Energy Blast – Feb 17, 2012

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has told the press that whilst Iran’s letter to the EU on possible nuclear talks is ‘ambiguous’ it also heralds the start of opening up from Iran’.  Meanwhile European countries have begun to make alternative arrangements for volumes of oil they would normally import from Iran ahead of sanctions.  Who stands to gain the most from European tension with Iran?  Russia, says Andrew E Kramer in the New York Times.  Find out here why Iran’s ambassador to Moscow believes that Tehran could also benefit from plans for an embargo.  With demand from Europe weakening, Gazprom is apparently hoping that 2012 will see deals concluded with China and India.  The monopoly is also optimistic that it will settle its pricing disagreements with European customers.  State-run power generator and exporter Inter RAO UES, which is looking to diversify into Europe, could apparently purchase several plants from German utility RWE.