December 5, 2008
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Home / Issue Archive / 2006 / October #10 / Editor's Letter

№ 10 (October 2006)

Editor's Letter

Here’s to the Real Russian Oil Men We’ll Meet at RO&G

Pat Davis Szymczak

As editor and founder of the monthly OGE and a member of the SPE in Moscow, I am proud that the OGE team has been so directly involved in helping to bring this ground breaking event to Russia. OGE has produced also the Exhibition Catalogue and the Show Daily newspaper and I know I speak for everyone involved – from OGE editorial, production and sales in Moscow and Niznevartovsk to our international offices in Houston, London, Milan and Paris when I say we are certain that these quality products will enhance your conference/exhibition experience.

_editor_PAT.jpgI’ve seen a lot in the 13 years I’ve lived and worked as an American expatriate in the CIS in oil and gas publishing. In the early 1990s, I was editing articles for Russian Petroleum Investor (RPI) explaining how LUKOIL was then being created out of three fields under the Soviet Ministry of the Oil Industry named Langepas, Urai, and Kogalym. Then, RPI was the only English language journal that wrote authoritatively on Russian oil in English to benefit foreign majors such as Mobil, Exxon, Shell, Chevron, BP, Conoco and Texaco who were trying to find their feet in Russia.

Today, SPE’s global membership is growing fastest in Russia. Some of the foreign majors I just mentioned have merged. In Russia we now have ExxonMobile, Shell, ChevronTexaco, BP, ConocoPhillips and TNK-BP, not to mention ConocoLUKOIL. And a new generatioan of Russian majors are stepping out globally, LUKOIL Overseas with gasoline stations in Washington D.C. and New York; Gazprom which just signed an agreement on LNG marketing with BP: Rosneft which plans exports of EURO5 grade gasoline to EU countries, and Tatneft. Russian companies today participate in asset bid rounds and construction, service and supply tenders everywhere in the world: Asia, Africa, North and South America.

In July, during our build-up to the SPE’s RO&G 06, Oil&Gas Eurasia carried an interview with the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Conference side of SPE RO&G 06, Valery Graifer. In that interview, Dr. Graifer made this point: “Integration of worldwide technological achievements in the E&P industry with Russia’s unique resources is a matter of paramount importance with regard to the security of our planet’s energy future given the growing prices for energy products.”

To me, Professor Graifer is truly the “Dean of Russia’s Oil and Gas Industry.” He’s not the type of guy you read about in The Houston Chronicle or The Financial Times – the oligarch who didn’t know one end of a drill string from the other until the 1990s privatizations (or maybe not even then). Dr. Graifer is a real Russian oilman!

As a professor at Russia’s prestigious Gubkin Oil&Gas University, he is mentoring a new generation of Russian oil and gas scientists and engineers. And he is the Chairman of the Board of LUKOIL (Russia’s 2nd largest oil producer) as well as the General Director of RITEK, one of Russia’s most innovative independent oil production companies, considering that it also doubles as a service company that markets cutting edge Russian technological innovations at home and abroad. Finally, Dr. Graifer has a passion for the history of his profession and has made him a leader in insuring the preservation of the historical record through film, books, museum collections and events of the previous generation of Russian geologists, drillers and production specialists that brought West Siberian oil on stream in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

You can read about one of those collections – which is also a traveling exhibition – that maintained in the LUKOIL museum. See page 38 and also visit for OGE’s own archive on oil and gas history and links to museum sites throughout Russia’s oil patch. I can personally recommend that the next time you’re in Tyumen, the city’s four-story oil and gas museum is a must see!

I say all of this to explain why OGE chose what it did as editorial themes in the October Show Issue for the SPE 2006 Russian Oil&Gas Technology Conference & Exhibition. You’ll note our main cover story deals with R&D and how Russia’s largest oil major, Rosenft, does its. We examine issues in innovation and moving Russian science from the theoretical to practical application of science, and we present a host of technologies from domestic and international companies that are today transforming the Russian oil and gas industry. You’ll notice that we parallel these same themes in also the Show Catalogue and in what we select for inclusion in the show daily. To quote again, Professor Graifer, ‘The conference theme is Technology for World Class Resources’. The theme speaks for itself and reflects the industry’s wide historical perspective as well as Russia’s rich intellectual potential and unique national resources.”

We at Oil&Gas Eurasia wish everyone an eye-opening time at SPE 2006 Russian Oil&Gas Technology Conference& Exhibition, the cutting edge event for Russian oil for operators, service and supply companies who count themselves among Russia’s “Real Oil Men and Women” of this new century!

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