Energy Blast – Aug 4, 2008

Shell (which has just reported profits of $4 million an hour) is considering a £1bn asset swap with Sibir Energy, its joint partner in the Salym oilfields venture in western Siberia, in order to “remain in the Kremlin’s good books”. London-listed Imperial Energy, which has oil-producing blocks in Russia, has reportedly been approached by China’s Sinopec with a bid. The Times summarizes the recent Russian push to claim energy-rich territory in the Arctic, quoting one Kremlin source as saying, “The race is on and we have a head start.” The Market Council, a government watchdog, has forced Mosenergo to cut its energy prices by more than 10%. “It’s a very negative signal to the market. If even Gazprom came under such pressure, what will happen to private producers?” According to the Moscow Times, TNK-BP shareholders are trying to move towards a compromise, but the venture’s chief financial officer has just resigned over the ongoing disputes. Gazprom is in the process of developing an underground gas storage system.