Energy Blast – April 2, 2012

Bulgaria’s Economy and Energy Minister Delyan Dobrev has told the press that Russia will not seek damages after Sofia dropped plans for the joint Belene nuclear power plant.  Gazprom has reportedly agreed to slash natural gas prices to Bulgaria by just over 11%.  The country, which imports 90% of its gas from Gazprom, apparently hopes to diversify its supplies.  After lengthy disputes with Ukraine over gas prices, Gazprom has begun rerouting some supplies to Europe through the Nord Stream pipeline and across Belarus in an effort to reduce dependence on Kiev for transit.  Russia’s state run nuclear holding Rosatom Corp is apparently mulling the purchase of a stake in the $24 billion Horizon project to build atomic power stations in the UK.    Lithuania has reportedly signed an initial concession agreement with Japan’s Hitachi Ltd. for the building of a nuclear power plant.   Amid claims that the company failed to take note of workers’ concerns about the risk of a gas leak, French group Total has announced that the flare which threatened to create an explosion at its Elgin platform has gone out.  Rosneft, Russia’s biggest oil producer, has apparently agreed on a $1 billion loan from Gazprombank to fund operations.  Bloomberg examines how the US can look forward to a future without nuclear test explosions.