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Energy Blast – May 14, 2012

Reuters reports that an exiled Iranian opposition group have claimed that the state has around 60 scientists and engineers involved in a ‘concerted and expanding program’ to develop nuclear weapons.  Ukraine’s state-owned energy company Naftogaz Ukrainy has signed a framework accord with German utility RWE for natural-gas imports as the country seeks to reduce dependence on Russia.  The German company is apparently reconsidering its participation in the Nabucco pipeline consortium due to cost concerns.  Bulgaria and Greece apparently intend to complete the construction of a $258 million pipeline connecting their natural gas grids by 2015.  Russia shipped 20% of its overall liquefied natural gas production to Japan last year, in addition to the originally planned volume, as a response to the nuclear plant emergency there.  The Telegraph reports that the Fukushima nuclear plant owner Tepco posted a £6 billion loss last year due to soaring costs of the nuclear disaster.  Major oil and gas companies such as Russia’s Novatec, Italy’s ENI and France’s Total are among the 15 firms and consortiums looking to carry out exploratory drilling for gas deposits off southern Cyprus, despite the objections of Turkey.