Igor Sechin will surrender the Russian Far East to American ExxonMobil

For this, it is proposed to reanimate the old Soviet project to create the Eastern Petrochemical Complex, the cost of which is now estimated at 1.3 trillion rubles.
Rosneft can, together with ExxonMobil, build the Eastern Petrochemical Complex (VNHK) conceived in 1974 in the Far East. The project needs 1.3 trillion rubles.

“Rosneft” intends to decide within 1–2 years with the partner for the implementation of the project of the Eastern Petrochemical Company in the Far East, ”said the First Vice-President of the state-owned company Pavel Fedorov in December 2017.“ VNHK will be built, the project will be completed there He must pass the examination. We will also develop a plan for state participation in supporting this project, ”Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev said in September, but did not disclose any details.

Partner may be the American ExxonMobil. Russia began negotiations with it about participation in new oil and gas projects, despite the US preparation of new sanctions, Bloomberg reported in early October with reference to two sources close to the Russian government: Russia proposed several options for Exxon to participate in natural gas production, refining and petrochemistry projects.

Vedomosti found out that Rosneft is considering, among other things, the possibility of building VNHK in the Far East in partnership with ExxonMobil, told two people close to the participants of the Exxon and Rosneft talks, and confirmed two high-ranking officials.

Among the opportunities currently being considered is to hand over 50% to ExxonMobil in the construction of the VNHK in exchange for proportionate investments, two Vedomosti interlocutors know. “If ExxonMobil becomes the owner of more than 50% of VNHK, it will mean that the project will belong to the American company, and Rosneft will be a minority shareholder in it. This can save the project company from [the threat of] US sanctions, ”explains one of them. A Bloomberg source claimed that Russia sent Exxon a number of proposals in the framework of cooperation on the Sakhalin-1 project. According to him, if the American company agrees to participate in any project, the corresponding agreement can be signed before the end of the year.

Rosneft talks with ExxonMobil about the possibility of participating in the VNHK project have been going on for some time, a person close to one of the parties confirmed to Vedomosti, adding that the American company is not the only bidder, Rosneft offers a number of players to participate in the VNHK.

Negotiations with Exxon on participation in the High National Oil Chemicals Committee have been going on for a long time - “at least from the beginning of the year,” say an investment banker, an official and a person close to one of the parties to the negotiations. Two of them say that Rosneft at the beginning of the year was considering a partnership in the oil and gas industry, including with the Chinese Sinopec. They do not disclose the current status of negotiations with her, Sinopec did not provide comments. Another official said that the ExxonMobil proposal did the same at the beginning of the year. The second is that at the beginning of August the companies considered this issue.

"Negotiations on the participation of Exxon in various projects of Rosneft, as well as with all other foreign partners, have never been interrupted," said a person close to one of the parties to the negotiations.

Rosneft refutes the rumors received by the Vedomosti newspaper from anonymous sources and focuses the editorial attention that in case of publication of inaccurate information and information detrimental to the business, the company reserves the right to defend its interests in court, "the commentary says Rosneft. A representative of ExxonMobil "no comments and reasons for them." Representatives of the Ministry of Energy and the Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak did not answer the questions of Vedomosti.

The petrochemical complex VNHK is supposed to be built in Primorsky Krai: according to the latest data, three stages for the production of oil and gas chemistry with a total capacity of 12 million tons per year. The latest estimates of the VNHK construction project are 1.3 trillion rubles, two interlocutors of Vedomosti told. Thus, Exxon can invest in it from 650 billion rubles. ($ 9.9 billion at the current rate). It is planned to begin the construction of the VNHK not from the oil refining line, as planned earlier, but from the petrochemical industry, said two interlocutors of Vedomosti. One of them noted that ExxonMobil sees in the sale of petrochemical products in the APR region more prospects than from the sale of fuel.

Building VNHK - an important project, but in the current tax and economic conditions there are many questions to it, argues Aton analyst Alexander Kornilov. The stability of the tax system for a long period is important for building VNHK, it is not yet possible to talk about it, the expert complains, but “the potential capacity of the petrochemical market in the Asia-Pacific countries makes it possible to think about plans for the development of VNHK”. Even with tax breaks, the VNHK project is not as interesting as the Rosneft mining projects, most likely, Exxon will prefer them, ACRA analyst Vasily Tanurkov believes.