Energy Blast – April 29, 2009

Russia and Bulgaria have apparently surmounted tensions over two days of negotiations; Russia will not use Bulgaria’s existing pipeline to transit gas to Europe as part of South Stream, but will contemplate other options. The two countries are set to sign a final agreement in two weeks time. President Medvedev has held a meeting promoting international energy cooperation, focusing on the establishment of a legal framework for trading. In April Ukraine imported one third of the volume of gas that had been outlined in a supply contract with Moscow.  The country plans to offer to resurrect a $350 million joint pipeline project with Russia.  French power company GDF has denied it was in talks to buy a minority stake in the Nord Stream pipeline.  Gazprom’s electricity asset Mosenegro will make $30 million less this year than it had envisaged, because of high capacity pricing set by the Market Council. Shell has reported that its profits halved in the first quarter.  TNK-BP saw profits fall by 82% in the same period but hopes that its Kamennoye field development will increase output. The Times analyzes how the company will attempt a turnaround.