Oil


The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and CREON Group have announced results of the fifth Environmental Transparency Rating of Oil & Gas Companies operating in Russia. The announcement ceremony took place at the Analytical Center of the Government of the Russian Federation in Moscow on the 30th of November.

The Rating project has been implemented with support from the United Nations Environment Program and with participation of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia and the Ministry of Energy of Russia. Just as in previous years, the rating process has been executed by National Rating Agency, while the Luxembourg-based fund management company Creon Capital participated as a partner in the project.

The results of the rating in 2018 both affirmed yesteryear leaders’ standings and revealed new prominent up-and-coming participants. As in the previous year Sakhalin Energy (Sakhalin-2), a joint venture of Gazprom, Shell, Mitsui and Mitsubishi, ranked first, followed by Zarubezhneft. The latter company appears in the top 3 for the first time. Exxon NL achieved the third rank.

For the first time, special diplomas were awarded to winners in each of three Rating categories: Surgutneftegaz and Zarubezhneft shared the first rank in terms of ‘Environmental Management’; Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) scored the best result in ‘Environmental Impact’; and LUKoil convinced the rating agency regarding their ‘Information Disclosure’.

The high importance of the study was underlined by Denis Khramov, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation: “The public initiatives of the Worldwide Fund for Nature such as the Transparency Rating of Environmental Responsibility of Oil & Gas Companies operating in Russia represent an important input in improving ecological policies in the industry, and are also increasing the public availability of environmentally significant information”.

“Recently we have witnessed increasing support and attention to our rating from relevant government bodies such as the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia and the Ministry of Energy of Russia, which confirms the importance of ratings in the system of public administration of environmental risks and impacts”, said Alexey Knizhnikov, Oil & Gas Program Leader, WWF Russia. “At the same time, it should be noted that two of four Russian state oil and gas companies, namely NK Rosneft and Zarubezhneft, have been increasingly involved in the rating’s development compared to previous years. Their representatives have always been participating in methodology development and progress review meetings”.

Pavel Sorokin, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, also addressed his support to the rating’s initiators: “Improving social and environmental responsibility of companies in the oil and gas sector in Russia is becoming an increasingly pivotal task in the field of public administration and in achieving better competitiveness of Russian business. The non-government initiative to conduct the rating has proven its effectiveness within the five years since the project started. The dialogue between oil and gas companies and the society on environmental safety issues should be actively pursued with this project”.

Head of CREON Group und Chairman of Creon Capital, Fares Kilzie, underlined in his speech: “CREON Group in general, and Creon Capital in particular, fully support and promote the idea of “responsible investments”, which promotes the rapidly improving investment climate in Russia. As an investment fund we identify outstanding business opportunities, when Russian oil and gas companies improve their ecological footprint. We are ready to contribute in financing sound projects such as advanced APG processing and LNG as an alternative energy source to replace traditional sources fuels such as Diesel and heavy oil. In this context, I would like to mention NOVATEK as a successful endeavor, that grow to the largest Russian LNG producer. This company pioneers with the implementation of large-scale LNG, which may change the whole industry’s structure.

DOWNLOAD the rating brochure (in English). 

Picture: Representatives of the top-3-ranked companies Sakhalin Energy, Zarubeshneft and Exxon (front row), accompanied by the rating team and the winners of three sub-categories – Surgutneftegas, KTK and Lukoil.

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ABOUT THE RATING

The “Environmental Transparency Rating of Oil and Gas Companies” operating in Russia is an independent project, invented by the Fund’s initiator Creon Energy in 2014. More than 30 Russian and international enterprises are being rated annually regarding their environmental policy. The rating is conducted independently by the Russian Rating Agency, according to a sophisticated methodology developed by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) Russia. In 2018, Creon and WWF also started to rate oil and gas companies in Kazakhstan, a global rating will be conducted soon.

Learn more about the ratings history (external link)

OBJECTIVES

For a long time the mostly state-owned oil and gas companies in Russia were closed shops. Reports on environmental sustainability – missing. Manuals how to deal with hazardous situations – out of date. Recultivation projects for oil spills – what for?

In the past couple of years the situation has changed tremendously: Even large state enterprises such as Rosneft started to report on environmental responsibility in detail. Lukoil installed solar-based power generation on their oil production plants. And the gas associated with the process of oil refining has increasingly been processed or transferred to pipeline systems instead of being burnt.

The rating aims to accompany this process towards more environmental responsibility. The disclosure of information has significantly increased within the five years the rating has been conducted. Companies’ ecologists discuss the ratings results and best-practice examples. The product’s presentation annually turns out to be a gathering of specialists working for competing companies in Russia. But all of them try hard to get the oil and gas production “greener”. In 2018 the rating’s results have been presented in the Analytical Center of the Russian government, representatives of several ministries attended the event.

Learn more about the rating’s objectives (external link)

METHDOLOGY

The methodology behind the rating of oil and gas companies in terms of environmental transparency and responsibility has been developed in 2014 and reviewed since then on an annual basis. Every year all Russian oil and gas companies are invited to participate in a round table discussion with WWF specialists to discuss the details and propose changes. Large companies such as Rosneft and Lukoil contribute to this discussion constructively just as much as smaller producers such as Salym Petroleum.

According to the metholodology the rating agency assesses the oil and gas companies along the value chain from hydrocarbon production, processing to transportation. The amount and quality of disclosed information is crucial for their placement in the rating, but also the way how comapnies deal with accidents, whether they inform about it or deploy a harzard prevention and risk management system. Also the producers measures to process associated petroleum gas (APG) during the refinery process matter, some still burn APG instead of using it.

Learn more about the methodology (external link)



As much as some may be surprised in the West: ecology and Russia – this combination is no longer a contradiction today. Not only since the Year of the Environment took place in 2017, the world’s largest country moves slowly but visibly in the right direction in terms of environmental issues: The burning of associated gas in the oil production is decreasing, landfills have been closed, recycling is being promoted by the state actively. Above all Russian oil and gas companies have to offer something, which could boost the EU-countries leap towards a cleaner economy structure: Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a fuel for decentral regions and the transportation sector.

Ecology and Russia – this combination also becomes relevant for companies. Therefore, CREON Group invites to the second Berlin Conference this year. Businessmen and experts from both Russia and Germany will discuss how environmental responsibility can be shaped and improved further. Which solutions can German companies provide for Russian partners who want to tackle the topic? And conversely, can Russian companies contribute to a “greener Europe” by delivering Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)? These discussions will be supported by the German Eastern Business Association (OAOEV) and the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce (AHK).

During the conference we will present the results of our environmental responsibility rating in Russia’s oil and gas industry. For the fifth time, WWF Russia and CREON conduct the independent rating of major oil and gas companies regarding their efforts and transparency in terms of environmental responsibility: Who renatures oil-contaminated areas? Who is flaring on associated gas, who is not? How transparent are corporations in reporting on ecological issues? In the meantime, the rating has been established as a credible, objective and recognized tool to push the oil and gas companies towards on a more sustainable course. The initiative to conduct Global rating of the 32 biggest world oil and gas companies will be also presented in Berlin.

The aim of the conference is to promote ecological responsibility as a common topic for Germans and Russians. Therefore, we are pleased to welcome high-ranking politicians from both countries, who find common interests in the field of ecology beyond the well-known political dispute topics. Above all, however, entrepreneurs from East and West should be brought together: In Europe’s East, a market is now growing with its awareness of the problem, for which Germany particularly could supply “green” technologies. CREON has set itself the goal of connecting these networks.

 

Venue and Timing

Wednesday, December 05th 2018

Time: 13.00 – 19.00

Hotel Marriott, Berlin (Potsdamer Platz), Inge-Beisheim-Platz 1, 10785 Berlin

 

DOWNLOAD the program here

MORE INFORMATION you may find on our website.



Despite sanctions imposed by US-authorities on Russia, construction of large infrastructure projects continues. Recently Novatek opened the second of four production trains on Yamal peninsula, freezing natural gas down to 164 degrees below Celsius to get it transportable. Next year the capacity of 17,4 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) will be reached, but even before this the new Russian energy giant Novatek is widely expected to make an investment decision on a second LNG-factory worth of more than 18 billion Euro. Other huge projects worth dozens of billions are planned or under construction along the Baltic shore and in the Russian Far East.

However, it remains difficult for foreign investors to enter large infrastructure projects such as the gas processing plants or the railway corridor Moscow-Kazan. An obvious reason is that companies themselves hesitate to invest due to sanctions-related risks and uncertainty. But they might be encouraged to invest if governments simplified mechanisms to issue state-guarantees. Creon Capital works closely with the Association of European Businesses (AEB) to achieve progress on this matter.

Several investment projects are stalled because it takes too much time to issues state-guaranties, which are usually being granted to smaller or highly secured projects only. This means in fact that the government does not issue them. Even governmental institutions such as VEB and its subsidiaries require tough preconditions, which are difficult to fulfill. Therefore, the influx of FDI remains limited and both European and Chinese investors hold back their capital to finance projects.

Creon Capital proposes the Russian government to increase its efforts to ease the conditions for state-guarantees, which must include bureaucratic processes, financial preconditions, due diligence, monitoring and decision-making procedures. The existing institutions of industrial development such as VEB and its subsidiaries shall expand their instruments to include a wider range of economic sectors and increase the minimum amount of funding for single projects.

For further information please contact:
Leila Nettaf
T. +352 26 49 79 2203
E. nettaf@creoncapital.lu



Since political relations between Russia and the West deteriorated, the bilateral partnership between Moscow and Beijing has gained importance. At least since 2014, politicians from both countries have increasingly and resolutely proclaimed a closer alliance of the major powers. Consequently, a more comprehensive cooperation between the countries, was also claimed at the major bilateral China-Russia Conference, which took place on May 29 and 30 in Beijing. As a partner of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), CREON Group supported the summit in China’s capital. Almost 300 delegates participated in the event, which was organized by the China Strategic Cooperation Council with Russia and the Institute for Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Both organizations belong to China’s Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

The title of the top-class conference promised optimism: “China and Russia: cooperation on the way to a new era.” Dai Bingguo, a former deputy of the People’s Republic of China and co-chairman of the Chinese-Russian Committee for Friendship, Peace and Development, praised the common strategic interests of both countries. Igor Ivanov, Russia’s former foreign minister (1998-2004) and current chairman of the RIAC, was pleased with the intensification of the relationship in recent years, the importance of which should not be underestimated in an increasingly unstable world. Politically, according to the quintessential high-level discussions, China and Russia became recently closer than ever before.

And economically? There is still room for improvement, as representatives of both countries openly explained. Li Sin, senior academic researcher at the academy and Director of the Center for Russian and Central Asian Studies at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, noted “an absolutely insufficient level of direct investment” from the Chinese side in Russia and vice versa. The reason for this: “There is a lack of mutual trust and understanding.”

Yevgeniy Nadorshin, Chief Economist of the investment company “FK Capital” said, he was missing “equal relations”, so he came to a similar conclusion. Chinese were wrong if they try to explain their low investments in Russia with existent investment barriers: “China has already overcome much larger investment hurdles in Africa years ago.” Instead, it should be time to admit: “We do not trust each other, that is not a question of customs barriers.” Andrey Klepach, Chief Economist and Vice-President of Vneshekonombank (VEB), found reasons for the mutually low level of foreign direct investments (FDI) also in Russia: “We must allow investments in the extraction and processing of natural resources and large-scale infrastructure projects”, the former Vice Minister of Economic Development demanded. It appears to him that China’s investment activity in Russia is too limited to the role of a creditor.

CREON had already systematically collected information about the FDI-influx for the conference one year ago: $ 62 billion, the total amount invested by Chinese financial institutions in the Russia’s energy sector. This rough figure has not changed significantly for a year. And it continues to apply that 98 percent of China’s FDI flow into the commodity and energy sectors.

China, it seems, still considers Russia as a pure raw material supplier. For Fares Kilzie, the founder of the Creon Group, this is a dangerous perception: “If the oil price moves up or down harshly, there will be conflicts between supplier and customer. Investors should swiftly diversify their economic relations with Russia.” However, this does not necessarily mean to invest in completely different industries instead: “Diversification can be achieved easily by just processing raw materials into products in Russia in order to export them to China, ” Kilzie suggested. Projects dedicated to the processing of gas to methanol or agrochemicals, for instance, would be completely free of sanctions while being economically very attractive. The Creon Group offers Chinese as well as European partners to accompany such projects as a co-investor. There are a lot of projects to be realized.



The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Russia and the Luxembourg-based fund management company CREON Capital have agreed to create a «Global Transparency Rating of Oil and Gas Companies». The survey will involve 30 global commodity producers from around the world, it will be focused on their efforts to strengthen their environmental responsibility. Therefore, environmental strategies will be evaluated as well as concrete measures towards more environmental protection in a sector, which is critical for nature and human being. This will be the first worldwide study, which provides transparent and comparable data and information on environmental responsibility in the global oil and gas industry. WWF Russia and CREON Capital signed a declaration on May 25 during the International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg.

The rating will be presented on several events later this year. Alexey Knizhnikov, WWF Russia’s head of the Environmental Policy program in the Fuel and Energy Complex, said: «The rating will allow us to assess on an annual basis the efficiency and transparency of oil and gas companies in terms of environmental responsibility: the development of renewable energy as an alternative to fossil fuels plays a role as well as activities to conserve biodiversity, the companies’ programs for environmental protection and renaturation.» In the past four years, when WWF and CREON conducted the rating for Russian companies, this format had become a platform of constructive dialogue between energy companies and civil society, Knizhnikov remembered: «Now we want to expand this platform to a global level, and we invite the industry to join the dialogue on ecological responsibility.»

Dr. Fares Kilzie, Chairman of CREON Capital, commented: «Our role as an investment fund is that of the co-investor in environmentally responsible projects, such as the processing of associated gas and the establishment of supply chains for LNG as an environment-friendly alternative to heavy fuel oil and diesel in the transport sector.» For him as a Fund manager it were not only possible and necessary to realize «green» projects, said Kilzie, but also economically reasonable. «We therefore support our partner WWF in every respect in order to promote the topic of ecological responsibility in the global oil and gas industry.»

 

About us:

The Rating of Environmental Responsibility in the Russian Energy Sector has been launched in 2014 as an initiative of the CREON Group and WWF Russia. The project’s objectives were to conduct tangible and comparable information on environmental activities of oil and gas companies. Thanks to the publicity effect of the rating, some influence could be exerted on the companies in Russia, which partly increased transparency, decreased pollutions or developed an environmental risk-management-system. In 2017, the rating was first presented in Europe, also a separate rating of the Kazakh oil and gas companies was conducted.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Russia works with state institutions, companies, experts and local communities to change people’s attitude to nature. The priorities of WWF’s various activities in Russia include the protection and preservation of biodiversity, sustainable forestry and fisheries, the «green economy», environmental governance, climate and energy.

CREON Capital is a fund management company based in Luxembourg. It manages the CREON Energy Fund, which actively invests in energy projects. Green technologies and renewable energy are among the focus areas of investments. The private equity fund also invests in the processing of gas and the construction of a liquefied natural gas infrastructure.

Press Inquiries:

CREON Capital
Florian Willershausen
Director BD & Marcom

Tel. +352 621 235 126
E-Mail: fw@creoncapital.lu
www.zs-rating.ru/

 

Pictures:

Florian Willershausen (CREON Capital, left) and Alexey Knizhnikov (WWF Russia) signed a Memorandum of Understanding, stating that both organizations will conduct a Global Transparency Rating of Oil and Gas Companies:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Premiere in Berlin: For the first time outside of Russia, the CREON Group presented the widely-established rating of environmental responsibility of oil and gas companies. The study, which CREON conducts together with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Russia annually since 2013, was presented at the conference “Ecological Responsibility in the Russian Energy Sector” in Hotel Marriott Berlin. 90 participants witnessed dynamic debates on the prospects of renewable energies in Russia, the country’s deficits in processing associated gas in oil production, LNG refueling of ships as an environmentally friendly alternative to heavy fuel oil.

From the beginning, the aim of the event was to bring together German and Russian companies as well as experts from associations and environmental organizations. German businesses provide various technologies that contribute to a more sustainable oil and gas production. At the same time, the sensitivity to ecology issues is growing among Russian industrial companies, not least due to better state regulation and the attention paid to ecology issues with instruments such as the CREON rating. The practice-oriented event was supported by the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

In contrast to other policy areas of German-Russian relations, ecology topics in the energy sector offer considerable scope for bilateral cooperation. Ursula Borak, director of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi), Deputy Director-General and head of the department “International, fossil fuels and nuclear energy”, emphasized in her speech: “German-Russian energy relations lay the fundament for the economic relations between both countries, which is not only due to their high share in bilateral trade. They also imply great modernization potential for cooperation between Germany and Russia. There are many opportunities for projects where environmental protection and economic interests go hand in hand. Together with our Russian partners, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy supports companies in recognizing and taking advantage of these opportunities.”

Dr. Christiane Schuchart, Russia Director at the German Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, said: “Mutual investment and joint projects in the energy sector create trust due to their long-term perspective and can thus make a positive contribution to the political rapprochement between Russia and Germany. Environment and climate – and thus all of us – benefit from the fact that German-Russian energy cooperation is becoming “green.” With the topic of ecology in the Russian energy sector, the CREON event stands out in the lush conference landscape.

It is crucial to reduce mutual prejudices and strengthen the exchange of projects related to environmental responsibility. In this sense, the presentation by Natalia Zaytseva, who heads the Center for Sustainable Businesses at the Moscow School of Management Skolkovo, turned out to be a helpful overview. In independent European sustainability rankings, Russia ranks midfield, after all. The number of companies that recognize their responsibility for a sustainable economy is also growing steadily in Russia.

This is in line with the observations of Alexey Knizhnikov, who is responsible for the ranking at WWF Russia: “Four years ago, it was extremely difficult for us to even get data and information on accidents and pollution. In the meantime, especially the big oil and gas companies are getting more and more transparent from year to year, because the pressure of the public is growing. “However, there are still deficits: “Satellite imagery suggests that in the oil production much more accompanying gas is flared than the official data of government and companies claim”, Knizhnikov called an example. Incidents in factories are all too often concealed.

Gazprom, Sakhalin Energy and Nord Stream 2 representatives commented on the criticism: Nikias Wagner, Head of Public Affairs at Gazprom Germania, referred to around one billion euros in expenses that Gazprom invests annually in environmental protection: “I believe this number speaks for itself. “Andrey Samatov, Head of the Environmental Division at Sakhalin Energy, explained his numerous projects to reduce greenhouse gases in liquefied natural gas production. In the Environmental Responsibility ranking of Russian oil and gas companies, Samatov may find confirmation that they are on the right track: Sakhalin Energy took first place in 2017, followed by Exxon Mobil and Surgutneftegaz.

The ecological responsibility event will not be a one-time event in Germany. CREON agreed with the East Committee of German Business and the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to organize the event again and expand it next year. “Russia is moving in the field of ecology and sustainability. That is why it is in the interests of the German economy to further develop bilateral economic relations in this field too”, says the Committee’s Managing Director Michael Harms.

Fares Kilzie, Founder and Chairman of the CREON Group, said about future activities: “It is no coincidence that we have chosen Berlin as the location for our first German-Russian ecology conference. Here, German-Russian cooperation is already taking place at a high level, which also confirmed the top-class participation in the conference. CREON is a pioneer in the field of ecological modernization. Now it is time to implement projects together with our German partners.”

Pictures:

1) Ursala Borak (German Ministry of Economy and Energy) held a keynote speech on German-Russian Economic Relations.

2) Andrey Samatov (Sakhalin Energy,  and Alexey Knizhnikov (WWF Russia)

3) Round table discussions during the coffee-break.

 

4) The 2017 Rating of Environmental Resposibility of Russian oil and gas companies is available in English language. 

4) Svetlana Scheynfeld, United Nations Development Program

5) Discussion the perspectives of renewable energies in Russia: Mikhail Babenko (WWF), Georgy Kekelidze (Eurosolar Russia), Thomas Heidemann (CMS Hashe Sigle), Christopfer Frey (Enercon) and Moderator Sebastian Kiefer (AHK).

 

Media contact:

Florian Willershausen
Director Communications
Creon Capital S.à.r.l.
T (GER) +49 151 162 44 591 (WhatsApp)
T (RUS) +7 968 783 84 12
T (LUX) +352 621 235 126
E willershausen@creoncapital.lu
www.creoncapital.lu