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Energy Blast – May 16, 2012

According to Reuters, Russia’s deputy prime minister, Igor Sechin, has voiced his opposition to the sale of a stake in state oil pipeline monopoly Transneft, on the basis that it would make the company’s debt refinancing complicated.  Gazprom’s plans to export 150 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe annually may have been jeopardized by the 12% drop in exports to Europe witnessed in the first four months of 2012.  Russia’s no 2 gas producer Novatek is apparently gearing up to challenge Gazprom in the export market.  The uncertain future of the Nabucco pipeline can only serve Russian interests, says this comment piece.  At a press conference in Moscow, environmental NGO WWF has told the press that Russia could entirely remove the need for risky offshore drilling in the Arctic if the state were to simply improve the energy efficiency of its housing.