Energy Blast – April 19, 2010

The Gas Exporting Countries Forum is meeting today to make a decision on whether or not to raise gas prices for European supplies.  Russia’s Sergei Shmatko says that prices should be based on long-term contracts, against the Algerian energy minister’s call to raise prices in line with one sixth of the cost of a barrel of oil.  Shmatko is reportedly speaking out against the open market, aware that consumers favor it over long-term contracts when prices fall, as they currently are doing thanks to a gas glut.  Gazprom is considering reducing the price of gas for Ukraine by 25%, with Ukraine’s energy minister traveling to Moscow for talks today.  OGK-6, controlled by Gazprom, says it has no plans for a dividend payout on last year’s results.  The Shtokman gas field project should start next year, says Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who was careful to note that the project, despite suffering delays, had not been cancelled.  Environmentalists and celebrities are protesting over the construction of Belo Monte, a hydroelectric power station to be situated in the Amazonian jungle.