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№ 11 (November 2007)
In Russia, the Smart Money Takes a Long View
Pat Davis Szymczak
This November, Oil&Gas Eurasia takes you to Chelyabinsk for a look at the proppant market and Irving, Texas-based Carbo Ceramics’ new manufacturing plant.
What’s important about this project is that it shows what is possible when foreign companies take the time to understand the Russian market and to work with local city and regional governments and private sector vendors.
Carbo’s new $45 million plant is unique in being a 100 percent U.S. owned factory that is 100 percent Russian run and located in the Russian industrial heartland. That’s what U.S. Consul General John Stepanchuk told me during Carbo’s grand opening. If you think we’re wrong and you have other examples, please write to me at [email protected]. We’re always looking for success stories to cover – especially in Russia’s regions.
In December, Oil&Gas Eurasia visits the Tyumen region for a look at European companies that are locating there; and to visit with the economic development team in the regional governor’s office. Tyumen is developing a small business incubator and R&D center, also a Technology Industrial Park and Convention Center. All Tyumen needs now is direct commercial flights from Europe that bypass Moscow. Its officials are working on that!
Tyumen and Chelyabinsk have something in common. Both regions have visionary local leaders who understand that there is more to doing business in Russia than Moscow. If you want to get something accomplished, forget the bars, girls, banyas and grossly overpriced hotels in Moscow. You need to get out into the regions. After all how representative of the United States is New York? Or is the UK London? Visit Iowa or Manchester if you’re serious about getting to know the country.
Of course transportation is a problem – you all too often get stuck in Moscow because you have to come here first, but help is on the way. There are already direct flights on British Airways from Europe into Ekaterinburg where the U.S. and Great Britain maintain consulates. Tyumen is negotiating a connection with an airline not yet specified. And American Airlines recently announced it will begin direct flights between Chicago and Domodedovo Airport in June. We hope you read about this on www.oilandgaseurasia.com or saw the announcement in our weekly newsletter. (If you haven’t subscribed yet to our weekly newsletter, drop me a note at [email protected].)
We hear through the grapevine too that Continental Airlines is in the midst of planning direct Moscow – Houston flights in 2009 after it takes delivery on new Boeing “Dreamliners”. The significance of international flights like these is that Domodedovo is not only Moscow’s most efficient, western standard airport with all the amenities the international traveler needs, it is also the gateway for flights to West Siberia.
And while we’re talking about new service offerings in the Russian market, let me fill you in on some of what’s happening here at Oil&Gas Eurasia. First, we’ve just launched our new digital edition in a unqiue “Flip Book” format that lets you turn pages on your computer desktop much the same as you would turn the pages of your print copy.
The program enables readers to mark pages with highlights, virtual “post-it” notes and otherwise process information found in the pages of Oil&Gas Eurasia. For advertisers, we offer various upsell opportunities that bring value added to your print schedule and make your ad come alive for the reader as well as give you the ability to better track your ROI (return on investment.) Again, please write me if you’d like to learn more; or to simply subscribe, contact Alexander Rubanov in our Subscription Sales Department, [email protected]. He’ll tell you all about our new special introductory offers.
If you’re not yet an individual subscriber, we’d like to give you the opportunity to get your own individual copy of Oil&Gas Eurasia, delivered monthly to your desktop in print by post or electronically as a “Flip Book” and if you subscribe by Feb. 1, we will give you a choice of one of two free gifts.
And if you haven’t booked your advertising schedule for 2008 yet, visit our website, www.oilandgaseurasia.com and download our new media planner. Don’t forget that Oil&Gas Eurasia is the only publication of any genre circulating in Russia and the Caspian that has a BPA international standard audit of its circulation. That means you can be certain of what you’re paying for. Our BPA audit puts us in a league with Oil&Gas Journal, Hart’s, and World Oil which are trusted by global advertisers for their business publishing ethics. In the case of Oil&Gas Eurasia, we augment any global advertising media plan with targeted, audited circulation in the Russian heartland, thus giving us the basis for our claim that we are the “essential add on” to any global market strategy of companies active – or planning to be active – in the Russian market.
And if you’re not active yet in the Russian market you’d best take a look. I heard a great story about Weatherford – the international oilfield services company about which we wrote in October. It seems that to drive the point of Russia’s importance home to headquarters in Houston, a PowerPoint presentation on the Russian market began with a slide that showed a map of Texas superimposed onto a map of Russia. Everything is bigger in Texas but Russia is bigger still! The message was driven home.
Yes, I know the news out of Moscow is sometimes a bit off putting, but don’t forget that 2008 is an election year (in not just Russia but several other countries – including the United States). Having covered presidential elections in the United States I know very well that all politics is domestic and the domestic crowd often doesn’t care about foreign affairs. Politics is one thing, business and making money is another thing – don’t confuse the two.
And don’t think your Russian colleagues are confusing them either. That’s why companies that stay focused for the long term and just get down to work succeed. We’ve written about several of them this year: Carbo Ceramics in proppant manufacturing and engineering services for frac design and consulting, international oilfield services company Weatherford, Germany’s drilling rig builder Bentec and others. We’ve also taken you on a tour of some of the regions – Murmansk, Novi Urengoi, Tyumen, Chelyabinsk, Noyabrsk. And next year we’ll add on a few more. Happy reading!