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At the end of the year the enterprises have overcome the tendency to reduction of finished products stocks. As compared with October, when the estimated balance of finished products stocks has decreased up to + 2 p.p., (i.e., in general the number of industrial enterprises with excessive stocks was practically the same as the number of those ones with deficient stocks), by December the relevant indicator has increased to +6 p.p. The basic reason for this is a decrease of the stocks by enterprises with normal stocks to 50 per cent (from 64 per cent in November). Therefore, the industry is probably coming back to the system when it was maintaining the final products stock at the level of some access (in the first half-year the estimated balance made + 12 p.p on average), which makes for optimally prompt coverage of the new orders. One of the evident reasons of favorable development of the Russian industry in 2006 was (at least by the estimates of the enterprises) the stabilization of competition. There were no principal changes neither in the sales market competition, nor in its intensity in comparison with 2005. Currently Russian production enterprises experience competition with other Russian businesses in 92 per cent of their markets (as compared with 94 per cent in 2004) and in 73 per cent of international markets (versus 94 per cent in 2005). The acuteness of competition remained at the same highest level. The most intensive competition is observed in the domestic Russian market (4.12 points at 5-point scale, somewhat higher than moderate level ); competition in the international market (other than former USSR countries) takes the second place (3.47 points, or in-between moderate and week); the third place belongs to the competition on the market of CIS and other former USSR countries (3.20 points close to "week" level).

Undoubted positive impact over the dynamics of industrial development is provided by favorable credit situation. In 2006 that situation was estimated as positive by 72 per cent of enterprises (in the second quarter that indicator reached the highest peak of 75 per cent, now it makes 73 per cent). The most available credits were provided in metallurgy (normal availability for 89 per cent of enterprises), chemical producers (87per cent) and energy production (86per cent). The worst situation in terms of credits was for consumer goods producers (52 per cent) and construction (64 per cent). In machine-building that indicator made in 2006 per cent.

The forecasts and plans of Russian enterprises at the end of 2006 were more optimistic than a year ago.

First, a reduction of sales in nominal terms is not foreseen in the industry at the beginning of 2007. The dynamics of consumer demand (before adjustment for seasonal factors) stays positive, whereas a year ago it has dropped down up to minus 7 p.p. After adjustment for seasonal factor the forecast for demand is optimistic, the best one for the past seven months. Second, the industry does not intend to slow down the intensiveness of the growth rates. For the first months of 2007 the growth rates exceed the forecasted indicators of preceding year, and the results of adjustment for seasonal factors is the best one for the past eighteen months.

S.V. Tsukhlo The Oil and Gas Sector Development of oil and gas sector has been characterized by extraordinarily high international oil prices, which have ensured a reliable source of export income, inflow to the federal budget revenues and stabilization fund.

At the same time, under the influence of the growing international prices, the domestic prices of oil and oil products have demonstrated substantial growth. In the nearest future one can expect that the international oil prices will remain at a high level, thereby ensuring high federal budget revenues, cash inflow into the stabilization fund, and further development of the oil and gas sector.

International oil prices have become a key factor in the Russian economic situation. International oil prices were extremely high. In July 2006 oil prices have reached a historical peak in nominal terms. An average level of Brent price made USD 73.7 per barrel, Urals made USD 69.2 per barrel. The basic grounds of the situation were explained by high rates of growth of the global international economy, in particular in USA and China, in the background of a low level of available industrial capacities for oil extraction, which has been making it impossible to rapidly increase production in order to satisfy the growing demand for oil.

The OPEC has, in fact, refused to maintain the international oil prices within its previously established oil price within the range of USD 22 - 28 per barrel and is pursuing a very conservative policy as regards increasing the volume of oil production. Though oil prices remained at the high level, OPEC conferences kept up a sustainable level of oil extraction quota for its country-members, established back in 2005 in the range of 28 mln barrels per day. In October, when the international oil prices went somewhat down, OPEC has taken a decision to further reduce oil extraction quota to 1.2 mln barrels per day, starting as of November 1, 2006. In December 2006 OPEC conference has adopted a resolution to cut down the level of oil extraction for its country-members from February 1, 2007 by 500 thousand barrels per day.

In fact, OPEC demonstrates a noticeable change in its pricing policy and a tendency to sustain the oil prices at the far higher rate than USD 50 per barrel. Meanwhile, outside OPEC, the dynamics of oil production has been to a considerable degree influenced by the declining rates of growth of oil extraction in Russia.

Certain tension has been observed in the sectors of transportation and refinery as a result of these sectors limited capacities, which are responsible for the still high costs of processing and. Geopolitical risks, in particular the greater tension in the Middle East, produce a high level of uncertainty on the global oil market and also contribute to the sustainable high level of international oil prices.

As a result, an average cost of Brent oil in January-September 2006 made USD 67 per barrel, Russian Urals USD 62.8 per barrel. Average level of oil basket in OPEC made in January-September 2006 USD 62.7 per barrel. In October-November a certain decline was observed in oil prices (see Table 1).An average price of Brent made USD 63 per barrel.

Table International oil prices in 2002-2006, $ per barrel 2001 2002 2003 2004 Price of Brent, UK 24,44 25,02 28,83 38,21 54,Price of Urals, Russia 22,97 23,73 27,04 34,45 50,Price of oil basket, 23,12 24,34 28,13 36,05 50,OPEC members 2006 2006 2006 2006 1 Q. 2 Q. 3 Q. October November Price of Brent, UK 61,75 69,62 69,49 57,79 58,Price of Urals, Russia 58,20 64,79 65,39 55,49 55,Price of oil basket, 57,65 64,72 65,68 54,97 55,OPEC members Source: OECD International Energy Agency, OPEC.

Table Production of oil, oil products and natural gas in 2002 - 2006, % versus previous year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 (10 .) Oil, including lease con- 107,7 109,0 111,0 108,9 102,2 102,densate Primary re-processing of oil 103,2 103,3 102,7 102,6 106,2 105,Motor petrol 100,6 104,9 101,2 103,8 104,8 106,Diesel fuel 102,0 104,7 102,0 102,7 108,5 106,Furnace fuel oil 104,2 107,1 100,3 97,8 105,8 104,Natural gas, billion m 99,2 101,9 103,4 101,6 100,5 102,Source: Federal State Statistics Service The development of the oil and gas sector in the Russian economy in 2006 has been characterized by a persistent trend of growth in the production of oil, oil products and gas within 2000-2005. By 2006 the volume of oil extraction, including gas condensate, has reached by tentative estimate, the level of 480 mln tones. However, the rates of growth in oil extraction, including gas condensate, remain relatively low. While in 2002 - 2004 the growth rate of oil extraction was as high as 8.9 11 per cent per annum, in January October 2006 it went down to 2.2 per cent. It happens mainly due to restricted reserves of extensive growth of oil extraction and new intensive technologies of oil wells development. If the dynamics of oil extraction is considered for a longer term, one can observe a decrease of the growth rate in 2006 by 16 per cent lower than pre-crisis level, reached in 1987, when that volume made 569.4 mln tones, or by 59 per cent higher than the minimal level of 1996 (301.3 mln tones). Investment activities were also expanded: new wells were explored in January-September of 2006 by 15 per cent as compared with the relevant period of preceding year. To some extent the slow growth is observed in regard to natural gas extraction, which has started in 2002; in 2006 it made 2.6 per cent (see Table 2).

The greatest volumes of oil in the year 2006 have been produced by Lukoil, Rosneft, TNK-BP, Surgutneftegas and Gazprom. The share of those five companies in the total oil national production made nearly percent. The bulk of Rosneft production volume was made by Yuganskneftegas, separated from UKOS and entered in Rosneft at the end of 2004. UKOS continued the slow-down of production. In 2005 that level (without Yuganskneftegas) has been reduced by 24.5 per cent as compared with the preceding year, and within January-September 2006 - by 12.5 per cent. As a result, the Company share in the national oil market has dropped down to 4.5 per cent. At the same time, Gazprom has demonstrated an explicit growth due to acquisition of Sibneft. Gazprom share (including Gazprom Neft, managing Gazprom oil assets) in the national oil market in 2006 made 9.6per cent. As a result, the share of government companies (Rosneft and Gazprom, including Gazprom Neft) in the national market made 27.3 per cent. PSA companies have produced in 2006 0.8 per cent of domestic oil. Other producers, including about 150 small oil companies, made only 3.9 per cent of domestic oil product (see Table 3).

In terms of gas production, Gazprom was a traditional leader, whose share in the total volume of domestic production made in 2006 83.9 per cent. Meanwhile, the volume of gas extraction, made by oil companies, was also growing, though that share is still relatively small. The greatest volumes of gas are produced by such oil companies as Surgutneftegas, LUKOIL and Rosneft.

Table Dynamics of Oil and Gas Production in January-September 2006* Oil volume, mln Share in total Gas volume, Share in national tones domestic prod- bln cu m product, % uct, per cent % Russia, total 358,0 100,0 483,8 100,LUKOIL 68,3 19,1 10,4 2,Rosneft 63,6 17,8 10,1 2,-BP 51,1 14,3 6,2 1,Surgutneftegas 49,0 13,7 10,9 2,C + Gazprom neft 34,3 9,6 407,4 84, Including:

Gazprom 10,0 2,8 405,9 83, Gazprom neft 24,3 6,8 1,5 0,Tatneft 19,1 5,3 0,6 0,Slavneft 17,7 4,9 0,7 0,UKOS 16,0 4,5 1,3 0,Rusneft 11,1 3,1 1,1 0,Bashneft 8,8 2,5 0,2 0,Novatek 2,0 0,6 21,5 4,Others 16,9 4,7 13,3 2,For reference:

Government compa- nies:

Rosneft+ Gazprom + 97,9 27,3 417,5 86,+ Gazprom neft including:

Yuganskneftegas 41,4 11,6 1,1 0,* As per national sectoral structure, 01.10.2006.

Source: RF Ministry of Energy, authors estimates.

A noticeable growth of oil and gas prices was observed in domestic market in January-September 2006, explained by the high prices in the international market. Prices of producers of oil, petrol, diesel fuel and furnace fuel in 2006 have reached their peak within complete period of economic reforms. In domestic market an average producers price for oil made USD 232.1 and for petrol USD 478.7 per tone and reached the maximum level of oil and petrol price since the start of transition period (see Table 4). In October 2006 under the impact of reduction of oil prices in the international market domestic prices have also been reduced.

In the domestic market gas has also grown in price. Producers prices for gas have expressly overcome the pre-default level and made in September 2006 USD 16.1 per thousand cu m. An average purchase price for industries, including producers costs for extraction, transportation and sales charges, has reached in September 2006 USD 58.8 per thousand cu m.

Table Domestic Prices for Oil, Oil Products and Natural Gas in 2001-2006 .

(average producers prices, USD/t) December 2001 December 2002 December 2003 December Oil 49,9 60,7 70,1 123,Petrol 151,5 168,8 236,9 333,Diesel fuel 158,5 153,8 214,3 364,Furnace fuel 47,1 66,1 66,0 69,Gas, USD/ thus cu m 4,8 5,9 4,4 10,Table 4, continued December 2005 June 2006 September 2006 October Oil 167,2 207,3 232,1 200,Petrol 318,2 400,7 478,7 419,Diesel fuel 417,0 455,9 471,2 407,Furnace fuel 142,7 191,9 194,9 161,Gas, USD/ thus cu m 11,5 14,0 16,1 14,Source: Federal State Statistics Service The volume of oil export in natural terms in January-September 2006 has lowered by 1.2 per cent, while oil products export went up by 7.4 per cent as compared with the relevant period of preceding year (see Table 5).

The share of exports in the total trading resources of furnace fuel oil in January - September 2006 was 71.0 per cent, that of diesel fuel 58.4 per cent, while that of motor petrol 19.5 per cent (by comparison, in 1999 the share of exports in the production of motor petrol had been only 7.2 per cent, in 2005 18.5 per cent). In 2006, similar to the situation of 2005, oil products import was getting down. In January-September motor petrol import has declined by 10.1 per cent versus preceding year, the share of import in the total trading resources of petrol made only 0.02 per cent (as compared with the I Quarter of 1998, i.e. before RUR devaluation, the share of import in the total trading resources of petrol, made 8.7 per cent, in 2005 it had been 0.02 per cent).

For the first time within the recent years the volume of gas export has been decreased due to the reduction of the supplies to CIS countries (which have been reduced in January-September 2006 by 16.3 per cent).

Table Exports of oil, oil products and natural gas from Russia, % versus previous year 2002 2003 2004 2005 (9 months) Oil, total 113,9 117,8 115,0 98,0 98,Including:

To non-CIS countries 109,9 118,9 116,3 98,6 98,To CIS 137,3 112,4 108,3 94,9 98,Oil product, total 118,5 103,6 105,5 117,4 107,Including:

To non-CIS countries 119,1 102,6 104,9 118,7 106,To CIS 102,8 132,3 117,9 94,3 132,Gas, total 102,4 102,0 105,5 103,4 96,Source: Federal State Statistics Service.

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