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Energy Blast – Sept 13, 2011

During meetings with Russian leaders, British Prime Minister David Cameron raised concerns about the recent raid on BP’s Moscow office – but received a ‘cool response’.  President Medvedev restated the government position on the TNK-BP row, i.e. that it has no intention of getting involved.  Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is seeking a new source of natural gas in Turkmenistan – although, as the two countries do not share a border, any gas sold ‘would have to pass through Russia’.  The EU is also interested in Turkmen gas, with a provisional plan in place to build a gas pipeline across the Caspian basin to facilitate such an exchange – although, as the WSJ notes, this would constitute a loss for Gazprom.  Lukoil has promised a $25 million investment for oil refining and petrochemicals over the next decade.  The Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran has officially launched, generating electricity at 40% capacity and with hopes to reach full output potential by the end of the year.  Gazprom has hinted that it could take part in the development of Iran’s Azar oil field.  Thanks to changes in energy taxes, Russia will keep its spot as the number one oil exporter.  Bashneft is putting aside plans to merge with rival Russneft.