Energy Blast – Aug 8, 2011

Libyan rebels are in the process of establishing an oil protection force to deter Gaddafi’s forces.  Russia ‘lacks a national purpose’, says Alexei Bayer, arguing that it could have become a market leader in energy during unrest in the Middle East earlier this year.  Bidding issues with the massive Tavan Tolgoi coal project in Mongolia are leaving potential investors ‘scratching their heads’ as they struggle to come up with a deal that will satisfy all parties.  India’s ONGC is in talks with foreign oil majors to sell stakes in its offshore deepwater developments. Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin is stepping down from his post at Rosneftegaz.  A workers’ strike at Kazakhstan’s KazMunaiGas could cut 2011 output by 800,000 tonnes.  The U.K.’s Energy Minister says that Britain will welcome interest in its energy industry from Gazprom.  Rosatom has signed a draft agreement to build a nuclear power station in Nigeria, which would be Africa’s second.  Delays hindering Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant are being blamed on Russian demands for more cash.  Consolidation in the U.S. energy market is being driven by low gas prices, says the FT, reporting that M&A in the sector is at a four-year-high.  Rio Tinto and Mitsubishi Corp are offering $1.6 billion to buy out the minority investors in Australia’s Coal & Allied, of which they already own 85.9%.