Energy Blast – April 13, 2012

Prime Minister Putin has announced that there will beno export duties for new hydrocarbon development projects on the Russian shelf’.  The President-elect hopes that new shelf projects will attract around $500 billion dollars to Russia in the next 30 years.  Russia’s European customers may have to get used to sudden changes of direction for their oil as the world’s top producer reportedly lacks sufficient crude to supply all of the ports and pipelines it has built.  Russia’s General Prosecutor has launched an inquiry into a 2009 oil-for-loans deal with China in which state-controlled energy giants Rosneft and Transneft borrowed $25 billion.  Lukoil has signed a deal with Dutch Verolma Groep to acquire 59 gas stations in Belgium and the Netherlands, says Reuters.  Russian oil firm TNK-BP will reportedly mothball its loss-making Lysychansk refinery in eastern Ukraine.  The company intends to use fuel imports for its retail stations in the country.  Russia’s largest non-state oil companies urged Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to open access to the country’s offshore deposits, which are currently monopolized by Rosneft and Gazprom.  Shell has denied that its activities have anything to do with an oil sheen sighted in the Gulf of Mexico.  A crude oil pipeline owned by Italian oil and gas group Eni in Nigeria’s onshore Niger Delta has been attacked, allegedly by a militant group.