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Energy Blast – March 29, 2012

After lengthy prevarications, Bulgaria has apparently finally abandoned joint plans with Russia to build the 2,000 megawatt Belene nuclear power plant on the Danube River.  It has been said that the EU member state will build a new gas power plant instead. Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov has told the press that the main reasons for cancelling the project were related to costs and environmental concerns.  Total has sought to assuage environmental concerns over its damaged Elgin platform in the North Sea, saying that a flare on the platform isfaint and decreasing’.   According to ITAR-TASS, Russia’s Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky says Moscow will consider the possibility of increasing oil exports to the EU if the embargo on oil import from Iran disrupts supply.  Oil pipeline monopoly Transneft apparently plans to double its dividend payout on preferred shares following an increase in 2011 profit.  TNK-BP is currently holding talks with state-controlled utility Inter RAO, power-plant builder Technopromexport and construction investor Summa Group, on the possibility of establishing an electricity generation venture.  Tajikistan is reportedly looking to secure natural gas supplies from Turkmenistan in an attempt to stave off a worsening fuel shortage.