Energy Blast – Jan 18, 2012

Gazprom is fighting to keep its market share in Europe by significantly’ dropping prices in France, Germany, Slovakia, Italy and Austria: good news for companies that have struggled under long-term deals that tied import rate to oil prices.  Does Gazprom’s move signal a weakened position for Russia in the European gas market?  Ukraine insists that it will not buy the volume of gas from Russia that was agreed on in the ‘enslaving’ bilateral agreement of 2009.  Ruspetro expects to raise around $250 million after pricing its London IPO.  The Bulgarian government has cancelled Chevron’s exploration permit for drilling using the ‘controversial technology’ of hydraulic fracturing: the country will permanently ban the technology.  Rising exploration costs are hampering London’s Tullow Oil.  India still imports more than 70% of its oil.  BP predicts that natural gas will be the fastest-growing fossil fuel, worldwide, to 2030; and oil the slowest.