Crescent unveils big Russia expansion plans
Sharjah, February 13, 2013
Crescent Group, a UAE-based firm with diversified business interests in the energy and non-energy sector, has announced plans to boost its Russian operations with the closing of two major investment deals in the country.
It is the parent company of Crescent Petroleum, the Middle East’s oldest private oil and gas company, and Crescent Enterprises, the Group’s non-energy conglomerate which also controls the world’s largest privately owned ports operator Gulftainer.
The group expects to conclude two major Russian investments in 2013, both of which are in the ports and logistics industry sector, said a statement.
Through its subsidiaries, the Crescent Group has established strong Russian links over the past five years, including a close working partnership with Rosneft, Russia's leading oil company which currently produces over 2.6 million of barrels of oil per day.
In 2010, the two organisations signed an agreement to jointly pursue upstream projects in the Middle East, with Rosneft joining Crescent Petroleum in the exploration of the Sharjah Onshore Concession, a 1,250 sq km known for its gas potential.
The first exploration well was drilled in November 2011, and following an extensive and hitech 3-D seismic survey the parties are planning a second exploration well scheduled to be drilled in the first half of this year.
“In a globalised energy and logistics world, the UAE and Russia are natural partners,” remarked Badr Jafar, the managing director of the Crescent Group and CEO of Crescent Enterprises.
“Together, these two countries produce 36 per cent of global oil production and 29 per cent of world gas production, and yet we are only just beginning to realise the full potential of this bilateral relationship. What is important is that we both realise the potential for engaging our respective companies in each other’s territories, since only through two-way bilateral trade will we be able to cement a long-term and robust economic relationship,” he added.
Crescent Petroleum is focusing its efforts on developing joint energy ties, working together with its Russian counterparts to identify new opportunities in upstream and midstream natural gas as well as power in the Middle East and North Africa.
Crescent Enterprises’ Gulftainer subsidiary has been particularly active in the ports and logistics market in Russia over recent years, including committing to an investment in the Ust-Luga port located in Leningrad Oblast, 110 km from St. Petersburg.
Gulftainer is set to invest over $300 million in the next 5 years in Russia, increasing its port coverage in the Baltic and the Black Sea area.
"The opportunities are ripe for a vast increase in the scope for further business between the UAE and the Russian Federation. When you consider that Russia-UAE trade accounted for only 0.3 per cent of the UAE’s trade activity in 2011, it is clear that there is enormous untapped potential," said Jafar.
"At the Crescent Group, we have been active in developing ties with Russian companies over the past few years, and we have ambitious plan to build on our mutually rewarding relationships even further in the coming years,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service