#AceFinanceNews – MOSCOW- March 31 – Shell has closed six filling stations in Crimea, a spokesman for Shell’s office in Ukraine, which is responsible for the filling stations network in Crimea, told Itar-Tass on Monday.
According to the spokesman, Alliance Holding, the operator of Shell retail network in Ukraine, has closed six out of 22 filling stations in Crimea. A decision to this effect was taken by the Alliance Holding board of directors back in October 2013 and stemmed from commercial considerations aiming to optimize the company’s activities.
“As of now, we can provide no comment about the future of our 16 remaining filling stations in Crimea. We are closely watching the development of the situation,” the spokesman said.
In the meantime, filling stations in Crimea operated by Russia’s oil major LUKOIL are working in the routine mode, the company told Itar-Tass.
Russian Oil News
#AceFinanceNews – MOSCOW, March 24 – The Fitch international rating agency has downgraded the ratings of nine Russian state-owned companies, including Gazprom and LUKOIL, to negative from stable.
The agency has also revised its outlook to negative from stable on 16 Russian banks, including Sberbank, Rosselkhozbank, Alfa Bank, Gazprombank and Vensheconombank.
“The rating actions follow Fitch’s revision of the Russian Federation’s Outlook to Negative from Stable and the affirmation of its Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at ‘BBB’ on 21 March 2014,” the agency said in a press release on Monday, March 24.
On March 21, Fitch revised its rating of Russia to negative from stable citing a potential impact of Western sanctions on the economy and business environment in Russia.
Fitch analysts think that the direct effect from the declared sanctions will not be significant, but in the future investors can face new measures such as restrictions on Russian companies’ access to international capital markets.
Russian Finance Sources
#AceFinanceNews says that Gazprom and Rosneft are officially the only companies with the right to explore the Russian Artic shelf, as they both received exclusive extraction licenses in return for large cash payments.
In 2009, Rosneft agreed to pay 1.4 billion roubles ($450 million) and Gazprom 1.2 billion in a resolution passed by the state Duma, but the exact amount paid in June 2013 for the licenses is unknown.
Russia has passed a law that only companies in which the state owns more than half and have at least 5 years of Arctic experience are eligible for permits
Lukoil, the country’s second largest oil company, is publicly owned, and Sugtneftegas, known to have close ties with the Kremlin, is also publicly owned, and therefore not up for a permit.
Tatneft is the country’s sixth largest and operates out of the Republic of Tatarstan, which is also the company’s primary shareholder.