Energy Blast – Dec 29, 2011

Threats from Iran to block shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, should Washington impose sanctions, have prompted fluctuations in global oil prices.  In a move which may endanger the Nabucco pipeline, Turkey and Azerbaijan have officially drafted a deal to transport 16 billion cubic meters of Caspian gas annually to Turkey through the $5 billion Trans Anatolian pipeline project.  Turkey has given Russia the green light for the construction of the South Stream pipeline which will traverse the Black Sea.  Prime Minister Putin has apparently described the approval as a big event in Europe’s energy sphere’.  Apparently Ankara does not plan to become partner for the South Stream pipeline, but would consider an offer if it came.  In a new deal on Russian gas supplies to Turkey, imports will increase by two billion cubic meters in 2012 to reach 27.5 billion cubic meters.  Gazprom Neft apparently intends to increase total hydrocarbon output by 4% next year to 59.6 million tonnes.  British oil giant BP may face criminal charges over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident that led to the catastrophic Gulf oil spill, says the Telegraph.  China has apparently extended restrictions on foreign investment in its refining sector, while seeking to foster participation in developing unconventional oil and gas resources.