Special Report: Russian oil firms combat ‘perfect storm’ of grim events

The Russian Federation’s oil industry currently is facing a “perfect storm” of difficulties—with simultaneous, sudden low oil prices, high taxes and tariffs, the devaluation of the ruble, and the global financial crisis—according to Russian oil executives evaluating the outlook for Russian oil at a February CERAWeek presentation in Houston.Russian tax reform is high on the list of priorities leading back to growth and profitability for oil companies, said Peter O’Brien, chief financial officer of OAO Rosneft. The price of oil fell so rapidly in the second half of 2008 that, under existing tax laws, profits were squeezed out in the fourth quarter, with &...

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