Energy Blast – Aug 18, 2011

Several hundred tonnes of oil remain in Shell’s leaking North Sea pipeline.  A 15-year-long criminal case against three ENRC shareholders has been settled, and the charges dropped.  Sberbank is urging Russian industry giants to apply for carbon credits, promising to fulfil ‘all reasonable bids’.  Gazpromneft will fall short of its 2020 goal to produce 100 million metric tons of oil unless it makes new acquisitions.  ‘The transformation of the once inaccessible north is raising tricky strategic, legal and logistical issues, especially for the five nations – Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the US – with jurisdiction over all the Arctic’s land and much of its water.’  This report looks at Russia’s bid for an Arctic seafloor grab (‘If the nation goes all-out to seize and develop Arctic energy resources, the budgetary requirement for oil price could go up to $200 a barrel’) as Gazprom launches an Arctic oil exploration effort in the Pechora Sea.  Turbine-maker Vestas says that the wind turbine market has stabilised, and maintains an optimistic outlook on future western investment in wind technology.  The FT’s Lex looks at the falling price of solar panels and an industry that is ‘hardly thriving’.  Poland is planning to introduce an excise tax on coal products.  The ConocoPhillips wells in China’s Bohai Bay, initially shut down after an oil spill, have resumed operations.