Pubblicato in: Cina, Devoluzione socialismo, Materie Prime

Cina ed il Rame. Il predominio economico mondiale.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-11-04.

2020-10-28__ Cina e Rame 013

Reuters ha pubblicato un pregevole articolo

Column: China’s new international copper contract comes at the right time.

È un articolo troppo esteso per essere riportato in calce come al solito. Ne segnaleremo solo alcuni passaggi strategici.

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«Next month’s launch of an international copper contract in China comes at an opportune moment, as the world’s largest importer and consumer of the industrial metal shows once again just how much it dominates the market discourse.»

«The futures contract will launch on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE) on Nov. 19, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said on Friday»

«While a China copper contract is already traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE), the new derivative will be open to trade by foreigners and should offer a much easier path to get exposure to China’s copper market»

«The new contract will be traded in yuan, but unlike its competitor, will exclude tax and customs duty, and delivery will be into bonded warehouses»

*

«In copper, China has a far more important role, however, being responsible for about just under half the world’s production of copper and copper alloys semis, the industry term for the first-stage products produced from refined copper»

«China is also the world’s largest importer of unwrought copper, as well as copper ores and concentrates»

«China customs data shows unwrought copper imports of 4.99 million tonnes in the first nine months of 2020, up 41% from the corresponding period last year»

* * * * * * *



Il consumo del rame è strettamente correlato alla crescita economica: basti solo pensare alla enorme quantità di cavi elettrici utilizzati nella edilizia.

Orbene. La Cina importa quasi la metà del rame estrattivo mondiale, e questo dato spiega bene quanto essa sia potente economicamente, ed è una ulteriore conferma dei dati macroeconomici.

Non solo.

Le importazione di rame nei primi nove mesi dell’anno sono aumentate del 41% rispetto ai primi nove mesi del 2019. Questo nonostante la botta di arresto da Covid-19, che si è dimostrata essere ininfluente sulla crescita cinese.

Ci si pensi bene. La Cina cresce in continuazione mentre il blocco occidentale si è intrappolato in una devastante recessione. La conseguenza è logica: la Cina occupa e continuerà ad occupare gli spazi economici lasciati vuoti dall’occidente.

Pubblicato in: Materie Prime, Russia

Sukhoi Log, Irkutsk, Siberia. Miniera che contiene 40 milioni once d’oro.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-11-04.

Mongolia Irkutsk 013

«Siberian gold deposit has world’s largest reserves»

«Audit shows Sukhoi Log holds 40 million ounces of reserves»

«Russian miner plans to start main spending on deposit in 2023»

«Polyus PJSC, Russia’s largest gold producer, said its untapped Sukhoi Log deposit in Siberia holds the world’s biggest reserves»

«An audit showed Sukhoi Log has 40 million ounces of proven reserves as measured by international JORC standards, with an average gold content of 2.3 grams per ton»

«Sukhoi Log, located in the isolated Irkutsk region of Siberia, was discovered by Soviet geologists in 1961 and studied in the 1970s.»

«It previously said that costs could reach $2.5 billion, with annual output totaling about 1.6 million ounces.»

«There is also a plan on co-investing with the government on the reconstruction of a local airport.»


* * * * * * *

«L’estrazione dell’oro dai suoi minerali diventa economicamente conveniente quando la concentrazione del metallo è superiore a 0,5 ppm (0,5 grammi per tonnellata); nelle grandi miniere a cielo aperto la concentrazione tipica è compresa tra 1 e 5 ppm; per i minerali scavati in miniere sotterranee, la concentrazione media è circa 3 ppm. Per essere visibile a occhio nudo in un suo minerale l’oro deve avere una concentrazione di circa 30 ppm; questo spiega perché perfino nelle miniere d’oro è poco frequente vederlo. L’oro è estratto dai depositi alluvionali per dilavamento e dai minerali rocciosi per metallurgia estrattiva. Spesso la raffinazione del metallo si accompagna alla clorurazione o all’elettrolisi.» [Fonte]

*

La Cina produce annualmente 400 tonnellate di oro, l’Australia 310, la Russia 295, gli Stati Uniti 210, il Canada 185, il Perù 145, il Ghana 130, il Messico 125 ed il Sudafrica 120.

A fine settembre le riserve auree della Russia avevano un controvalore di 139.117 miliardi Usd.

*


Siberian Gold Deposit Has World’s Largest Reserves.

–  Audit shows Sukhoi Log holds 40 million ounces of reserves

– Russian miner plans to start main spending on deposit in 2023

*

Polyus PJSC, Russia’s largest gold producer, said its untapped Sukhoi Log deposit in Siberia holds the world’s biggest reserves.

An audit showed Sukhoi Log has 40 million ounces of proven reserves as measured by international JORC standards, with an average gold content of 2.3 grams per ton, Chief Executive Officer Pavel Grachev said. That means the field — accounting for more than a quarter of Russian gold reserves — is bigger than Seabridge Gold Inc.’s KSM Project in Canada and Donlin Gold in Alaska.

“The estimate of the reserves is an important milestone in development of the field,” Grachev said in an interview in Moscow.

Sukhoi Log, located in the isolated Irkutsk region of Siberia, was discovered by Soviet geologists in 1961 and studied in the 1970s. The government had long considered offloading the deposit, and in 2017 sold the field in an auction to Polyus and a state partner, which the mining company later bought out.

Polyus said earlier this year that it would focus on smaller projects and reducing its debt ratio in the coming years before developing the field. The company plans to announce details on expected production and investment at Sukhoi Log once a pre-feasibility study is ready by year-end. It previously said that costs could reach $2.5 billion, with annual output totaling about 1.6 million ounces.

While developing giant deposits is typically a lengthy and costly process, the field may allow Polyus to boost annual output by at least 70%. Gold prices have rallied about 60% since the company purchased it, and reached a record in August as vast amounts of stimulus were pumped into economies to curb the damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We want to show that a project of this quality and scale can and should be carried out, taking into account the best environmental standards, despite the hard-to-reach location,” Grachev said.

More on Sukhoi Log:

– The audit shows that as well as economically mineable reserves, the deposit has 67 million ounces of total resources, up from 63 million ounces previously estimated.

– That figure may rise after more drilling and studies.

– Main investment is due to start in 2023. Polyus has already started spending on infrastructure for the project. There is also a plan on co-investing with the government on the reconstruction of a local airport.

Pubblicato in: Brasile, Cina, Materie Prime

Brasile. Adesso è il terzo fornitore della Cina di petrolio.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-11-03.

2020-10-26__Brasile - Cina. 013

«Brazil jumped to China’s third-biggest crude oil supplier in September, import data showed on Sunday, as China’s independent refiners scooped up cheap supplies of the South American exporter’s relatively high quality oil»

«Imports from Brazil hit 4.49 million tonnes, up from 2.96 million tonnes a year earlier, data from China’s General Administration of Customs showed. Brazil overtook Iraq, which fell to fifth-biggest supplier»

«China’s January-September imports from Brazil were 33.69 million tonnes, up 15.6% from a year earlier»

«China makes up 70% of Brazil’s oil exports»

«Saudi Arabia regained the top spot in China’s oil purchases last month after losing that rank to Russia for the previous two months …. Imports from the kingdom were 7.78 million tonnes, equivalent to 1.89 million barrels per day (bpd), up from August’s 1.24 million bpd …. Saudi Arabia trailed at 63.57 million tonnes, which was 6.5% higher on year»

«Russia supplied 7.48 million tonnes last month, or 1.82 million bpd, up 18.6% from a year earlier and up 32.8% from August»

«For the first nine months of 2020, Russia remained the top seller with supplies totalling 64.62 million tonnes, 16% above year-ago level»

«China snapped up 13% more crude in the first nine months than a year earlier»

* * * * * * *


Alcuni elementi emergono vistosi.

– Il Brasile riesce ad esportare in Cina il suo petrolio, con un incremento del 15.6% rispetto lo scorso anno.

– La Russia fornisce alla Cina petrolio con un incremento del 16% rispetto un anno fa.

– Nei primi nove mesi del 2020 la Cina ha aumentato l’importazione di greggio del 13% rispetto un anno or sono.

*

Da questi dati non sarebbe lecito affermare che la Cina sia in via di ripresa dalla crisi pandemica: la Cina sta vistosamente crescendo a dispetto del Covid-19 e della crisi che attanaglia il mondo occidentale ed occidentalizzato.

*


Brazil soars to China’s No. 3 crude oil supplier in September.

Brazil jumped to China’s third-biggest crude oil supplier in September, import data showed on Sunday, as China’s independent refiners scooped up cheap supplies of the South American exporter’s relatively high quality oil.

Imports from Brazil hit 4.49 million tonnes, up from 2.96 million tonnes a year earlier, data from China’s General Administration of Customs showed. Brazil overtook Iraq, which fell to fifth-biggest supplier.

China’s January-September imports from Brazil were 33.69 million tonnes, up 15.6% from a year earlier, according to Reuters calculations based on the data. China makes up 70% of Brazil’s oil exports, the country’s state oil firm Petrobras said in July.

Saudi Arabia regained the top spot in China’s oil purchases last month after losing that rank to Russia for the previous two months, data showed.

Imports from the kingdom were 7.78 million tonnes, equivalent to 1.89 million barrels per day (bpd), up from August’s 1.24 million bpd.

Russia supplied 7.48 million tonnes last month, or 1.82 million bpd, up 18.6% from a year earlier and up 32.8% from August, according to Reuters calculations.

For the first nine months of 2020, Russia remained the top seller with supplies totalling 64.62 million tonnes, 16% above year-ago level. Saudi Arabia trailed at 63.57 million tonnes, which was 6.5% higher on year.

U.S. shipments soared to 3.9 million tonnes in September, versus a year-earlier 517,982 tonnes.

China snapped up 13% more crude in the first nine months than a year earlier, as refiners ramped up production to meet speedy demand recovery from the pandemic and stock up at record rates on cheap oil.

Below are details of imports from key suppliers, with volumes in metric tonnes.

Pubblicato in: Materie Prime, Problemia Energetici

Turkia. Giacimento Sakarya contiene 405 miliardi metri cubi di gas, non 320.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-10-22.

Turkia - Tuna-1

Il giacimento di gas locato nel Mar Nero nelle acque di pertinenza turke e denominato Sakarya era stato stimato contenere 320 miliardi di m3 di gas. Sulla base di dati più recenti, ne conterrebbe invece 405 320 miliardi di m3 di gas.

Manna dal Cielo per la Turkia.

* * * * * * *

«Turkey’s giant Sakarya gas field has 405 billion cubic meters of natural gas, which President Erdogan has called a “morale booster.”»

«Energy-strapped Turkey is trying to become less dependent on foreign sources»

«A massive gas field off the Turkish coast in the Black Sea contains 85 billion cubic meters more natural gas than originally estimated»

«The Sakarya gas field, discovered in August off the coast of the town of Eregli, was initially estimated to contain 320 billion cubic meters»

«Gas from the field could be pumping into Turkish homes by 2023, he added.»

«Last year, Turkey imported 45 billion cubic meters of natural gas»

* * * * * * *


Circa la nota disputa legale sulle acque territoriali e di competenza economica di Cipro, sarebbe doveroso ricordare che esiste lo stato della Repubblica Turca di Cipro del Nord, capitale  Lefkoşa (Nicosia), 286,257 abitanti.

Questo stati non gode i riconoscimento internazionale, essendo solo la Turkia a riconoscerlo.

Però esiste, ed in una qualche maniera si dovrà bene risolvere questo problema.

Ma riconoscendolo, immediatamente le prospezioni petrolifere turke in quelle acque diverrebbero legali.

*


Turkey says ‘miracle’ Black Sea gas field larger than first estimated.

Turkey’s giant Sakarya gas field has 405 billion cubic meters of natural gas, which President Erdogan has called a “morale booster.” Energy-strapped Turkey is trying to become less dependent on foreign sources.

A massive gas field off the Turkish coast in the Black Sea contains 85 billion cubic meters more natural gas than originally estimated, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Saturday aboard the drilling vessel Fatih.

The Sakarya gas field, discovered in August off the coast of the town of Eregli, was initially estimated to contain 320 billion cubic meters (11.3 trillion cubic feet).

The find was Turkey’s largest-ever natural gas discovery, and Ankara hailed it as a “miracle,” while claiming Turkey could become a net exporter of natural gas. 

On Saturday, a newly completed exploration in Sakarya’s “Tuna-1” section showed that the field contains 405 billion cubic meters. 

Erdogan said in televised remarks that the discovery was a “morale booster” and would “significantly reduce Turkey’s reliance on foreign resources.” Gas from the field could be pumping into Turkish homes by 2023, he added.

Turkey seeks energy independence 

Turkey is increasing its maritime exploration for hydrocarbon energy, as it relies heavily on expensive imports, with Russia as the main supplier. Last year, Turkey imported 45 billion cubic meters of natural gas, according to S&P Global Platts.

This week, Turkey sparked a diplomatic row with the European Unionby resuming natural gas exploration in waters contested by Greece and Cyprus.

Erdogan said Saturday that Turkey was “determined to defend its interests” in the Mediterranean but did not want to “encroach on the rights of others.”

Ankara has said that the Black Sea find will not deter it from exploring in the eastern Mediterranean, despite accusations from neighboring Greece that Turkey is violating maritime borders.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Materie Prime

Exxon. Le emissioni dirette aumenteranno nel 2025 del 27% rispetto al 2017.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-10-11.

Exxon Mobil 001

In altri tempi ogni discorso avrebbe dovuto iniziare con la premessa che si era laici, democratici ed antifascisti.

Di questi tempi invece è cambiato il refrain, ma la musica è sempre la stessa.

Dapprima un preambolo che sia peana al Green, infarcito di ottime intenzioni, con obiettivi almeno trentennali.

A quanto sembra gli attuali ecologisti ritengono di sopravvivere sani e vegeti fino al 2050. Ma Ginsburg avrebbe dovuto pur insegnare che esiste anche Sorella Morte.

*


Il programma della Exxon ricalca ottimamente questa falsariga.

Ma quando si andasse alla sostanza

«Exxon’s direct emissions in 2025 would surge to 154 million tons of CO₂ equivalent—a 26% increase from 2017 levels.»

Una cosa sono le utopie ed un’altra totalmente differente le necessità di sopravvivenza di una grande azienda internazionale.

*

«Internal projections from one of world’s largest oil producers show an increase in its enormous contribution to global warming»

«Exxon Mobil Corp. had plans to increase annual carbon-dioxide emissions by as much as the output of the entire nation of Greece, an analysis of internal documents reviewed by Bloomberg shows, setting one of the largest corporate emitters against international efforts to slow the pace of warming»

«The drive to expand both fossil-fuel production and planet-warming pollution has come at a time when some of Exxon’s rivals, such as BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, are moving to curb oil and zero-out emissions»

«The largest U.S. oil producer has never made a commitment to lower oil and gas output or set a date by which it will become carbon neutral»

«A chart in the documents lists Exxon’s direct emissions for 2017—122 million metric tons of CO₂ equivalent—as well as a projected figure for 2025 of 143 million tons»

«Greenhouse gases from direct operations, such as those measured by Exxon, typically account for a fifth of the total at a large oil company»

«If its plans are realized, Exxon would add to the atmosphere the annual emissions of a small, developed nation, or 26 coal-fired power plants.»

«The collapse of oil demand forced Exxon to cut its spending budget by a third in April, and its share price is currently hovering near an 18-year low»

«Exxon was removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average earlier this year»

«As recently as July, however, Exxon indicated that it’s merely delaying many projects to preserve cash during the downturn rather than canceling them»

«The emissions generated by the extra drilling and refining would increase the company’s greenhouse gas emissions to 143 million tons of CO₂ equivalent per year, the internal documents show»

«After years of struggling with stagnant production, Woods zeroed in on five key projects: shale oil in the Permian Basin, offshore oil in waters belonging to Guyana and Brazil, and liquefied natural gas in Mozambique and Papua New Guinea»

«Exxon’s direct emissions in 2025 would surge to 154 million tons of CO₂ equivalent—a 26% increase from 2017 levels.»

«Unlike earnings targets, Exxon never publicly announced its 2025 emissions goals, leading some employees to question whether the company was committed to reductions. More than a third of Exxon’s self-help measures rely on carbon capture, an expensive process that stores carbon dioxide underground.»

«The pandemic has accelerated European oil majors’ transition toward cleaner sources of energy, while giving Exxon an opportunity for a different type of strategic reset»

«Exxon’s dividend yield now tops 10%, an indication investors expect the payout to be cut for the first time in decades.»

* * * * * * *


Gli azionisti vogliono che sia conservato il valore dell’investimento e che l’impresa generi dividendi degni di nota.

*

Exxon’s Plan for Surging Carbon Emissions Revealed in Leaked Documents.

Internal projections from one of world’s largest oil producers show an increase in its enormous contribution to global warming.

Exxon Mobil Corp. had plans to increase annual carbon-dioxide emissions by as much as the output of the entire nation of Greece, an analysis of internal documents reviewed by Bloomberg shows, setting one of the largest corporate emitters against international efforts to slow the pace of warming.

The drive to expand both fossil-fuel production and planet-warming pollution has come at a time when some of Exxon’s rivals, such as BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, are moving to curb oil and zero-out emissions. Exxon’s own assessment of its $210 billion investment strategy shows yearly emissions rising 17% by 2025, according to internal projections.

The emissions estimates predate the Covid-19 pandemic, which has slashed global demand for oil and thrown the company’s finances into distress, making it unclear if Exxon will complete its plans for growth. The internal figures reflect only some of the measures Exxon would take to reduce emissions, the company said. The largest U.S. oil producer has never made a commitment to lower oil and gas output or set a date by which it will become carbon neutral. Exxon has also never publicly disclosed its forecasts for its own emissions.

But the internal documents show for the first time that Exxon has carefully assessed the direct emissions it expects from the seven-year investment plan adopted in 2018 by Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods. A chart in the documents lists Exxon’s direct emissions for 2017—122 million metric tons of CO₂ equivalent—as well as a projected figure for 2025 of 143 million tons. The additional 21 million tons is a net result of Exxon’s estimate for ramping up production, selling assets and undertaking efforts to reduce pollution by deploying renewable energy and burying carbon dioxide.

In a statement released after the publication of this story, Exxon said its internal projections are “a preliminary, internal assessment of estimated cumulative emission growth through 2025 and did not include the [additional] mitigation and abatement measures that would have been evaluated in the planning process. Furthermore, the projections identified in the leaked documents have significantly changed, a fact that was not fully explained or prominently featured in the article.” Exxon declined to provide any details on the new projections.

The internal estimates reflect only a small portion of Exxon’s total contribution to climate change. Greenhouse gases from direct operations, such as those measured by Exxon, typically account for a fifth of the total at a large oil company; most emissions come from customers burning fuel in vehicles or other end uses, which the Exxon documents don’t account for.

That means the full climate impact of Exxon’s growth strategy would likely be five times the company’s estimate—or about 100 million tons of additional carbon dioxide—had the company accounted for so-called Scope 3 emissions. If its plans are realized, Exxon would add to the atmosphere the annual emissions of a small, developed nation, or 26 coal-fired power plants.

The emissions projections are “an early assessment that does not include additional mitigation and abatement measures that would have been considered as the next step in the process,” Exxon said in an earlier statement. “The same planning document illustrates how we have been successful in mitigating emissions in the past.”

Exxon often defends its growth plans by citing International Energy Agency estimates that trillions of dollars of new oil and gas investments are needed by 2040 to offset depletion from existing operations, even under a range of climate scenarios. However, experts say a reduction in global oil and production is necessary to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Exxon’s ambitious growth plans, calling for higher cash flow and a doubling of earnings by 2025, are a vestige of pre-pandemic times, before global oil demand evaporated. In its earlier statement, Exxon maintained its intention to pursue growth plans in the future: “As demand returns and capital investments resume, our growth plans will continue to include meaningful emission mitigation efforts.”

The collapse of oil demand forced Exxon to cut its spending budget by a third in April, and its share price is currently hovering near an 18-year low. Exxon was removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average earlier this year. The company last week warned of a third consecutive quarterly loss, meaning it’s relying on debt to pay capital expenditures and dividends.

As recently as July, however, Exxon indicated that it’s merely delaying many projects to preserve cash during the downturn rather than canceling them. Fulfilling the plan would mean producing an additional 1 million barrels of oil a day. The emissions generated by the extra drilling and refining would increase the company’s greenhouse gas emissions to 143 million tons of CO₂ equivalent per year, the internal documents show.

“Exxon has repeatedly shopped for growth over the last 10 years, and their returns have suffered,” said Andrew Grant, head of oil, gas and mining at Carbon Tracker, a financial think tank. “Exxon is explicit that their business plan is informed by their own business outlook, which assumes continued demand growth for fossil fuels.”

The more than $30 billion-per-year investment plan was the centerpiece of Exxon’s March 2018 Investor Day. Woods declared an ambition to build a suite of high-quality operations that would produce large volumes of oil and gas for decades into the future, regardless of changes in policy or price. After years of struggling with stagnant production, Woods zeroed in on five key projects: shale oil in the Permian Basin, offshore oil in waters belonging to Guyana and Brazil, and liquefied natural gas in Mozambique and Papua New Guinea.

“It’s the richest set of opportunities since Exxon and Mobil merged,” Woods told investors, a line executives have repeated ever since.

Even though Exxon lags far behind Europe’s biggest oil companies in setting targets to address global warming, it recently stepped up efforts to curb methane, a super-potent greenhouse gas. The company has also joined a voluntary industry effort to lower its “carbon intensity,” producing oil and gas on a cleaner per-barrel basis. “Emissions intensity reduction targets by a company that was setting out to dramatically increase its production won’t result in lower absolute emissions,” said Kathy Mulvey, a campaign director at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Exxon’s internal projections credit the company with the beneficial impact of two dozen emission-lowering measures, such as projects to capture carbon, reduce methane leaks and flaring, and use renewable energy. Without adjusting for these projects, which are termed “self-help” measures in the planning documents, Exxon’s direct emissions in 2025 would surge to 154 million tons of CO₂ equivalent—a 26% increase from 2017 levels.

These emissions figures represent only a fraction of the total. Exxon doesn’t disclose Scope 3 figures, unlike other big, publicly traded oil producers. A recent effort by Bloomberg Opinion to estimate the total emissions of the world’s largest fossil-fuel producers put Exxon at 528 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2019. CDP, an independent group that tracks and encourages carbon disclosures, estimated Exxon’s total emissions at 577 million metric tons for 2015. Exxon’s most recent public disclosures for its direct emissions, called Scope 1 and Scope 2, recognized only 127 million metric tons in 2018.

Planning documents showing the surge in emissions that would result from the investment strategy were widely circulated in internal Exxon meetings as recently as early this year, before the coronavirus spread beyond China. Unlike earnings targets, Exxon never publicly announced its 2025 emissions goals, leading some employees to question whether the company was committed to reductions. More than a third of Exxon’s self-help measures rely on carbon capture, an expensive process that stores carbon dioxide underground.

Allegations of inadequate disclosures related to the dangers of global warming have become a source of legal trouble for Big Oil. In June, Minnesota sued Exxon, Koch Industries Inc. and the American Petroleum Institute for allegedly withholding critical information about the impact of fossil fuel use on climate change. All told, Exxon and other oil companies are being sued by about a dozen cities, counties and states seeking compensation for consumers and taxpayers over the cost of adapting to climate change. (Exxon denies wrongdoing in the suits, which it says are baseless and politically motivated; at the end of last year, the company won a related case brought by New York’s attorney general.)

The pandemic has accelerated European oil majors’ transition toward cleaner sources of energy, while giving Exxon an opportunity for a different type of strategic reset. So far that has meant cutting headcount and employee benefits, shelving major projects and reducing its global capital expenditure by $10 billion this year. Exxon’s dividend yield now tops 10%, an indication investors expect the payout to be cut for the first time in decades.

Exxon and its European peers have split over adaptation to a world in which major economies are moving to phase out fossil fuel. The U.S. oil giant has long aligned with the conservative wing of American politics: Woods’s mentor and predecessor, Rex Tillerson, served as President Donald Trump’s first secretary of state, and earlier this year Woods joined fellow energy CEOs at the White House to discuss reopening the U.S. economy. Exxon has benefited from Trump’s policy of “unleashing energy dominance.” But the company also donates to candidates from both parties and rejected some of Trump’s measures, such as rolling back methane regulations.

Whether or not Woods decides, in the wake of the pandemic or a political shift in the U.S., to follow his European peers toward net-zero emissions remains to be seen. But the trend from many of the world’s largest countries and corporations is unmistakable, and it’s not clear that Exxon’s approach to growth reflects these big changes.

Just last month China pledged to be carbon neutral by 2060, a shift that would set into motion a more than 65% drop in its oil consumption and a 75% cut in gas, according to government-affiliated researchers. The EU is aiming to reach neutrality across all greenhouse gases by 2050, which will be partly funded by the Green Deal that invests in electrification of transport and the promotion of clean hydrogen. California announced a new plan to end the sale of gasoline-powered cars by 2035, in a state that alone accounts for 1% of global oil demand.

“It’s past time for Exxon Mobil to take responsibility for the harmful impacts of its oil and gas products,” said Mulvey of the Union on Concerned Scientists. “The world at large and its own investors would benefit from Exxon redirecting its strategy toward the energy we need in a low-carbon future.”

Pubblicato in: Economia e Produzione Industriale, Materie Prime

Turkia. Scoperto nel Mar Nero un giacimento di gas, Tuna-1, da 320 miliardi di m3.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-08-25.

Turkia - Tuna-1

«Il presidente Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ha annunciato la “più grande scoperta di un giacimento di gas nel Mar Nero nella storia della Turchia. Erdogan ha annunciato che la nave da ricerca Fatih ha scoperto un giacimento di gas nel Mar Nero di circa 320 miliardi di metri cubi»

«la rivelazione della scoperta, effettuata lo scorso 20 luglio, a circa 100 miglia nautiche al largo delle costa del Mar Nero, in un lotto chiamato Tuna-1»

«L’obiettivo è permettere al popolo turco di utilizzare questo gas a partire dal 2023 e risolvere alla radice il problema dell’approvvigionamento energetico. Chi cerca trova, e ora mi aspetto buone notizie dal Mediterraneo orientale»

«Turkey made the biggest discovery of natural gas in its history in the Black Sea»

«Deepwater projects are complex in any environment, but the Black Sea poses additional logistical challenges that must be managed»

«My Lord has opened the door to unprecedented wealth for us»

«Erdogan previously hinted as a “new era” for the country»

«Last year, energy imports cost the country $41 billion (€35 billion).»

«Production could take several years. Analysts still caution it could take several years and billions of dollars in investment before Ankara can start gas production»

«The find is smaller than other nearby discoveries, including Egypt’s Zohr field, one of the largest in the Mediterranean, which is estimated to hold 850 billion cubic meters of natural gas»

* * * * * * *

Nessun paese, per quanto stato sovrano, può essere considerato effettivamente libero nell’agire senza una autosufficienza energetica e delle forze armate allo stato dell’arte.

La politica di Mr Erdogan può piacere o meno, me nessuno può negare che stia agendo per il bene della sua nazione.

Questa scoperta, una volta commercializzata, renderà la Turkia indipendente energeticamente, con un risparmio stimabile ai quaranta miliardi di dollari americani ogni anno. Ma più che il risparmio conta la indipendenza.

Molto verosimilmente ciò potrebbe portare a ridiscutere con elementi nuovi il ruolo della Turkia nella Nato e nei confronti dell’Unione Europea, che non è né energeticamente autosufficiente né militarmente rilevante.

*


 

Erdogan annuncia la piu’ grande scoperta di gas nel Mar Nero.

La nave da ricerca Fatih ha scoperto un giacimento di circa 320 miliardi di metri cubi. Il presidente: “L’obiettivo è permettere al popolo turco di utilizzare questo gas a partire dal 2023 e risolvere alla radice il problema dell’approvvigionamento energetico.

Il presidente Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ha annunciato la “più grande scoperta di un giacimento di gas nel Mar Nero nella storia della Turchia. Erdogan ha annunciato che la nave da ricerca Fatih ha scoperto un giacimento di gas nel Mar Nero di circa 320 miliardi di metri cubi.

Era dunque questa la” buona notizia per la Turchia”, che il presidente aveva anticipato mercoledì, rinviando alla fine della preghiera di oggi la rivelazione della scoperta, effettuata lo scorso 20 luglio, a circa 100 miglia nautiche al largo delle costa del Mar Nero, in un lotto chiamato Tuna-1.

“L’obiettivo è permettere al popolo turco di utilizzare questo gas a partire dal 2023 e risolvere alla radice il problema dell’approvvigionamento energetico. Chi cerca trova, e ora mi aspetto buone notizie dal Mediterraneo orientale”, ha detto Erdogan, facendo riferimento alle attività di ricerca della nave Oruc Reis. 

*


Turkey discovers large natural gas reserve off Black Sea.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to step up the search for energy in the Mediterranean. The discovery of 320 billion cubic meters of natural gas comes amid a dispute with Greece over prospecting.

Turkey’s president said on Friday the country had made its biggest-ever discovery of natural gas after completing new exploration work in the Black Sea.

Recep Tayyip Erodgan said the 320-billion-cubic-meter (11.3 trillion cubic feet) deep-sea find was made at a site Turkish vessels began exploring last month. Erdogan said he hoped to see the first gas reach Turkish consumers in 2023.

“Turkey made the biggest discovery of natural gas in its history in the Black Sea,” a delighted Erdogan said during a speech in Istanbul’s Dolmabahce Palace.

Unprecedented wealth’

“My Lord has opened the door to unprecedented wealth for us,” he enthused.

The Turkish drilling ship Fatih has been prospecting in the western Black Sea over the past month, close to where Romania has also found gas reserves.

If confirmed as recoverable resources, the reserves could ease Turkey’s dependence on costly energy imports in what Erdogan previously hinted as a “new era” for the country.

Turkey is hugely reliant on Russia for its energy and has been keen to diversify its supplies.

Last year, energy imports cost the country $41 billion (€35 billion).

Production could take several years

Analysts still caution it could take several years and billions of dollars in investment before Ankara can start gas production.

Ulrich Leuchtmann, head of foreign exchange research at Commerzbank, said the discovery is positive news, “but it’s not the game-changer that some were expecting” after earlier reports suggested the find would meet Turkey’s energy needs for the next two decades.

The find is smaller than other nearby discoveries, including Egypt’s Zohr field, one of the largest in the Mediterranean, which is estimated to hold 850 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

Turkey’s new Black Sea find comes amid raised tensions between Ankara and Athens over oil and gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean.

Warships from both NATO members have been shadowing each other after Turkey sent a research ship to look for potential undersea oil and gas deposits in disputed waters.

Mediterranean search to intensify

Erdogan vowed to step up the search for energy in the Mediterranean by the end of the year, despite the ongoing row with European Union member Greece.

“We are going to speed up our operations in the Mediterranean with the deployment by the end of the year of the Kanuni (drilling ship), which is currently in maintenance,” Erdogan said in a keynote address in Istanbul.

“God willing we expect similar good news,” he added.

Turkey is also at odd with Cyprus over energy exploration around the island. It has dispatched warship-escorted vessels off Cyprus’s coast to drill for gas, insisting that it’s acting to protect its interests and those of Turkish Cypriots to the area’s natural resources.

The Greek Cypriot government of the ethnically split island has slammed Turkey for encroaching in its
waters and economic rights.

*


Turkey nets largest-ever find with Tuna-1 gas discovery.

A gas discovery of the scale of the Tuna-1 find in the Black Sea, if developed, would be transformational for Turkey, given its overwhelming reliance on imports and crippling energy import bill.  Turkey is chiefly reliant on piped gas from Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran but the share of liquefied natural gas imports has also continued to grow.

Thomas Purdie, an analyst on Wood Mackenzie’s upstream research team, said: “Even if the official 320 billion cubic metre figure given by President Tayyip Erdogan when he announced the discovery is treated as an estimate of gas in place, this is Turkey’s biggest-ever find – by a wide margin – and one of the largest global discoveries of 2020.

“What’s more, it reaffirms the deepwater Black Sea’s hydrocarbon potential after several disappointing wells in Bulgaria.” 

He added: “However, no matter the political and economic importance, reaping the supply rewards will be complex and a 2023 date for bringing the discovery – renamed Sakarya – looks ambitious.

“First and foremost, the discovery will need to be appraised by more wells – to improve understanding of the geology and confirm resource estimates. 

“It’s early days, but any future development would cost billions of dollars. Deepwater projects are complex in any environment, but the Black Sea poses additional logistical challenges that must be managed. This is one of the factors that has stalled Romania’s Neptun Deep megaproject, located just 100 kilometres north of the Tuna well.” 

Purdie said TPAO would benefit from bringing an international partner into the project, adding: “There could be attractions despite the market outlook – highly competitive tax terms in a basin that international oil companies know increasingly well over recent years. Majors operating across the border in Romania and Bulgaria have had mixed recent success, but will take note of this momentous news.” 

Murray Douglas, director, Europe gas, said: “The Turkish gas market is large, with 2019 demand of almost 45 billion cubic metres. 

“Gas demand has fallen year-on-year since 2017. Much of that is down to the weak Turkish economy and increased competition from coal-fired and renewable generation.

“However, despite coronavirus, Turkish gas demand has only fallen 3%, year-to-date, versus last year. That is a less severe fall than many other European markets.” 

Douglas added: “In the 2020s, this discovery could have far-reaching implications for future gas imports and upcoming negotiations with suppliers – with Gazprom, Azerbaijan and Iran.” 

Pubblicato in: Cina, Commercio, Materie Prime

Cina. Venezuela. Equador. Debiti pagati con greggio, 19 mld Usd.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-08-15.

Venezuela 001

«Venezuela wins grace period on China oil-for-loan deals»

«Venezuela’s government has negotiated an agreement with Chinese banks for a grace period until the end of the year on some $19 billion in loans that are paid off with oil shipments»

«The government of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez borrowed more than $50 billion from China through the oil-for-loan arrangements, which were mainly underwritten by the state-owned China Development Bank»

«This (arrangement) will be in place until at least December, and then they will re-evaluate it»

«Without the grace period, Maduro’s government would have to make some $3 billion in payments this year – equivalent to a quarter of 2019 crude exports»

«Ecuador last week said it had won a grace period on a credit line with the China Development Bank, allowing it to postpone $417 million in payments for one year»

«China, which was Venezuela’s largest financier during the Chavez era, stopped delivering fresh funds to Venezuela seven years ago»

* * * * * * *

La situazione venezuelana è sotto gli occhi di tutti.

Resta davvero difficile comprendere come possa ancora reggersi, sia pure traballando, in una situazione così catastrofica.

Da notarsi la classica prudenza cinese. Se da una parte son sette anni che ha cessato di erogare finanziamenti diretti, nel contempo la Cina ha avviato vie alternative, non certo della pregressa entità, ma pur sempre a livello di miliardi di dollari.

*


Exclusive: Venezuela wins grace period on China oil-for-loan deals, sources say.

Venezuela’s government has negotiated an agreement with Chinese banks for a grace period until the end of the year on some $19 billion in loans that are paid off with oil shipments, according to three sources in Caracas with knowledge of the situation.

The government of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez borrowed more than $50 billion from China through the oil-for-loan arrangements, which were mainly underwritten by the state-owned China Development Bank. Chavez’s successor, President Nicolas Maduro, stopped making the associated payments as the South American OPEC nation’s economy unraveled.

The grace period was the result of talks that Caracas sought with Beijing earlier this year to seek financial support amid the tumble in oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic, according to the sources, who asked not be identified.

“This (arrangement) will be in place until at least December, and then they will re-evaluate it,” said one of the sources.

Venezuela’s information ministry and state oil company PDVSA, along with China Development Bank, did not reply to requests for comment.

The spokesperson’s office at China’s foreign ministry, in a faxed reply to Reuters’ questions, said: “I am not aware of the situation that you are saying. I would like to stress that China and Venezuela have a long history of practical cooperation.”

Without the grace period, Maduro’s government would have to make some $3 billion in payments this year – equivalent to a quarter of 2019 crude exports. Local economists estimate Venezuela’s 2020 oil export revenue will be around $4 billion.

Ecuador last week said it had won a grace period on a credit line with the China Development Bank, allowing it to postpone $417 million in payments for one year.

Venezuela since last year has been unable to meet its obligations on the loans, in part due to U.S. sanctions meant to force Maduro from power that create penalties for companies that buy Venezuelan crude.

Chinese state oil company CNPC has stopped buying crude directly from PDVSA as a result of the sanctions, according to three other Venezuelan sources with knowledge of the situation.

“This helps, but it does not alleviate the cash flow problem,” said one of the sources.

In 2016, Maduro’s government negotiated a grace period that allowed it to make interest-only payments on the debt, a deal that lasted for at least a year, according to the sources. reut.rs/3kBCY11, reut.rs/2XTphR7

China, which was Venezuela’s largest financier during the Chavez era, stopped delivering fresh funds to Venezuela seven years ago.

Maduro earlier this year said Venezuela was receiving personal protection equipment and medical advice from China to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, part of a broader Chinese effort to provide assistance in Latin America.

Pubblicato in: Economia e Produzione Industriale, Materie Prime

Sud Africa. Produzione Oro -17% YoY. Il Ghana lo ha superato.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-08-13.

2020-08-13__ Sud Africa Estrazione 001

La produzione aurea del Sud Africa è scesa del -17% anno su anno ed è stata superata da quella del Ghana.

Problemi economici, sicuramente, ma soprattutto problemi sociali.

«South Africa’s struggling gold industry has suffered yet another humiliation, losing its status as continental leader to Ghana»

«Bloomberg reports that the country that led global gold production for a century and extracted about half the bullion mined to date is now Africa’s second-largest gold producer»

«Output is shrinking as operators capitulate to stubbornly high costs, regular strikes and the geological challenges of tapping the world’s deepest mines»

«Meanwhile Ghana, a country whose gold-mining industry dates back to the 19th century, is benefiting from lower-cost mines, friendlier policies and new development projects»

* * * * * * *

2020-08-13__ Sud Africa Estrazione 002

«The Mining industry of Ghana accounts for 5% of the country’s GDP and minerals make up 37% of total exports, of which gold contributes over 90% of the total mineral exports. … Ghana is Africa’s largest gold producer, producing 80.5 t in 2008. Ghana is also a major producer of bauxite, manganese and diamonds.»

*

Senza estrazione, purificazione e conseguente commercializzazione, il mercato dell’oro non esisterebbe.

Ma i costi di estrazione stanno aumentando, ed il Sud Africa produce a prezzi troppo alti per reggere la concorrenza.

*


Ghana beats South Africa to continent’s gold production crown.

South Africa’s struggling gold industry has suffered yet another humiliation, losing its status as continental leader to Ghana.

Bloomberg reports that the country that led global gold production for a century and extracted about half the bullion mined to date is now Africa’s second-largest gold producer. Output is shrinking as operators capitulate to stubbornly high costs, regular strikes and the geological challenges of tapping the world’s deepest mines.

Meanwhile Ghana, a country whose gold-mining industry dates back to the 19th century, is benefiting from lower-cost mines, friendlier policies and new development projects.

South African industry stalwarts AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. and Gold Fields Ltd. are shifting their focus to other countries — including Ghana — where deposits are cheaper and easier to mine. The largest remaining gold miner in South Africa, Sibanye Gold Ltd., is cutting thousands of jobs and diversifying into platinum-group metals as it struggles to contain costs.

The difficulties facing South African gold mines mean output is contracting even though it’s got the world’s second-largest reserves of the metal, according to estimates from the U.S. Geological Survey.

In Ghana, gold output jumped 12% in 2018, according to data from the country’s Chamber of Mines. Small producers account for the largest share of the total, although the nation also hosts some of the world’s biggest gold miners, including No. 1 producer Newmont Goldcorp Corp. While Newmont is exploring in Ethiopia, Ghana is the only place in Africa where it operates.

“It’s an important part of our portfolio and, geologically we see really good potential to continue to expand,” Chief Executive Officer Gary Goldberg said in an interview. “We’re very happy operating in Ghana.”

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Materie Prime

Argento. Silver Sep 20 è quotato 27.85.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-08-07.

2020-08-06__ Silver 001

Il 19 marzo 2020 l’argento metallico era quotato 12.18. Oggi 6 agosto il Silver Sep 20 è quotato 27.85.

In poco più di quattro mesi l’argento metallico è salito del 128.65%.

Dollaro debole, tassi di interesse negativi sui titoli di stato occidentali, diffusa sfiducia nei sistemi economici e finanziari occidentali, e quasi totale disistima dei relativi governi, spingono le liquidità disponibili verso un qualche investimento che sia ritenuto essere almeno meno rischioso.

Ma tutti questi sommovimenti esitano in un unico risultato: la potenzialità finanziaria dell’occidente non finanzia l’economica reale.

Cina. Giugno. Collocati all’estero bond cinesi per 619 miliardi Usd.

Dovrebbe dare da pensare a lungo il fatto che la finanza occidentale concorra alla ripresa cinese e non a quella futuribile in casa propria.

Più che crisi di fiducia si dovrebbe parlare di elevato tasso di esecrabilità dell’attuale classe politica occidentale.

Questi dati suggeriscono fortemente come l’occidente stia tramontando come potenza politica, finanziaria ed economica.

«Investors can expect gold prices to peak at $3,000 within the next 18 months»

*


Silver Price Forecast – Silver Markets Launch Even Higher

Silver markets have rallied yet again on Wednesday. It looks as if the silver markets are simply going to continue to skyrocket.

Silver markets continue to see a lot of buying pressure, as we are crossing the $27 level. That being said, the market looks very likely to find buyers on dips and quite frankly I am a bit surprised that we did not get more of a pullback in the market before rallying again. Ultimately, I think that silver goes looking towards the $30 level, and at this rate we could get there rather quickly. Obviously, pullbacks should offer value the people are willing to take advantage of, as the “FOMO” continues to be massive.

I believe that the $23 level should offer massive support, and therefore it is very likely that there would be plenty of interest in that general vicinity. Unfortunately, this is a market that has been so parabolic that we could see a massive and quick pullback. When you see that, do not freak out, rather look for areas that you may be able to pick up silver “on the cheap.” Obviously, the trend is to the upside and there is no way to fight that and furthermore it is very unlikely that the trend changes anytime soon.

With that being the case, the market is likely to see plenty of opportunities if you are simply patient enough to take advantage of them. The $30 level will of course cause a significant amount of psychological resistance, so do not be surprised if the pullback from that level is somewhat stringent. However, I have no interest in trying to short this market regardless. With the Federal Reserve dumping US dollars into the system, Russia’s metals will continue to strengthen.

*


Gold At $3K? $50 Silver? BofA Raises Metal Price Targets.

Gold prices once again hit new all-time highs Wednesday after breaking the $2,000-per-ounce level for the first time ever this week. Fortunately for precious metal investors, BofA Securities said global economic conditions suggest even more upside ahead.

Gold traded at $2,057/ounce on Wednesday, with silver prices at $27.03/ounce and copper prices at $2.92/pound. 

Traders have been flocking to gold in 2020 as a safety investment during a period of economic uncertainty. Gold is also an inflation hedge after the Federal Reserve issued trillions of dollars of stimulus earlier this year. The Fed is expected to commit to near-zero interest rates until inflation hits its 2% target.

More Upside Ahead: BofA Securities analyst Michael Jalonen said he’s bullish on gold, and BofA raised its average 2021 real gold price forecast from $2,012 to $2,159.

The firm also raised its 2021 real silver average price forecast from $21.95 to $30.49 and its 2021 real copper average price forecast from $2.77 to $3.10.

“Continued fiscal spending as governments are mending the damage from COVID-19, backstopped by central banks means that interest rates will remain low, at the same time as the economy reflates,” Jalonen said in a note. 

Investors can expect gold prices to peak at $3,000 within the next 18 months, the analyst said. At the same time, he said copper prices could rally as high as $50/ounce in the medium-term.

In addition to the commodity price target adjustments, BofA also upgraded Kinross Gold Corporation (NYSE: KGC) from Neutral to Buy and raised the price target from $8.90 to $11.25.

The firm upgraded silver producer Hecla Mining Company (NYSE: HL) from Underperform to Neutral and raised the price target from $2.40 to $6.25.

Benzinga’s Take: The most pure-play trade on precious metals outside of owning the physical metals is to invest in funds such as the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD), the iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV) and the US COMMODITY IX/COM UT REPSTG U S C (NYSE: CPER).

The GLD fund has been the best performer of 2020, with a 50.9% gain, while the CPER fund has lagged, gaining 4.6%.

Pubblicato in: Economia e Produzione Industriale, Materie Prime, Problemia Energetici, Russia

Russia. Produzione petrolio e gas naturale.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-08-07.

2020-08-03__Opec 013

In sintesi.

– Export petrolio -27.1% anno su anno

– Export gas naturale -7.9% anno su anno

– Produzione petrolio e gas salita da 38.16 milioni tonnellate a maggio – giugno ai 39.63 milioni di tonnellate di luglio.

*


«Russian oil and gas condensate production increased to 9.37 million barrels per day (bpd) in July, Interfax news agency reported on Sunday, citing energy ministry data, indicating it missed its output target under a global deal.

Production was up from 9.32 million bpd in June»

«From August, the output cuts – agreed between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) other major producers including Russia, a group known as OPEC+ – are due to be eased»

«In tonnes, Russian oil and gas condensate production rose to 39.63 million in July from 38.16 million in June, Interfax reported»

«Under the OPEC+ agreement, Moscow pledged to reduce its output to around 8.5 million bpd in May-July to support oil prices. …. The deal does not include output of gas condensate, a light oil.»

«Russia usually produces 700,000 to 800,000 bpd of gas condensate. That means that excluding gas condensate, Russia could have produced around 8.57 million to 8.67 million bpd of crude oil in July»

«Russia has said it would increase its oil production by 400,000 bpd.»

«Russian oil exports outside the former Soviet Union stood last month at 15.72 million tonnes, down 27.1% from July 2019. In barrels per day, exports reached 3.72 million, according to Interfax …. Russian natural gas output reached 50.33 billion cubic metres in July, down 7.9% from a year earlier»

* * * * * * *

I paesi afferenti l’Opec+ hanno grandi difficoltà a trovare un accordo, e difficoltà ancora maggiori a mantenerlo: le loro esigenze sociali ed economiche divergono spesso in modo stridente.

Problema comune sarebbe quello di mantenere i prezzi ad un livello che almeno avesse potuto consentire la copertura delle spese di estrazione. Tuttavia, l’usuale contrazione dell’estrazione si scontra con il calo generalizzato della domanda e con quello delle quotazioni avvenuto nei mesi ultimi scorsi.

Solo la Cina ha aumentato il volume dell’Import petrolifero, +15% a giugno.

*


Russian oil output rises to 9.37 million bpd in July, missing OPEC+ target: Interfax.

Russian oil and gas condensate production increased to 9.37 million barrels per day (bpd) in July, Interfax news agency reported on Sunday, citing energy ministry data, indicating it missed its output target under a global deal.

Production was up from 9.32 million bpd in June.

From August, the output cuts – agreed between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) other major producers including Russia, a group known as OPEC+ – are due to be eased.

In tonnes, Russian oil and gas condensate production rose to 39.63 million in July from 38.16 million in June, Interfax reported.

Under the OPEC+ agreement, Moscow pledged to reduce its output to around 8.5 million bpd in May-July to support oil prices.

The deal does not include output of gas condensate, a light oil.

Russia usually produces 700,000 to 800,000 bpd of gas condensate. That means that excluding gas condensate, Russia could have produced around 8.57 million to 8.67 million bpd of crude oil in July.

The cuts under the global deal should be eased starting from August thanks to a recovery in oil prices LCOc1. Russia has said it would increase its oil production by 400,000 bpd.

Russian oil exports outside the former Soviet Union stood last month at 15.72 million tonnes, down 27.1% from July 2019. In barrels per day, exports reached 3.72 million, according to Interfax.

The news agency also said on Sunday that Russian natural gas output reached 50.33 billion cubic metres in July, down 7.9% from a year earlier.