Energy Blast – April 29, 2010

The U.S. Coast Guard is saying that the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is likely five times worse than previous estimates suggested, after a new leak was discovered.  Shell has sent in reinforcements to try and help clear the slick.  Oil everywhere, even on Vladimir Putin’s face: the prime minister attended the opening of LUKoil’s first offshore Caspian field and followed the ‘industry tradition‘ of smearing some of the field’s first flowing oil on his cheeks.  Putin has raised crude export duty by over $15 a ton.  RFE/RL looks at Russia’s ‘all-out offensive on the European energy market‘, including deals this month with Oslo, Italy, Austria, and Ukraine.  Pollution and waste dumping in the Arctic is extremely high, prompting Putin to call for a ‘major cleaning‘ of the region.  RIA Novosti examines the numbers on Ukraine’s newly reduced gas prices.  TNK-BP has secured a lucrative contract with the Ministry of Defense to supply its jet fuel.  Reuters says that Gazprom’s recent high profits were due in part to a one-off $3.58 billion deal with Germany’s E.ON.