctic Frontiers conference here in Tromsø when, after leaning into a conversation with me and DNV heavy, Torild Nissen-Lie, while riding on the bus as part of the activities during the forum. I noticed Bradd’s head peal back at the mention that DNV has 9000 employees with offices globally, and immediately suggested he join our conversation, to which he turned around and explained he was from the US living on the outskirts of Oslo.

Our conversation went from the Bus to the bar of the Radisson, where Torild and I shared several Blue Ladies, before heading over to the main dinner across the street at the Rica Hotel. Here’s Bradd, Torild and Emma Wilson, who I gave a co-keynote presentation with at the Arctic Frontiers Forum.

From where the conversation came about, I am not certain, but you could have knocked me over with a feather when Bradd mentioned that he was part of a 10 person team looking at Arctic/European Energy Frontier Development from the perspective of identifying the actual decision makers who sway movements on opinion of projects.

Good grief! I told him, that’s my project. So we exchange cards. I sent him my NSF proposal, with Bradd suggesting we meet at Gardemoen tomorrow for a tete-a-tete, so to speak.

1/15: Here is my preliminary list heading in to Moscow

  • Enroute through Oslo, Feb. 4 – 5, will meet Kaare Hauge, former Consulate to Russia and current mentor on my NSF research.
  • Monday, February 6, meet with Skolkovo representatives: O. A.; F. A.; V. B.; Z. T. — introduced by A. S..
  • British Petroleum’s Senior Economist, Vladimir D.. 10AM on Tuesday.
  • Irina N., Energy Reporter at Reuters, who I met at the 2010 St. Petersburg Economic Forum.
  • Anna S., Energy Reporter at Bloomberg who I have not yet met, but with whom I have been exchanging emails since CERA week 2010.
  • Nina P., Senior Researcher at IMEMO and partner on NSF and Barents 2020 proposals.
  • Aaron Frenkel, Russian magnate.
  • Andrei Kazanzev, Senior Researcher at MGIMO and research partner.
  • Ian Pryde, who operates a reporting service.
  • I want to visit the WoodMac office:


12/19: Went for my Russian visa from Andrey Zakharenko. I know the office well. Replete with doorman and Spam Spade stairwell. Andrey knows the Russian scene in the Bay Area. When I mentioned Skolkovo, he immediately suggested a few Stanford area conferences, participants who come through his office for visas.

Andrey pointed me in the direction of  the Global Technology Forum, an MIT Enterprise Forum, and a host of other innovative theme parks surrounding direct interconnections between US higher education and Skolkovo.

12/10: Internet photos of Skolkovo:

Newly created Skolkovo entrepreneurial park is a site for the negotiation process between the Russian state and a new generation of Russians educated abroad. As part of this project, to be presented at the annual BASEES 2012 conference, on the panel Ideologies of Professionalism in contemporary Russian Welfare State, I plan to explore Skolkovo as a site for enrolling Global Russians into the intentions of the Russian State.

I became aware of Skolkovo at the 2010 St. Petersburg Economic Forum, where an intense debate ensued between government officials claiming to support entrepreneurial parks such as Skolkovo, to stimulate innovation along the lines of Silicon Valley, and a younger generation of Global Russians, complaining that the government should do more for them. Officials responded that Global Russians should act more aggressively like American entrepreneurs — providing the example that the US government did not create Silicon Valley. What is the Skolkovo? What kind of government sponsored entrepreneurial park can create the kind of incentives for Global Russians to return to Russia for capacity building in innovation?

Later, a colleague forwarded me an email, requesting information about Skolkovo. In the email, the addresser writes, “…a non-profit organization tasked with assisting development of Russian innovation-based economy. Skolkovo Foundation was created in 2010 by the special Federal law passed by Russian Duma. It is headed personally by the President of Russia, who chairs its Supervisory Board. The Foundation supervises and funds creation of a science and technology center – Skolkovo City, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology – a graduate research university, and provides support to innovative projects in energy efficiency, IT, biomedicine, nuclear and space technologies through grant programs”.

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Energy journalists are key players in Arctic natural gas development. We began noticing the influence of journalists when observing the Alaska Governors. Members of the Governor’s cabinet were highly concerned with the reporting of news events.

In fact, within the Alaska Governor Tony Knowles administration (where we began our paparazzi ethnography) we noticed a few journalists highly placed within the administration. They were word-crafters and public spokespersons for the Governor. Persons like David Ramseur, whose career began as an Alaska journalist, but in the final years of the Knowles administration, he became Chief-of-Staff. David recently is serving as Chief-of-Staff for Alaska U.S. Senator Mark Begich. Ramseur kept his cards close to his breast. He often wrote policy speeches for the Governor and kept an eye on daily press releases that we turned out for the Alaska media.

Journalist, L. Persily as Federal Coordinator

Another journalist who flittered between political appointments and freelancing for the Anchorage Daily News is Larry Persily. Larry is a master wordsmith. Under Knowles, he was Deputy Commissioner of Revenue and coined the term now famously delivered by the Governor, “My Way is the Highway” — which was in response to a policy favoring the Alaska-Canada Highway as the best route for an Alaska natural gas pipeline (should it ever be built).

Larry was hired also by Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in order so that he would not work as a journalist. We met up with Larry in Washington, D.C. recently, to see his new digs, as reflected in this photograph above. He is the Congressionally appointed Federal Coordinator on the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Project.

Moving on, in Moscow, we were lucky to meet with the quiet, humble, and high-in-demand journalist for The Wall Street JournalJacob Grønholt-Pedersen. Jacob is from Copenhagen. He speaks perfect English, Russian, and Danish. We initially saw Jacob’s writings when he was reporting on the Barents Sea Shtokman natural gas project. We contacted him by email. Here is an image from an internet search of his name.

We met Jacob for lunch on the pedestrian-only Kamergersky Pereulok – a sidestreet and popular hangout in Moscow. In fact, the street abuts the Cambridge Energy Consulting office where we met energy consultant Vitaly Yermakov. Here is a photo of Alex standing next to the Cambridge Energy bronze plaque.

Here is an example of headline by Jacob:

Energy Journalists on the Timing of Events

  • The issue of expertise surrounding development of the Barents Sea Shtokman natural gas field is reported upon in the press differently depending on the any one event, meeting or issue taking place. For ecological organizations, it is a chance to inquire into how potential industrial wastes and hazards will be handled. For representatives of Shtokman Development AG (the energy partnership) it is an opportunity to promote how information produced by environmental consultants will be made available. For trade organizations (builders, tenders) in Norway, they consider anxiously how they will be involved in the project.
  • Main tag line: “Russia’s priority project, the massive Shtokman offshore field in the Barents Sea north of Murmansk—a joint project with France’s Total S.A. and Norway’s StatoilHydro”.
  • In this article, Jacob demonstrates his access to expert analysts in the field. He quotes Vitaly Yermakov — Director of Moscow branch of Cambridge Energy; an “analyst” (unnamed source) from UniCredit and Ron Smith — Chief Strategist at Moscow-based Alfa Bank.
  • This main issue discussed concerns when the project will move forward at all. And we find printed here various statements by independent consultants or finance organizations who presumably are located somewhere in Moscow and whose comments are specifically limited to timing. Everyone wants to know about the timing of events. These statements on timing (2013, 2015, 2025, never) encapsulate an entirety of expectations surrounding regulatory and economic conditions.
  • If you google Moscow Cambridge Energy director, Vitaly Yermakov, his name appears in relation to Cambridge Energy Director in the Washington D.C. office, Matthew J. Sagers, who is author of an academic reaction paper to Milov et. al (2006), (the latter article appearing in the syllabus of Yale anthropologist Doug Rogers on energy in Russia). In addition to working with Yermakov, Sagers also cites in his bibliography an article collaboration with Russian gas economist Valeriy Kryukov, who we had dinner with in Oslo along with Oxford Energy Institute’s Jonathan Stern, at the Petromaks Workshop sponsored by the Norwegian Research Council — the same group who sponsored the Norwegian-Russian Arctic Gas Workshop in Murmansk, titled Petrosam (see below). Both Stern and Kryukov have been publishing for decades on Russian gas developments, together with Arild Moe of Norway’s Fridtjof Nansen Institute (see the post on Moe and Stern below).
  • In the article we refer to, Sager responds to the “nature of Russia’s official energy policy” (“ad hoc” rather than “systemic”). He comments primarily on whether Milov et. al are correct in their empirical assessments of oil exports, pricing developments, price deregulation, gas supply, export flows.
  • Essentially — what we draw attention to here is that there are various levels of detail entrenched in different spaces (academic journals, dinners, workshops), that bubble up to the surface through the work of journalists and often times in the form of statements about the timing of events.
  • The social function of the work of Pedersen, is to write stories in the form of news articles that serve as a hieroglyph, a consecrated form of expert interaction, a condensation of information flow, whose depth is flattened out by publication in the press, but that retains its hold as a source of knowledge because of its lineage, as represented by the various actors cited in text. We suppose the apt metaphor would be a tip of the ice berg. Articles by Pedersen, are like the tip of an ice berg — whose actual dimensions of depth — everyone in the know can recognize by its appearance on the surface of things.
In the event we are awarded our beloved National Science Foundation proposal, we plan to follow up with Jacob in the nearest future….

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Hotel Moscow

I read a fabulously sentimental article in The New York Times about celebrated pianist, Harvey Van Cliburn’s return to Moscow as Honorary Juror to the International Tchaikovsky Competition, which he won in 1958 during the Cold War, at a time when then Premier of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev, was exploring the idea of peaceful coexistence with the United States. The article describes the outpouring of love still felt for Van Cliburn by Russians. Sitting in a coffee shop, reading the article, rubbing my eyes now filled with emotion, I suddenly had a Eureka Moment and breathed aloud, “Wait a spot – I know that place!”

Hotel Moscow

Right there, in that exact location, where Van Cliburn is posing for international photographers — I happened to have taken a photo of Alexandra Karamanova, my fellow photographist and travelry specialist on the first ever Paparazzi Ethnographic Tour last year of Russia — Moscow.

The View

Admittedly, Alex is no Van Cliburn. What I mean is that I do not think, in fact, that she even plays the piano. Nevertheless, the opportunity allows us to think about and reflect upon for a moment, just what Van Cliburn actually saw when standing on that parapet, having his photo taken by the international press. Just what were the material surroundings determining his consciousness as he smiled for the camera?

Let us take a tour!

First of all, Van Cliburn had to get up to the roof-top, and at 76 years old, he probably did not take the stairs. That means, he took the elevator. In which case, if he does not suffer from vertigo, he would have noticed the atrium he was passing through, and the cleanliness of the windows.

The Elevator Scene

He may have been accompanied by a few select paparazzi taking photos of his reaction to this Moscow hotspot, in the way Alex has staged this photo, in anticipation of such a moment, when we would notice someone in the news having their photo taken in this building.

Van Cliburn probably went up there for lunch, choosing a seat near where the photo was taken, and perusing through the menu in a nonchalant manner, just as Alex has done so here in this image — in a staged effort of anticipation about what future stars could be doing in this very location. Van Cliburn cuts a trim figure, so he probably doesn’t eat much. Probably, he has a sweet tooth, and ordered ice cream. It is actually quite warm in Moscow these days, so a little frozen confection soothes the nerves.

The Menu

Actually. Did I mention that this is the location of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, on Tverskaya Street 3-5, situated just 150 meters from Red Square, with “panoramic views from its rooftop across to the Kremlin, which is 400 meters away”?

In addition to international stars like Van Cliburn, the Ritz-Carlton is also a watering hole for observing the “Celebrity Lifestyles of the Carbon Rich and Not-So-Famous” (and, of course, their self-appointed paparazzi ethnographers!).

Well. Now you know the location. So you can do your own google search of images for the rest of the story. But I should mention, in final note, that from this particular location, in addition to the Kremlin, you can spot the Headquarters of various oil and gas companies in Moscow, including the Trade Tower in which we visited then President Bengt Hansen of Statoil, Moscow.

Statoil Boardroom, Moscow

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