Energy Blast – Aug 30, 2010

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin thinks that the price of gasoline is too high and says he is trying to ‘fight this somehow‘, although the government is apparently planning to raise taxes on fuel next year in order to fund roadbuilding.  Putin opened a crude pipeline connecting Russia to China’s industrial city of Daqing over the weekend, underscoring the project’s importance in terms of diversification and ‘significant competition for the European route‘.  Lukoil’s chief executive doesn’t want the company to buy back its shares from ConocoPhillips, saying that the company would benefit more from a sale on the open market, helping it to ‘stay public‘.  German ministers want to extend the life of the country’s nuclear plants from their current 30 years in order to maximize prices and emissions reductions, but their failure to agree on the length of the extension is holding up the issue, says the FT.  Analysts are skeptical about China’s ambitious plans to ramp up its production of coal-bed methane, due to questions about whether or not government policies can evolve in sync with the sector’s development.  India’s Vedanta has lost its international safety award after it emerged that the company failed to declare the death of 41 works at a plant accident last year.