|This article relies on references to primary sources. (July 2012)|
|Industry||Oil and gas|
|Key people||Igor Makarov (Chairman)
Vladimir Makeev (General Director)
|Services||Gas pipeline transport|
Itera is a group of companies controlled by Russian businessman Igor Makarov headquartered in Moscow, Russia, with parent companies of the group registered in Cyprus. Its subsidiaries are involved in the energy industry, civil and industrial engineering, and finance and insurance. The company operates primarily in Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries and Turkmenistan. In 2013, its main subsidiary—Itera Oil & Gas Company—was acquired by Russian state-controlled oil company Rosneft.
Itera Group was established in 1992 in the United States under the name Itera International Energy Corporation as a basic commodities trading company. In 1994, it obtained the rights to sell Turkmeni natural gas as payment for its sugar transaction and started implementing gas-related projects within its subsidiary Itera Oil & Gas Company, LLC. In 1995, Itera began selling Turkmeni gas to Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and Georgia, as well as to the Baltic States. In the late 1990s, Itera began gas business in Sverdlovsk Region, followed by the Moscow and Perm regions.
In 1998, Itera launched production of natural gas in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug in Western Siberia. It was the first private company to put gas fields into operation in the Far North of Russia: the Gubkinskoye gas field with reserves of 399 billion cubic metres (14.1 trillion cubic feet) in 1999; the Vostochno-Tarkosalinskoye field with reserves of 407 billion cubic metres (14.4 trillion cubic feet) in 2001; and the Beregovoye field with reserves of 325 billion cubic metres (11.5 trillion cubic feet) in 2003. In 2002, there was an agreement to merge the newly created gas company Novatek with Itera, but the deal was cancelled.
In 2010, India-based Sun Group sold its 26% stake in Itera Holdings back to Itera Group. In 2011, TNK-BP planned to acquire a 50% stake in Itera. This transaction failed. In 2012, Rosneft announced a plan to acquire up to 51% in Itera Oil & Gas. In 2013, Rosneft acquired all shares in Itera Oil & Gas.
Itera Oil & Gas Company
The main subsidiary of Itera was Itera Oil & Gas Company. It had aggregate proved reserves of 510 billion cubic metres (18 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas, over 2 million tons of gas condensate and 7 million tons of crude oil. By 2011, more than 325 billion cubic metres (11.5 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas had been produced in eight fields. It had 49% stake in Sibneftegaz (another shareholder is Novatek), which holds licences for exploration and production in the Yamal-Nenets region, including the Beregovoye field, Pyreinoye field, Zapadno-Zapolyarnoye field, and the Khadyryakhinskiy licence area.
Sibneftegaz owns the rights to develop oil and gas condensate fields with a total resource of 395.53 billion cubic metres (13.968 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas and 8.44 million tonnes of gas condensate. In Sverdlovsk Oblast, the company operates through ZAO Uralsevergaz, a joint venture with the oblast administration. Together with Zarubezhneft, Itera carried out a development of block 21 in the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea. The reserves of this block are 219 million tons of oil, 100 billion cubic metres (3.5 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas and 92 billion cubic metres (3.2 trillion cubic feet) of associated gas. Together with Zarubezhneft and Rosneft, it developed blocks 29, 30 and 31.
Since the mid-2000s, Itera group has been involved in civil and industrial engineering in Russia, Belarus and Turkmenistan. Among the projects are an office complex for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, a skyscraper and a business center in Minsk, and sport facilities and pipelines in Turkmenistan and Russia. The company has commenced construction of a steam-gas power cogeneration plant with a capacity of 900 MW in the Nizhny Novgorod Region. The company plans are underway for construction of a gas and petrochemical complex in the Urals with a capacity of 600,000 tons of methanol per year. In 2009, Itera's subsidiary MPK Engineering was contracted to build the 198.5-kilometre (123.3 mi) Central Kara Kum–CS Yilanly gas pipeline in Turkmenistan. The pipeline was completed in 2010.
Since 2008, Itera, through its subsidiary Arkticheskiye razrabotki, developed Apsatskoe mineral coal mine, one of the largest in Russia, in Zabaykalsky Krai. Through its 72% stake in Stavropolstroynerud, it develops the Malkinsky quarry, located in Stavropol Region, with production capacity exceeding 1 million cubic meters of crushed stone, sand, and gravel per year. In 2011 100% of Arkticheskiye razrabotki were sold to SUEK, which became the new owner of Apsatskoe.
In the United States, Itera focuses on oil and real estate, in addition to renewable energy sources, chemicals and bioenergy technologies. In 2008, Itera put a bioethanol refinery into operation in Pennsylvania. The construction of a similar facility in Louisiana is planned, as well.
Itera Group Ltd. is registered in Cyprus. It owns Itera Holdings Limited, also registered in Cyprus, which owned 99.99% of Itera Oil and Gas Company, the main company of the group. In 2012 51% of Itera Oil & Gas were included into a joint-venture with Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft, which in 2013 also bought out remaining 49% from Itera Holdings Limited  Altogether, Itera Group has dozens of subsidiaries in Russia, CIS, Asia, Europe and in the US. Its main shareholder, chairman of the board of directors and president is Igor Makarov, its first vice president is Vladimir Makeev.
In 2010, Itera had a gross profit of US$435.9 million and a net profit under IAS of US$226.9 million. Net sales amounted to US$1.6 billion, compared to US$1.15 billion in the previous year, and natural gas sales were RUR1.58 billion, compared to RUR1.13 billion in the previous year.
Itera is a sponsor of the European Cycling Union (UEC). In March 2011, the UEC President Wojciech Walkiewicz and Igor Makarov, the chairman of the board of directors for Itera, signed a contract for financial support until the end of 2011, with the possibility of contract renewal.
In Russia, Itera is a long-term primary sponsor of the Russian Cycling Federation and one of the three key sponsors (along with Gazprom and Rostechnologii) of Russian cycling teams Katusha ProTour and Itera-Katusha continental, and two youth cycling teams, Itera-Katusha Under 21 and Itera-Katusha Under 23.
Itera signed an agreement with Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas. According to the agreement, Itera provides grants to the best-performing students. The company also finances a number of scientific projects, and assists in providing technical equipment for the curricula.
Itera is one of the trustees of the Saint Petersburg Mining Institute, providing assistance in developing its educational and scientific base, preserving and renewing a group of historical buildings, repairing and constructing student dormitories and introducing innovative programs and technologies. Itera provides financial backing for constructing the Skolkovo Moscow School of Management.
According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, in the late 1990s, the Russian state-controlled company Gazprom conducted dubious transactions with Itera and a Gazprom/Itera joint-venture, Purgaz. Billions of dollars of Russian natural gas resources were transferred from Gazprom to Itera for artificially low prices, then sold to the markets by Itera, allegedly profiting Gazprom managers who were also beneficiaries of Itera.
Itera was suspected to have business connections with the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, a crime syndicate. Mafia Don Massimo Ciancimino stated in a 2005 deposition in Italian courts that he met up with Igor Makarov in Cortina d'Ampezzo, trying to organize a deal to use mob money to set up a gas distribution network to "broaden his business interests".
In March 2002, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency cancelled a $868,000 grant to Itera as questions were raised about its legitimacy. In May, Representative Curt Weldon led a congressional delegation to Russia and visited Itera. After his return, he publicly supported Itera's efforts. In the beginning of September 2002, Itera paid the expenses Weldon to travel to New York City. The following week, Itera told Karen Weldon, the congressman's daughter, that it would sign a contract with her newly formed lobbying firm, Solutions North America, Inc. (SNA). On 24 September, Curt Weldon co-hosted an event at the Library of Congress honoring Itera's chairman. On 26 September, Weldon gave a floor speech praising Itera. On 30 September, SNA received a $500,000 annual contract with Itera, with $170,000 up front. In November, Itera paid for Karen Weldon to join Rep. Weldon on a trip to Eastern Europe and Russia. In January 2003, Itera opened U.S. offices in Jacksonville, Florida, and paid for Rep. Weldon to attend the opening.
- Devitt, Polina; Golubkova, Katya (2 July 2013). "Rosneft buys rest of Itera from founder for $2.9 billion". Reuters.
- "Rosneft buys control of Itera Oil & Gas". Oil & Gas Journal (PennWell Corporation). 3 July 2013.
- History.[dead link]
- Itera in 90's. Itera.ru.
- P B Jayakumar (7 October 2010). "Sun Group to exit Itera". Business Standard. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- "TNK-BP Mulls Itera Stake to Up Gas Output". The Moscow Times. Bloomberg. 10 August 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- Kristalinskaya, Svetlana (April 2012). "Itera Aims to Get Back Its Own New Rosneft-Itera JV to Challenge NOVATEK for Top Spot on the Independent Gas Producers Market". Oil & Gas Eurasia. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- "Rosneft takes Itera slice". Upstream Online (NHST Media Group). 20 July 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- Developing Far North & Western Siberia. Iteragroup.com.
- "Novatek seals Sibneftegaz stake". Upstream Online (NHST Media Group). 17 December 2010. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- Soldatkin, Vladimir (16 November 2010). "Russia's Novatek to pay $900 mln for Sibneftegaz". Reuters. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- ITERA: a course to a vertically integrated business. Itera.ru.
- "Itera sees big spend on Block 21". Upstream Online (NHST Media Group). 14 April 2010. (subscription required). Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- Afanasiev, Vladimir (22 May 2008). "Hidden jewels likely to lie offshore but warnings sounded that treasure chest may not be complete". Upstream Online (NHST Media Group). (subscription required). Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- Itera. Itera.ru.
- ITERA: orientation to vertically integrated business, 9 June 2010.
- "Itera ends Turkmen pipe test". Upstream Online (NHST Media Group). 13 August 2010. (subscription required). Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- ITERA is in active development stage of Apsatski field, 15 June 2010.
- Malkinsky quarry. Iteragroup.com.
- ITERA announced completion of financing for ethanol biorefinery in the USA, 28 February 2008.
- ITERA Increased the 2010 Net Profit Under IAS by 43 Percent up to US$ 226.9 Million, Prime-TASS, 25 July 2011.
- New sponsor of European Cycling Union!, 23 February 2011.
- Katusha Team[dead link]
- Itera-Katusha Continental[dead link]
- Katusha Youth.[dead link]
- Itera Latvia & Dinamo Riga. Baltic-course.com (17 October 2012).
- Gubkin State University. Business Organizations. Gubkin.ru.
- Cooperation agreement, 8 February 2006.
- Support for science and education. Itera.ru.
- Gazprom: Russia's Enron?, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 18 February 2002.
- Steve Scherer: "The Mafia's Energy Grab", Bloomberg Markets, January 2007, pp. 96–106.
- Lucrative Deals for a Daughter of Politics, Los Angeles Times, 20 February 2004.