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Energy Blast – March 5, 2012

Gas has begun flowing to China from Lukoil’s Uzbek reserves: the company ‘has succeeded where Gazprom failed’.  Their pricing dispute has been resolved, but PetroChina says it has no plans to buy extra Russian crude via the Russia-China pipeline.  Other reports suggest that Russia is rejecting China’s request for an additional 600,000 bpd on completion of the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline.  Now that legal claims are settled, has BP finally turned the corner of recovering from its Gulf of Mexico disaster and ‘strategic failures’ such as the collapsed Rosneft deal and battles with TNK-BP?  Not likely, says the FT: ‘the bigger issue is still open: the damages and penalties sought by the U.S. government.’  At a 35-nation board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.S. and its allies will lobby Russia and China for joint action in relation to Iran’s nuclear program.  U.S. oil and gas companies are using derivatives deals to unlock cash value to fund new drilling projects and land purchases.  The Chairman of the Russia-Iran friendship group maintains that Iran has the right to enrich uranium.  President Barack Obama’s comments on U.S. policy towards Iran are thought to have boosted the price of oil; or could it have been the (strongly denied) rumor of a burst pipeline in Saudi Arabia?  On the shift from pipeline provider to crude trader currently underway in North America.  China has been unable to meet its own targets for clean air and water in 2011.