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Energy Blast – Dec 19, 2011

The Kolskaya oil rig, owned by Russia’s state-owned offshore drilling company Arktikmorneftegazrazvedka, sank in the Okhotsk sea after running into a storm, killing at least 11 of its 67-strong crew.  India plans to start up Kudankulam, its Russian-built nuclear power plant, within weeks.  Iran has signed a $1 billion deal with Russia’s Tatneft to develop the Zagheh oil field in Bushehr.  Serbia is poised to sign a new 10-year contract with Gazprom.  Pressure from opposition groups on Gazprom is growing, amid calls that the gas giant pay more tax (its rate is currently less than half that of oil producers).  ‘Environmentalists estimate at least 1 percent of Russia’s annual oil production, or 5 million tons, is spilled every year.’  Shell’s long-term plans to drill in Arctic waters have been approved by the U.S. government.