Energy Blast – Oct 14, 2011

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has left China empty-handed in energy terms, with no breakthrough on a long-delayed gas deal.  If Russia refuses to compromise on the pricing issue, argues Reuters, it risks losing a major customer as Beijing considers alternative import opportunities from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Myanmar.   Reflecting this strategy, Sinopec Group, Asia’s largest refiner, is apparently on the hunt for more foreign oil and gas acquisitions.   Ukraine has opened a new criminal case against former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, on the basis of her alleged involvement in a ‘criminal conspiracy’ 15 years ago to embezzle state funds through gas purchases from Russia.  President Viktor Yanukovych’s campaign against Tymoshenko might have alienated him from the EU, says Bloomberg, ‘putting him at Russia’s mercy before gas-price talks’.  Turkmenistan, holder’s of the world’s fourth biggest natural gas reserves, is apparently making headway on the EU-backed Nabucco pipeline backed after talks with Austria.  Minority TNK-BP shareholder Andrey Prokhorov has increased his damage claims against BP to an eye-watering $13.2 billion based on the potential profits lost in the failed deal with Rosneft.  As a result of economic sanctions, Iran is looking at a projected loss of $14 billion a year in oil revenue, says this reportDysfunctional oil wells threaten progress at Sakhalin-2.