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Energy Blast – April 17, 2008

Oil prices continue to surge, and have reached almost $115 a barrel. Gazprom has agreed to set up a joint venture with the National Oil Corporation of Libya. The company also announced it will close a deal to buy a controlling stake in Serbia’s oil company Naftna Industrija Srbije (NIS) after the Serbian parliamentary election in May. Together with Rosneft, Gazprom will split the resources on Russia’s continental shelf. The EU has is reportedly weeks away from signing an energy accord with Iraq to bring more gas and oil to Europe. Metals and mining company Mechel has acquired 95.69% of shares in the UK-based Oriel Resources, which owns assets in Russia and Kazakhstan. Rosatom, the nuclear energy company, wants to build a nuclear power plant in the Kaliningrad territory. Aluminum producer Rusal has agreed to sell a 50% stake in two coal mines in Kazakhstan for $345 million to Samruk Holding. Private equity firms Candover and Alpinvest have agreed to buy British oil services company Expro International $3.16 billion.