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Energy Blast – Sept 23, 2011

At the International Arctic forum in Arkhangelsk, Icelandic President Olafur Grimsson has called developing geothermal energy projects and the Northern Sea Route with Russia a  ‘top priority’.  Vladimir Putin concurred on the importance of the Northeast passage as ‘an international transport artery capable of competing with traditional maritime routes when it comes to service fees, safety and quality’.  According to ITAR-TASS, the volume of transportation along the Arctic Route may reach 700,000 tons in 2012.   Russia will apparently order three nuclear and six diesel icebreakers by 2020 to allow passage along the route.  ‘[I]nexperienced workers, poor oversight and layers of bureaucracy’: a Russian engineer who worked on Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant tells the New York Times why the reactor’s startup was so protracted.  In a video interview with Bloomberg, South Korea’s President voices optimism about the idea of a natural gas pipeline from Russia’s Far East to Asia.  It is apparently expected that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will give Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych an ultimatum at tomorrow’s talks in Moscow over their long-standing dispute on gas deliveries.  Turkey has upped the stakes in its battle with Greece for energy resources in divided Cyprus, by dispatching a research ship for gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean.