Energy Blast – Aug 30, 2011

Gazprom has unveiled first quarter profits of 478.5 billion rubles – or $16.6 billion.  First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov will keep his job at Gazprom despite the Kremlin-sanctioned exodus of state officials from company positions, apparently in order to respect company interests.  Gazprom will be excluded from Iran’s major Azar oil field project in a move resulting from what the National Iranian Oil Company called ‘several ultimatums and delays’.  Russian gas production could reach an all-time record this year.  Diesel exports from St Petersburg’s ‘outdated’ Transneft pipeline are to be halted in November due to technical concerns. Should Ukraine take a more rigid stance on gas negotiations with Russia?  On Germany’s efforts to secure its energy supply without the help of nuclear power.  Eni has signed a memorandum on cooperation with the Libyan National Transitional Council.  Australia’s Macarthur Coal is backing a takeover bid from Peabody Coal and Arcelor Mittal that values it at US$5.2 billion.  Higher Russian export duty on fuel oil exports may actually have a positive effect on the industry by stimulating investors to upgrade, refineries, says Isabel Gorst.  ‘While BP’s alliance with Rosneft to explore in the Arctic may not have materialised, the consequences of that high-profile move continue to reverberate.