Energy Blast – Sept 29, 2011

Gazprom has pledged to ‘fully comply’ with European Commission antitrust investigators following a spate of raids of the company’s offices in several EU countries this week.  Industry sources have claimed that the raids derive principally from a strategy to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian gas.  Russia and Belarus are apparently on the cusp of finalizing a contract to build Belarus’ first nuclear power plant.  The FT examines the decline of nuclear power in the post-Fukushima world.  Bloomberg reports that TNK-BP has signed a $1 billion contract to begin a partnership with Brazil’s HRT Participacoes em Petroleo SA in an oil project in the Brazilian Amazon.  In the meantime, BP and partners in TNK-BP, the AAR consortium, continue their arbitration wrangle, as the UK major rejects claims it broke a shareholder agreement and should pay $4.9 billion in damages.  The Gazprom-led Shtokman project to produce liquefied natural gas from a Barents Sea field 600 kilometers from shore may require a $4 billion fleet to transport the fuel.  ITAR-TASS reports that Naftogaz Ukrainy plans to enter into cooperation agreements with the U.S. companies Halliburton and ExxonMobil, as well as with Italy’s ENI, France’s Total and Russia’s Gazprom on September 29.