Energy Blast – April 22, 2010

Russia is to give Ukraine a 30% discount on gas imports (an estimated saving of $40 billion through to 2019) in exchange for the extension of its lease for the Russian naval base in Sevastopol by 25 years, which was previously due to expire in 2017.  Following the seizure of a shipment of highly enriched uranium at the Georgian border, President Mikhail Saakashvili blamed Russia for the instability that permits nuclear smugglers to operate in the region.  OPEC apparently has earned $187 billion from crude exports since the beginning of the year – double what it made in the same period last year – as analysts wonder whether we are heading for $100 oil.  According to Iranian officials, Russia is ‘interested‘ in investing in Iranian petrochemical projects.  Oando, the Nigerian energy firm, saw its 387 million share issue 28% oversubscribed.  India’s Essar launches its initial public offering today, expecting to raise about $2.5 billion, which would make it the second-largest IPO by an Indian firm, and the largest London listing in three years, says Reuters.  Ecuador is struggling to increase state control over its oil sector, reportedly threatening foreign operations with takeovers if they do not sign new contracts: Reuters Q&A, ‘What’s going on in Ecuador?