Dmitry Mazurov, the founder of the New Stream group, has been building the largest independent oil refinery in Russia for 14 years. The company cost him and his influential partners more than $ 3 billion. But in the spring of 2019, the Antipinsky Oil Refinery stopped and declared itself bankrupt. Forbes figured out why the ambitious project failed.
Black oil stream
At the end of March 2008, Dmitry Mazurov was woken by a bell. At the end of the line was a lawyer who was at 8 am in the registration chamber of the Swiss Zug. The company he designed for Mazurov required a name. Asleep Mazurov recalled yesterday's news release, which spoke about the Nord Stream gas pipeline. Without thinking twice, Mazurov proposed to name the new company New Stream (“New Stream”).
With Nord Stream, the newly created New Stream Advancement AG was united not only by the name. The board of directors of both companies includes the Swiss lawyer Urs Hausheer. This is not the only eminent lawyer among partners Mazurov. Since 2008, Nikolay Egorov, founder of the Egorov Afanasyev, Puginsky and Partners law firm, has been a member of the board of directors of New Stream Advancement. He is known to the general public as a classmate of Vladimir Putin.
Yegorov was summoned into the business of Mazurov by another of his influential partners, Vladimir Kalashnikov, a longtime acquaintance of the Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin. It was he who headed the Tyumen region, when in 2004 Mazurov started a construction of the Antipinsky Oil Refinery near Tyumen.
Initially, the flagship asset of New Stream was conceived as a classic "samovar" - a small refinery that supplied fuel oil for export. This is a primitive business that existed due to the fact that the export duty on crude oil was higher than on fuel oil, says one of the oil industry workers: "It was only necessary to put the difference in your pocket." The margin was $ 100 per ton of fuel oil.
But in 2010, the authorities proclaimed a course for deep processing and an increase in duties on fuel oil. Antipinsky Oil Refinery promised massive losses. By that time, although it was processing 2.5 million tons per year, it remained a “samovar”. Mazurov was immediately puzzled by the modernization of the plant.
On October 7, 2016, the Antipinsky Oil Refinery marked the 10th anniversary of the launch of the plant on a large scale. The entire Tyumen political elite, headed by the governor and former deputy Sobyanin Vladimir Yakushev, arrived at the celebration. Of the major businessmen, only the head of Sibur Dmitry Konov could come. The remaining oil workers flew to Moscow for a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.
Mazurov and Kalashnikov, along with Yakushev, cut the red ribbon, which symbolized the launch of the installation of deep processing of fuel oil. Thanks to her, the refinery increased refining depth to 98% and got rid of fuel oil. By this time, New Stream acquired its own oil fields in the Orenburg region and bought the Mari refinery from VTB. Moreover, the Antipinsky Oil Refinery was going to compete for Bashneft. Mazurov also promised that in 2017, New Stream will launch a network of gas stations throughout the Urals and will cost $ 1 billion. He predicted $ 0.5 billion in EBITDA per year to the Antipinsky Oil Refinery.
The emergence of a strong industry owner is seen as the most effective way to resolve the current difficult situation, a representative of Sberbank said. However, she stressed that the procedure for selling the plant's property is strictly regulated by bankruptcy law. Sberbank will not rush to sell the refinery, a banker close to him says: “We need to build the right operating model, get rid of all the ballast, clear the debts, build the right value-added system.”
The plant may start as early as July. Due to the ban on exports during bankruptcy, the give-and-take scheme is likely to be implemented (oil is processed for a fee and returned to its owner in the form of oil products) with the participation of Socar, a source close to the plant believes. According to him, for this, at the end of May, Sberbank and Socar created the Sokar Energoresurs joint venture in Moscow. The State Bank and Socar did not comment on this.
And what about Mazurov? Before the change in the management of the plant, he remained an optimist, because according to his plans, from November 2018, the plant was supposed to be in surplus, his friend says: "He knew that there were problems, but he believed that everything would even out." But the reasons for optimism was becoming less. Even before the loss of Antipinsky Oil Refinery, its New Stream lost its shares in the Afipsky Oil Refinery, which went to Mikhail Gutseriev. Bankruptcy lawsuits were filed with the Mari refinery in mid-May. In fact, now only the management company remains from New Stream. Mazurov, by any means, sought to complete the modernization of the Antipinsky Oil Refinery, guided by the principle “the winners are not judged,” says an oilman familiar with him: “But it turned out that they were judging.”
At present, it is known about the only lawsuit that Egorov disputes the new edition of the Antipinsky Oil Refinery Charter adopted by Mazurov. She, according to Yegorov, who still owns 20% of the plant, limited the rights of minority shareholders. The likelihood of monetary claims to the founder of New Stream is also high - he personally entrusted himself with Sberbank loans. Left without oil assets, Mazurov still owns 20% in the small metropolitan Interprombank. Sberbank is tough and intends to seek and recover assets, says a banker familiar with the position of the state bank. It seems that Mazurov does not intend to retreat. At the end of April, the Development Management affiliated with it challenged the sale of the Afipsky refinery to Gutseriev. Apparently, the struggle for the legacy of New Stream is still ahead. In the New Stream declined to comment.