Energy Blast – March 13, 2012

Russia’s second-largest natural gas producer Novatek expects to increase investments by around 60% this year to $1.70 billion in order to maintain output growth momentum.  Reuters reports on how oil traders from the firm Naftomar may, their detractors say, be feeding the Al-Assad regime by continuing to sell fuel for cooking and heating to the regime.  Despite Bulgaria’s withdrawal from the project, Russia is still committed to the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, says Oil and Gas Eurasia.  Poland may have to resign itself to smaller shale gas reserves than initially forecast.  Ukraine is apparently hoping to reduce its dependence on Russian gas supplies by purchasing three million cubic meters of gas from German’s RWE energy firm per day.  The country apparently shipped 13% less natural gas to the European Union from Russia in February compared with the same month a year earlier.