Energy Blast – Dec 2, 2011

[T]he end of an era,’ says Kingsmill Bond, chief Russia strategist at Citigroup Inc, of Gazprom’s increase in domestic gas prices, which will create major payouts for shareholders.  The gas monopoly’s share prices have risen on speculation that the company will reserve about $6.5 billion a year for dividends.  LUKOIL apparently plans to invest $48 billion in the coming years in projects in places such as Iraq, the Caspian Sea and Western Siberia.  In a piece of good news for Russia’s coffers, Goldman Sachs has forecast the price of Brent crude oil at $130 a barrel in 2013, saying crude will continue to rise even in a stagnant economic growth environment.  The European Union has tightened sanctions against Iran amid mounting suspicion that the regime has plans to build nuclear weapons.  China, the biggest buyer of Iranian crude, has warned against ’emotionally charged actions’ following the storming of Britain’s embassy in Tehran.  According to Reuters, Russia has seconded this view, suggesting that increasing tensions will undermine the chances that Iran will cooperate on efforts to ensure nuclear weapons are off the regime’s agenda.  It would seem that Canada has a strong economic motive for pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol, as it may save as much as $6.7 billion by exiting the emissions agreement.  The Economist casts an analytical eye over the currently stuttering climate change talks in Durban.