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U.S. Russian Discussion On Banking And Oil

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 24, 2002

Fact Sheet
U.s.-Russia Banking Dialogue

In November 2001, Presidents Bush and Putin welcomed the creation of a private-sector led U.S.-Russia Banking Dialogue to support the building of a vigorous banking sector in Russia that turns Russians? savings into investment and jobs.

The dialogue has worked to lend a unique perspective to banking reform in Russia by bringing together representatives of Russian small, medium and large banks; foreign banks; banking and business associations; and small and medium businesses.

During their meetings in Moscow, Dialogue participants presented the two Presidents with a report containing specific, concrete reform recommendations. These recommendations build on the Russian Government's banking reform strategy and identify steps that the private sector believes will produce early and tangible results. The report is a valuable and timely document. Its recommendations include measures to address the following challenges:

? Leveling the playing field for private and state-owned banks, addressing in particular the phasing out of state ownership of commercial banks and changes to laws and regulations to improve private banks? ability to compete.

? Expanding small and medium-sized business access to credit by removing unnecessary administrative burdens on banks that increase the cost of lending to small business and supporting a more active role for well-regulated credit cooperatives and other non-bank financial institutions that service underserved regions and sectors.

? Reducing bureaucratic burdens on banks. This could include adopting international standards for supervision and regulation, as well as changing laws and regulations to give banks access to risk management tools in line with international best practices.

? Increasing transparency among banks and their clients with the timely adoption of international accounting standards and improving information exchange among banks.

? Bolstering creditor rights by strengthening laws on collateral, training judges, and improving the legal basis for collateralized lending, such as mortgages and financial leasing.

? Reducing administrative and tax burdens and deepening liquidity in the system consistent with prudential standards.

? Sharing international best practices through private bank contacts and training programs, some of which could be sponsored by the Dialogue.

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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 24, 2002

Fact Sheet: Energy Relations
United States-Russia Commercial Energy Relations

Energy (mostly oil and natural gas) accounts for 40 percent of Russia's exports and 13 percent of its GDP. After Saudi Arabia, Russia is the second-largest producer and exporter of oil in the world. In 2001, Russia produced about 7 million barrels of oil per day, and exported about 5 million barrels per day.

Total foreign direct investment in Russia's oil and gas sector to date is $4 billion. Currently, there are seven U.S.-partnered joint ventures producing oil in Russia, with the largest producing about 50,000 barrels of oil per day. Looking ahead, major new foreign investment will be needed for Russia to maintain or increase oil production levels.

Russia's existing pipeline system limits the growth of Russia's oil and gas exports. There are plans to build new pipelines and to increase the capacity of existing ones, including the Baltic Pipeline System, a pipeline from Siberia to China, and a pipeline from Sakhalin to Japan. There are also Russian companies looking into the possibility of exporting oil through the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline.

Sakhalin I and the Caspian Pipeline Consortium's Tengiz-Novorossiisk pipeline are premiere examples of U.S.-Russia joint investment projects.

The Sakhalin I project operates under a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA), and includes an American partner (ExxonMobil). The consortium is performing exploration activities and expects to start exporting gas in 2005. The legislative framework for Production Sharing Agreements has not yet been completed. Four other major projects under consideration by American companies are awaiting this PSA framework before moving forward.

The Caspian Pipeline Consortium's Tengiz-Novorossiisk oil pipeline is the largest, single foreign investment in Russia, and has a capacity of over 500,000 barrels of oil per day. The U.S. partners include ChevronTexaco and ExxonMobil.

Russia is the fifth-largest export market for U.S.-made oil and gas field equipment. Last year, American companies exported $282 million of oil and gas field equipment to Russia.

To promote opportunities for greater commercial energy cooperation, the United States Secretaries of Commerce and Energy are planning to host a U.S.-Russia Commercial Energy Summit with the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and Ministry of Energy later this year in Houston, Texas.

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© Scoop Media

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