Energy Blast – Aug 16, 2011

Shell’s North Sea pipeline leak has created a ‘substantial’ oil spill.  In exchange for Belarus’ membership in a customs union with Russia, it will receive cheaper gas next year (measures denied to Ukraine last week, and consequently causing some friction).  ‘In recent years, Russia has tried to wean Belarus off cheap energy,’ says this Reuters report.  Russia is reportedly planning to place nine emergency response centers in the Arctic to protect commercial operations.  On the forest preservation project in Indonesia, Rimba Raya, which has collapsed under the weight of bureaucracy and ‘opaque laws’, and whose backers faced criticism over a deal with Gazprom.  Gazprom’s gas supplies to Turkey are set to almost triple.  Russian and Iranian officials have begun discussions over the latter’s nuclear program.  Statoil’s new gas compressor will allow it to increase gas extraction; the company has also announced a major discovery of oil in the North Sea – potentially one of the ten largest ever discoveries off Norway’s coast.  China’s gas imports last month were double their volume, year-on-year.