Energy Blast – Sept 27, 2011

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has announced that Russia has agreed to review its current gas contract with Ukraine.  He also said Russia had agreed to set up a consortium with Ukraine and the European Union to manage Ukraine’s gas transportation system.  Gazprom has taken issue with the above statement, saying that it failed to agree with Naftogaz on the disputed contract, although the sides managed tobring their positions closer’ at talks on the weekend.   RFE/RL reports that a deal which would see Gazprom purchase a major stake in a Belarusian pipeline used to deliver natural gas to Europe is nearing completion.  French energy company Total restarted some production last week; now Italian energy major Eni has apparently resumed oil production in conflict-ridden Libya after months of interruption, tapping 15 wells and producing nearly 32,000 barrels per day.  Rosneft plans to increase its annual oil production output to 160-180 million tons per year by 2020.  Italy’s Eni is apparently negotiating terms of joint development of a Black Sea’s oilfield Shatsky Ridge with Rosneft.  The United States and Ukraine have signed a deal to remove the former Soviet country’s reserves of weapons-grade uranium by early next year.   A BP-led group may consider a new pipeline project to transit natural gas from the Shah Deniz deposit in the Azeri sector of the Caspian Sea, which could be a rival to the European Union-backed Nabucco project.