It's all happening according to plan

The next wave of Kremlin-driven consolidation is underway in Russia's energy industry:

The owners of Russneft, one of Russia’s largest private oil companies, are in talks to sell their shares and are near a deal with Oleg V. Deripaska, an investor with close ties to the Kremlin, a Russian news agency reported on Sunday, citing an executive at a bank with ties to the company.

Such a sale by the owners of Russneft would mark a further consolidation of oil industry assets in Russia under state companies or companies owned by businessmen loyal to President Vladimir V. Putin. The trend is narrowing the scope for private energy investment in Russia, home to the world’s largest energy industry if oil and natural gas are taken together.

As it happens, Russneft was the first of many Russian energy dominoes predicted to fall under a scenario laid out in a free DR White Paper prepared by our friends at Stratfor.  And while the White Paper forecast Russneft would fall into the hands of the state-owned oil giant Rosneft, and not Mr. Deripaska, take note of this in the Moscow Times:

Chris Weafer, chief strategist at Alfa Bank, said it was possible that Deripaska's cash-rich Basic Element holding could scoop up the asset before passing it on to a state-controlled oil major like Rosneft, which is currently heavily in debt.

"This growing global credit crunch means it is less easy for big companies to get cash. They will be looking for alternatives to acquire assets without having to buy them," he said.

There you have it.  It's all happening according to plan.

The Daily Reckoning