Energy Blast – Aug 20, 2008

Iraq’s oil minister has repudiated a Saddam Hussein-era contract with LUKOIL on grounds that it was “totally unfair.” Conversely, Iraq is reportedly on the verge of reviving an 11-year-old contract with China worth $1.2 billion, which would be its largest oil deal since the invasion in 2003. The Canadian prime minister says that gas dealings with Russia are being reconsidered in light of Georgian conflict. “From the beginning, oil and gas transmission has been at the centre of conflict [between Russia and Georgia].” Prime Minister Vladimir Putin reportedly supports the idea of granting equal access to Gazprom’s pipelines for independent gas producers. Mechel will be forced to reduce coal prices for the steel sector by 15% – less than previously feared.