December 1, 2008
Advanced Search



Forgot your password?
Register now

Home / Issue Archive / 2008 / June #6 / Editor's Letter

№ 6 (June 2008)

Editor's Letter

Siberian Bear Spotters Fight Back Just in Time for Neftegaz 2008


Pat Davis Szymczak

Last month I issued a challenge in this column to all Russian patriots who work in the oilfield – send me some pictures of Russian bears!
Vladimir Zotov, Marketing Manager at MI-SWACO in Moscow responded with a photo of a Polar Bear taken by his colleague, engineer Roman Postolovskiy somewhere in the Russian North. (See next page.)
MI-SWACO by the way, celebrates its 15th year of operating in Russia during this months’ Neftegaz exhibition. Congratulations! I raised a glass of champagne in 2003 when MI-SWACO Russia marked its first decade with a gala at the National Hotel.  And I look forward to again toasting this environmentally oriented services firm and another Vladimir, MI’s Regional VP for Russia and Ukraine, Vladimir Kouksov. Meanwhile, on the bear spotting front, Julia Gafarova, technical translator at VNIIPIGAZ (Scientific Research Intitute for Oil and Gas) in Orenburg, sent us a photograph of some West Siberian brown bear action. Julia wrote:

Hello, Oil and Gas Eurasia!
I am sending you a photo and suggest that you name it, “Hitchhiking”, or “Family Trip”. (See next page.)
And I hope you'll enjoy it, just as I enjoy your articles!
I'm an English-Russian technical translator and I like your magazine very much.
Your devoted reader, Julia Gafarova

Thank you Julia! We at Oil&Gas Eurasia really appreciate your kind words. Julia also wrote: “We don’t have bears here in Orenburg. A friend of mine provided me with this picture. He told me it had been taken in summer in Western Siberia during the construction of a pipeline.  The Scientific Research Institute for Oil and Gas where he and I work, had developed the construction design, and he was visiting the site.”
Readers who are wondering what I’m going on about, should read my column in the April issue of OGE archived at The whole thing started when the oilman with the best e-mail joke list on the planet, Les Tomlin of Trican Well Services in Calgary, circulated pictures of Polar Bear cubs climbing a ladder along an oil storage tank at a BP site in Alaska. We published his bear shots in our April issue along with a challenge to readers to match them with pictures of Russian bears in action.
Thank you Julia and Vladimir for answering that challenge! As a reward, you’ll both receive a one-year subscription to Oil&Gas Eurasia Digital free of charge. Your photos will – in addition to being published in this special Neftegaz 2008 issue – also be soon posted to
And we’re not finished yet! We’re still taking photos of bears in the oil patch be they in Russia, Canada, Alaska, or where ever else bears may roam. E-mail them to [email protected]. Les even tried to get some Canadian Grizzlies into this column but I told him “no”, June is for Russian Bears only!
But seriously, nature and its conservation does touch us all. Just ask Dmitry Tyupin, the restaurant manager at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel down the block from Mayor Luzhkov’s office in Moscow. I took my laptop there, seeking a beer and cheese nachos as inspiration to write this column. As Dmitry started to take my order, he commented that he’d read my April bear column and loved it! The Marriott Courtyard at 7 Voznesensky Per., caters to oil and gas executives and is one of our distribution points in central Moscow.
OK, that’s enough fun. I’ve drunk my beer so it’s time to work. Our June 2008 issue is the largest we've ever produced for the annual Russian oil and gas show – Neftegaz in even number years and MIOGE in odd number years – and the annual Russian Petroleum and Gas Congress (RPGC). And it’s the most profitable ever – a reflection I think of not only the popularity of Oil&Gas Eurasia but the strength of the oil and gas industry in Russia. I'd like to thank all our advertisers around the globe for their support!
Oil&Gas Eurasia is proud to be sponsoring registration at this year's Neftegaz. This year also, there are two more conferences taking advantage of the fact that Neftegaz and RPGC will draw an estimated 20,000 visitors to Moscow’s Expo Center. The Russian Engineer’s Society ROSING, with which Oil&Gas Eurasia has for years had a special partnership agreement, holds its 12th International Scientific and Applied Technology Conference on Enhanced Recovery and Well Stimulation during Neftegaz week. Visit ROSING’s event at the Meri Exhibition Hall between the Mir Hotel and the U.S. Embassy. Oil&Gas Eurasia is proud to support ROSING in promoting this event as a media partner, and it is grateful to this important organization for its support of Oil&Gas Eurasia as one of its magazine distribution partners. Another event you might want to attend is organized by the Russian-language oil and gas publication, Territoriya NefteGaz. This focuses on production technologies for harsh environments and is in the Expo Centre complex.
For in the end, we’re all trying to do the same thing – promote Russia as a good place to do business. And yes the news is good.
Take the Russian stock market. UralSib Financial Corporation’s Chris Weafer is one of the few foreign analysts I really respect. I believe what he writes because he lives here and it is obvious to me – who also lives here – that he really understands Russia. Well as Weafer wrote in one of his recent newsletters: “Russia is the best major market this year. The Russian equity market has decoupled strongly from the rest of the world since the start of May. The RTS is ahead almost 15 percent this month compared to only a 3 percent gain for the global emerging markets average and a loss of 3 percent for the Dow Jones Industrials.”
Weafer continued: “The reasons include the 16 percent gain in the price of oil (Brent) over the same period and the strong message about investment plans and reforms delivered by the new president. This is also creating the sort of funds flow momentum that pushed Brazil to a strong performance last year. This year it is Russia’s turn. ”
I guess that means, sell your IBM and AT&T stock and buy LUKOIL? OK, so that’s a bit of hyperbole on my part. But you get my point.
Oh, and there is one other reader who wrote in response to my “OGE Bear Picture Challenge.” Boris Trifonov didn’t send me any bear pictures, but he did send a photo of himself at his workplace in remote Nizhnevartovsk (see above.) I’m publishing it here in this column and inviting others to write us at Oil&Gas Eurasia with words about the human side of working in the Russian oilfield. And I’ll close this column with his observations:
Dear Editor
As I was preparing to leave for a vacation on the “Bolshukha,” (that’s the local name for the bank of the Ob River opposite to Nizhnevartovsk,) I visited the airport to buy tickets and there was Oil&Gas Eurasia in the departure lobby. When I see someone off or pick up someone at the airport I often take with me several copies of the magazine to show them to my colleagues at work. So I did this time too.
I work as a senior foreman at the main routing centre. We often have to travel to sites located far away from Nizhnevartovsk, such as the deposits in the Tomsk Region where you have to cover 500 km by concrete road and 250 km more by ice road in the winter; also the remote deposits of Nefteyugansk. As one drives along, one can see forest animals along the way. They are indeed different: starting with the small ones, such as squirrel, rabbit, duck, capercaillie, and ending with bigger ones, like wolf, bear and elk.
In the Pionerny field camp in one of the houses where we stay and have a rest, photographs hang on the walls with the most beautiful local nature sceneries taken during different seasons, with animals, birds and forest brooks. It is really hard to express with words. This beautiful scenery serves as a backdrop for noteworthy events. Once, as oil rotation workers went to their site, they saw a she-bear with cubs. Without any fear, the bear came forward to the bus and accepted sweets that the bus driver offered. The cubs had their share of the treat. You can see my picture, I am in the control station.”

Thank you Boris, Julia and Vladimir for your contributions to the June, Neftegaz 2008 issue of Oil&Gas Eurasia. And if our other readers have more pictures to share, please e-mail me at  [email protected]. See you all at Neftegaz.

Copyright © 2008 Eurasia Press, Inc. (USA). All rights reserved.
Web programming by Iflexion
Copyright © 2008 Eurasia Press (