Energy Blast – Feb 6, 2012

Despite boosting daily production by over 20% to 1.6 billion cubic meters per day, Gazprom is still unable to meet the additional gas volumes that European countries are calling for during the current run of cold weather.  Supplies are recovering but still not back up to previous levels.  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is using her time in Bulgaria to urge the country to break its energy dependence on Russia by diversifying supplies.  Several Bulgarian MPs are demanding that the newly-implemented ban on fracking be lifted.  China will halve its crude imports from Iran next month, in part due to pricing disputes.  PetroChina has agreed to take a 20% stake in Canadian shale gas project Groundbirch (owned by Shell) for an undisclosed sum.  Gazprom will invest just $7 million in the Shtokman project this year.