Oil moguls: a new oil company is growing around Gazprom

A new oil company 1Oil Management with the production of about 600 000 tonnes per year emerged in Russia. Its management and financial ratios indicate a connection with Gazprom entities. 
Origin source
A new oil company emerged in Russia, which over the past few years have been collecting oil assets around the country. Its name is 1Oil Management (sounds like "First Oil"), the beneficiary has not been disclosed, but its top executives are from Gazprom entities. In the past year, according to SPARK, "1Oil Management" got a number of major oil assets. In particular, the Russian oil companies of the global commodity trader Vitol: Pechoraneftegaz (Sotchemyu field) and Kosyuneft (Sotchemyu and East Turyshevskoe fields).

"The fields are small, but are very compact and with good flow rates," said a source familiar with the deal. The major share of produced oin from these deposits was transported through the Transneft pipeline system: about a half was sold on the domestic market, and a part was exported. According to sources familiar with the deal, Vitol assets in Russia are estimated at $50-100 million. The press-service of Vitol declined to comment. "1Oil Management" got questions from Forbes, as confirmed in December last year by the company's managing director and former chief investment officer of Gazprom Gazenergoset, Ilya Taraba. But there was no reply.

The new oil company last year also acquired full ownership of the Tarhovskoe field. Previously, it was associated with the owners of the Antipinsky refinery (Novy Potok group), the co-founder of the law office "Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev and Partners" Nikolai Egorov, Dmitry Mazurov et al. Tarhovskoe was established in January 2008 and was a part of TNK-BP. The company was bought by Totaloyl LLC in November 2010. Six oil fields: Sorominskoe, North Sorominskoe, Ershov, North Tarhovskoe, Tul Eganskoye, Nikolskoye are developed by the company. All deposits are located in the Nizhnevartovsk region. Recoverable reserves of ABS1 categories were 7 million tons. In 2014, production amounted to 305,000 tons. Novy Potok confirmed that Tarhovskoe had been sold, but the details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Cypriot Uroco became the owner of Tarhovskoye field in August last year, and it is managed by "1Oil management". Uroco has a number of oil assets and deposits, among them Rufeganneftegaz (deposits in the Khanty-Mansiysk region, its shares are encumbered to Tavrichesky Bank by Pechoraneftegaz), Ingolskoe, West Novomolodezhnoe (shares of Uroco in the last two companies are encumbered to Finservis Bank), South Sardakovskoe (was a part of Slavneft) and NTP Esko. The source evaluates production of 1Oil Management at 600 000 tonnes per year, and the total reserves at 50 million tons.

Some of these companies are connected with Swiss BMM Capital, the head of its legal department Mikhail Sveklov was among the managers of oil companies mentioned above. According to Whois, the Swiss company owns the Firstoil.ru domain, but there's no website. Ilya Taraba also asked to email questions to the mail address at BMM Capital. The BMM Capital website says that the company is engaged in the oil and gas industry projects and real estate development.

Sveklov previously worked with the staff of Gazprom entities; in particular, he carried out the liquidation of the Gas Investment Company in 2008. Its owner was a former first deputy general director of Gazprom Gazenergoset (Gazprom mezhregiongaz group) Anatoly Paliy. BMM Capital and Sveklov were among the participants of a number of oil companies: Devon" (the share of the company's owrner, Cypriot Benelli, is encumbered to Finservis Bank), Dinyu and the previously mentioned Ingolskoe, NTP Esko and Rufeganneftegaz.

The asset manager of Small Letters, Vitaly Kryukov, says that without access to significant credit resources it is very difficult to build a big business in the oil industry. "This is exemplified by Alexey Khotin, Russneft and Eduard Khudainatov, and NNK company. Also, the administrative resource plays an important role, but in any case, these two things are connected," says Kryukov.

Connections to Gazprom companies can be traced through Finservis Bank which lends Pechoraneftegaz, Devon, and other entities. The Bank's history is tightly connected with Gazprom: in 2008, when Sobinbank positions were shaken, Gazenergoprombank was engaged in its salvation (73.3% of the bank belonged to Gazprom mezhregiongaz group). Finservis was a subsidiary bank of Sobinbank, and in the course of rehabilitation was transferred to the people associated with Gazprom. Novaya Gazeta linked the new shareholders of Finservis with the CEO of Gazprom Mezhregiongas, a member of the Board of Gazprom, Kirill Seleznev: Ivan Mironov turned out to be Seleznev's stepbrother, and Natalia Kovalenko was his deputy in Gazprom Mezhregiongas. Kirill Seleznev's office said that the manager is not associated with 1Oil Management and BMM Capital.