Monday, April 11, 2005

Its a gas gas gas

Some companies like Shell, decide that cracker plus one is the strategy of choice. Others like Innovene, the soon to be spun out company from BP Chemicals, prefer cracker plus some, since they’re only taking the olefins and derivatives businesses with them.

BASF on the other hand, thinks life begins with gas and is becoming an integrated chemicals and energy company, faster than you can say ‘main chance’.

Today’s ‘trailblazing’ memorandum of understanding with Gazprom, witnessed by both Putin and Schroder, for added gravitas, and possibly security, reinforces BASF’s position as one of the most strategically enterprising chemicals companies around.

It gains access to a gas field that could supply Germany for five years, it gains almost half of the company exploiting the gas, a founding 50% stake in the pipeline and “equal rights in Russia” for the first time, according to Alexey Miller, Gazprom president.

The proof of the equal rights would be in the tasting. But Alexey and Jurgen get on so well, and the companies have for 30 years it won’t come to litigation. Ever. And Yukos won’t need to stand as a warning on the fickleness of power in Russia.

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