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Energy Blast – April 8, 2011

A Swedish tribunal will decide this morning whether or not to allow the BP-Rosneft tie-up to go ahead, as the former seeks to engage TNK-BP in a board discussion to resolve the stalling.  Gazprom says Europe is easing off on demands for pricing concessions ahead of its scheduled talks with China.  President Dmitry Medvedev’s replacement of state officials on company boards has begun, with Deputy Energy Minister Andrei Shishkin being removed from the board of RusHydro. Medvedev has also apparently removed Igor Yusufov from his International Energy Envoy post in order to allow him to ‘promote and carry out significant investment projects in Russia and abroad‘.  The Shtokman gas field is being delayed as officials seek to minimize risks: ‘After what happened in the Gulf of Mexico and Japan it’s important to have a concrete understanding of safety.‘  PetroChina denies earlier reports that suggested it was considering a bid for China Gas Holdings.  Germany’s shift away from nuclear power will make it more reliant on Russian gas, says Bloomberg: ‘Germany imports 85 percent of its natural gas and is already more reliant on Russia to meet its needs than the European Union as a whole.‘  Bulgaria needs to speed up its decision-making process, says Russia, putting the pressure on for the construction of an oil pipeline to bypass the Bosporous strait.  Following Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s announcement that he does not want Ukraine join a Russian-led customs union, Russia is pointing out that Ukraine could save $8 billion a year on gas purchases if it were to join, as the union would allow it to buy at Russian domestic prices.