Energy Blast – May 18, 2012

In a somewhat embarrassing admission, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has apparently acknowledged that his much vaunted Kharkiv natural gas deal with Russia in 2010 brought the country little in the way of actual benefits.  Following a decision by authorities to restrict crude oil transportation by rail, Russia is apparently facing domestic fuel shortages.  State oil pipeline operator Transneft has something to celebrate, profit-wise, thank to its trade with China.  Reuters reports that Uzbekistan hopes to start pumping natural gas to China this year through a pipeline crossing three Central Asia states.  Gazprom has apparently agreed to slash gas prices for supplies to Bulgaria by 11.1%.  Russia is, this report says, hoping to take a step back from the fierce ongoing debate between the EU and international airlines over carbon-dioxide emissions.