Energy Blast – March 15, 2012

Despite international censure over fostering links with Tehran, Russia and Iran have apparently held talks on building an underground gas storage facility near the Iranian capital.  According to Bloomberg, Turkey is planning to sue Iran for charging high prices on natural gas sales.  Russia’s second largest crude producer, Lukoil, has unveiled a new strategy which involves increased dividend payouts to shareholders.  Gazprom has apparently hinted that it will delay the progress of its Prirazlomnoye project as a way of pressuring the government to produce a speedy resolution on tax breaks on Arctic offshore oilfields.  Should Russia prove inflexible on gas prices, Ukraine will buy gas in Germany, the country’s Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has pledged.  A top Pakistani government body said that China’s largest bank is losing interest in a long-standing plan to build a gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan. Is Gazprom’s foothold in the Asian marketplace threatened by US plans for gas exports?  The Washington Post explains the positive effects of LNG reserves on the US economy.  Statoil talks to Oil and Gas Eurasia about its ‘fantastic‘ find off the coast of Tanzania, its biggest ever discovery outside of Norway.  The Economist offers a new interactive map and guide to the world’s nuclear power producers.